Zoe Brewer interview
20 October 2011
Ever since we entered the social media world, we've been blown away by the creative talents of the interior designers and bloggers we've met in these spaces. So we thought we would start showcasing some of these talents on the Sofas & Stuff blog by doing a few interviews to see what tips and tricks they've got to share with the readers of our blog. So without further ado…
First up, is the lovely Zoe Brewer who is Creative Director and owner of My Interior Stylist Ltd. Her work covers a huge variety of projects in all aspects of styling from interiors to editorial to events. Zoe also writes for interiors magazines, blogs and currently sits on the Expert Panel for Q & As at Beautiful Kitchens magazine. Zoe lives in Kensal Rise with her husband, two children and one dog.
How long have you been working as an interior stylist for? What gave you the bug?
I've been working as a stylist for 5 years & and set up my own company, My Interior Stylist Ltd, about 3 years ago, which is now really busy! I've had the bug for "making things look pretty" (OH description of my job) since I was a little girl. I used to hand paint wallpaper and knit throws for my sister's dolls house. Before styling, I worked in TV production and had my own production company, so I've always been involved in creative work. I much prefer the hands-on creativity to the organising of it though!
Describe a typical day in the life of Zoe Brewer
I'm not sure that a typical day exists in my life! And I'm glad that's the case. Variety is definitely the spice of life for me. I work on all sorts of styling projects from interior design, redesign and show homes to editorial shoots and events, plus home staging and consultations. However what many people don't see, is that the styling part is just the last icing on the cake. Most of the job involves producing design schemes, mood boards, budgets, schedules and research documents, plus negotiating with clients and trades, as well as normal business stuff like VAT returns and book keeping. Luckily for me, this side of the business is something I was already well practiced in when I started, so it's easy for me. I think many creatives who want to start a new business get daunted by the paperwork side of things and I'm always happy to help friends out with this part.
I've also got 2 other projects on the go but I can't talk about them at the moment!
What's the best project you've worked on so far?
I've just completed a styling job for a photo shoot at Lower Mill Estate, glamorous holiday homes on the lakes in Gloucestershire. The glass fronted houses make for really impressive photos. I'm also the official Interior Designer there.
In terms of my most enjoyable project, that would have to be the wedding I styled recently. It was a small budget, which tests your creativity and I like that. Luckily the bride had very similar taste to me, so it was such fun. We had metres and metres of white and pink fabrics, tulles and ribbons and tea lights a plenty - my idea of heaven!
What would you say your personal style is when it comes to interiors?
Hmm - eclectic probably. The problem is with this job is that you are constantly being bombarded with new products and finishes, and so I'm forever wanting to change everything! What really excites me in terms of interiors is colour - bright and unusual colour combinations. Mostly involving pink.
Who or what inspires you the most?
I was extremely inspired by my recent visits to India - the colours are amazing. Also my kids inspire me - they come up with some crazy ideas!
I'm about to finally renovate my website and am considering starting a blog. I'm totally inspired by Holly Becker who has made her love of blogging and interiors into a career (twitter name @decor8).
Which are your favourite interior design blogs of the moment?
See above! Holly's blog is http://decor8blog.com/ . My other favourite blog is Will's http://brightbazaar.blogspot.com/ He shares my love of colour and finds beautiful and inspirational photos that aren't just a copy & paste of every other blog out there. Then for a view stateside, my favourite is http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ . Finally, not a blog but an online interiors magazine, Heart Home http://hearthomemag.co.uk/ the first of it's kind in this country, launched last month. If I made a mood board of everything I love, it would basically be as per this magazine.
What advice would you give to any aspiring interior designers out there?
Practice, practice, practice. Get as much hands on experience as possible - offer to re-design your mum's bedroom, your brothers bachelor pad and your granny's living room. Whatever qualifications you have, you can't beat practical experience. It also helps to have organisational skills to OCD level!
Finally, what are the three items you couldn't live without?
Items so not including my family right? My camera, my bed and flower clips for my hair.
A big thanks to Zoe for taking the time to catch up with us and for giving us a bit of insight into what it means to be an interior designer - you can see more of her work over on her website and Flickr and also catch up with her on Twitter @interiorstylist.
All photos courtesy of My Interior Stylist Ltd.
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