From travel to recipes with a healthy dose of interior style, Oyster and Pearl is the brainchild of freelance writer, Lottie Storey - we grabbed 10 minutes with the lady herself to chat about her blog beginnings and interior tips!
Q: Tell us a little bit about Oyster & Pearl:
A: Oyster & Pearl is a food, travel, interiors and lifestyle blog that documents the twists and turns of my life in Bristol. I work as a freelance writer for magazines and websites, most of which have a style or interiors slant, so I’m lucky to be able to combine my interests with earning a living.
Q: What made you decide to begin Oyster & Pearl?
A: I started blogging in 2005 but back then things were all a little clunky! It was really just as an outlet for my writing. Then I dipped a toe into the world of food blogging in 2010. Oyster & Pearl began in its current format back in 2012 when I wanted to develop and expand the blog to incorporate everything I was interested in. The whole process was deeply frustrating as I couldn’t make the blog look the way I wanted it to and so, I learnt how to do a bit of basic design and coding, and here we are today!
Q: Have your tastes and styles changed since you began your blog?
A: When I started writing a blog back in 2005, I was still in my twenties, now I’m approaching my forties, so things have changed a lot! Internet use has increased so much since the early days and there is so much more inspiration out there to enjoy. I’m more interested in interiors than I’ve ever been and have been influenced by trends and ideas along the way, all of which have combined to create my personal style. Plus I’ve honed my photography skills massively since then, again because I wanted the blog to look exactly how it was in my mind. In terms of my home, I used to love bright colour everywhere, including on the walls, but now I keep it to accent pieces. I’ve learned to love neutrals!
Q: Where do you look for inspiration for creating blog posts?
A: Travel is hugely inspiring to me. Not necessarily foreign travel, although that is one of my interests, but also just heading to a new town or city. Taking pictures with my DSLR camera or iPhone for reference as well as for Instagram or the blog, I try to look up and drink in new experiences and these often end up being a source of inspiration. At the other end of the spectrum, I’m fascinated by the old: nostalgia, childhood, ritual and tradition are major sources of fascination to me. Plus, of course, I’m inspired by magazines, films, art, fashion and literature.
Q: Have you ever had any interior design disasters?
A: So many! I think I am a victim of too many episodes of Changing Rooms in the nineties, as I’m convinced anything can be achieved in 30 minutes. That leads to me starting projects without properly thinking them through. One example would be trying to paint the kitchen doors while my baby was napping! It didn’t end well.
Q: Can you describe your own home?
A: My home is modern and bright. We’re a blended family, so when all the kids are here we number seven! It’s important to create a warm and comfortable family home but with enough room for everyone to have a space of their own – a bit of a challenge in the centre of Bristol. In terms of the look of our home, I like to combine Mid Century design with antique, monochrome and bright colours and I love texture. My favourite pieces are those that tell a story – there’s nothing I like more than pottering about in a junk shop finding treasure. But my home never feels finished so I’m constantly faffing around, rearranging things.
Q: Is your interior style mirrored in other areas of your life?
A: I think so. The colours I love to use in my home are the same colours in my wardrobe. Again, a mix of old and new to creative a unique, playful look. I’m fussy about materials and quality and like things with personality.
Q: Can you give us your top five home styling tips?
- Work with what you’ve got. After living in period properties my whole life, I’ve recently moved to a modern house. Rather than trying to cram in pieces that just won’t work, I’ve tried to think of how to complement the architecture. Its positives – big white walls, giant windows, parquet flooring – work well with Scandinavian styling: modern furniture, huge plants, and carefully chosen artwork.
- Use what you already have - creatively! One of my bugbears is being told how to use something! My kitchenalia collection was growing out of control so I’ve repurposed some of the jars and dishes to work in the bathroom instead.
- Live with your surroundings for a bit before decorating so you get a really good feel for the space, the light, and how people use the rooms.
- I don’t believe there’s any such thing as a finished home. Even – especially! – when you think it’s complete, keep going. Often ideas will pop out of nowhere to encourage you to try something different.
- Don’t be discouraged! Even when you think everything through and plan to the best of your ability, things can turn out a little different to the picture you have in your mind. It’s frustrating but you will learn from it and can you often end up with a more creative solution.
Q: Which of the Houseology looks are you and why?
A: Definitely Urban, as I just can’t resist the Scandinavian look, the Mid Century style and classic design.