I can’t believe we are six weeks in now with my Live Your own Way Podcast. It was an absolute pleasure chatting with Dominic Chinea this time who is the Metal Expert on BBC1’s The Repair Shop.
It really is one of my favourite programmes for many reasons and I’ve always been quite fascinated by how Dominic and the team can turn someone’s precious heirloom back in to something they remember from years gone by in their home, making the family so happy in the process.
Not ashamed to admit I’ve shed a few tears over several of the personal stories when families arrive and even more so when they receive their beloved items back. It’s such a kind format and has clearly touched people’s hearts as they are currently filming their sixth series for BBC1 – Dominic very kindly gave up his lunch break for us to have a chat about how it’s going.
Dominic has had a really interesting career leading up to this work having studied Graphic Design at University and then going on to Car Restoration, Set Design for a very well known photographer – and then starting his own business with a studio carrying on with Set Design and also Sign Writing and Prop Making on Photo Shoots, Film Sets and Restoration.
There is a great story behind how he came to be an Expert at The Repair Shop during the Podcast.
You’ll see on his website some of the Installations he’s created – I wanted to know how the collaborations had come about such as an incredible Chandelier he made for the interior of Billingsgate Market. All of his designs and jobs themselves are really diverse so naturally I asked about the process – how do they come about?
He gives some really useful advice for anyone considering a more Artisan type career as he specialises in age old Craftsmanship – it’s really good to know that the show is encouraging people to try out crafts again. The more restoration that goes on the better for us all.
So, you can link to the interview here on various channels and do remember to subscribe as I have a brand new series of the show coming soon with some more great guests.
You can find last week’s chat with Author Sally Coulthard here.
Thanks you ever so much for listening to the Podcast. I am really enjoying it and am so glad I finally got around to doing it.
I absolutely loved talking on my Live Your own Way Podcast this time with best selling Author Sally Coulthard about her latest book Biophilia. She has also offered a prize for my readers with more information at the end of this post.
It was well worth the purchase and I am pretty picky when it comes to a good book. It’s a mixture of well researched facts mixed with useful ideas to enhance and balance our homes. Well worth every penny and as I said to Sally – it’s timeless in style so definitely a keeper too.
I feel I know so much more about the subject and how beneficial inviting more natural elements and plants in to your home can be for your whole family. Although plants are fundamental they aren’t the only thing that can help balance the home – there are many aspects.
Sally studied Archaeology and Anthropologie at Oxford University and has gone on to write 22 books – many nature based plus some excellent Interiors ones as well. We chat about this and what especially inspired this Biophilia book.
She also writes monthly for Country Living Magazine so her knowledge on her subject and experience is vast.
This is the inside cover of the book by Helen Bratby. The pages feel really tactile and every page is beautiful.
We talked about how the last few months have felt and whether things might change for good when it comes to slowing life down a bit and appreciating what is around us.
I do hope you enjoy the Podcast and as mentioned earlier there’s more … if you are on instagram I am running a giveaway for a few days as Sally is kindly offering the chance for someone to receive a copy of the book as a prize.
You can find my post here with how to enter that. I haven’t run a giveaway for ages so it’s nice to be able such a great gift.
Next week I am chatting to the super talented Dominic Chinea from BBC1’s The Repair Shop. Do subscribe if you enjoy as there’s more to come. So glad I started this show – I feel I am finding out more and more each week about different aspects of design – as you never stop learning do you ?
If you missed last week’s you can find it here.
Another week has zoomed by which means I’ve recorded another Live Your Own Way Podcast. Episode Four is with Francesca Rowan Plowden chatting about her past acting work, interior design career to date and how she recently founded the brilliant Design Havens for Heroes charity where designer are making over NHS Staff’s rooms in their own homes.
There is so much planning at the moment with several teams to ensure a smooth running operation.
I’m honoured to be part of the brands team and also designing some homes in East Anglia. We have brands involved such as including Sofa Workshop, Little Greene, Sofology, Carpetright and Matthew Williamson to name just a very few. There are hundreds of designers looking forward to being assigned their rooms for the lovely NHS people – it’s very exciting.
