As I’ve explained before I’m not generally a big fan of Instagram, but I do love how it can help you find and connect with some really inspirational people. And it was on Instagram that I was first introduced to Alison Gibb. I posted a photo of myself and my husband at the Vuelio Blog Awards in November and Alison commented that she was also there but sadly we didn’t get a chance to meet. We got chatting on Insta and I discovered that she’s an interiors writer and stylist and she also writes a blog called The Great Scottish Indoors. As I started to read through her latest posts I spotted one that talked about her recent launch of the Interior Design Toolkit. The more I read, the more I wanted to know. So there was only one thing for it…interview time!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your background and what you do for a living?
I met my husband, Douglas Gibb, at Glasgow School of Art where he studied photography and I studied painting. I trained as an art teacher, but when we had children, he had become well established as an interiors photographer and I left teaching and started working as his assistant, answering the phone and emails and styling on shoots. I really enjoy it and remembered that as a child and a teenager I had always wanted to be an interior designer. I write a blog as well as producing features for magazines it is called the Great Scottish Indoors and is record of our life and work together.
How do you find the properties that you shoot and write about?
I love going to country fairs and craft fairs, the exhibitors are always really interesting and often have beautiful homes. It is very satisfying being able to write about people for glossy magazines and newspapers to help raise their profile.
Is there one particular home that really stood out for you and if so why?
Any home that I write about where there is a personal connection is special of course, but one home in particularly, belonging to a Swedish neighbour, called Anna Baltzer, really stands out for me, it is a modest semi that she has transformed by being really inventive and creative on a tight budget.
Can you describe your own personal style when it comes to interiors?
Yes, certainly, I live by the sea and I have been thoroughly educated by my husbands family, his father is an architect, trained in modernism, to love contemporary design so my style is coastal/contemporary, with a rustic edge: I do not like smooth shiny surfaces!
You recently launched the interior design took kit. What is it exactly?
It is a way of discovering your personal style. Once you have completed the process, you can use the image cards that you have favoured, to start a mood board to get your home looking exactly as you want it to look.
How did you come up with this idea?
Douglas goes and looks at several properties, every week, to search for homes suitable for interiors magazines. Most are lovely but simply not quite ready.
Those that are, we notice that the owner has decided on a style and really committed to it, allowing him or her to actually complete and resolve their interior. We realised that if you do not know your style, you cannot really ever ‘complete’ your home.
Who is it aimed at and who will it be useful for?
Anyone who wants to resolve their interior and take their home to another level. You might dream of appearing in an interiors magazine or simply want to wow your friends and neighbours!
What advice would you give people with regards to finding their own personal style?
Buy the Interior Design Toolkit and use it!
What are the biggest challenges that people face when it comes to working out their personal style for their home?
Apart from not having had the opportunity to use the Interior Design Toolkit I think the biggest obstacle to discovering your personal style is lack of honesty – I think we all pretend to be something we are not at times in our lives, or feel we ‘should’ paint our homes really dark because our friends are or ALL WHITE, when really we want to be much cosier than that… Truly stylish people are honest about who they are and what they like.
So there you have it guys. If you have always struggled to find your own personal style when it comes to your home, perhaps you should give the Interior Design Toolkit a go. I have just received one in the post myself and I’m super excited to try it out and see what it can tell me.