"I never thought at that time that my little hobby would turn into a full time career but happily, it has!"
Filled with bold and eclectic design, before and after makeovers and plenty of interior inspiration, Swoon Worthy is a dynamic interior blog and the brainchild of Kimberly Duran. We find out more about her unique sense of style...
Tell us a little bit about Swoon Worthy:
Swoon Worthy essentially catalogues the work done to our 100+ year old Edwardian Home which we purchased in June 2010. Since then, it has grown to one of the UK’s leading interior design blogs - a place where readers gain inspiration and tips for achieving a beautiful home on a budget from an experienced interior design and DIY enthusiast.
What made you decide to begin Swoon Worthy?
I started my blog in July 2010, just after Wayne and I purchased a three bedroom Edwardian semi on the outskirts of Manchester. We had just moved into our home the month before and I really wanted to catalogue all the changes we were making to the house. Wayne is a dab hand at DIY and I’ve always loved interiors so we were eager to start putting our own stamp on the house. I had been a fan of interior design blogs for a while and I really wanted to have a go myself - I never thought at that time that my little hobby would turn into a full time career but happily, it has!
Have your tastes and styles changed since you began your blog?
In some respects, yes. There are certain elements I have always loved – things like velvet tufted furniture, glamorous finishes and layering patterns and textures, but as work progressed on the house, my style became more clarified. I began to gain a better understanding of the difference between what I was drawn to because it was a trend and those things I really loved that were classics in my eyes. As much as I love to incorporate current trends into my designs, I also feel it’s important to stay true to my own style and to decorate my home with the things that really make my heart sing. I love mixing different eras in my home – from Art Deco to Hollywood Regency, there’s a touch of Mid Century modern and a little bit of 70s influence too. It’s a real mix, but I've realised that these are the things I love so I try to incorporate elements of everything whilst still creating a cohesive look. It’s challenging but my approach definitely creates something truly unique.
Where do you look for inspiration when creating blog posts?
Much of it has come from the house itself. Despite the fact that we’ve been working on it for the last six years, I nearly always have a running list in my head of things that can be done to make it work better for where we are in our lives at that moment. So a spare room might turn into an office, or a dark dining room may need to be lightened up. The house is constantly adapting and changing to our current requirements so it’s really a never-ending project which I’m totally okay with! Of course, I also like to read other blogs, to see what it is that people want to discuss or read about. I like to tailor my posts based upon what is sparking my interest at that time or if I’ve been asked questions from my readers about a particular subject - there are always a million ideas in my head for posts!
Have you had any interior design disasters of your own?
I wouldn’t call them ‘disasters’ but there are always obstacles that seem difficult to overcome at the time but we always find a way around them. For instance, just recently we decided to finally replace the worktops in our kitchen and I found a beautiful acrylic worktop that I fell in love with. However, trying to find a trustworthy tradesman to install them has been a real challenge and we’ve had one go AWOL on us which was incredibly frustrating. Happily, we’ve decided to tackle that particular project ourselves now despite the fact we’ve never fitted a worktop before - wish us luck with that one!
Can you describe your own home?
Well I like to describe my style as “Eclectic Boho Glam” and my own home is certainly a reflection of that style. I love using vintage pieces from various eras alongside some more contemporary pieces and I adore using gold and brass which is carried over to every room. It is a real mix – bold colours, pattern mixing, touchable textures, animal print, eclecticism – there are commonalities in every room but each room has its own individual look too which I love.
Can you give us your top 5 interior design tips?
1. Go eclectic: Nothing dates a room faster than everything being of the same era so contrast styles within a space for timeless appeal.
2. Take advantage of the light: Maximise whatever natural light you have in a space by hanging your curtains high and wide so that they can be pulled back to let the light shine in.
3. Bring in art: Art can transform a space so easily. Lately, I’ve been loving really large pieces that command attention. Consider tying your existing colour scheme to the pieces you choose or contrast the styles completely for a bit of tension in your space. Whatever you do, only buy pieces you feel some kind of an emotional connection to.
4. Don’t be afraid of colour: I’m a colour lover but even in a neutrally decorated space, having tones in varying saturations is the best thing you can do for a layered, more interesting look.
5. Go for gold: Warm metallics reflect light, add warmth to a space and create glamour. Stick with brushed or antique finishes for a more timeless look. Small touches go a long way so edit carefully for a sophisticated scheme and don’t be afraid to mix it with other metals too.
What advice would you give to someone looking to begin their own blog?
I know it’s a cliché but it’s one for good reason - you have to be true to yourself. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery but it will get you nowhere in this very competitive and saturated market. It’s so important to really stand out as an individual and to offer something different.
Which is your favourite Houseology brand and why?
That’s a difficult one but I’m going to say Tom Dixon. His pieces are always so beautifully contemporary but because he uses classic materials like glass, marble and metals, they mix wonderfully with vintage pieces. His work also has a certain fluidity with gorgeous curves and angles without being at all fussy. They are like small pieces of art and would give any room a real glamorous edge.