We’re back for season 11 of the Great Indoors podcast and Spring is here and we are full of all the joy and optimism that a new season and indeed a new series brings, however we soldier on inside the duvet dens and continue to work remotely to bring you everything you ever wanted to know about interiors.
With a new series comes a shiny new sponsor, and a big thanks to Harlequin for coming on board. Known for their bright and colourful designs, they recently did a bit of research and interestingly found that women are more confident when it comes to fashion choices and a bit more hesitant when it comes to interiors. So they have made it their mission to encourage everyone to be more colour and design confident when decorating their home, whatever their style. No surprises, I’m all for it! Head on over to harlequin.sandersondesigngroup.com for some colour inspo.
On with today’s show, we’re talking about scented candles as sales during lock down has rocketed, flick through some beautiful new design books set to inspire and our style surgery is all about remodelling a uPVC conservatory.
Resourceful Living by Lisa Dawson
Lisa Dawson is a well known British influencer, blogger and presenter and so many of us have enjoyed watching her revamp her own house in a her signature savvy and resourceful way. She’s created a super stylish look with a mix of vintage finds and thrift store bargains. Her new book covers creative repurposing that cleverly blends different pieces to make up an effortlessly stylish interior. Check out her Insta @_lisa_dawson_
Unlike some interior books which may feel a little daunting, Lisa shares some honest true to life stories that we can all relate to, and which makes it all feel achievable. She shares experiences from her first home – including a lime green bedroom that made her young child look like Shrek! What a brilliant admission.while the line green had to go , as her tastes changed or she moved house, rather than get rid of stuff she would move them into different rooms or give them a new lease of life with a coat of paint.
She dedicates one chapter to multitasking furniture and says think about all of the possible uses – so how and where will it be used, can it be used in a different room? She says to really think about it and not to get caught up in the pressures of creating new ideas and lose sight of what you actually want.
I particularly loved the chapter ‘go your own way’ where her biggest piece of advice is: go with your heart, do what you wish, ignore trends and friends and don’t EVER ask your partner about interior decorating plans if you think they might put you off. Expect plenty of refreshing straight talking from Lisa.
This book is packed full of great ideas, advice, moodboards and checklists, so it’s not just about pretty pictures. The podcast highly recommends.
Every Room Should Sing by Beata Heuman
Beata Heuman is a renowned interior designer and is very much the darling of the interiors world at the moment and it’s no wonder that so many people will want to find out some of her secrets on style and colour. Her book sold out in the first few days but expect more stock soon. I have long been a fan of Beata who is at the top of her game and it’s no surprise with 10 years of experience working for Nicholas Haslam, and having her own studio for 7 years, with many of her projects inside this book. I think one of the reasons she has had lots of publicity of late, is although she is a high-end interior designer, her schemes are playful, quirky and whimsical and I think it is so refreshing as some designers do take themselves too seriously. She says to start the creative process with a hint of nostalgia and re-connect with your child within and what home meant to you.
I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book and as I suspected it’s an absolute joy. She is very eloquent in explaining where she gets her inspiration from, her design philosophy and it’s very heartfelt.
She talks about the home being a living thing and it should transport to somewhere – whether that’s from your childhood or somewhere fun. She says that when you walk into a room your emotions should be heightened in a positive way and there should be something in the room that’s a bit weird or fantastical (not too much though) to kick start the feeling and start a conversation.
What’s also very refreshing, which you rarely hear designers talk about is the upkeep and says that a bit of mess adds character and it’s not about perfection.
The New Mindful Home: And How To Make it Yours by Joanna Thornhill
I’m not gonna lie, I did have some preconceived ideas about this book, maybe the cover (sans colour) I thought here we go another book about wellbeing full of brown and beige interiors. Yes, there are a few brown interior shots but for me, this book is all about the words, which is unusual for me. Joanna’s writing is excellent and she is so knowledgeable, there’s lots of science and back up and it’s written so clearly, I would have it by my bedside and read a couple of pages each night.
It’s safe to say that over the last year we have all started to realise the importance of our mental health and wellbeing and the connection with our surroundings. Joanna’s book has come at the right time, as she explains why we might be feeling the way we are in homes and what we can do to improve it. She encourages us to think about things on a much deeper, emotional level, for instance, open plan living (for some people) can heighten the sense of fight or flight. Just think about it, if you’re on the sofa trying to relax and there’s lots of activity going on in the kitchen, it can have the opposite effect. It’s so interesting as I would want to be able to relax in a little nook somewhere whereas my husband is all about the open plan – no partitions!
She also refers to what she calls the ‘Anxiety Economy’ where you feel like you’re being pushed to buy things all the time – but you don’t need to do that, stop and think about whether it’s right for you. Joanna refers to subjects we have also talked about including rituals to help with wellbeing, tidying the kitchen before you go to bed – tidy home, tidy mind – check!! The importance of biophilia, plants within the home and bringing the outside in.
Interior books are a great source of inspiration and information, which you can also find over on our Facebook group.
This next topic came up after I received a press release from Dowsing & Reynolds saying that sales of scented candles have gone through the roof during lockdown. They had some key findings on favourite scents, here goes:
Kate has made no secret of her feelings towards the scented candle and after hearing the above, had to take a moment!!! She has come round to them over the last year although has to say a resounding no the food scents, apart from a fig of course. She did discover Scents of Normality who did a limited edition collection of candles which represented all the places we couldn’t visit during lockdown which raised £12,000 for the hospitality industries that weren’t able to open, how amazing is that!
This brings me to my point of how scents can transport us and after being stuck indoors for so long they kind of helped. Over the last year, I have been gifted quite a few candles and I have actually really enjoyed burning them. The more expensive the better the quality, usually soy wax which has less soot than the paraffin wax, they last longer and apparently if real essential oils are used they have a better effect on our wellbeing as they are connecting us to the natural scent they are derived from. Beeswax is another nice one to look out for, it has a nice smell in itself, has minimum smoke and lasts a long time.
You don’t need to spend hundreds on them but do avoid the really cheap ones as the scent will be minimal and synthetic so you won’t get the wellbeing kickback from them.
Essentially the scented candle is usually a gift option so think about the votive (container) as they can be pretty and useful once the candle has been burnt.
Do check out The Malicious Women Co based in America, just for some of the names of the scents, including Freshly signed Divorce Papers and another favourite, ‘If You Can’t Smell This Candle, Get Away From Me!’
Big thanks to Harlequin, our fab producer Kate Taylor from Feast Collective for working her magic and of course our lovely listeners.
Image at top: Taken from The New Mindful Home, Georgia Burns Team Tonkin – styling and photography by MelissaTonkin @teamtonkin.