Q&A: Caroline Taylor

Caroline Taylor

Caroline Taylor

I love finding out more about the creative people I meet, so I thought I’d start a regular Q&A slot. This month, I’m speaking to Caroline Taylor, editor of 91 magazine (which I blogged about last year) and winner of the Women in Publishing ‘New Venture’ award.

Hi Caroline, thanks for joining us. Can you tell us a bit about who you are you and what you do?

The SS13 issue is out now

The SS13 issue is out now

I am the founder and owner of Patchwork Harmony, a creative hub for all things interiors, vintage and crafts. This includes the blog I have written since 2008 and the online magazine I launched in 2011; 91 Magazine. I am the editor and art director on the magazine, which focuses on featuring unique homes which have been created on a budget using thrifty finds and handmade items. We also run articles on independent sellers and craftspeople as well as sharing ideas to create a stylish home on a budget yourself. As well as these projects, I also offer editorial services; from writing, picture research, design and consultancy.

Where do you live, and what’s your home like?

I live in Kingston Upon Thames with my fiancé Simon and our cat Claude. Our house is a ground floor Edwardian maisonette, with two bedrooms (one of which is my office), two reception rooms and a small garden. We’ve done a little bit of decorating since we bought it, although we are saving to do some renovations after our wedding this year. It has wooden floors throughout and mainly a pale colour scheme with lots of vintage and thrifty finds scattered around!

If you could buy three things for your home today, what would they be?

A Smeg fridge…

via Citrus & Orange

via Citrus & Orange

…a reindeer hide rug…

Natural hide rug £175, Cox & Cox

Natural hide rug £175, Cox & Cox

…and a vintage leather chair…

Vintage leather club chair £750, Rose & Grey

Vintage leather club chair £750, Rose & Grey

What interiors / design shop could you not live without?

Well I generally shop at markets and vintage fairs, but I also love TK Maxx! You can pick up some great finds for the home there – from Le Crueset kettles, to great storage solutions, like the vintage style wire basket I picked up last week.

What is your top decorating tip?

Don’t try to ‘match’ your interior too much. The most interesting homes are those that are eclectic and full of objects that the owner clearly loves. But to avoid it looking like a jumble sale, select an item or colour in a room and build the rest of your items around it. Colours should complement each other, but don’t be afraid to experiment and change things around often to keep it fresh.

Keep in touch with Caroline…

Twitter: @91magazine / @patchworkhrmy

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/patchworkhrmy/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/patchworkharmony

Website: www.91magazine.co.uk / www.patchworkharmony.co.uk

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Christmas dining

When it comes to festive dining, I have a confession to make: I’m more interested in how it all looks than what it tastes like. Sorry, I’m just not a big eater! But I do love a well decorated table.

Christmas is just the kind of excuse I need to spend hours making centrepieces and thinking of how best to sort out place settings. Here are some ideas that have inspired me this year…

1) You don’t need to overcomplicate things – this simple linen napkin is made into a real attraction with some ribbon, a small card and a sprig of berries:

Belgian linen corded napkins (set of four) £40, The White Company

2) This beaded mistletoe wire is a great idea for decorating your table simply. You could also use it for all sorts of other decorating too, including wrapping presents:

Beaded mistletoe wire (1.5m) £7.50, Cox & Cox

Beaded mistletoe wire (1.5m) £7.50, Cox & Cox

3) These red robin linen napkins are gorgeous, and not so Christmassy that you couldn’t use them throughout the winter. Again, no napkin ring, just a bit of lace ribbon:

Set of four red robin linen napkins by The Original Pop Up Shop £44, MyDeco

Set of four red robin linen napkins by The Original Pop Up Shop £44, MyDeco

4) I love the combination of vintage cutlery and modern bling in this setting; plus I think every festive dinner should be liberally scattered with table confetti:

Set of four snowflake napkin rings £9.99, The Contemporary Home

Set of four snowflake napkin rings £9.99, The Contemporary Home

So, what are you up to for Christmas, and how will you be decorating your table?

Bookshelves

I love books. LOVE them. And I love displaying them on bookshelves. My other half doesn’t – he says they’re too “noisy”. Good thing we don’t live together, isn’t it??

Anyway, I saw this beautifully simple (and well-stocked) shelving unit from BoConcept, and it inspired me to have a look around for other attractive book display systems.

Just so you know, I’ve purposely chosen current products you can buy today, rather than inspirational but ultimately unachievable pictures that will make you dream but won’t actually get you anywhere.

Lecco wall system £1,1995, BoConcept

This is a pretty little thing, perfect for a small selection of books, perhaps in a guest bedroom. I like that it’s quite country, but the rivets give it a bit of a utilitarian touch:

Attache bookcase £748, Anthropologie

Regular readers will know I love the industrial look. Genuine vintage items cost a packet, but this high street shelving unit is a pretty good bargain (I know it doesn’t have lots of books on it in the picture, but you can use your imagination, right?):

Ladbrook shelving unit £599, Marks & Spencer

I love ladder shelving generally, and this is a great idea for a hallway or a small room where you don’t want a more substantial structure taking up too much space (ooh, and look – yarn!):

Wooden ladder shelf £225, Cox & Cox

But then again, I’d also be quite happy with my books piled up around a comfy armchair like this:

Stranmon wing chair £175, Ikea

So, which do you like best? Or do you think bookshelves or books in general make a room look messy?