So I wrote another book. In between getting one child off to university, styling shoots to pay the bills, and getting the other child through a stressful exam period, I thought I’d add some more madness to my life. But you know I’d go mad without the madness 😉 It’s called Be Bold and it’s filled with, you guessed it, bold interiors.
Be Bold is for colour lovers, pattern clashers, and textile mix masters. Whether you are already bold with your interiors or you aspire to be more so, I hope it will be a welcome blast of inspiration in what can sometimes be a sea of muted neutrals. Featuring inspiring homes in London, Paris, Margate, The Netherlands and Madrid, this was a fun one to pull off in a rather short amount of time.
Be Bold: interiors for the brave of heart comes out any day, but you can pre-order here or better yet head to your local bookseller and ask them to order it. Also look out for news about a workshop I’ll be hosting with Anthropologie Europe to celebrate the launch. Check my Instagram and Facebook in mid-October for more details about that. All I can say is that we’ll make something fabulous with those primary school favourites – paper, scissors, and glue – inspired by this Parisian sitting room above.
A tight turnaround from start to finish meant a manic travel and writing schedule, and the usual panic that I wasn’t going to get it done. Combined with a bad case of writer’s block, it was a hairy ride! Luckily I got to work with the gorgeous photographer Catherine Gratwicke (Cath photographed my first book Modern Rustic) whose company on our trips was just the best.
I can’t wait to hear what you think. In the meantime go forth and Be Bold! xx
Be Bold is published by Ryland Peters & Small (RPS)
I spend a lot of time on Instagram these days, favouring its instant gratification over the more laborious task of writing a blog post. But every now and then I want to say more and I know most people just scroll at lightning speed, rarely reading what people say on Instagram. If you’re here reading this, then I know you’re a dedicated friend or follower!
I have an exciting event coming up in October with Living Etc magazine and Anthropologie, two interiors brands that have been in my life for many years in one way or another. You probably already know my connection with Anthropologie, but I wanted to tell you why this means so much to me. This has nothing to do with self-promotion. This is about dreaming big and knowing that sometimes when things seem like they’re not going ‘to plan’, there is a bigger and better plan you don’t yet know about.
According to an Instagram post I made last year, 2017 was to be the year of spoiling myself and not giving a f**k. See photo above for evidence. Flowers for me from me. Scrolling – more like wading, it took hours – through my photos of 2017, I think I did a pretty good job!
Sometimes I can be very bad at remembering things. As soon as I’m done with something – a book, a film, a work project, a holiday – I tend to move on and not think much about it again. I’m onto the next thing, always looking forward rather than backward. It’s a great way to move on from the bad stuff, but not so great if you want to remember the good stuff! So I thought it would be a useful exercise to review 2017 to refresh my memory.
2016 was the worst year of my life, having split up with my husband of seventeen years, so I knew it had to get better. And it did. A lot of fantastic things happened. Although I’m still not totally back on my feet, I’ve come a long way and 2017 was quite a year for Life Unstyled. The phrase “throw yourself into your work” comes to mind…
A major part of my job as an interior stylist is designing concepts and rooms that reflect not my style, but that of the brands who hire me. Sure, they ask me to style their catalogues and ads because they like my own style, but at the end of the day it’s all about representing their brand and appealing to their customers. I actually love this part of my job – it keeps me on my toes and forces me to get inside someone else’s head instead of just repeating my same old tricks.
That said, I also love the rare occasion when I get to just do my thing. So it was a bit of a treat earlier in the summer when I was asked by Hillarys to design a room for their #IWANTTHATSTYLE campaign, using their new Autumn/Winter blinds and curtains, but based on my own book, Modern Rustic. (My first and I think most popular of the three I’ve written). So much fun to get to design a room based on what I personally like! My taste is constantly evolving and I wouldn’t say I’m purely modern rustic but my own home definitely has elements of it right now, particularly as I begin the nesting process for the colder months ahead.
This heading looks like it belongs to a sponsored post on your Facebook feed doesn’t it? Click on it and you’ll be linked to an ad for a meditation app or anti-anxiety drugs!
No such luck – it’s just me airing my thoughts on the idea that I might be a bit hooked on the rush of having too much on my plate. (Full disclosure: I’m writing this from a very cosy bed on an overcast Sunday afternoon after a very good night’s sleep, and not much on the agenda today).
For the first time in ages I don’t have a million different projects to juggle. If you’ve followed my career, you’ll know that for the past six years I’ve consistently bitten off more than any sane person should be chewing, saying yes to every opportunity that came along – books, talks, workshops, travel, interviews – while still styling for all my regular clients (oh and raising kids and sadly, going through a marriage break-up).
If you follow me on Instagram and in particular, if you watch my Insta stories, you’ll know that I recently went to Taiwan to be guest speaker and teach styling workshops at a big design show in Taipei. My face was plastered over their underground/subway trains, banners advertising my event hung from lamp-posts all over the city, I was on the cover of an interiors magazine, and I met the Vice-President of Taiwan! It was a surreal week.