Sunday, January 12, 2014

Guest Post - Helen from Recycled Interiors

Chamomile and Peppermint Blog - Guest Post - Helen from Recycled Interiors

The wonderful Helen from Recycled Interiors was kind enough to answer a few questions I asked her recently. Her blog is a treasure trove of inspiration for those like me who love eclectic interiors, the challenge of a little diy, upcycling, vintage and breathing new life into old things. Jump over and visit her here when you have a spare moment.

    Emma xxx

Tell us a little bit about Recycled Interiors

    Recycled Interiors is an Interiors and Lifestyle blog combining sustainable interior decorating ideas, with a focus on the health and wellbeing of  people and our beautiful planet. This unique focus means you get to read about lovely homes and things to put in them, how to make mindful and ethical choices in your interior decorating and design without compromising on style, creative ideas about DIY, upcycling and interiors, as well as how to care for our planet, yourself, your relationships and your home. Wellbeing Wednesday”  posts feature connections between your health, wellbeing and your home. Follow projects and ideas and share yours too with Project Posts. See inside Homes And Architecture to discover how people are designing, building and creating, sustainable and beautiful, homes. Get inside information about where to buy sustainable and eco friendly homewares with regular features. Join in with our monthly Community DIY Challenge, the Weekly Planet People Home Photo Challenge, and get tips from our Designing Mums. You can also find me writing as a Recycled Interiors “Style Maven” (made me giggle!) on the House of Moloko. 

What sort of people would like your blog?

    Hopefully everyone! But seriously as the topics cover a lot of areas the blog appeals to a range of people. Of course those who love Interior Decorating and Design; those who like vintage, upcycling and an earthy approach to decorating; people interested in sustainability, finding sustainable and eco friendly, fair trade homewares, green living, health wellbeing and environment; Mums; artists and creative and lovers of architecture and the natural world.

Where do you find your inspiration?

    I am constantly inspired to write by my daily life. Always have been. I remember winning a book week award in year 1 for writing and illustrating my own book! I also adore all things creative and have to be constantly working on a creative project or I drive people around me crazy. In particular, I love visual arts, writing and interior decorating.  One of my biggest sources of creative inspiration is the natural world and I often get an idea when out running, or sitting by the sea or looking at the sunset. I also get inspiration from other bloggers, in particular those writing from the heart; from the people in my life; the creative community on Instagram; and from books, interiors and green magazines. 

As a child, what did you want to do when you “grew up”?

   Anything creative – visual arts, writing, acting, singing – and later, after being told none of these were real career paths - a Journalist. This was a solid dream for years until I was unable to get into it at University due to my waywardness during year 12; and then my lack of general knowledge – who knows the President of tiny Pacific Islands when they are 17? (true question on the cadetship exam with the Advertiser in Adelaide!).  I think I was always destined to Interior Design, but I did not even KNOW it was a job back then or perhaps I may have gone that way. I was often found as a child rearranging furniture and creating zones in my bedroom!  Books and writing have always been part of my life . As the daughter of two English Teachers, I spent much of  my childhood snuggled up somewhere with a pile of books,writing poetry and stories and planning my novel and career as a journalist. And yet I ended up as a social worker! Over the past 12 years I have put work as a social worker together with my love of writing however, by founding an online diabetes counselling service  (I am pretty much a nerd and love being online, surfing around and getting into as much social media as I can find!). I can be found most of my day (and night) tapping away on my laptop or mobile phone! I am now in heaven blogging at Recycled Interiors as it has combined my three passions – our planet, people and Interior Design, with my drive to write.

Describe your home in 3 words

   Warm, eclectic, happy

What do you like best about being a blogger?

   Of course writing! And the finding of an idea, research process to bring it to fruition and satisfaction of seeing a complete piece of writing. I also adore being immersed in the creative world of interiors (it does mean temptation to buy gorgeous things all the time!). I wake up every day excited about what is on the agenda each day. I am also blown away by the blogging community and how supportive and creative so many people are. Having been my own boss for so long with my diabetes charity and now having to manage people and systems in that work, this is bringing me a new level of being in control of my working day and having something that totally belongs to me. I love that you can work from anywhere and reach people all over the world. And the sense that I have finally “come home” in my working life to being in a creative space and working as a journalist – that is very very sweet for me.

What advice do you have for people wanting to get into DIY?

   I think just do it! Decide what you want to work on and research it a bit, then just have a go. Take your time and use the right tools – so if it is painting have quality no or low VOC paint, use quality brushes and do the prep. If it is making a crate into a table, then there is far less need for precision and more room for your own creativity. There are so many resources and ideas out there now to give you inspiration and guidance and there are not really any rules as far as I am concerned. I don’t work on the premise that things need to be a certain way. Of course if you want to paint a room you want it to look lovely, so preparation is key here and taking your time, but at the end of the day, who really cares if it is not perfect? It will be yours and you have the pleasure of looking at it and knowing you did it yourself.