Rachael Polkinghorne helps people turn their dreams into reality.

The TV producer turned interior designer prides herself in working on a range of projects no matter how big or small and always puts her heart and soul into her work.

Whether it be people's own homes, a hotel, bed and breakfast, pub or a holiday home, her stylish touch leaves many of her clients coming back for more.

Rachael, of Polkadot Interiors, has transformed so many during her eight year career, that she can't put a figure on them but estimates it be topping 30 properties.

The 48-year-old said she fell in love with interior designing eight years ago when she took a couple of years out of her former work in the television industry when her son was born.

"I bought two cottages to renovate and sell on and a local business man saw them," she explained.

"He had just bought six flats to do up and asked me to do the interiors for him as he liked what I had done. So I did those and haven't looked back."

Her aim is to bring contemporary design and stylish interiors and she prides herself on working with local traders and has built up various teams in different parts of Cumbria.

As well as styling properties that people own, she's also had considerable success in helping clients prepare their properties for sale. This can range from simply de-cluttering and accessorising rooms to simplifying decor. Even though she has worked on a range of projects, Rachael admits that she does not have a favourite.

"I like every project, however large or small, new or old, I just like working with the building itself and doing the fabric of the place justice and working sympathetically with what is there," she said. "If you get the basics right then the rest will fall into place."

One of the transformation's Rachael is particularly proud of is Plum Tree Cottage at Keswick, which she renovated 18 months ago as a holiday home.

Her plan was to create a cosy, stylish, light, natural experience.

She said: "I think we've achieved that by knocking through the two rooms but leaving a wall in place for the entrance to be separate to the sitting room, which allows a big sofa to sit against it.

"One colour goes throughout - Dimity by Farrow and Ball - which is a warm, pinkish cream. There is oak flooring throughout the ground floor, both of which give a spacious feel."

If Rachael could give one tip to those looking to improve their homes it would be to deal with any structural issues the building may have, to make the house dry and solid and maximise the natural light.

"Then take each room at a time and start with one thing you know you are putting in there and work round it," she added. "It could be as small as a picture or as large as a sofa. Keep your back drop simple - so neutral colours for walls with pattern and colour added by wallpaper, rugs, cushions and art.

"Follow your heart - if you love it, have it and then work round it with everything else. Your home should make you feel happy when you walk in."

Brought up in Keswick, Rachael worked as a nanny for film producer Ken Russell before going to media school in London and working for Ken for a couple of years on various projects and on the South Bank show.

She went to Border TV as a researcher then went to BBC Manchester, Wall to Wall in London then Yorkshire TV. She presented Tracks from the BBC's Pebble Mill studios with Ray Mears.

Her big break came through Yorkshire TV where she became a producer-director for the Discovery Channel. She returned to Border, where her first documentary about Cumbria-based polar explorer Robert Swan OBE won best factual programme in the Royal Television Society's awards for the north-east and Border.

Over the next five or six years she made 60 or 70 half-hour programmes for Border. She gave up working in TV when Josh was born, taught for a while at the then Cumbria Institute of the Arts in Carlisle (now the University of Cumbria) and then started her interior business.