I think it tends to be fairly instinctive for me, which probably isn’t that helpful. I might decide a colour I particularly like which leads me to a piece of furniture. Or it might be the other way round and start from a cushion which leads me from there. One thing I have learned about my process, if you will, is that I can’t start until it feels right. So my current office, with the gold ceiling, which was a junk room for years stayed for a junk room longer than it might have done because I hadn’t seen anything that inspired me. It was an early decision to go for a pale pink but it wasn’t until I had the idea of the gold ceiling that it all fell into place. Within 24 hours of that decision I had sold the (grey) sofa bed, bought a vintage desk on ebay and booked the decorator. So it can be very slow and mulling over in my mind for a while and then when it’s there it’s Boom all systems go.
I usually say it’s the last room I decorated so that would be the gold ceilinged office. I also love it as I haven’t been in there much this year. My sons took it over during lockdown #1, one to escape from his own room and the other as a place for online lessons and gradually it filled with all the clutter from the other rooms that we were decluttering. I’m looking forward to going back in there although changes are planned as my 17yo is going to take it over as his bedroom and I am taking his very small bedroom as my new office. So the gold ceiling will be going but I have plans for the new space….
When it comes to blogs and online content the key is to keep it chatty and informal I think. I have always written like I talk and readers have always warmed to that friendly tone. It’s different writing for newspapers where more formality is required. For a while The Independent syndicated my blog and while it was immensely flattering (and a sort of journalism eats itself moment) I quickly came to feel that the tone of the blog wasn’t right for print. I write differently depending on the medium but I would say that my blog is like an ongoing conversation with my readers that flows on from day to day and I try to relate it, where possible, to their lives and homes so they might understand how certain interiors, which don’t look like theirs, for example, might still provide inspiration for their own homes.
These days I tend to start from the vintage end of the scale and many, if not most, of my furniture is either from my mother’s house, my grandmother’s house, someone else’s grandmother’s house aka eBay or even picked up from the side of the road. Beyond that, like everyone else, I am starting to ask more questions about where the wood came from, where the filling came from, where was it made and, crucially, by whom. It can be hard to get this information but only by everyone asking en masse will practices start to change.