Trying to fit in

Well Clerkenwell Design Week was a fun little outing wasn’t it! I’d done that self-indulgent but scary thing of organising a week off between finishing one job and starting a new one and luckily CDW fell inside of it. I say scary because I kind of forgot I wasn’t been paid for it so was happily spending away as usual without the usual income, oops. 

CDW is a big design exhibition and sales event spread across Clerkenwell in London (near Farringdon). It’s made up of lots of cool stands and cafes to, on the one hand, bring people in but predominantly to upsell products and services to the interior designers, architects and stylists who have tickets (tickets were free though, so I can’t have been the only scammer there). The day is broken up into talks and lectures that you pre-book so I booked two and planned to spend the majority of the day wandering around and meeting my friend for lunch laden down with design ideas and creative genius.


I was right in anticipating that CDW would be swarming with arty-cool types so instead of my usual black skinnies I wore satin flared polka dot trousers with a bright top to up my chances of fitting in and not looking like the interior novice/junior/toddler that I am. I started the day by being late and having to get a taxi so I didn’t have to walk into the first talk and be stared at. The first talk was good; it was a design journalist, a stylist specialising in fabric and an interior designer each talking about their projects and recommending which stalls and areas we ought to check out during the day. The second talk was more exciting as it was a famous designer being interviewed by the editor of Living Etc. magazine. Now I have to tell you about a really peculiar connection I have with this editor…


You see I got the app about 18 months ago and signed up to borrow/walk dogs around Wimbledon. Sounds strange and I’ve explained it to so many people but the idea is simple; you just borrow a dog and then give it back… for free. Well I’ve been borrowing a Jack-a-Poo called Jammy for well over a year now and get on really well with her mum/owner who I found out is also into interior design. She recently had her beautiful house featured in Living Etc. because she buys and sells houses and users her clever eye for design to make them gorgeous in the process. When I first told her we were moving house and were planning to redecorate and furnish the new flat in a Scandinavian style she recommended I read Living Etc. because she is best friends with the editor. Then when I mentioned I was going to CDW during my week off Jammy’s mum told me her editor friend would be there – curiouser and curiouser.


Here is the coincidence; the second talk I’d booked to attend was an interview of the famous designer, Jean-Marie Massaud, being held by nobody but my borrowed-dog’s-mum’s-best-friend! Ha!


So overall CDW was really good fun, I learned a lot, felt a bit out of my depth, got lots of freebies and spoke to some really cool people, I will definitely be going again next year.


The second point I said I’d cover in this post is mood boards and ooohhh they are fun. With interior design magazines spread across my living room floor in front of me, pritt stick poised and the chilled pop hits playlist on Spotify I let loose like a fat kid in a cake shop. I tend to think for ages before I get started on things and so purposely didn’t let myself position cuttings on the paper before gluing them down ‘just in case they don’t look right’, I went ahead and glued them on down like the vigilante that I am. I did one mood board for myself, mainly variations of pink, grey and smart interiors and I did a couple for my friend, Sophie, as she is redecorating her house. I wanted to give her some ideas based on what she’d said her and her fiancé like and I wanted to add in some things they might not have considered.


I’m going to keep making mood boards, mainly using them to put ideas together to see what they look like. I’ve also found recently that people tend to ask me where they ought to get things from. So they’ll say they need a green armchair for about £200 but can’t find a good one. I really like this challenge because I am a keen stalker on social media and the skills from this enables me to track down pieces of furniture from the darkest corners of the internet for ideal prices so I hope I can continue to do this and help others out at the same time.


I’m considering doing a post about the interesting interiors of some of the cities I’ve visited recently but I need to organise my photos etc. so we’ll just have to wait and see.

First moody board attempts – would be loads better with fabric samples but for now it’ll just be magazines & leaflet cuttings

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