Skip to content

Shop Tour & Interview with Shelter 7

Hi again! Next, I want to share this incredible homewares shop called Shelter 7 that I found through Tara Pearce, a brilliant photographer who wrote in earlier this week about Shelter 7, since she recently shot it and hoped I’d be open to sharing it on decor8. Of course, I said YES!

shelter7 - Photographer - Tara Peace_-9
Styled by Sami Johnson, this shop shoot came out so nice! I thought though that I’d go above and beyond sharing her amazing visuals and so I made contact with the shop owners to learn more about who they are and what they do. I’ve included my interview the Shelter 7 founders, husband and wife team Rebecca and Terry Meyer, below.



For a jumbo-sized view of the above image, click here.

First of all, where are you located?
S7: We’re at 131 Ryrie Street, Geelong, Victoria Australia

How did you come up with the name Shelter 7?
S7: The name took a long time to come up with. We wanted an original name to capture the essence of where we live, so we went back to basics and came up with Shelter 7.

Can you tell us about your shop – the inspiration behind it?
S7: The shop is very much an extensions of mine and my husband’s love of unique and inspirational pieces. A combination of travel and vintage pieces sourced across the globe and some unique and very clever Australian designers.



For a jumbo-sized view of the above image, click here.

shelter7 - Photographer - Tara Peace_-4

Describe your style in a few words:
S7: A combination of old, new, unique and well designed.

What are some popular brands in your shop?
S7: Pony Rider, Kip & Co, and La De Dah Kids for children’s toys.



For a jumbo-sized view of the above image, click here.



For a jumbo-sized view of the above image, click here.

shelter7 - Photographer - Tara Peace_-11

Tell us about La De Dah Kids because I heard that this is also your company. What do you design?
S7: La De Dah Kids is our toy and kids accessories brand and our own unique designs. We design two ranges a year with the aim to design quirky and unusual pieces, with an ever-present emphasis on both affordability and quality. For our niche product range, we use old school making techniques such as knitting and crocheting. Our products are all made from the finest 100% cotton yarn and produced ethically in the comfort of our producers homes enabling them to work around their family needs such as child care etc. Our La De Dah Kids products are not only our own unique designs but are also made with love. They are tailored towards both children and the child at heart, lovers of the quirky and unusual, and anyone who reaches out to the amazing world with imagination, wonder and creativity.

shelter7 - Photographer - Tara Peace_-10

The bicycle print over the stairs – can you tell us more about that?
S7: This is created by Australian designers Pony Rider. They create versatile and inspiring pieces that look great thrown across your sofa, bed or hung as an artwork in the home.

Can you tell us about the shop space – it looks old and interesting. Did you have to renovate?
S7: The space had amazing light – but needed a huge amount of work to bring it back to life. It previously had been a costume shop for about 10 years. After a long 3 months of renovating and many late nights we found that we had uncovered the beauty and old character of the building. This gave our collection of sourced products the perfect home.

What challenges do you face as a shop owner?
S7: The work life balance is a big one and something that we have to constantly reassess.

S7: We know that whilst the business is in it infantile stages this is difficult to overcome. So being aware of these problems and planning ahead the best we can.

What advice to do you have for others who want to launch a shop, whether online or brick and mortar?
S7: Ensure that you have a strong product line and strong and unique imagery that sets you apart from all your competitors.

shelter7 - Photographer - Tara Peace_-13

Can you tell us more about the candles with the rifles on them? I want one!
S7: These are amazing aren’t they? This is a beautiful boutique brand in Sydney called Pigeon and Weasel. Their Triple scented soy wax candles are hand poured here in Australia into recycled glass beer bottles that the two co-founders collect from there local drinking hole. The scents are beautiful.

shelter7 - Photographer - Tara Peace_-2
Can you tell us about the textiles on the hooks and the pillows? I’m in love!
S7: These are created by the very talented local Australian girls Kip & Co. They make the most beautiful bedlinen, towels and now rugs. Their designs are very unique and inspired by unique, wild, and brave art and nature, soaked up on their backpacking adventures around the globe.

Who makes the big pillow shown above?
S7: Again this is another of the lovely Pony Riders designs. These cushions are perfect for lazing around on a slow sunday afternoon.

shelter7 - Photographer - Tara Peace_-12

shelter7 - Photographer - Tara Peace_-5

shelter7 - Photographer - Tara Peace_-15

Where do you source products for your store?
S7: We source products all over — from local designers here in Australia. We produce our own kids range and next year we will launch our adults line of homewares under the Shelter 7 brand.

