Katie Longshaw-Pye

Costa Women Meet Katie Longshaw-Pye

Fortune favours the brave and throwing herself into the deep end is Katie Longshaw-Pye.  Katie is learning to embrace the journey, cherish the moments and spread joy! Read her story

Why Spain?

I fell in love; not just with the area, but a Swiss man who lived in Spain!

I was on holiday alone and we met on a Tinder date; we hit it off and have been living between England, Spain and Switzerland ever since. It’s been an amazing few years and because of the types of projects I’ve taken on I’ve been able to work from my laptop a lot.

It became time though when we wanted to feel more settled, so needed to decide on a main base. The sun, sea and sand with the appeal of an outdoor lifestyle made Spain very appealing.

I love my life in the UK but I had to decide wether or not I wanted it to stay the same, and the answer was no; I wanted a new adventure.

I’ve also made some wonderful friends in Spain and I could really see a much more rewarding life, so decision made. However, I have a well established business in the UK with many repeat customers, so I’ve been very nervous about making such a big move.

Fortune favours the brave though and I have always been the type to thrown myself in the deep end.

I’m an Interior Designer for Residential and Commercial projects and whilst I’ve been successful in the UK, I do see many potential great opportunities on the Costa Del Sol; businesses are always being launched or given a revamp and new villas being built.

Whilst I can see there are some big Interior Design companies in the area, I think the appeal of working with a boutique business like mine will be the higher level of personalised service compared to larger firms.

Working with a boutique interior design firm offers clients more one to one communication with their designer, and a more creative, and collaborative experience, making it an appealing choice for those seeking a bespoke approach to their design needs. Overall ensuring what’s delivered is inline with the clients vision. I think there could be a gap in the market so I’m going to make the best try of it.

Katie Longshaw-Pye interior Designer Spain

And where is home now?

We’re based in Riviera which is such a great location; whilst it’s a quiet area perfect for relaxed day to day life, with a small town feel, a great coastal path on the beach, and places close by to go hiking, play paddle and go biking.

It also sits right between two of our favourite cities Malaga and Marbella. So when it comes to the weekend it’s located so it’s easy enough to head to either one for nightlife, some wonderful restaurants and shopping, plus

– Beautiful beaches

– Lots of activities

– Close proximity to great cosmopolitan cities for fabulous restaurants.

Katie Longshaw-Pye interior Designer Spain

What was the biggest challenge for your move?

Understanding the types of visa’s has been very stressful; Nothing is straightforward and with each new conversation, new or contradictory information has come to light. So deciding which visa to apply for has been confusing!! I was also quite worried about the social security aspect and getting my head around the additional costs. Thankfully I’ve been working with good lawyers; I had consultations with three companies and I eventually went with my gut feeling and with who was the most responsive.

Do you have any advice for Women thinking about making the move?

If you want to change your life and lifestyle this could be the right move for you. It will be a challenge for sure, and at times super scary, but it could be well worth it. You only live once!

When dating my partner we stayed for some time in our own little bubble and didn’t make many new connections. So when he was trying to convince me that Spain was the place to be together full time I struggled at first to visualise a life here without many friends. I was in the lucky enough position though to explore this before making the leap; I put myself out there and within no time I made some wonderful new friends.

Uprooting to a new country you won’t have those lifelong well established relationships and you could find yourself being lonely, but you can also start afresh. There will be many other people in the same position who have made the same move, and will be wishing to make new connections too.

Join clubs (from sports to book), go networking, and reach out on social media. You’ll find yourself so much more at home when you have a circle of people to enjoy your weekends with over a glass of Sangria.

Katie Longshaw-Pye interior Designer Spain

How do you spend your time in Spain? 

On weekends I love cycling from Marbella to Puerto Banus and dining out, taking a class at Rachel’s Eco Love, enjoying brunch with friends, exploring vintage markets and making pizzas in our oven on the balcony with a glass or two of wine.

When I’m working I most enjoy meeting new clients and discussing their projects; firstly problem solving (layout, lifestyle and practicalities), then the dreamy imaginative stuff that will make the space truly special to them.

I really enjoy the creative development stage, the thrill of sourcing something unique and producing the visuals to showcase to the client. However, much of the job is 90% admin, communication and project co-ordination; all essential to delivering a successful project.

Day to day you’ll usually find me in my studio at my laptop surrounded by my samples. Then in between projects you’ll find me in homeware shops, at design shows across Europe and I loved going to Paris’s Antique Markets last year!

Katie Longshaw-Pye interior Designer Spain

What is something spectacular you would like to achieve in just one day?

Ooooh this is a difficult one.

The small things in life are important. In my personal life it would be hosting all my friends new and old at one big gathering and enjoying the sun and sunset with a great view of the coast. We would be eating something fabulous I created, and laughing and drinking well into the evening.

In a professional setting it would be spectacular to be surrounded by a great team who could work together installing all finishing touches on a project, and have a client walk through the doors at the end of the day wowed at the results. (This can only be achieved in one day with the team!)

So thinking about that  special dinner party who would you invite too?

Obviously friends and family.

But let’s throw in…: Heston Blumenthal – His creations are incredible! …..I would love him to cook the meal!

Jack Black – He would be a riot!

Helena Bonham Carter – She’s my absolute idol! I want to know what’s going on in her head, and maybe learn a bit about Tim Burton too.

Tailor Swift – I think she is an incredible inspiration to young women for her values and work ethic. Plus she can get up and be the entertainment.

Dara O’Leary – Just too funny

JK Rowling – I would have a lot a questions about the books

Graham Norton – He is so full of warmth and brings out the best in everyone. My favourite talk show host.

Wes Anderson – Let’s talk about his jaw-droppingly beautiful films

Gene Kelly – I’d just be waiting for him to take me dancing afterward.

Something you are grateful for?

Gaining my first clients; What a thrill for anyone running their own business! With my particular business though it takes a lot of trust for a client to work with a designer on their most expensive asset; their home or business. So it really was such a great feeling!

What’s your secret weapon?

My secret weapon is my ability to chat to anyone.

Do you have a favourite mantra?

Embrace the journey, cherish the moments, and spread joy!

Katie Longshaw-Pye interior Designer Spain

One thing you had to bring to Spain and could never give away?

My house in the UK is beautifully decorated and feels so homely. I really need my Spanish home to also feel that way, so some of my favourite ornaments have been carefully wrapped up and brought over. Some of these contain memories of travel as I love to get unique items when I’m away and so can’t be easily replaced.

Do you have a favourite book or film?

Memoirs of a Geisha – Beautifully written book and all the more special since visiting Japan

And film Forrest Gump – Who wouldn’t?

Something you would tell your younger self?

Be patient with yourself. You’re doing the best you can with what you know at the moment.

Embrace your uniqueness and celebrate your journey. Every experience, success, and setback will shape you into the person you’re meant to become.

Trust in your abilities, stay true to your values, and never underestimate the power of resilience.

Above all, remember to be kind to yourself and others, and never stop dreaming, learning, and growing.

Thank you Katie where can we find out more?

My website: https://www.magpyecreative.co.uk/

Follow me on https://www.instagram.com/magpye_creative_interiors/

And connect on Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/katie-longshaw-pye-1803b226/


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