I’ve been blogging for about seven years now and in that time I have met some absolutely amazing bloggers, many of whom I now consider to be friends. What I love most about the interiors blogging scene is how friendly and supportive everyone is. I am inspired on a daily basis by how wonderfully talented my fellow bloggers are and how well they are all doing. Many have become published authors with book deals, some have gone on to launch e-learning courses, some have founded their own print publications, some have opened their own online shops and some have gotten into TV presenting. How impressive is that? Today, I want to tell you about one of my favourite bloggers who I really admire and look up to. Her blog has won a number of awards and it’s not surprising as her wit and humour make reading her blog a sheer joy. An established journalist, she has been writing about property, interiors and design in national newspapers such as The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph, and magazines including Red, She, and Living Etc for more than 15 years, so she really knows her stuff! She recently published a book called Shades of Grey (not that one you filthy lot!) and she has now launched her own capsule collection for Made.com. There is no stopping this woman. Do you know who it is yet? I bet you do! Yes, you’re right, it’s none other that THE Kate Watson-Smyth of Mad About The House and she is here to tell you all about her new collection.
How did the idea for a collaboration with Made.com come about?
It was one of those moments when I saw they were collaborating with interiors magazines – Living etc and Elle Decoration and I fired off an email to the press office saying: “Have you thought of collaborating with a blogger – I have lots of ideas.”
Much to my surprise they invited me in for a chat with Ruth Wasserman, the creative director, who thought my ideas were really commercial and agreed to put together this capsule collection.
Have you ever done anything like this before?
Blagged my way into places I shouldn’t be? I’m a journalist so yes! Worked on a range of furniture? No!
How did the collaboration actually work?
I left my ideas with Ruth and we fleshed them out over a few emails. Then I sent over a Pinterest board with ideas for fabric and patterns etc. Then the design studio started working on prototypes and sending me pictures and we worked on tweaks together. Sometimes things couldn’t be changed and sometimes we agreed that an alteration would be a good idea. It was a two-way process and very collaborative.
Can you describe your collection for us?
It’s a bit Saturday afternoon Sunday morning. That time when you might hopefully (small children notwithstanding) have a few moments to yourself for a cup of coffee or glass of wine and to read the papers, or do a little light laptopping – either business or pleasure.
For that reason I wanted it to be both luxurious and practical If you have to work at the weekend then you should, at least, be comfortable. The table is large enough to hold a laptop computer and the directional lamp acts as a task light but the gold interior gives a soft glow and means it has a more ambient effect too.
Where did you get the inspiration for your collection?
I don’t know! I just sort of knew how I wanted it to be and it went from there.
How many designs did you actually come up with and were there any that didn’t make the cut?
The only thing that didn’t make it was a wall light which was apparently too technically difficult to produce but perhaps I can modify it for the future – it was a pretty cool light.
Which piece from the collection is your favourite and why?
Hard to say – I love the table because I came up with the idea and the pattern on the cushions but I also love the chair (for which I did nothing except specify fabric and colour) because it’s comfortable and small so it will fit into smaller spaces making it quite a practical choice.
Do you have any plans to get more involved with the product design side of things?
I would love to…..
Any exciting plans for 2017?
I have a couple of ideas bubbling under that I can’t quite talk about yet…. Watch this space as ever…..
So what do you guys think of Kate’s capsule collection? I’m a big fan. I love the inky midnight blues and the use of luxurious fabrics like velvet. Kate obviously saw those trends coming before the rest of us! I think that table with integrated brass lamp is my favourite piece, it’s just so chic but also practical, which is a winning combination in my book every time.