Where do you go online for inspiration?
S7: Pinterest, photographers and decorating blogs are my biggest inspiration for the home.

Do you find blogs helpful in promoting your work and shop and if so, why?
S7: Blogs are very helpful in promoting our work on a global platform and also for finding shops. I know before I go on holidays I often research my favourite blogs for the “go-to” places and bloggers definitely do a great job of keeping us up to date on new and interesting places to visit.

Thank you so much, especially for sharing your gorgous shop and tips on new and inspiring products, with us today. Have a great weekend!

(images: tara pearce with permission)

Posted in interviews, Shop Tours on November 08, 2013

Meet Stylist + Author Emily Chalmers

Hello friends! Today I have a special interview with London-based stylist and author Emily Chalmers. But first, I hope that your day is going well for you. We just signed on our new apartment about an hour ago and the renovations begin next week (already!), so I’m living fast and crazy at the moment. The baby is doing so well too – I’ve entered my third trimester and my 29th week begins on Monday. I heard his heart beat again today at my appointment and he’s kicking as I type this, so he’s a feisty and strong little fellow. Pregnancy feels fun (finally) and though I still deal with nausea, I’m over the hard part so I’m living more normally again. Yay for that! Ok, so let’s get started shall we? Let’s meet Emily Chalmers!


I recently had a friendly little convo with London-based stylist, shop owner and book author, Emily Chalmers and you are invited to listen in below. Her books and life in general are so interesting to me, and she became a first time mom not too long ago and this made me want to chat with her even more – to see how she’s managing everything! Since she had her baby, she’s been traveling with her little bundle to some really inspiring places like Japan, so I wanted to tap in to her energetic and bohemian mother goddess self. I still feel quite clueless about the road ahead with my baby due and so many people tell me that you have no life once you have kids but I want to think that I still can have my own identity so chatting with women like Emily make me feel very positive and encouraged! Let us begin…


Hi Emily! Okay, so you recently moved – where are you living in London these days?

Emily: We’ve lived in the same area of London for years now – we love the East End! After 8 1/2 happy years in an old warehouse space in central Shoreditch we’re now just 3 years in to a “proper” house (with internal walls and central heating this time!) very near Columbia Road area, a few minutes walk from the old place. I love this spot – we have parks and a city farm near by, the canal’s not far away, and excellent transport links to anywhere else we might want to go. We’re also under a minute away from the vibrant market that takes place every Sunday on Columbia Road itself. Live music, good food, bric-a-brac and masses and masses of fresh flowers and plants. What a treat!

You also closed up shop but I understand you reopened it at home or? And how are your running it, by appointment only?
Emily: In the year following our house move I was due to move the Caravan shop premises as our lease had come to an end on Redchurch Street and the building was due for extensive renovation. I’d known this was coming up, of course, and had kept an eye out in the locality. Coincidentally I’d seen an available space very near our future new home and for some reason I kept going back to it – it was smaller than the previous shop and in a very different sort of location, tucked away under a block of flats in a much quieter area on the outskirts of Shoreditch and very near Columbia Road. We’d only been in our new home for a few months when I discovered I was expecting a baby. Suddenly everything fell into place and the premises around the corner became the perfect spot for Caravan! That Spring I secured Caravan’s next home – it hadn’t been used as a shop for a long time and with the help of a trusty builder we stripped it out and created a light and airy simple open space to make room for the 3 floors-worth of bits I’d managed to accumulate at Redchurch Street. I spent the following months editing stock and turning my attention to our online store. Baby Bunty arrived that winter and I then gradually built up a shop floor again whilst getting to grips with my new life as a mother too.

How is shop ownership with a toddler working out?
Emily: It’s been an interesting time, Bunty has moved from pram to playpen to playhouse in the shop next to me each day and it’s an extension of home to her now. We’re only a few steps away from our front door and always going back and forth, a good server system and a trusty laptop allows me to work from any location – it’s this flexibility that has allowed me to enjoy my time with the baby while keeping the business running. Customers visited by appointment while I was working out of the new space piled floor to ceiling with boxes. Even though we’re more organised now, this system still works best as I can remain hands-on in every aspect of the business and we can plan around Bunty’s schedule too. Seeing customers by appointment also adds a far more personal touch – it’s like having a visitor every time someone pops by and means I can be prepared for them.


