Lisa Dawson has taken the interior Instagram world by a storm! Blogger, writer, interior workshop presenter, brand advisor for social media, wife, mother of three and continually finding the time to renovate and update her amazing home ... Lisa never ceases to amaze us with her creative spirit and go-for-it attitude! Living in York with her family, we love perusing Lisa's amazing Instagram account on a daily basis where she posts out of this world interior inspiration, documents her home renovations and posts brilliant captions about her day-to-day life.
Awarded Best Newcomer at the EKBB Influencer Awards, shortlisted for the Amara Interior Blog Awards and listed in the September issue of Marie Claire in the Top 30 Power List 2017 - Lisa has had a huge year! With so much going on for Lisa we were thrilled when she agreed to take 10 Mins Out of her day to tell us all about her work, her home and her favourite RSG pieces...
Picture wall goals! Photo Credit: @_lisa_dawson_
1.Let’s start at the very beginning. Tell us about yourself?
I’m an interior blogger, writer and workshop presenter and I live in York with my husband, Joe, three children, Ella, Max and Leo, Buddy the Lhasa Apso and Molly the kitten. I work full time on my blog plus I also work with brands to create social media content. I run interior styling and Instagram workshops with my business partner, Dee Campling, across the UK and this year we are expanding these to work directly with companies to produce tailored workshops for their clients. It’s busy but I love it!
2. You’ve had an interesting and varied career working for Topshop, in an Estate Agency and more. What inspired you to make a career move into the interiors world?
I’ve always loved interiors and have always had a creative sideline going on alongside my ‘real’ job, whether it was a shop on NOTHS selling shopping bags or a vintage store on Etsy. My style had always been a little quirky and I never really found anyone else who shared my love of interiors! Two years ago in January 2016, I started posting pictures of my home in York on Instagram. We’d moved from Caversham and I was decorating the rooms one by one. I’d always used Instagram for photos of my kids and food, but I started styling room shots and added these to my feed with hashtags, and from then on it, all went a bit mad! In June of that year, I was receiving so many questions about how I was styling my home and where I shopped that I decided to start writing a weekly blog and launched a website. What I love most about my new career is that everyone in this industry is as obsessed as I am! It’s amazing.
We love the luscious blue velvet sofa in Lisa's living room! Photo Credit: @_lisa_dawson_
3. Alongside the brilliant Dee Campling you present interior workshops around the UK. What do you love most about presenting your own interior workshops?
In November 2016, Dee and I realised that there was a gap in the market for interior workshops that focused on finding your OWN style and not being influenced by friends or trends. We decided to launch our own in January 2017 which immediately took off and by the Summer we had launched workshops talking about building your account and brand on Instagram, a subject that proved popular! What we love most about presenting our workshops is that we get to meet so many amazing, interior obsessed people who love styling their homes as much as we do. There’s a real community that has built from our list of past attendees, a fact that we love!
4. We couldn’t do a 10 Mins Blog without asking you about your home! How long have you and your family lived in York and what was the first thing that you changed when you moved into your new home?
We moved into our home in May 2015 when my husband was offered a job here in York. Because of the price differential in the North and South, we were able to buy our dream home – a Georgian Manor built in 1759, a house that we had never dreamt we would be able to own when we lived in Caversham. The first thing that I did when we moved in was paint the dining room in dark grey – I had seen it in The Imaginarium, a super cool shop in York, and was obsessed! It immediately became a fabulous party room complete with a home bar and an extensive gin collection!
We love the rug in Lisa's kitchen adding warmth and textural interest. Photo Credit: @_lisa_dawson_
5. Which room in your home do you and your family spend the most time in? How have you worked your interiors to suit the space?
As a family, we spend the majority of our time in the kitchen. It’s a big, square room that is the hub of our home. I’ve recently removed the breakfast bar (everyone complained about the stools) and replaced it with a dining table and the difference it has made to the space is incalculable. We all sit here as a family for meals and it works really well. We’re very lucky in that we have two main living rooms, a dining/party room and a study so there is always space for everyone. We use the cosier central room as our main Netflix watching space. The second living room is an entertaining room with a bar cart and our record collection. Unfortunately, I lifted the carpet and sanded the floor for the last season of Revamp Restyle Reveal without taking into account the fact the cellar was underneath with no insulation, so everyone has avoided this room over the Winter months! It’ll be back in action during the warmer weather am sure.
