In this week’s edition of our Design Insights Interview, we are truly excited to welcome the ultra-inspirational Vicky Haynes from The Owl and the Accordion; a beautiful blog dedicated to all things craft, lifestyle, fashion and interiors. Let’s find out about her world:
Why did lifestyle, crafts and interior blogging capture your heart and what do you love most about it? I’ve always been pretty creative, but when I went on maternity leave with my son (who is now six!), my mum taught me to crochet, and it kind of grew from there. I initially started a blog to document all of my projects, and then gradually got involved in the crafts and lifestyle community; one of the best things about blogging is making loads of new friends who you might not have met otherwise. I love that if I’m looking for advice or inspiration on a project or idea, I have a large group of people I can turn to – my husband just says everything looks nice, which is sweet but not very helpful!
I keep my creativity alive by…. Reading a good selection of blogs, books and magazines, making time to work on a personal project at least once a week (if everything is work-related, I find that things tend to get a bit stale – you have to have time to do something just for fun) and getting out and about regularly – you can find inspiration pretty much anywhere from the beach to colourful shop fronts.
Describe your interior style… It’s a bit of a mish-mash, to be honest! I always wish I could be a bit more minimal, but I’m naturally a hoarder, and I have two small children so….. I’d say it’s modern rustic meets charity shop chic, with a bit of Scandi influence thrown in for good measure!
What’s your most cherished possession in your home? Probably a vintage crochet blanket that my mum made when she was expecting me, purely for sentimental reasons. Second to that would be my mid-century style rocking chair – found in a charity shop for £20!
We absolutely love the ‘Found’ section on your blog! What’s your top tip for discovering all these hidden treasures? Twitter is great for searching out independent designers and businesses, and Etsy is an absolute goldmine – there are so many wonderfully talented people out there that don’t get half as much press as they deserve.
The ‘Made’ craft section on your blog is so cute! Tell us about your favourite DIY/craft you’ve ever created… I did some washi-tape and FIMO collar clips as a guest post for the Tigerlilly Quinn blog that I was quite pleased with, and I made a fringed kimono from a scarf which was definitely a favourite – they both turned out so much better than I expected (I tend to have a lot of ideas which just end up in a huge mess!). My favourite so far though has to be the scarf I’ve just knitted for my toddler daughter – I’ve been trying to learn to knit for years and years, and seem to have just got the hang of it. I haven’t added the pompoms yet though, so sadly there’s no pictures up!
Three objects that can completely refresh a room are… Bedding is great at changing the whole feel of a room; plain white gives everything a fresh, Scandi feel, while mix-and-match vintage florals add a touch of the eclectic, and bright geometrics are great if you want a more contemporary look. For kids rooms, I love wall stickers; they’re so much quirkier and easier than paint and wallpaper, and you can take them down when you’re fed up with them (so they’re great for renters like us!) Finally, plants are great for completely changing how a room feels; adding some greenery, whether it’s trailing ivy or simple succulents, really makes a room feel ‘finished’, and they’re great for the air quality too.
Top secret design tip? It’s not really a secret, but my biggest tip is to paint your walls white. I’m a huge fan of white walls; I think it makes a room look bigger and brighter, and it’s also a great backdrop if you’re a fan of charity shop chic and bright colours like I am. If you’ve got small children, go for a vinyl silk finish – we’ve found that any food, drinks, crayon and felt pen stains just wipe away with a baby wipe. So much easier than repainting the whole wall!
A recent design discovery you adore is … I really love HEMA; they stock some really colourful and eclectic products for the home, and also some great craft items. But the best bit is that they’re really budget-friendly!
What does the future look like for you, your family and your blog? As a freelancer, you never know what opportunities are going to come your way, so I just keep hoping for more of the same! I’ve just taken on my first big crochet commission, and I’d like to work on setting up an Etsy shop full of homewares, and I hope to keep contributing to magazines for as long as they’ll have me! Family wise, I just want us to keep making the most of our time together; packing in as many crafty activities, outdoor adventures and wonderful experiences as possible.
And finally, have you seen our latest inspirational LookBook? Which item is on your must-have wish list? The only cooking I really enjoy is baking (not that the results are always that good!), so I’d love the scales and the mixing bowl in mint. The colour is glorious, and I love that the bowl has a silicon bottom to stop it slipping while you mix – genius!