It's been a little while since I've had the chance to stop, take a breath and do a 'Molly Meets' (an opportunity for me to chat to all the lovely people we meet along our bed-making journey), so I was delighted when I had the opportunity to chat to blogger and influencer, Abi Dare from @thesefourwallsblog.
Read on to find out about Abi's next interior design challenge, her favourite Instagram accounts and her secret love of planes!
Describe what you do in 3 words
Create, inspire, share.
What’s the best thing about what you do?
Helping people to craft homes they’ll love for years to come – whether that’s by working directly with clients on interior design projects or by sharing inspiration via my blog and Instagram.
What makes you get out of bed in the morning?
Normally my cat Loki pawing at my face and yowling for his breakfast!
What's the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t judge the beginning of your journey against the middle or end of someone else’s.
What does a typical Monday morning look like for you?
After feeding the cat, I normally go back to bed with a coffee for twenty minutes and use that time to catch up with social media. Then I have a shower and go for a walk around the local park, before heading upstairs to my home office. Work-wise, I’m lucky enough to have a very varied job, so I could be doing anything from styling and photography to creating a room design for a client.
What’s the next big interior challenge in your home?
My husband and I have been renovating our little Victorian terrace for the past seven years, taking it slowly so we can work out what we really want and save up. Last year we redid the entire first floor to squeeze in an upstairs bathroom, and we’re in the middle of trying to sort out our long-neglected garden. After that we need to resolve an ongoing damp issue in the kitchen and dining room caused by leaking doors, then replaster and repaint the affected areas – far from glamourous, but essential!
Are you all about long lie-ins or up with the lark?
Both at the same time! I like to wake early but then laze in bed, listening to birdsong outside the window and relishing a moment of calm before the day begins.
Are you an early bird or night owl?
Again, both! It all depends on my mood and the time of year. And I’ve had insomnia for years, so my sleep patterns can be all over the place.
Instagram or Twitter? Why
Instagram. It’s not perfect – avoiding comparison and self-doubt is an endless struggle – but there’s so much visual inspiration. And I’ve made some true friends via Instagram over the years.
What's on your bed today?
Right at this very moment, a snoring cat! I’m across the landing in my office and I can hear him from here.
What do you love to wear to bed?
Soft, relaxed PJs.
If you had to have the same thing for breakfast every morning what would it be?
Toast with my Dad’s homemade bread (it really is the best!), along with a banana smoothie. I love big brunch-style feasts but I couldn’t manage one every day.
Who would you invite to your dream midnight feast?
My closest friends – I haven’t seen much of them these past two years for obvious reasons, and I really miss them.
How do you like your eggs in the morning?
Poached. And preferably made by someone else as I can never get them right!
Tea or Coffee? How do you take yours…
Coffee – I can’t stand tea (don’t judge me, Britain!). I take mine fairly strong with just a dash of milk.
What’s the favourite thing in your home?
My growing collection of Scandinavian mid-century chairs. They’re timeless designs that will last for decades and move with me from home to home. I’ll probably still be sitting on them when I’m 80!
What are your 3 favourite Instagram accounts?
That’s such a tricky question! I could mention so many people here, but if I have to limit it to three I’ll pick @seinterior for her great reels and interiors advice, @inamargret for her beautiful nature photography from northern Sweden, and @nordickitchenstories for her delicious recipes.
What would be your dream interior and your worst nightmare?
The dream is calm, uncluttered and pared-back, but also very cosy – ‘soft minimalism’, if you like. My nightmare would be lots of colour and pattern. I love seeing how other people use it in their homes, but I’d find it very stressful in my own. It’s partly because I have a condition called synaesthesia, which means I see every number, letter and day of the week as a specific shade. That means my head is always buzzing with colour and I find it particularly hard to switch off, so I need my surroundings to be an antidote to that.
Clean sheet Friday or clean sheet Sunday? (Harriet and I disagree)
Clean Sheet Sunday – you need little pleasures to make Sunday night / Monday morning a bit more bearable!
Do you have a bedtime ritual, can you share it with us?
I always light a relaxing candle in the evening to help me wind down, and I can’t go to sleep without reading for a bit – even if I only manage a few pages, it helps get work out of my head. I also try to avoid looking at my phone for the last half hour before bed, but if I’m totally honest I rarely manage it.
Flat sheet or fitted sheet?
Fitted – life is way too short to faff around with anything else!
You’re off for a weekend camping… What one luxury would you take from your bedroom?
My pillows. I can sleep on most beds, but I’m so fussy with pillows! I’ve spent years trying to find the most comfortable ones for me and I feel like I’ve finally cracked it.
Tell us a secret?
I’m a bit of a plane geek! I’m trying to cut down on the amount I fly, but I love looking at whatever’s passing overhead. I even have an app that tells me where it’s going and what type of aircraft it is! I’ve also had a go at flying a plane myself thanks to my lovely husband, who once got me a one-off lesson for my birthday.
Who should Molly meet next?
Tiffany Grant-Riley from https://curateanddisplay.co.uk
Describe your dream bedroom…
On my bed…
Your plain white linen bedding – a true classic. I’ve been using it for years, and it looks and feels wonderful. I’d also add your gorgeous Porto throw for extra cosiness.
My room smells like…
At night, something soothing like lemon, lavender, jasmine or rosemary. In the morning, a fresh spring breeze and coffee.
On my bedside…
A minimalist lamp, a good book, a carafe of water, and a plant to help purify the air.
Before bed, I’ll read…
Something totally absorbing that makes me forget about stresses and deadlines. That could be anything from a Nordic Noir thriller to historical fiction – my taste is quite varied.