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Come take a peek if you need to breathe some colour and creativity into your home. Let me help you create rooms that you love and that really reflects who you are through my award-nominated blog or working with me one-to-one through Room Service. I adore photography and all images here have been taken by me. Keep in touch so you don’t miss a thing…

Creating a home you love along with other interiors lovers!

Creating a home you love along with other interiors lovers!

Well, what a week that’s flown by! A lot of exciting things going on in the midst of launching my first workshop. It’s nice to have a quiet Monday morning to reflect and take stock as well as edit the photos from last Thursday night (but note to self get a photographer next time!) As the year draws to a close I always get quite reflective and this year it feels like it’s gonna end on a high with exciting business developments, finally seeing the end in sight with the kitchen and the most important part, gearing up to spend quality time with family over the Christmas holidays. But immediately I am really grateful that I finally led my first interiors workshop…

How did it all come about?

There is a short and a long answer so brace yourselves for the long one... Well, in a previous life, before kids, for about 10 years I used to facilitate dance workshops for all ages in many different settings across London. It was really diverse. One day I’d be in an Age Concern Day centre doing seated creative exercises with some lovely over-60s, the next I’d be on a housing estate in Catford working with youth for Trinity Laban and the next in the beautiful Royal Academy of Dance building in Battersea managing community dance projects. I adored this job and had a strong conviction and passion to empower people through creativity, in these circumstances through dance and creative movement. However after my two sons were born there was a shift in my mindset and I knew that something else required my energy and time. It took well over a year to birth my interiors blog and business which came to me in a lightbulb moment after months of searching and reflecting.

I’d been thinking about inteirors workshops for over a year now as they seemed the perfect and natural progression for Skirting Boards and Chandeliers but for some reason I’ve been procrastinating. I’m not sure why, but it was one aspect of my business that I struggled to find time to plan. Enter Helen. The brains and heart behind the amazing local 30,000-strong Facebook group Mummy’s Gin Fund who was rallying her troops for #Knowvember. On a mission to end parental lonliness Helen was setting up a range of local events and workshops to connect parents in SE London with their mutal interests to encourage each other and nurture new friendships. Of course I was in. This is something I really beliveve in! So I was thrown in at the deep end and only had a few weeks to plan and promote the workshop. This was just what I needed! And by a stroke of complete coincidence the cafe where I ran my workshop last week was the exact location that 2 years previously (almost to the date) was where I sat listening to Start Your Own Business workshop by Successful Mums and made some very good friends that I still hang out with to this day. #Knowember works Helen!

The prep

I can honestly say that I’ve enjoyed every moment of planning this event. From devising the content to getting creative with the decoration of the space and even contacting my favourite brands and businesses to contribute to the goodie bags. It’s been a really fun and rewarding set of collaborations and in some ways it’s another satisfying synchronicity that I’ve always love planning parties and events (and love making the kids party bags) so running events suits me well I think.

Donna FordOct2018-1.jpg

The big question - how did it go?

As someone who used to mentor other performing arts practitioners, I am a highly analytical person so it flows naturally to reflect and pick apart every moment of the event to reflect on the successes and areas for development. People keep asking me if I was nervous beforehand which I wasn’t due to my workshop experience but I was definitely apprehensive about the content as I was trying to provide a new perspective on decorating and interiors that although I’ve written about it, have never shared in this practical way before. When I look back I am so overjoyed that every single participant responded and connected with each other through both the creative and more technical discussions. Everyone loved chatting away, appreciated the goody bag and left with smiles on their faces and asking “When is the next one” which I guess that answers my question about how it went…

And I am grateful and happy that it was a hit (if completely exhausted from the adrenaline!) and genuinely enjoyed welcoming people into a safe, warm environment, taking a risk with the content and exploratory tasks. We discussed our favourite landscapes and colours, chatted a lot about lighting as well as where our colour preferences came from. I also shared tips that I believe work for any room and am so chuffed that one participant has already shared pictures of how’s she’s putting some ideas into action. Others said that they couldn’t sleep they had so many ideas floating around in their head which was exactly my goal for the evening!

What’s next?

Well, without a doubt there will be more workshops. As much as I love my blog there is nothing that beats meeting and chatting with other interiors-lovers in real life and in this situation where people are keen to take action, there is much more of a motivation when journeying and learning with other people. Over the next few weeks I’ll get my little busy head down to devise some new content and activities that I think will empower you to make easy, creative and colourful decisions for your home so that it can be a place that brings you joy every day. If you think you might want to be part of it then add you email to the list so you get to buy tickets as soon as they come out in 2019. You can also add a range of any topics you’d like me to cover. I simply cannot wait!

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All that’s left is a few thank yous. A massive thanks to Helen at Mummy’s Gin Fund for having faith in me and getting me involved in #Knowvember. For Maritza at Home and Kids in Blackheath for providing a fantastic venue and for being so helpful in facilitating my crazy whims (and offering discount in her shop on the night). A very warm and colourful thank-you to Claire Oliver Floristry for providing some really beautiful artisan flower arrangements to my specifications and trying out my unconventional ideas.

claire oliver floristry workshop prep

And finally I’m grateful to Hazel Nicholls and Farrow & Ball in Blackheath for providing a generous goody bag (I’ve got some brilliant brands lined up for the next one!)

Yours in colour and creativity,

Donna x.jpg

Disclaimer: As always all photography by myself. But next time I need a photographer to help me out! Let me know if you know anyone suitable who could come and take a few snaps for me and enjoy the session at the same time…

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