Q&A with Stacey Sheppard of The Design Sheppard
In our latest interview, we talk to award-winning blogger Stacey Sheppard, founder of The Design Sheppard, about her love for industrial interior design, forging a successful career in the blogosphere and what her next career move might just be.
Thank you so much for taking the time to chat to us Stacey. You run the award-winning blog, The Design Sheppard – can you tell us a little about the history of your blog?
I started the blog back in October 2009, which means I am just about to celebrate a decade of writing The Design Sheppard. At the time, I had just been made redundant from my job as staff writer at a kitchen and bathroom trade publication. I got another job straight away as Associate Editor for a large publishing company but I was no longer working on magazines about interiors. At this point, I had never even heard of a blog, but one of the girls on my team was writing a fashion blog. I realised then that starting an interiors blog would allow me to keep my hand in the industry and to maintain my profile while I worked out how to get back into an editorial role in the interiors industry. Turns out I didn’t really need to.
What was your career path prior to running The Design Sheppard full time?
Until January this year, I’ve always run The Design Sheppard as a side hustle whilst working either full-time or part-time for someone else. This was a very conscious decision. My blog is my passion and my hobby. If I ever have free time, which isn’t often, that’s where you will find me, working on new content. So I’ve always been really wary of monetising it and for years and years, rightly or wrongly, I refused to do so. I was scared that if my blog became a full-time job, the pressure of having to make money from it would make me lose the love for it.
But in January, I decided that it was time to really make a go of it. I realised that it is my blog and what I write about is my decision, nobody else’s. So really there is no reason why I should fall out of love with this little corner of the internet. And I’m happy to report, so far so good!
How would you describe your own personal interior style?
This is my most dreaded question as I’m not entirely sure I have it all figured out yet. I don’t think I have a distinctive style. I love industrial interiors and the dream would probably be to live in a converted warehouse or loft. But I also like the simplicity and minimalism of Scandinavian design. And more and more I’m coming round to maximalism. For me it totally depends on the room, how I want it to feel and what it is used for. And doing what I do, my tastes are constantly evolving.
You often talk about your love for industrial interior design – is there anywhere in particular that you’ve visited or stayed in which captures this style perfectly?
Earlier this year, I was invited on a press trip to visit a Cork Oak forest in Portugal and whilst there we stayed in a great little hotel in Lisbon called 1908 Lisboa Hotel. It is in a beautiful old building, and the style inside was very industrial and just very cool. It’s definitely on my list of places to go back to.
Which is your favourite room in your house at the moment?
I think I’m going to have to say my bedroom although I’m not entirely satisfied with it yet. We are making some small changes this week and once those are done, it will be so much better.
Basically we don’t have a spare room or anywhere else to use as an office, so the computer is in the bedroom and I absolutely hate it. I’m a big believer in not having technology in the bedroom and having a computer desk taking up one whole side of the room is just a constant reminder that I should be working.
So we are transforming our built-in cupboard into a desk space. The computer will go in there and we will be able to shut the doors on it of an evening. I’m pretty sure this will transform the way we feel about the bedroom and I’m looking forward to it becoming more of a cosy sanctuary where we can chill out and relax.
And what’s on your “to-change” list?
I think it would be easier to tell you what isn’t on the list. I have so many changes I want to make. But these are the major ones…
- New flooring throughout
- New doors throughout
- New kitchen
- Built-in storage in the hallway
- Loft conversion
Describe a typical day as an award-winning interior design blogger?
Well, obviously I carry my award around with me everywhere I go! No just kidding. I’m usually woken up at the crack of dawn by my two little girls (3&5 years old) and then it’s a frantic rush to get everything ready for the school run. But once they have been dropped off, I come home, have a coffee and set myself up for the day of work ahead (whilst trying to ignore the housework that needs doing).
Work usually involves a lot of emails, a lot of time on social media, working on blog posts for my own blog, writing articles for the magazines I contribute to, responding to interview questions like these, never-ending research, and more recently pitching ideas to the brands that I would like to work with.
It is such a varied job, no two days are ever the same, and although I work from home, I have a great support network online. The interiors community is such a kind and supportive place full of genuinely lovely people.
What’s next for you and the blog?
Well, between you and I, I have some very exciting plans underway. For years now, probably as long as I’ve been writing the blog, I’ve been obsessed with co-working spaces. Another reason for not taking my blog fulltime was the fear of isolation created by working from home. I’m a people person and I am most creative when I am able to surround myself with like-minded people. I wanted to set up my own co-working space for a long time now and I think it’s probably time to put that desire into action. So watch this space!
Finally, which is your favourite piece from our new collection?
My favourite piece is probably the Rustic Rebar Coffee Table. I love how chunky it is and the parquetry effect top is just stunning.You can discover more from Stacey over on The Design Sheppard, and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest right here.