What kinds of things do you sell?
Emily: The Caravan inventory has always been a mixed bag! We sell mainly home decoration, cushions, candle holders, wall sconces, mirrors, lighting, etc. alongside eclectic and unusual ornaments and gifts, such as little knitted dogs, baby shoes and tea towels. We also offer a few pieces of jewellery and some very lovely gold and silver leather clogs, so there are things to wear too. Our signature pieces are our vintage fabric covered cushions, vintage silk scarf drapes and a beautiful pineapple wall sconce that is produced especially for the store.

You still have an online shop, are you running that mostly full-time now?
Emily: The online shop continues 24/7 and is an area of the business that fits in very well with family life. I can pack parcels any time of the day and night – and often do! I am an established interiors author and stylist and I’ve always continued to produce features for magazines alongside running the shop. When I was fitting out the shop floor I made sure everything can be moved easily – I’ve kept the space very flexible too so that we can shoot there and work on other projects.

What are some current decorating trends that you’ve spotted in London lately?

Emily: We are surrounded by decorating trends here in London, especially in the area I live. There seem to be so many trends around – it’s lovely to see that everything goes nowadays. What I have noticed is that everything seems very much more considered than it did a few years ago. It’s as if people are just more aware of interiors generally. I’ve always been a fan of a more eclectic bohemian approach and this is definitely still a strong look generally.

What other things are you involved in – do you do styling jobs on the side or is your daughter and shop enough at the moment?
Emily: I do manage the odd styling job on the side and it tends to be in my shop or home. Bunty and Caravan are probably enough to be getting on with, but much of what I do crosses over, so it all works out somehow.


You are a new mom, how old is your daughter and what has motherhood taught you?
Emily: Bunty will be 2 years old next month. In a strange way, time has flown by but I’ve also managed to savour every moment. Ooooh, motherhood has taught me so much – I don’t even know where to begin with this question! Motherhood has helped me appreciate my life more too, it has helped me to simplify things and concentrate on what works best for me at this point in time. It is full of challenges and then, of course, of achievements. I love it!

Do you think that having a child changes a woman, and if so, how has it changed you?
Emily: Yes, I do think having a child can change a woman. Perhaps not every woman though, it depends on how you approach it. Like everything in life! I’m not sure how it has changed me but it has certainly developed me.



Have you noticed whether or not your daughter has a creative knack yet like you do and if so, in what ways?
Emily: Children are incredibly imaginative. I see this in Bunty and it’s a joy to nurture that quality and create a safe and secure environment so you can stand back, give enough space, and allow it to grow. Seeing Bunty setting out her little tea set in her playhouse in the shop is wonderful! The other day she gathered up three crows (we sell ornamental crow figures at Caravan), set them down in a neat row and put little pots in front of them and then said “crows having water” – I thought that was particularly creative seeing as she’s not even been on this earth for 2 years yet!

You author a few of my most precious and beloved books – you have really inspired me over the years. Do you have plans to do more books?
Emily: What a wonderful thing to say, thank you Holly, to hear my books have inspired is the highest compliment. I will definitely be doing more books in the future and I should imagine they will always be decorating related in some way – that’s my raison d’être!






What do you love about living in London and where are your favorite, inspirational haunts from cafes to shopping?
I love living in London – I love the spirit and vibrancy here and how you can find whatever you need or want, somewhere. I love the cultural mix and the creative energy, the fact that new things pop up all the time, alongside the good established, old things. I love the shopping opportunities and most of all the markets – there are many around London but those in my home area never cease to keep me interested and inspired – Brick Lane, Columbia Road, Spitalfields Antiques Market, Broadway Market and so on. There are some great cafes around – my local favourites have to include the Towpath Cafe on the Regents Canal and a new local favourite is Stories on Broadway Market where they won my heart by giving Bunty her own tiny fruit shake in a little milk bottle with a straw, when I’d only ordered one for myself and was planning to share it. It’s the extra thoughtful touches like that that make a place more special.




And finally, tell us where you go online for inspiration – who do you read, where do you shop for things, etc.?
Emily: I go online for inspiration far less than I’d like to say I do. I’m surrounded by inspiration in my busy day-to-day life so any extra found digitally is always a treat! Having Bunty has allowed me to discover the wealth of and occasionally dip into beautiful online shops for children. I also enjoy finding things on eBay for her. What I tend to do is miss the daily reads and instead I catch up with favourite blogs from time to time. Running a business around a little one means more often than not I spend my evenings working though occasionally I’ll plan an early night and will find time to have a proper blog surf, going from one to another, catching up on what you’ve been up to at decor8 and pouring over sites like Etsy too. What joy!


