I feel so honored to be judging The Decorex Loves Bloggers competition along with the lovely Holly Becker, founder and editor of decor8blog.com and Ellie Tennant; one of the UK’s leading interior bloggers. This is an exhibition that I have been visiting for years and so to be a part of it is incredible.
Over the last month Decorex has showcased some of the best blogging talent out there, some truely amazing sites bursting with style and originality. The voting process meant that a winner was announced at the end of each week and after some tough decisions, Decorex have announced their five finalists. They will all be competing for the ultimate prize; A trip to New York to attend and report on New York Design Festival in March of 2012 as part of Blogtour2012 (organized by Modenus.com in partnership with The Architectural Digest Home Design Show and MyDeco.com) and to be the the official blogger for Decorex 2011. Good luck everyone!
Below is little bit about our 5 extremely talented finalists, as seen on the Decorex Loves Bloggers site:
Andrew Dunning – APD Interiors blog – Week 1 winner
After years working in the corporate world, Andrew Dunning left the City to follow his true passion of Design, so he retrained in interior design and launched APD Interiors in 2004. The brand was launched with one aim: to allow people to have their dream home for an affordable price as Andrew firmly believes that good design doesn’t have to be expensive.
Since then the business has gone from strength to strength, Andrew has been featured in the Evening Standard, he writes a regular column for the CityAM newsletter, and he contributes to the Rightmove.com blog. In addition APD Interiors also has its own blog providing regular interior design tips and ideas and Andrew provide daily twitter tips to his 5,000 followers.
Keeping an eye on comfort and practicality, while combining contemporary and traditional forms in projects, has seen APD Interiors win numerous commissions and praise from their clients. APD Interiors provides a design and build service to all its clients, aiming to take away all the headaches as they guide them from the design through planning to delivery.
Current projects include a full house refurbishment in Islington, an extension to a Grade II listed house in Chelsea and a budget bathroom in Crouch End. Each project offers different challenges but the objective remains to deliver cost effective design and build to all their clients.
Ana Aguilar – Let’s Blog Design – Week 2 winner
“My passion for interiors started very early growing up in Lisbon. I never considered turning it into a career until 2008 while studying Interior Design & Decorating at Inchbald, the prestigious school of Design in London.
At the end of 2010 I established my own practice aguilar interiors. I believe that a combination of creativity, negotiation and sourcing ability (furniture, textiles and art from Portugal & Asia) appeals to my clients. Extensive travel and exposure to a variety of cultures has given me an appreciation and understanding for different styles which I translate into my designs.
My biggest challenge has been establishing a presence in the design industry against a backdrop of economic downturn. Although taking the plunge was one of my best decisions, I’ve heard it said: “When you do for a living what you love, you will never work again”. At the moment I would say I live and breathe design and the passion I carry in my DNA fuels my writing and work.
I have been described as sophisticated yet down to earth; I’m told clients, craftsmen and design professionals find me easy to work with and the blogs I write have a substantial readership. I love designing interiors with an abundance of texture that create visual interest. Mine are balanced harmonious spaces that are practical, beautiful and timeless. I look forward to a stimulating and prosperous career while creating many happy homes.”
Carole King – Dear Designer’s blog – Week 3 winner
Carole King has had a varied career. Her first ever job was in a publishing house in Fleet Street. Being a small company she got to try her hand at a lot of tasks, including selling advertising, page layout and accounting. Several years later, following a very sociable position in the Client Services department of a renowned advertising agency, and a few years in finance, she decided to take the plunge and study interior decoration.
The course at KLC School of Design opened her eyes to a whole new world of interiors and design but despite working for two very inspiring designers, including the infamous John Stefanidis, she couldn’t quite make the break from the corporate world. She started Dear Designer’s Blog as a way to release her pent up creativity and yet another world beckoned.
She is now working on the launch of the UK’s first digital interiors magazine, Heart Home magazine, with fellow bloggers, Arianna Trapani from Arianna Interiors and Daniel Nelson from Atelier Tally. Launching in September just before Decorex and The London Design Festival it will be showcasing the best of British design and homes. A typical day now includes selling advertising space, page layouts and accounting, but much more importantly uses all of her design skills too.
Jane Price Stephens – A Design for Life – Week 4 winner
Jane Price-Stephens is an award winning interior designer based in London – Jane works on a range of residential and commercial projects including private clients, property developers, bars, gyms, restaurants, retail outlets and the odd super yacht.
The turning point in Jane’s career was when she read Paulo Coelho’s tale about following your dreams, The Alchemist. She promptly left her job in the City as a media strategist and embarked upon the journey to become a top designer. She graduated from KLC School of Design as ‘Top Interior Design Student’ and has been featured in several magazines, including IDFX. After working for David Collins, Honky and Richard Spark she established her own design practice in South West London.
Highlights of her career in design to date have been graduating from KLC as ‘Top Interior Design Student’, installation of the award-winning penthouse at Gunwharf Quays and the current project that she is working on. A final highlight has been going back to teach at KLC when she has the time – for her, it means that she can continue to contribute to the growth and development of the industry…
As an outlet for her passion for design she also has her blog that provides a brief insight into some of the things that she loves and introduces some relatively simple ideas for improving your home. She hopes it will inspire people to take an interest in interior design…
Bianca Noordhuizen – North House Design– Week 5 winner
“I have recently set up my own interior design firm in London: North House Design Ltd. Before moving to London, I worked in the Netherlands for a big multinational, where I used to scout for innovations around the world. I used to give presentations to aspiring entrepreneurs on business plans and always knew I wanted to start for myself one day.
When I came to London I thought it was time to start practicing what I was preaching. Initially thinking to set up a design label, I took some creative interior design courses and fell in love with the design side of things, so I changed my plan. I am now an interior designer in the making and recently started working on my first real project, which is very exciting.
?With a thing for design and innovation, the best part of working in this industry is visiting exhibitions and meeting new designers and exploring new products. I started a blog to share all the wonderful things I come across and all that inspires me. Blogging is a great means for the energetic and curious minded like myself, to get your thoughts out there. I love to give exposure to designers with a creative innovative approach or product and am often surprised by the positive interaction that follows as a result. I also occasionally share my own work and let readers join the experience of my journey to breaking into the interior design industry.
There are already so many great designers out there, and it’s a real challenge to stand out. But I’m very determined to do so and one day becoming the next Candy & Candy. My outlook on life is to enjoy and make the most of everything I do, and to hopefully inspire some people along the way.”