In Conversation with Caroline Rowland

In our ongoing effort to provide customers with relevant and insightful advice, we spend many hours each month trawling through a variety of our favourite interiors blogs, magazines and supplements.

Chief among these are Patchwork Harmony and 91 Magazine, both of which are the handiwork of the brilliant (and really nice) writer and editor Caroline Rowland.  

To mix things up some, we thought we’d reach out and see if she’d like to answer a few questions about her work and what she thinks will be big in 2018.

To our delight, Caroline agreed.

So, without further ado, let’s get on with the good stuff. 

Plywood and terrazzo accents

EBTD: How does furniture feature in your renovation planning? Do you start here, end here, or work it out as you go along?

CR: I tend to work it out as I go along. I usually create a mood board or Pinterest board when planning a room and will include any pieces of furniture that might suit there. Then once we start on the room I'll make a final decision and order. Although, sometimes if I have fallen in love with something I know I want it before that process begins. Like our bed—I'd had my eye on it before we even moved into our new house!

(EBTD—we throughly recommend you check out Caroline’s Pinterest profile. It's very good.)

EBTD: What sort of criteria, if any, do you follow when shopping for furniture?

CR: I wouldn't say I have any set criteria—I generally just opt for things I like, but of course you have to make sure that it's going to fit where you want it to go and also whether it's within your budget! 

Working with plywood

EBTD: You recently earmarked plywood kitchens as a ‘current obsession’. Do you have any thoughts on working with plywood furniture? We’ll admit that we were hesitant to stock it but we’ve been pleasantly surprised.

CR: Yes, I am slightly obsessed with plywood! In fact, we are just about to have our kitchen renovated and we are having custom made plywood doors! I'm just really loving that stripped back, natural look at the moment, and I love the patterns that are present in plywood. My husband also made me a plywood book display unit for my office and I absolutely love it.  

EBTD: You also highlighted terrazzo as something to look out for in 2018 and we’re inclined to agree (we feel it would look great in a mid century theme). Any thoughts on how to get the best results? Some of our customers have confessed to being worried that it could become an overbearing presence.

CR: I think Terrazzo, or terrazzo effect will be big this year. I've started to see it used in tile design and even wallpaper design and lots of product designers are taking inspiration from the patterns for other products like ceramics and textiles. I've looked into terrazzo flooring as I was considering it for our kitchen but it is pretty pricey, but I think if you went for soft colours it wouldn't become over bearing as a floor covering though. I'm sure more tile companies will start adopting the trend in their designs soon so there will be more affordable ways to achieve the look. 

plywood clothes rack

EBTD: You appear to be a master of getting the most out of a small space. As Londoners, we know this is no mean feat. Do you have any advice for anyone striving for interior alchemy in a tight squeeze?

CR: Minimise clutter and select furniture carefully. Only buy furniture that you actually need for that space so it is not too 'full'. Utilise your wall space, too. My daughter's bedroom is quite small, so instead of putting a wardrobe in there which would've taken up quite a lot of space, I put up a plywood (again!) clothes rack. It's designed by a Danish brand called Loullou—they do the most beautiful pieces for children. 

EBTD: As an experienced writer, editor and designer, you have now seen, created or inspired countless compelling themes. However, we’re curious to know: what’s the one thing you wish you knew about interiors when you started out?

CR: Mmmm... tricky one! I guess I never thought I was particularly influenced by trends, but I think it's hard not to be. I don't think many people only like one particular style or aesthetic for their whole life. When I first started blogging I was all about vintage style, and wasn't really interested in contemporary design, but this has completely switched around now. I still like vintage but in a much more carefully curated way, but now I also love Scandi design and the current trend for artisanal and boho style. I think it's good to be comfortable with an ever-evolving industry and enjoy the changes in your likes and dislikes. 

Do yourself a favour and check out her blog and 91 Magazine if you haven’t already (keep your eyes peeled for an EBTD product hoping to sneak its way into Caroline’s kitchen renovation plans this spring).

If all this talk of home improvement has left you wondering where to start, we recommend checking out our extensive range of mid century furniture and taking it from there.

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