Some of my favorite things from Emily’s online shop are shown above: 1. LouLou 2. Trunk jug set 3. Modern Vintage Style by Emily Chalmers 4. Metal storage box 5. Ceramic container 6. Gold beakers 7. Ceramic bell lamp 8. Poodle lamp.

Thank you Emily for sharing your world with decor8 readers, it’s a pleasure to meet with you!

(Top 4 photos: Debi Treloar, all others: Emily Chalmers)

Posted in interviews on November 07, 2013

Meet Photographer Anouschka Rokebrand

I recently came across Anouschka Rokebrand’s photography on the Avenue blog and knew I had to reach out to her for an interview and also to profile her work here on decor8. To my joy, she was thrilled to take part and her interview came out so nice – so inspirational – that I couldn’t wait another day to share it. It’s time to meet the lovely Anouschka and to drool over her work along with me. Sound like a good way to begin the day?

Meet Photographer Anouschka Rokebrand

Meet Photographer Anouschka Rokebrand

Anouschka Rokebrand is the talented lady behind Anouschka Rokebrand Photography and the delightful blog under the same name. Born in The Hague, she currently lives in Boskoop, The Netherlands and loves how centrally located and close to the large cities in her country that she is – which is really helpful to her business. She has a real love for her profession (and her clients) and this passion really shines through in her work. Instead of just looking at pretty photos, I thought I’d give you some more to think about so I’ve asked her some questions about her job with the aim to inspire all us – particularly, those of you who are looking to broaden out your own photography skills and explore doing it for a living. Want to listen in on our conversation? First, some eye candy…

Meet Photographer Anouschka Rokebrand

Meet Photographer Anouschka Rokebrand

Meet Photographer Anouschka Rokebrand

Meet Photographer Anouschka Rokebrand

Meet Photographer Anouschka Rokebrand

What do you love about your job?

AR: Oh gosh, this is my dream job, no kidding. I LOVE working with couples and capturing one of the most special days in their life. I realize every time I hand over a wedding album to one of my couples, that that’s another heirloom that will be passed down for generations to come. I love the social aspect of it and the creative aspect of it.

How long have you been a photographer?

AR: I’ve been photographing since I was little but I officially launched my business in 2006.

What are your goals when you are on a shoot?

AR: Capturing the authenticity, the emotions, the details as beautifully as possible. I want my couples to be able to relive their day moment for moment when they are viewing their images. I want to create heirlooms for them.

Do you also do the styling or do you work with stylists?

AR:  For weddings either my couples or their stylist will style the venue. For editorial shoots I work with a stylist. For styled wedding shoots I either work with a stylist or style it myself. On weddings I will do a bit of styling though, especially during the getting ready part. I love styling their details like shoes, jewelry, perfume etc. Plus I will take away the hideous salt and pepper shakers from a dining table before shooting it.

Do you contribute to magazines and books or are you mostly shooting for private clients?

AR: I mostly shoot for private clients, however, I’m incredibly blessed that a lot of my weddings do get published either on wedding blogs or in magazines or both.

What do you use to shoot?

AR: I’m a Canon girl and I shoot with the 5D Mark III, a camera I absolutely adore to bits. I shoot with prime lenses and I adore every one of them. My favorites are the 50 mm and the 135 mm because I love the bokeh and colours in both so much. I mostly use these two lenses during an engagement shoot.

Do you have favorite photographers?

AR: Yes I do! I adore Jose Villa, Jasmine Star, KT Merry and Jana Williams. I’d hire any of them for my own wedding in a heartbeat (shame I’m already married!)

Meet Photographer Anouschka Rokebrand

Meet Photographer Anouschka Rokebrand

Meet Photographer Anouschka Rokebrand

Meet Photographer Anouschka Rokebrand

Meet Photographer Anouschka Rokebrand

Meet Photographer Anouschka Rokebrand

carmen_chris_slideMeet Photographer Anouschka Rokebrand show_004

Your photos are joyful, are very natural and capture a lot of light. Have you always shot this way or did it require a lot of training first?

AR: I’ve developed my style over the years and it took a lot of practice to get the look and feel I wanted in my photos. I love light and airy photos and I adore sun flare. However, living in The Netherlands we don’t always get beautiful sunlight during shoots ;) I’m very happy with where my style currently is.

