Clean lines, a simple palette and Scandinavian influences make Cate St Hill one of our favourite online destinations for a little pared-back style inspiration! We chat to architecture journalist and interior blogger Cate about where her passion for grey, contemporary schemes and simple Scandic style began…
Q: Tell us a little bit about Cate St Hill:
A: I’m a home interiors blogger and architecture and design journalist living in Bloomsbury, London. I believe good design should be accessible to everyone and that instead of constantly buying into new trends, we should concentrate on how a space feels. I’m drawn to contemporary spaces that adapt and evolve with the user, whether it’s through a connection to nature, classic furniture designs that stand the test of time or those hard-to-quantify factors that make a house a home. On my blog you'll find inspiration for light, relaxed Scandi interiors – simple, clever design that uplifts the everyday and tips for a healthier, happier home.
Q: What made you decide to begin Cate St Hill?
A: I first started the blog in 2011 as an outlet for all things design – it was my personal moodboard way before the likes of Pinterest, and a place to share all the things that inspire me. As I ventured into a career in journalism, it was a place all of my own where I could write about whatever I wanted without anyone telling me what to do!
Q: Have your tastes and styles changed since you began your blog?
A: They’ve changed quite a lot, I feel like I have grown-up a bit in that time and so has my blog. I used to like quite feminine, pretty spaces, but now I have a more refined, minimal style, that references the Scandinavian’s use of muted colours, clean lines and white walls. Although I would say I’m not quite a minimalist, I’m still a bit of a magpie for vintage pieces and classic Mid Century designs that are completely timeless. My favourite interiors are those that mix old and new furniture to show a little bit of personality.
Q: Where do you look for inspiration for creating blog posts?
A: Although I’m a bit wary of trends and fads, I do like to look on Pinterest or in interior magazines to see what types of interiors people are sharing and liking. Otherwise, it’s nice to get out and about, especially to design and interiors shows such as London Design Festival, Clerkenwell Design Week and Stockholm Furniture Fair to see what brands are doing and if there are any new designers to take note of.
Q: Have you ever had any interior design disasters?
A: Not too many, I painted one wall in my bedroom once a red wine colour, I would never do that now! I’m much too attached to white or light grey walls that make a space look lighter and bigger. I’m not very experimental when it comes to my own home to be honest, I’m a bit of a colourphobe and prefer to let the furniture and accessories do the talking.
Q: Can you describe your own home?
A: My home is a two-bedroom flat in a 1930s block in between Bloomsbury and King’s Cross. It’s south-facing and the spaces are very light and bright. I’ve tried to make it quite a calm, relaxing space, where things don’t shout against each other. I’d say the influences are both Scandinavian and French, so I have contemporary furniture (Eames chair, String shelving, a white tulip table for example) and lots of grey (my favourite colour) mixed with unusual vintage bits and pieces picked up from antique fairs and travels, for example there’s an old French road sign in the kitchen and a rusty letter ‘S’ in the bedroom.
Q: Is your interior style mirrored in other areas of your life?
A: Yes, in a way. I’m quite a shy person, so I think that reflects in my love of calm, light spaces, instead of bright colours and garish designs. I’ve also started giving interior design advice, after numerous requests from friends, family and blog readers looking for a similar style or help with a decoration project. Obviously each client is different, but I do share with them my passion for light, relaxed, Scandi-inspired interiors as seen on the blog. For me, it’s all about the experience of a space – I want to create places that make people feel good and ultimately feel at home – those little clever design features that elevate the everyday.
Q: Can you give us your top five home styling tips?
- Don’t be afraid to show your personality, it’s your own home after all, if you like bold bright colours go for it, if not use artwork and accessories to bring a space to life.
- Mix old and new items to create a harmonious, homely space that doesn’t look like it’s straight out of a catalogue.
- Add lots of plants and greenery to a home to bring a breath of fresh air and vitality.
- Homes are constantly evolving spaces - switch things around or rearrange shelves every now and then to keep things fresh and give yourself a new perspective.
- Make a space cosy and homely with lots of textures, blankets on the sofa, cushions on the dining chairs, or soft rugs underfoot.
Q: Which of the Houseology looks are you and why?
A: I think it would have to be Urban for the cool simplicity of Scandinavian design. I love a minimalist palette and mixing iconic designs, Mid Century classics and lots of different textures such as rough concrete, pale timber and brass accessories.