Hallway Heaven - On the left, an inspo shot taken from Lisa's hallway re-design moodboard and on the right Lisa's hallway that she is currently in the process of renovating. Photo Credit: @elsielarson (left) and @_lisa_dawson_ (right)
6. You are in the process of renovating your hallway and we love the steps that you have made so far – especially the pink door! What top three renovation tips would you give to someone embarking on a similar renovation project in the home?
Thank you! I love the pink too, I’d wanted to paint the inside of the doors for ages.
My top three tips would be:
- Make sure you concentrate on the main ‘bones’ of the house. If you’ve got original features, make these a focal point.
- I always spend the most money on the basics. Good quality, washable paint is a good investment, as is decent flooring and lighting.
- Think about your core style. If you are a transient decorator like myself and spend much of your life moving your furniture and accessories around, keep the background to your décor neutral. I was obsessed with the idea of a Persian runner on my staircase but soon realised that unless I went for a neutral, I wouldn’t be able to add all the accessories, rugs and colour that I wanted as it would overcrowd the space. Carpeting is a basic so needs to last.
Taking spa bathrooms to a whole new level, we LOVE Lisa's amazing bathroom. Photo Credit: @_lisa_dawson_
7. What would your key piece of advice be for someone who is trying to update their interiors on a tight budget?
90 percent of the furniture in my home is vintage. I’m forever scouring eBay and Gumtree for recycled items that suit my home. I am also a massive charity shop fan and am probably the only person who has a tradition of trawling thrift shops with my friend every birthday! Not only are you saving money but you are also giving a new home to the piece that you buy and saving it from landfill, thus helping the environment.
Another thing that I do is to keep a Future Plan Of Action list for every room. This sounds a little odd, but it really works! I plan what I want to do room by room (paint, accessories, etc) then as and when I see something that suits, I buy it, even if I’m not planning to do that room for another six months. This spreads the cost of your outgoings over months rather than all in one go.
An outdoor space, equipped with a bar - Lisa knows how to entertain in style! Photo Credit: @_lisa_dawson_
8. What interior trends do you think we'll see a lot of in 2018?
I’m not really a trend follower but I do love seeing new and inspiring interior ideas. Personally, I am loving the idea of the seventies decor revival and the colours and textures that come with this look. I’m about to decorate a part of my hallway in seagrass which I’m really excited about!
A beautiful bedroom for Lisa's daughter - Ella. Photo Credit: @_lisa_dawson_
9. What’s next for Lisa Dawson?
This year, we are expanding our workshops to work in-house with brands, something that Dee and I are really excited about. I’m launching Season 2 of Revamp Restyle Reveal on 16 April with Bianca Hall – we recruit ten interior bloggers to update one room in their homes over the course of four weeks with the assistance of sponsors. It’s the first social media challenge to incorporate more than one platform and was hugely popular when we launched last August. It runs alongside a hashtag on which users can post their own revamps. It’s great fun and really draws on the community spirit of Instagram. Two years ago, I would never have dreamt that I would be doing what I do now so I can’t wait to see what this year brings!
10. Finally, name three RSG products that you love?
Quick Fire Questions
- I am happiest when… I’m at home with all of my family (I have two teenagers and an eight-year-old, this doesn’t happen often!).
- My favourite magazine is… Livingetc.
- My dream holiday would be… Five days in Hong Kong and two weeks in Thailand.
- My ideal day would be spent…. Vintage shops and a nice lunch followed by cocktails.
- My personal motto is… Be positive.
- My guilty pleasure is… Chocolate and Celebrities Go Dating.
- The last film I saw was… Hidden Figures.
- My favourite book is… Never Google Heartbreak, Emma Garcia.
- In five years’ time, I want to be… Writing a book.
- The three things I can’t live without are… Crisps, avocados and white wine.