How did you find your aesthetic?

AR: By attending workshops (Jose Villa and Jasmine Star amongst others) and through Pinterest. I know that might sound silly but when you start pinning photos that you love and start looking at what it is you love about them when you see them all together on a pinboard, you start to find the style you really love. You start seeing similarities between the photos you’ve pinned (certain light, certain posing styles etc). So I also started reviewing my own photos and trying to figure out why I would love photo A more than photo B for instance. That helped me a ton to develop my style to where it is today. Fashion photography and magazines are also a great source of inspiration for me.

How did you learn photography?

AR: Photography school, workshops (both in the US and in The Netherlands) and a lot of practice, practice, practice :)

Any tips for new photographers?

AR: Try to find YOUR own voice and style. Don’t feel you have to copy someone else to be successful. Be you, develop your own style. I get so many questions from photographers who are just starting out about how I edit my photos, how I designed my website because they want theirs to look exactly the same. Trust me when I say, you don’t want that. What works for someone else won’t necessarily work for you. Use what makes you unique: YOU, your eye, your vision. That’s what sets you apart from anyone else. :)

Meet Photographer Anouschka Rokebrand

Meet Photographer Anouschka Rokebrand

Meet Photographer Anouschka Rokebrand

Meet Photographer Anouschka Rokebrand

And finally, how has blogging helped your photography career?

AR: I love blogging! It takes a lot of time but I love doing it. It has helped me connect with other vendors and my brides are very dedicated to reading it and keeping up to date with what’s happening in my business and life. I love that! It helps us connect even more. I’ve also heard from other vendors that they received new business thanks to a link on my blog and I love that aswell! I love to give credit where credit is due and if that provides more work for amazing vendors, that makes me very happy!

Now we can take some reader questions. Would anyone like to ask Anouschka a question about her work?

Thank you so much Anouschka for being here on decor8 with us today, I admire your work so much and am happy to have met you! And readers, if you PIN anything in this post, please credit Anouschka Rokebrand with a link to her website on Pinterest. Thank you!

(images: Anouschka Rokebrand)

Posted in interviews on August 02, 2013

Meet Stylist Justina Blakeney

Hello everyone! I was thinking how I’ve not interviewed anyone lately and how I should change that so today I’m chatting with the radiant LA-based interiors stylist Justina Blakeney who describes herself as a, “Creative free bird, a traveler, a jungalow-dwelling mom, a thrifter, a stylist, a designer and a merry-maker”, which I think just about sums her up beautifully! This vibrant, lovely lady and her beautiful blog has grabbed my attention over the years so I had to pin her down for a little chit chat. If you don’t know her, Justina has styled for editorial and commercial clients mostly in the United States ranging from shelter mags to books and she has over 1.2 million followers on Pinterest. Her global boho style is colorful and approachable and today we’re going to get inside of her head a little and see what makes this creative soul tick – we’ll talk about decorating, blogging and some of her favorite things. Are you ready?

Meet Stylist Justina Blakeney

decor8: Thanks for visiting us on decor8 today, Justina! Where do you live and where were you raised?
JB: I live in my plantastic Jungalow on the east side of Los Angeles. I was raised in Berkeley, California but lived abroad in Switzerland for two years as a teen-ager, and then spent seven years in Florence, Italy in my 20’s.

decor8: How much do you think living in Southern California affects your decorating style?
JB: My style is an amalgamation of the many of the places I’ve been, and the people I’ve grown up around. Being raised in a multi-racial family that loved to travel, our home was always filled with objects from all over the world: Hamsas and African masks, Ethiopian paintings and Mexican artifacts, Indonesian shadow puppets and Mexican textiles. My grandparents have lived in Los Angeles my whole life and I remember coming to visit them as a little girl. I was always in awe of LA’s palm trees. My grandmother had a tropical printed wallpaper all over their Ladera Heighs home and it stuck with me. SoCal also has so many cultural enclaves–did you know that Little Armenia, Thai Town, Little Ethiopia and Korea Town are all within a few miles of each other in LA? Seeing all of these diverse cultures, eating incredibly diverse foods, shopping in ethnic grocery stores–it all fuels my imagination wildly. I think in those ways I think SoCal has had a profound affect on my style.

