Ever found yourself scrolling through your favourite interiors Instagram account and wanting to know more about the creator? Well we have - and that's exactly why we started the 'Utility Follows' series. Over the last few weeks we've caught up with Dan Hull from Miller Grey, Allan Torpe from Bungalow5dk, Hannah Trickett from Hannah In The House as well as some other Utility favourites.
This week we're speaking to interiors, lifestyle & travel writer Abi Dare from These Four Walls Blog about her route into blogging, the connection between her interior style and lifestyle as well as some of her Instagram favourites. You can read the full conversation below.
What inspired you to start blogging?
"I’ve always loved writing and photography (I used to be Deputy Editor of a travel website), and I’ve also always had a passion for interior design - my parents often used to come home from work when I was a teenager to discover I’d rearranged all the furniture while they were out! I started blogging in July 2014 as a way to merge all these interests together and it soon became a creative outlet where I could explore my own taste, which veers towards minimalist, Scandinavian design. Over the years it’s grown and grown, and I took the plunge a few months ago and left my day job to blog full-time."
How would you describe These Four Walls?
"It’s a place where I share interiors, lifestyle and travel inspiration – the spaces I love, the places I visit, the things that catch my eye and the people I meet – always with a focus on Scandinavian design, calming colours and simple, relaxed living. You’ll find everything from tours of beautiful homes to interviews with makers and designers, as well as tips and reviews from my travels."
Does your interior style extend to other areas of your life? (Your wardrobe, the places you visit etc??
"Definitely! My clothing style is also very minimalist and muted - you’ll almost always find me in grey, black or white, with a few bits of simple Scandinavian jewellery. In fact, I recently went on a trip to Sweden with a small group of other interiors bloggers, all of whom have very different styles, and one of the people we met joked that she could tell who was who, even before we were properly introduced, purely because our outfits matched the look of our respective blogs so closely! And when I travel and eat out, I’m always on the look out for places where I can indulge in my love of simple design and slow living. Even my wedding last year was a minimalist affair with lots of grey and white!"
What are some of your favourite interior brands at the moment?
"As you’d expect, I’m a big fan of Scandinavian brands. My favourites are Menu and Ferm Living, who always manage to interpret the latest trends without losing sight of their own aesthetics, and Skagerak, who produce timeless pieces using beautiful materials. There are also some fantastic smaller brands out there at the moment - I love Polish studio Mleko Living, who design minimalist tableware and linens, and Sweden-based Cooee, whose ceramics are simply stunning."
If you could have just one product from Utility, what would it be?
"A CH24 Wishbone chair, designed by Carl Hansen way back in 1949 but just as striking today. It’s been at the top of my wish list for years. One day…!"
Are there any Instagram accounts that you love and think we should be following?
"There are so many inspiring accounts out there and it’s hard to narrow it down to just a few, but I’d start with UK Instagrammers who all share my love of minimalist Scandinavian design.
I’m also a huge fan of Berlin-based @selina.lauck and Swedish blogger @amandaxelssson, both of whom have the most beautiful apartments, as well as Oslo-based @onlydecolove and @elisabeth_heier. And I love @han_house, who I know you’ve featured here before.
Finally, we’d like to do some reading over lunch - which of your recent blog articles should we start with?
"I’ve just put together a round-up of interior design trends for 2018, covering the colours, materials and styles to look out for this year - I don’t for a moment think anyone should slavishly follow trends, but you never know when they might provide unexpected inspiration! I’ve also published a tour of a beautiful Norwegian house created by one of my favourite design studios, Norm Architects, and I’ve shared a peek at my own home office.”
Photography Credit: Abi Dare