Persona Abode in 9 Questions
Who ARE your design idols?
Zandra Rhodes. Awesomely full of inspiro without her saying zip. Have you seen her way with colour? That’s some serious stuff. Her hair is just the start. AND then she speaks. I went to a talk with her a few years back and was lapping up her knowledge like a cat licking up bowl of milk. She's got mad stories, I wanna be her dinner guest and share a plate of colourful food.
I’d curtesy for Iris Apfel cus she’s badass on her own terms too. She’s a handy reference point to remind us to be bold in any which way you please. Embracing ageing and that good things can come from trips to flea markets. Have you watched the Netflix documentary about her? Go watch!
What’s your favourite flower?
Orchids are fascinating. Several tries and a book later I’m starting not to kill every orchid that I've welcomed into my abode. I'm figuring their survival of the fittest game is a little off. Ok, maybe it's me.
Lotuses are also close to my heart. No need to get all woo woo with the obvious spiritual connections and its shopping bag of connotations. It's significant to who I was growing, there’s so many memories and stories that happened and a place I can visit to get those welcoming hugs from my mum.
Narcissis are a close third. An architect recently sent me a bunch from the Scilly islands, they have an aroma worthy of a fist pump. I got teased about it but i'm like "Eff you, I got flowers".
What's your go to blogs to read?
What James is Wearing has been a regular read for years, loosely about interior design but more about on men’s fashion. Me and the Mr sneak a peek at James (on his blog smh) and have convos about the interior designer’s fashion style. He’s got some beasty colour combos going on. It's the scarves, trousers & shoes that get me drooling. James on his own level of dapper, but here's the thing, his whole set up can be translated into interiors pretty neatly.
Abigail Ahern is staple blog food, I started reading her blog from somewhere along the 2009 mark. I'd head there first thing in the morning, like pre toothbrushing, and read up on her take on lush interiors with one eye open. And those days when she was too busy to post had me in my feelings a tad. It's her don't-give-a-shit-for-rules way of talking that rocks.
You know when your finger wonders onto Google and you don't know what to search for? That's when I head to my go-to place, New York Social Diary. The House section is a stack load of interviews of designers and artists and their homes. It's the online equivalent to Through the Keyhole interviews. I can't help a bit of a nose around and seeing how designers live. Not all the glossed up magazine style living, it's all homely and the right side of honest.
Minimalist or Maximalist?
Definitely far onto the maximalist side of the scales, although I really appreciate a minimalist bathroom when the design aesthetic is a strong one. I love ramping with bold pattern and clashing colours and bring out the best of design styles. It matches what's in my head, eclecticism with a good gallop of traditional to back up the contemporary.
What’s your interior pet hate?
Woodchip wallpaper is one awful idea. I can't flipping bear it. I know, from experience, what a ridiculous pain it is to get rid of. Ok, so this is the mo that I start recalling the bucketload of wood chip wallpaper that's been like a fly around shit at home. Imagine gifting someone rolls of this bollocks....yeah I've had that. Worse moving in pressie EVER.
The worse is when it’s hanging out on the ceiling and you’ve gotta steam that bugger off. That’s when you realise woodchip wallpaper is made of 100% stubborn. I get pissed off thinking about it.......next question.
Beer, wine or cocktail (as asked on The Chaise Lounge Podcast)
A glass of rosé wine is generally my choice. White wine sort of disappoints my palette and red is too full of itself. But I’m always tempted with a peach Schnapps. Let’s say both, I'll knock back a Schnapps & then sip on a decent rosé and cover all bases.
What’s on your coffee table?
At the moment ceramics are having their day, with the odd plant and a small stack of books I’m reading through. The table is carved with a serious amount of detail. There's nooks and crannies where dust likes to lurk, it’s a bit of a bitch to dust so the more I cover it with stuff the less fluff can settle on it. I'm going with that logic.
Coffee table are really easy to swap and change for a quick refresh. When you start looking at the styling and start thinking STALE, that's you queue to rejig. I'm a regular at this.
What's with you supporting world causes?
This totally could be a once upon a time moment. Do you wanna sit comfortably or something? Ok, so I was some single digit age when I watched the video about the making of Band Aid. My teacher wheeled in those humongous TVs on wheel with those clunky VCRs. Those suckers were bulky, right? Anyway, my class sat watching all the hunger going on and the message to help people in need. I couldn't get the song out my head all day. When I got home I threw myself on my bed and bawled. My My Little Pony quilt cover was soaked with tear juice.
That memory has always stayed with me and i'm uneasy about how the world is pretty tough, if not barbaric, for a lot of people. Building support of causes into Persona Abode was the obvious way to go, why not help out less fortunate especially if you’re in a position to live above your basic needs.
What's your ultimate home goals?
The goal is an accessible tree house overlooking fields of long grass. I’m not talking about your average wooden DIY job at the bottom of the garden from the main house. I’m talking the a fully-fledged house in a tree with a little veranda to star gaze and read books. I'm totally gonna needs me a rocking chair and wifi. Oh and a bar cart with gin served in tea cups.
Inside it'll have a curated collection of beasty vignettes and different areas to lounge in. Cushy soft furnishings, books in reclaimed wood cases, statement artwork with a sentimental value, that's the vision. The decor would reflect the things that keeps me fascinated by design, so there will be brass and comfy eco friendly fabrics all over.
I’ve enjoyed sharing a few things about Persona Abode. Leave a comment below to ask a question for yourself.
Thanks for being here and reading along.