decor8: How far back can you trace your passion for decorating?
JB: My big sister (who also grew up to be a designer) and I used to play with doll-houses a lot. I even built my own doll house in a carpentry class when I was ten. Playing around with the dollhouse was my first experience with decorating. I remember saving random pieces of paper we’d glue them to the walls for wallpaper. We also used to spend a lot of time rearranging the furniture in our bedrooms and painting and repainting our rooms–even building our own furniture pieces. We were super lucky to have parents who let us do what ever we wanted with our rooms and we experimented all the time—I would steal items from the livingroom and put them in my bedroom. I painted murals on my walls. My mother would take me to the fabric store and I made my own curtains and pillows. I loved to sew from a very young age. I remember distinctly the first curtains I made were these crazy mirrored curtains—almost like a disco ball. Very ‘80’s. Ha!

decor8: When did you start your blog and why?
JB: I started blogging in 2008 when I moved back to the U.S. after living in Italy for seven years. I had a series of craft books out and started the blog initially as a way to connect with readers and share news and DIY projects. I got really into it and started blogging more and more until I realized how much I really loved it–and made a commitment to myself to blog everyday as part of my creative practice–you know, like going to the gym or something. That was in 2009 and I haven’t looked back since.

decor8: What else do you do for work outside of blogging?
JB: People hire me as a creative consultant–that can mean anything from decorating and styling to art-directing, shopping and branding. Sometimes I get paid to craft pretty stuff out of crazy materials, and curate art works and wares–which is pretty great too. Basically, if it’s creative, fun and fresh, chances are, I’m down to work on it! I’m pretty nerdy so I geek out a lot with graphics and stuff, but the hands-on stuff is what I find the most fun.

decor8: How many daily readers do you have on your blog?
JB: Give or take 4,000 readers a day and growing more and more every month!

decor8: Do you find that Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter helps you reach people beyond the blog?
JB: I use Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram pretty religiously. I have met so many incredible people through social media–people that came to my wedding, that came to meet my daughter in the first days of her life–people that I hope will continue to be a part of my life for years to come. I get so much from it. I’m reaching a lot of people–and a lot of people are reaching me, too! (I use facebook for family and old-school friends, mostly.)

decor8: How do you grow your blog?
JB: I try lots of different things out on my blog–and I’m not a very regimented person, so my blog is not very regimented either (besides that I post something at least five days a week.) After I try something new, I use analytics to see which features are the most popular and I do more of that until I get bored—then I switch it up. I do my best to present an honest picture of who I am and I think (and hope!) my candor and sense of humor resonate with people, and when people genuinely like something, or find something inspiring, they tend to share it. Personal posts are very popular on my blog, as are my DIY posts. My large audience on Pinterest has also helped grow my blog. Collaborations with other designers and bloggers, for example my “Like She Said” series, is another way I grow my audience.

decor8: Do you have any other website or social network where you are also talking about design?
JB: I have been lucky enough to have contributed to quite a few sites around the web — from West Elm, to Martha Stewart and many others in between. I also have guest curated for a number of sites on Pinterest including Etsy and 1st Dibs. I can also be found on Houzz and Luvocracy, Tumblr and on Skillshare, as well. (Yikes! I’m kind of a social media whore. Hahaha!)

Meet Stylist Justina Blakeney

decor8: There are lots of amazing design bloggers where you live… Do you meet up regularly to connect or share blogging tips?
JB: Good question. I am very lucky to live in a place so packed with so many talented bloggers and designers. I do have quite a few blogger friends that I love hanging out with: Dabito from Old Brand New, Jessica Comingore, Satsuki Shibuya, Bonnie Tsang, Victoria Vu, Jon Lo, Joy Cho—to name a few — but mostly when we hang we end up talking about a million other things besides sharing blogging tips! Joy was enormously helpful and supportive throughout my pregnancy and still is a great friend to get mommy tips from. Bonnie and I end up talking about food all of the time… and Dabito and I always end up doing impromptu photo shoots when we hang — it’s hilarious. I had lunch with Emily Henderson and met her for the first time a couple of months ago and she’s a firecracker — I just adore her.

decor8: Is there someone else that helps you with your blog, or only you?
JB: Right now I’m pretty much a one woman show, besides my enormously talented friend, Caitlin Levin, who sometimes pops by to share her simple and delicious recipes with us.

