Thinking back, I think my career in interiors was probably inevitable. Many of my childhood memories involve DIY as my parents renovated our family homes (and we’re talking major renovations, not just a lick of paint here and there). In fact, my mum often jokes that I actually learnt to walk on floor joists as there were no floorboards down when I started to toddle.
For my 12th birthday present, I wanted to give my bedroom a makeover. I picked a colour scheme (navy blue), chose some bed linen, and my mum helped me to make new curtains and reupholster an old sofa bed. I felt so grown up, and I think from that moment on I was hooked on the idea of making a space my own.
I got interested in journalism after a work experience placement when I was 14 or 15 at a film magazine. It seemed fun, exciting, energetic, creative. From then on, I knew it was what I wanted to do, but I had no idea what area of journalism to head into until, by complete chance, I scored a work experience placement after university at a successful interiors magazine in London. Suddenly it all fell into place, and I recognised that interior design really was my passion, and that I could actually combine that passion with a career as a journalist. I think before that point, I didn’t really even know that there were interiors magazines out there.
Over twelve years later I still love anything home-related just as much as I ever did. An ideal day for me would be pottering around the house, working on some mini styling project, or rearranging the furniture for a bit of a change. Now I have a young family (my twins are nearing four years old), my pottering opportunities are rather limited, but when we relocated from London to leafy Berkshire a couple of years ago, I had a house that needed lots of work, and I saw an opportunity to start a blog about the project, as well as offer advice and inspiration along the way.
Growing Spaces wasn’t my first blog – I’ve been writing a blog about family life with the twins since 2010 – but it was my opportunity to start an interiors blog that was firmly focused on ideas that work in a family home, and that would address the challenges of family living and how to adapt your home and style to accommodate young children.
I’m still working as a freelance interiors journalist, so unfortunately I don’t get to blog as often as I’d like – one of my major frustrations is that the blog has to go at the bottom of the priority list, and I don’t have time to turn even half of my ideas into blog posts. The list of projects, how-tos and things I love that I want to blog about keeps growing longer, but the great thing about interiors is that a lot of these ideas won’t date.
My blog isn’t based on the latest trends in homeware, or the hottest home buys out there right to snap up right now. As well as offering some inspiration through our own renovation project, posts on Growing Spaces are more about home styling, or sharing clever storage ideas or a how to on a quick and simple decorating project.
There are a lot of amazing interiors blogs full of stunning photography that I love to read, but I hope my own blog offers something a bit more accessible and real – a lot of my readers have come to Growing Spaces from my parenting blog, so family-friendly ideas is really want I want to deliver.
My top three blogging tips would be:
1. Be passionate about what your blog’s about. If you don’t find your subject matter interesting, no-one else will either!
2, Make a note of any blog post ideas as soon as they come to you. I scribble things down on bits of paper, type them into Evernote on my phone or ipad, or send myself an email.
3. Be patient with your posts. I’m one of the most impatient people I know and once I’ve written something I want to click ‘publish’ straight away. But often I’ll write a few posts in the space of a few days, but then I won’t be able to blog again for a couple of weeks, so I schedule some of those posts to fill the gap.
Heather Young is a homes-obsessed interiors journalist and blogger. To find out more visit www.growingspaces.net.