We’ve been admiring Lisa Dawson’s beautiful Georgian home on Instagram for many years, so were thrilled to discover that she had written a book! Resourceful Living was published last month, and we’ve spent the past few weeks pouring over our showroom copy. We caught up with Lisa to ask her more about the book and to share her top styling advice.
Hi Lisa! We’re excited to read your new book – could you explain to our readers what it’s about?
I’ve been writing a blog since 2016 focused on repurposing, recycling and incorporating second hand treasures in your home. Resourceful Living takes that a step further with ideas for styling, sourcing and reusing what you already have without spending lots of money. When I wrote the book, I was really keen that it wasn’t instructive – my aim was to give people confidence to try new things in their home without being influenced by trends, to encourage them to find their own style by adding items to their home that they really loved. It’s full of ideas for multi tasking what you’ve already got and investing in key pieces to create a home that makes you happy when you walk through the door.
We love your ethos of mixing old with new, and repurposing old pieces of furniture. Do you have a beloved piece of furniture in your own home that has an interesting story of being repurposed?
My home is full of pieces that I move around all the time! I never buy anything for a particular space – any purchase is a multi purposed item that can be worked around my home. One of my favourite pieces is my grandmother’s blanket box. It’s been a coffee table, a living room side table, a bedside table and now it sits in the bay window as a plant shelf. I’ve also got a 1980’s gold drinks trolley that I bought for ten pounds about five years ago. Again, it’s been home to my coloured glass collection, worked as a home bar in the dining room and now sits in an alcove as a side table for display.
We’re a little bit obsessed with your garden – it’s the perfect space for outdoor gatherings this summer. Do you have any advice for anyone currently working on their own garden?
I try really hard in the garden but I’m not a natural. In past years I have filled the decking and patio with pots I’ve planted but I never seem to be able to maintain them. This year, I’ve installed two large trees in pots which are much easier to look after! I’m a big fan of bringing the inside out when it comes to furniture and accessories – not only does it create a really cosy outdoor living space but it’s also much more economical than investing in expensive outdoor furniture that is only used for a few months a year. Bamboo is perfect to multi task both inside and out of your home and the same applies to light kilim style rugs. Yes, you need to bring them in to protect them from the weather but it’s worth the little extra effort to create the perfect outdoor room when it’s sunny.
We love following you on Instagram for interiors inspiration and admiring your home. How do you stay true to your own style while being bombarded with inspiration on a daily basis?
Thank you! I’ve been posting my home on Instagram for six years now and I’ve learned to listen to my heart when it comes to decorating my home. I’ve made mistakes in my decor that I’ve learned from, influenced by trends and going all out with a colour or a fabric when I should have just added a touch of it. I love art and colour and so I keep the bones of my home neutral, meaning that I can not only add what I like, but that I can move it around from room to room without fear of clash. It’s taken a while to realise this though! It takes time to work out your own core aesthetic, I think.
Is there anyone whose home you regularly look at for inspiration?
When I first started posting on Instagram, the main interior network was in the USA so I follow lots of American bloggers who are always first to try something new! Liz Kamarul is hugely innovative, as is Katie Saro who does the most unbelievable DIY projects – both of them are thrift addicts and pick up fabulous finds. Interior designer Sarah Sherman Samuel creates the sort of calm luxe interiors I would love to emulate but my obsession with collecting and colour would never allow it! Bianca Hall of French For Pineapple here in the UK has a similar aesthetic which I am always in awe of. My dream home would be the San Francisco Proper Hotel designed by Kelly Wearstler which is pretty much everything that I want in a space, a mix of vintage and contemporary that just works brilliantly.
What are your top three tips for styling your home?
1. Plan well. If you’re looking to redecorate or restyle a room, head to Pinterest or magazines as your first stop. Pin what appeals to you – don’t pin what you think you should like; pin what you REALLY like. Keep pinning until you’ve got lots of inspiration in front of you and then work out what they’ve all got in common. By doing this, you’ll find the elements that you love to incorporate in your space.
2. Have regular reshuffles. It’s easy to leave your shelves looking the same for years but it’s far more fun to mix it up. Take it all off and divide it into what you love and what you don’t love, then send the things you’re bored off to the charity shop. Shop your home for fresh accessories and try new ideas. One piece of green glassware looks a bit lonely by itself – curate a collection with similarly toned pieces and you’ve got a new focal point.
3. Make sure you use plenty of textures and layer it up. Rugs, throws, cushions – combine different fabrics (wool, velvet, linen) to create a tactile and cosy space. The same applies to accessories and furniture – it’s the combination of different materials that makes your home appealing.