Morning! Hope you had a great weekend. I did lots of what I call “workochilling” which basically means sourcing samples, emailing my suppliers, getting some inspiration for my projects and working on some new exciting stuff for my blog and e-design services. Anyway, today I’m talking to Sarah Akwisombe. She is an award winning interior stylist and blogger. I came across her blog around last September and immediately liked her style. She’s not afraid to use bold patterns in her work which is refreshing to see. I sent her some key questions asking her about her work, blogging and business. I think you will find it an interesting read. She gave some great tips too, so let’s dive in
- Where has your passion for design stemmed from?
I’ve always been a creative. Whether it was via music, fashion, makeup or interior design I love the idea that you can express your own personality and style via a piece of artistic work. As I’ve gotten older and now have my own family and home I’ve really enjoyed understanding how our surroundings affect our mood and general happiness. It’s really pulled me into interior design.
- Is there a particular style that defines your work?
Street meets chic! It’s very bold and ‘statement’ but with an underpinning of luxury fabrics and finishes like velvet or button back chairs for instance. I love brass, dark or bold colours and quite clean lines. Pop Art and graphic artwork and typography plays a key role, and I’ve taken the sexy and bold elements of Art Deco, Mid century Modern and other past eras and then combined it with edgy urban detailing to create a unique look. I call it ‘Betty Draper in Nike Air Max’.
What are the most important factors to a successful design project?
A real understanding of the person living in the space and how they want to feel when they are in the room. Interior design is a heady mix of aspiration, glamour and home comforts. It’s also really key to make sure it doesn’t look like its trying too hard. I’m all about it being effortlessly cool.
4. What stage of the design process do you enjoy the most?
Probably seeing it actually come together. We can all make moodboards to our heart’s content but actually having the finished pieces in a room and styling the sh*t out of it so that it looks like it’s from a magazine is something that I can’t top. Shooting pictures of it and then getting it up on my blog – that makes me really happy.
5. When did you start blogging?
I’ve always been blogging throughout my various ‘toe dips’ into the other creative industries, but properly blogging about interiors since Dec ’13.
6. How has your blog changed since then?
It’s become more focused. I know my audience better so I can write stuff that I know they really want to see and read. It’s helped me to develop my own personal style so as that develops the blog develops and vice versa. It’s also got more niche and unique. I’m really confident of my own tone of voice and don’t need to write in the way that I see other bloggers or journalists do.
7. What are your plans for your blog?
I’m developing my own series of digital products and e-design services, so that’s next to go live. I see me doing a lot more video content and also looking at some kind of design school for those who want to get more bold and brave, but that’ll not be for a while yet! In the long run I want to design my own product line and I’m hoping the blog will be a gateway to making that happen. Abigail Ahern is my absolute business inspiration, so I hope to follow in her footsteps and one day have my own shop and design house.
8. What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the design world/business/blogging?
Don’t focus on what the industry people or other designers will think or say about you and your work. The only people who need to appreciate it are those who you are targeting to be your customers. Once I got that into my head I was so much happier to take risks and do stuff that was outside of my comfort zone because I knew my readers and fans would love it, regardless of what the industry insiders thought.
Thank you Sarah! If you want to find out more about her work, head over to her website here.
Have a great day!