Francesca tells me how the initial idea came about and what the future holds, now that we are on the verge of starting the physical work.
When it comes to her career, I found Francesca’s experience working on stately homes really insightful – the process from start to finish and of course the challenges that might come. It’s always interesting understand how other interior designers develop their concepts, especially on homes with such history.
These images are above are from Goodnestone Park where Rowan Plowden collaborated with Marcus Crane to completely renovate a deserted home.
This is her work at Battel Hall on Leeds Castle Estate which we also chat about. A two year restoration project completed in 2018. Maintaining the history and enhancing it with colour. Absolutely beautiful.
Kingshill Farmhouse on the Elmley Nature Reserve. Francesca transformed a once derelict 16th century farmhouse into a magnificent family home, ready to be let on the Air B&B holiday rental market. I really love the colours she has put together here.
A stunning panoramic view here. This 3 bedroom property was completely redesigned and renovated using modern, clean, minimal styling a few years back and we talk about it on the Podcast and how it has also been greatly received on instagram.
Really hope you enjoy this week’s catch up. I’ve given details on there but will pop some here too about the charity. Find the website here where you can nominate an NHS friend or family anywhere in the UK. Plus there are regular updates on the instagram page.
Here are links to episode one,two and three if you missed them.
It’s week three already on the my Live Your own Way Podcast which means a new guest. Thoroughly enjoyed talking to London based desinger Eva Sonaike about her business, life and journey to becoming owning her own successful interiors company.
A woman after my own heart, her passion for bold textiles and homeware is huge.
Her mission is to help people create unique homes full of colour and elegance inspired by her Nigerian roots combined with a love for Mid Century – inspired by her home in growing up in Germany.
It didn’t take long for a very big and well known store to spot her bold, unique work in the early days which quickly spurred the business on. The brand now stocks in five continents across the world having grown over the last eleven years.
Starting out with cushions, they now produce textiles, lampshades, pouffes, rugs with a brand new exciting addition on it’s way.
I found this chat so informative – especially for anyone wanting to enter the industry as she’s so generous with her experiences starting out and how she goes about running Eva Sonaike day to day with the process for creating each collection, from how she combines patterns with colours in the process – to making the business run smoothly in all of the countries she stocks in. There’s so much love and thought that clearly goes in to her work and we discuss this all in great length.
We also talk about Eva’s life as a journalist and TV producer prior to her starting the business. Also of course her own home colour schemes and whether they reflect what she designs herself.
It felt a bit like I was a bit like chatting to an old friend. We haven’t met before but hopefully we will cross paths soon as we seem to have a lot in common having both worked in TV and our love of textiles. Eva is absolutely lovely and her life is really fascinating to learn more about. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as liked recording it.
It was a great week for my new Podcast in the Itunes Design Charts with the first episode. Thank you for listening. For Episode 2, I’ve chatted to the very lovely Laura Jane Clark. She is an Architect and TV Expert on BBC2’s Your Home Made Perfect amongst other shows such as Shed of the Year and Ugly House to Lovely House with George Clarke.
I learned a huge amount during the interview about renovating do’s and don’ts and how Laura took on an extremely unusual project for her first home after qualifying, which was an unused old underground public lavatory … I know, you’re probably thinking ” What ? ” because that was my reaction initially but after years of back and forth conversations with various London Councils she got the go ahead and turned it in to the most incredible, stunning dwelling.
I’m sharing some images here so you can see the before and after when she talks about it on the Podcast. This is pre renovation.
Amazing isn’t it ? I love the light streaming in through the ceiling windows.
She also took on a tenament in Glasgow and updated it beautifully – a few images here to use while we discuss it.
Last but not least, Here a few images too below that we talk about, of her current Georgian home.
But look, I don’t want to share everything now – have a listen to our chat and find out more about her career. There’s some fantastic information about her new website to encourage diversity in her industry Siren Sister – and a little exclusive too at the end.
You can also have a look at some projects on her company website Lamp Architects.
Hope you enjoy it and please do subscribe. I’ve got another interesting one next week that I think you will enjoy especially if you love colourful textiles and homeware. Very inspiring.
Images copyright Laura Jane Clark 2020.