We've been avid followers of blogging site Growing Spaces for some time now and we were very excited to get the opportunity to have a little Q&A session recently with the lovely Heather Young, founder and creator of this inspiring lifestyle and interior blog. We love her passion for interiors, DIY and her family, and enjoy the blogging journey she takes us on each week with her new adventures. So sit back, relax and discover more about the world of Heather's Growing Spaces >
Tell us a little about yourself and what your blog explores.
"I’m a freelance interiors journalist – I’ve worked for some of the UK’s top homes magazines for nearly 14 years. My blog Growing Spaces started life as a place for me to share my passion for interiors, but it’s expanded to include anything that piques my interest, from travel to wellbeing, to food and crafts."
What inspired you to create Growing Spaces?
"My husband and I had just moved from our Victorian terraced house in south London out to a 1970s house in Berkshire with our twins. I had always lived in period houses and to me, the new house felt like it had no character at all. It was going to be a challenge to turn it from a boring box into a welcoming and stylish family home, and I thought it would be fun to chart the journey on a blog, sharing tips and advice along the way."
If you could choose just ‘One Interior’ where would it be and why?
"My ultimate dream is to have a Georgian farmhouse. I love the big windows, the sense of symmetry and all the gorgeous period features – fireplaces, cornice, skirting. Having said that, this Spring I spent a few days at a location house in West Sussex that I fell head over heels in love with – it was all tongue-and-groove walls, soft, muted shades and big open spaces. I’d happily move in there tomorrow!"
Above is from a recent blog post - Styling the Seasons
What is your favourite piece in your home and why?
"Such a difficult question! I’m such a fickle person – what I love changes week by week, but one constant is the vintage trunk that used to belong to my grandparents – it still has stickers on it from their trips. We use it as a coffee table in our living room. The vintage school lab bench that we use as a kitchen island was a great eBay buy – not only do I adore its distressed wood surface (often seen in my Instagram pics), it’s made such a difference to how we use the kitchen space."
What does your typical day as a blogger look like?
"A day’s blogging typically involves turning some room upside down while I rearrange things to take the perfect photograph. I’ll settle at my computer to download the images and write the blog post, and then I’ll look at the clock, realise I have ten minutes to put the room back together before I have to leave to do the school run and throw things round in a panic. Coffee always plays a big part in my day, too. I love being a blogger best when I get to go somewhere to meet up with other bloggers – whether it’s an event, or just a meet up. It’s great to share ideas and spend time with people who don’t look at you like you’re crazy when you stand on your chair to photograph your cup of coffee for your latest Instagram post."
What projects are you currently working on at Growing Spaces?
"It’s all gearing up for Christmas at the moment – planning festive content, finessing Christmas crafts, working out my decorating theme for this year. I’ve got some exciting collaborations coming up for Christmas – lots of things to get the creative juices flowing."
Outside of Growing Spaces do you also work on other projects?
"My life is a constant juggling act – I have my freelance work as well as keeping up with the blog, and I never know what’s coming around the corner. The last few months have seen me working on a lot more video content, presenting craft tutorials for housetohome.co.uk, and launching my YouTube channel, Heather At Home, and in the new year I’ll probably be turning my mind to Christmas 2016 as I’m a regular contributor to Ideal Home’s Complete Guide To Christmas – we seem to start planning content for this earlier every year!"
Above is a recent Heather at Home video all about her Kitchen Diner Nook!
What are your greatest influences?
"In the past I would have said magazines (I used to keep countless scrapbooks of ideas torn from my favourite homes magazines), but now I definitely find most of my inspiration online. Seeing all the talented bloggers out there can feel intimidating at times, but mostly it’s exciting seeing all their different angles and takes on a theme. You can give the same product to a handful of bloggers to photograph and every shot will be totally different. I’m also a huge fan of Instagram and feel constantly inspired by the beautiful interiors I see from across the world there."
How does living in the Home Counties influence your work?
"I’m a bit more isolated than I was when I lived in London. It’s harder to travel into town for events and exhibitions. I probably focus a bit more on our own home and what I like than the latest trend that’s hitting the interiors scene. I’m very lucky to have some beautiful countryside on our doorstep, which I think makes me more aware and interested in the seasons. On the flip side it’s very tempting to be out enjoying the fresh air, and forget that I do actually need to sit at my desk and do some work!"
What do you hope the future of Growing Spaces will be?
"I feel like Growing Spaces is often neglected when my day job as a journalist takes priority – I’d like to be able to find a better balance, and give more time and attention to the blog. I have a head full of ideas, but too often these don’t get realised and they go on the back-burner or forgotten entirely. It would be great to be in a position to be able to put all my time and creativity into Growing Spaces – I want to inspire people to get put more of their personality into their homes and to make braver decorating decisions."
What advice would you give to an aspiring blogger starting out today?
"You need to have a passion for your chosen subject because if you love something then others will pick up on that and be carried along with you. There are so many blogs out there now that it’s hard to feel like you can stand out in the crowd, but I think if you stay true to what it is you love and enjoy then that’s a good place to start. And don’t give yourself a hard time. It takes time, patience and hard graft to build a following and everyone has ups and downs. If blogging starts to feel like a chore, take a break, regroup, and you’ll inevitably come back feeling refreshed and fired up all over again."
Now for some final quick fire questions!
3 words to describe your blog
"Fun, creative, relatable."
Favourite holiday place to visit?
Your Favourite Colour?
"Yellow. In interiors? Probably white!"
Your favourite texture?
Your favourite scent?
What is your signature bake?
"Gooey chocolate brownies"
Where can we find you on the internet and social media?
We'd like to thank Heather for taking the time to speak to us here at Collett & Holder, and we hope you've enjoyed this little Q&A session! Thanks for reading.