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.
One question I get asked a lot is “What’s your house like?” People always assume, as a stylist, that my place must be amazing. And there was a time when it was pretty cool (my old house in LA was quite wild – colourful, eclectic, cluttered with interesting stuff. Have a quick look here to see it when it was in Anthology magazine – it was bonkers! And so different from my style now). But since we moved back to London in 2011 we’ve been renting and you know how hard it can be to make a rented place your own? Especially in the UK where it’s tricky to convince your landlord to let you hang a picture, let alone paint a wall. Combine that with a general busy-ness that’s prevented me from really putting in the time, and the result was a not very exciting home.