Today we’ve had an exclusive interview with Stacey from Stacey Sheppard’s Blog for ’Brabantialife’s Design Insights’ – a regular feature interviewing top designers, style experts, creatives and interior design god and goddesses.
Let’s hear some Design Insights from Stacey:
1.0 What or who inspired you to have such a keen interest in interior design?
I have always been interested in home design and growing up I loved watching all the home and property improvement TV shows. But my love of interior design became really serious when I got a job working on a trade publication for the kitchen and bathroom industry. Since then it has spiralled out of control and become a full blown passion.
2.0 What trends do you most enjoy writing about?
As anyone who reads my blog will know, I have a rather consuming obsession with wallcoverings and with wallpaper in particular. On Wednesdays I tend to post about wallpaper and you would think that eventually I would run out of wallpapers to blog about, but there are so many great products out there that I never struggle to find something brilliant to feature. Aside from wallcoverings, I also really enjoy writing about flooring, lighting, and the use of colour in interior design. To be honest, there isn’t really anything I don’t enjoy writing about when it comes to interiors.
3.0 What decorating techniques/ideas would you recommend to a homeowner who wants to update a room without spending a fortune?
I would recommend using white or grey as the main colour for walls and choosing neutral colours for furniture. Then add pattern, texture and pops of colour with accessories such as cushions, curtains, rugs, lighting, bedding and pictures. That way you don’t risk your décor getting outdated and then having to spend a fortune updating it. If you do decide you need a bit of a makeover, you can simply change the accessories for a completely new look.
4.0 What is your favourite design magazine?
I guess the magazine that I read most often is Elle Decoration, but I am quite fickle when it comes to magazines. I generally tend to read whichever one has cover stories that attract my attention that month. I have a quick flick through before I buy them to see which ones feature the most products or articles that really catch my eye.
At the moment I have been enjoying various design magazines from Germany. Whenever I go away I like to buy a large selection of design magazines when I am at the airport as I like to see what the trends are in other parts of the world and what products there are that we might not necessarily be aware of in the UK.
5.0 How about your favourite website or blog?
This is tough and I couldn’t possibly choose just one favourite blog as I read so many. One of my favourites is Ideas to Steal. Written by two friends from Norway, the blog focuses on great interior design that people can use as inspiration for their own homes. I love reading this particular blog as it always features interiors that I have never seen anywhere else and the visuals are always really inspiring. It really is a great blog to read.
I also enjoy confessions of a design geek, written by freelance design writer Katie Treggiden. The blog has a strong focus on good design that makes people’s lives better and I particularly enjoy the out and about posts in which we can follow Katie’s design adventures as well as the creative spaces posts where she gives us an insight into the spaces in which creative people work.
My other favourites are Bright Bazaar by Will Taylor who always manages to hunt down the most beautiful and colourful products and the presentation and visual elements of his blog are a real inspiration to me as a blogger myself and I feel I could learn a lot from Will. Happy Interior Blog by Igor Josif is a great read too, as is Nordic Design by Catherine Lazure-Guinard and Design Hunter by Helen Powell.
6.0 Tell us about one of your favourite projects
My favourite writing projects are usually the ones where I interview designers. I just love hearing about what inspires their work and getting an insight into the people behind the brands, the products and the (famous) names. I particularly enjoyed interviewing Sir Terence Conran. With a career spanning over 60 years, Conran really is a veteran of the British design scene and I felt very privileged to have had the opportunity to quiz him about illustrious career. I also really enjoyed interviewing Ilse Crawford and finding out more about her people-centric approach to design.
7.0 What’s your favourite colour combination for the home?
My favourite colour combination for the home would be quite neutral. I like to keep things very simple and very natural. White is a great colour to choose for walls as it is timeless, never goes out of fashion, is very unassuming and doesn’t clash with anything. Some people however would find white a little too cold and clinical and that is why I like to pair it up with a lot of warm and natural materials and colours. Wood is one of my favourite combinations to use with white and I think wooden floors and wooden furniture against white walls is very calming and very reassuring. Then I like to add colourful accent colours and at the moment I really green, that really vibrant rich chartreuse type of green that epitomises springtime. There is something very comforting I find about white, wood and green.
8.0 What’s something you should never skimp on when decorating your home?
Products that you love. I think that people, myself included as I am very guilty of this, need to stop worrying so much about whether the things they fill their home with go together. There is no point recreating the pages of a magazine in your home as it will inevitably lack one vital ingredient…your personality.
9.0 Are there any insider interior design top tips we should know about for 2013?
This year we have seen a surge in the popularity of owls which have featured on practically everything from cushions, wallpaper and ceramics to fabrics and textiles. Going into 2013, I think we can expect to see an extension of this trend to include a greater variety of woodland creatures such as foxes, rabbits, badgers, squirrels and deers.
I also think we will see more products for interiors that are inspired by the surreal and the enchanted. Alice in Wonderland-style whimsy will bring a sense of fun, exaggeration and childish charm to interiors, helping us not to take things quite so seriously.
And a final top tip doesn’t actually have anything to do with interiors but it is to do with lifestyle in general. Launched a couple of months ago, The Simple Things is a new magazine that explores simple living. Coming from and living in Devon, this magazine really resonates with me and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to escape the hectic, fast-paced speed of city living, at least for as long as it takes to read the magazine.
10.0 And lastly…(cheeky I know!) what’s your favourite Brabantia product and why?
My favourite Brabantia product is the Get Together range. It is an absolutely gorgeous collection of casual dining accessories including tea towels, napkins, placemats, kitchen towels, oven gloves, aprons, oven dishes, dinner plates, napkin rings, coasters, pan coasters, candle holders, and tooth pick holders – everything you would need for successful entertaining. I only wish it came in more colours! [Note from the editor, good news Stacey, we now do the Get Together Range in Lavender too!}