We've recently caught up with Claire who is the creative mind behind Notes to Self by Cheshire Mum. Her successful home and interiors blog was established in 2007 allowing her to draw on her career in Marketing & Advertising for inspiration. She now works as a freelancer on various PR and social media projects and has an enviable client list of home interior brands. She is currently remodelling her home into a family friendly haven. Curtains.com were able to help out and provide the beautiful white voile curtains for Claire’s living room.
Talk us through your blogging career – how did it start and how has it progressed?
I started blogging in 2007 when I went on maternity leave out of professional curiosity. Connecting with other bloggers brought me to lots of social platforms. My blog has had a number of different makeovers over the years and has grown and developed from a focus on pregnancy, parenting and babies, to broader lifestyle content including home design, interiors, travel and entertainment.
How would you describe your blogging style and how does it reflect your interior personality?
As a person I am honest and straightforward, so is my blog and my interior choices. My blog posts have a reason and a purpose otherwise they wouldn’t be published, so do the items I select in my home. In terms of design and colour my blog was always designed to be a classic background using contrasting light and dark grey shades – grey is the consistent colour throughout my home too.
What is your biggest source of inspiration?
Pinterest without a doubt, it’s an amazing resource for ideas and inspiration from all over the world. Houzz is great too for advice and finding local suppliers. I also keep an eye out if I’m visiting a bar, restaurant or hotel, commercial venues often have great ideas for interior design, styling and inexpensive finishing touches.
Have you got any big projects coming up that you can share with us?
Next on the project list is the boot room and home office space. My daughter also wants a bed deck creating with a canopy and a climbing wall instead of a ladder, so there is a real mix of practical and crazy projects going on under my roof in the next few months!
What are the biggest interior trends you’ll be following in 2017?
I’ve embraced green as colour of the year and have a bright lime feature wall my kitchen that I absolutely love. Having moved everything out of my house to extend and completely remodel at the end of 2016, for me 2017 will keep the Swedish principles of Lagom front of mind. The ethos of Lagom is one of self-discipline and moderation. Having achieved a brand new uncluttered space I’m keeping those principles front of mind to keep it that way!
What interior furnishings are you lusting over right now?
I am currently coveting VITA Eos lampshades. These shades are so striking, covered in white feathers they look like huge fluffy clouds or pom poms and the light that shines through is so soft and elegant they are top of my lust list!
Can you take a picture of your favourite space in your home and tell us why it makes you happy?
Coco Snow Voile, from £49.99
This is my living room, it was the last room we completed in our remodel - for the majority of the last six months this room was where all the trades kept their materials and tools - including even cement mixers! It's also the room we've spend the least on compared with the rest of the house as structurally we haven't changed anything, we replaced sliding patio doors with French doors and removed the gas fire but apart from that it was very much a new lick of brilliant white paint, a new carpet and a new sofa. I wanted a space to go to relax in and this room is exactly that. It looks pretty minimal and sticking to white, grey and silver as the only colours ensures the space is calm and soft. When it came to curtains over at the back French doors I was inspired by the look in many boutique hotels which have full height and full room width voiles. This creates an illusion of more space as you can open the curtains to expose the full width of the glass. My doors are central to the room which means this works really well. It's my favourite place to retreat to in the evening, light some candles and enjoy a glass of wine.
Many of our customers want to update their home without having to take on a full redecoration. What are your top tips for incorporating new trends into the home?
You can’t beat a feature wall for a quick update – change one wall with paint or wallpaper and the room will look completely different.
What can we expect to hear you blogging about in the future?
I love keeping my eye on the design horizon and seeing what’s up and coming and then challenging myself on the high street to find the key pieces to get the look for much less. I also fully intend to enjoy the spaces I’ve created with my family and friends and there’s certainly some entertaining and parties to be planned, held and written about.
Finally, what advice do you have for people wanting to get into the interiors industry?
If you like and enjoy interiors and people visit your home taking away inspiration from what you create, then a wider audience than your friends will appreciate your input. Build your online network with brands, bloggers, agencies and share what you do, how you do it and opportunities will inevitably find you.