decor8: What are your favorite topics to blog?
I like to switch it up a lot, but topics that are thought provoking or even kinda hard to talk about are fun to me. I love hearing what my readers think about, say, body issues, lack of cultural diversity represented in the design-blog universe and breast-feeding. I also love to share new ways of looking at things, whether it’s an upcycled object, turning instagram photos into imaginary wallpaper or transforming a Enoki mushroom into a pendant lamp — I have fun getting deep, kooky and being unpredictable! Oh, and I LOVE plants!

decor8: What can people really learn from bloggers that they can’t get from a magazine?
JB: I love that I can be TOTALLY real on my blog. And I am. I write what I want—when I want. I think that this is so important because in mass media and culture articles and editorials pass through so many eye balls, so much editing and so much pressure from publishers and advertisers. Because of this, I think that at times the soul can get sucked from the stories. Fashion magazines time and time again share the same, trite, old, standards of beauty — I’m REALLY sick of that. On my blog I can take the status quo and turn it upside down and give a voice to a minority (be it curvy ladies, people of color, people in underserved communitires…etc.) without worrying (or caring) if I’m alienating a large demographic. Often times, I think that people read through magazines and by the time they’re through they dislike themselves and their lives more than when they opened the magazine—because they are not thin enough, not rich enough, not interesting enough…I hope that on my blog, readers leave feeling inspired, empowered and like they love themselves a bit more than when they first landed in my Jungalow.

Meet Stylist Justina Blakeney

decor8: How do you define great personal style?
JB: To me, great style is confident, bold and unapologetic. It’s surprising, thought provoking and groundbreaking — it’s the authentic manifestation on the outside, of what’s happening on the inside.

decor8: Name some creative people who really inspire you…
JB: I’m inspired so much by people who are skilled craftspeople along with having a great eye and a unique perspective. This month, I’m crushing on Ariele Alasko of Brooklyn to West, Adam Pogue and Todd Selby also does it for me pretty much every time.

decor8: You use a lot of bold color in your posts – why is color in the home important to you?
JB: Color invigorates me. It really sets the tone in a space. I believe that color has an effect on people’s moods and can make you feel clean and fresh, or alive, or tired or cheerful or uneasy…it’s so important to get the color right because of the profound effect that it can have on quality of life.

decor8: What are some current trends that you really love?
JB: I love what I love and it doesn’t change so much with the trends. My style is pretty consistent regardless of what’s trending… But if I had to name a few things that I love and also happen to be kinda all over the place right now, I’d say brass finishes, Moroccan rugs, kilim pillows and textile arts, especially macramé.

decor8: What are some trends that really annoy you?
JB: Is it OK to say that all trends annoy me? Haha. No, but seriously, it annoys me when living things become trendy — like a certain kind of dog. Somehow the word trend to me connotes a disposable culture and that is bothersome when speaking of inanimate objects, but down right wrong when speaking of living things.

Meet Stylist Justina Blakeney

decor8: Name some dream pieces you’d love to buy for your home…
JB: Ohhh… Fun question! This sofa, Tiles from here, this hunk and something like this would be pretty sweet as long as we’re dreaming…

5 Quick Q’s:
decor8: Favorite color combination right now?
JB: Kelly Green and Brass
decor8: Favorite room to decorate?
JB: It changes all of the time, but right now my baby daughter’s room
decor8: Accessory that must be present at all times?
JB: My iphone! (is that what you meant?) if you mean home stuff—than PLANTS!
decor8: On your playlist you’re listening to…
JB: Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Zap Mama, Fleetwood Mac.
decor8: Stores that you love online?
JB: Plumo, Furbish Studio, ethanollie, Totokaelo.

decor8: What is your ultimate career goal – where would you love to be in 5 years?

JB: Let me confess first that I am a VERY ambitious person, probably almost to the point of being a little nuts, but that having been said…. I look at Jonathan Adler’s amazing career (of potter, designer, author, and personality with a home furnishing collection and boutiques) and I think to myself… THAT is where I want to be with my stuff (but it may take more like ten years!) ha! If, in five years though, I am still able to support myself and my family, work from home and collaborate with other inspiring creatives, blog and continue consulting, I won’t complain.

Justina thank you for hanging out with me today on decor8! So happy to have you and enjoy the weekend!

Readers if you have ANY questions for our lovely friend, Justina, please ask in the comments section below.

(images: styling- justina blakeney)

Posted in interviews on May 31, 2013


Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.


Next dates

Blogging Your Way: Blog Boss
e-course, October 10 - November 10, 2014
Find out more about this exciting class by bloggers, for bloggers, teaching you how to blog like a boss!