Jen Stanbrook, interiors writer and blogger, aims to inspire and motivate via top UK interiors blog Love Chic Living. Sara Walker chatted to Jen to find out how it all started.
“I have always loved interiors but it was just a hobby, a passion really and I actually hankered after setting up my own interiors shop,” says Jen.
“I worked for 10 years in corporate IT before giving it up to bring up my young daughters and run a small franchise business in the mum and baby community. It was great fun and originally how I got into social media. I’ve always mixed up my jobs and haven’t really had a ‘career’ per se. That’s how I started blogging though and discovered how much I loved it. At a brainstorming session with another blogger and some friends we came up with the idea of me building an interiors blog. After some research, Love Chic Living was born!
It’s been a rollercoaster of a journey, and has totally changed my life and given me and my family great experiences and opportunities. I’ve worked incredibly hard but it’s all been worth it. It’s absolutely the best job I’ve ever had and, amazingly, a few years ago it didn’t even exist.”
SW: What was the inspiration behind the original name of the blog, lovechicliving? Did the look and feel evolve over time?
JS: I played around with lots of names when I was coming up with the concept of the blog and I tried them out on a group of family and friends. This one along with one other was the most popular. I’d tried to focus on stylish, contemporary design at the time, and this one reminded me a little of Living Etc, a magazine I was more than happy to be influenced by.
SW: What would you say your personal style was (for example, traditional, modern or edgy)? What inspires you?
JS: My own style is quite contemporary but warm and inviting. It’s colourful too with a few quirky features here and there. I do follow trends, I’m not ashamed to say, but I like mixing them up with my existing pieces and making the home fun yet functional.
SW: Your website is so successful, you’re clearly doing something right! What do you think it is that appeals to your readers? Idealism? Attainability?
JS: Ah, thank you, that’s very kind. I hope it’s the fact that I focus on showcasing inspiring design but in an achievable way. I don’t want anyone to feel overwhelmed or alienated so I hope I show how you can create a lovely family home without spending a fortune and without sacrificing your style.
SW: What opportunities has running such a successful blog given you? What has been your favourite?
JS: Oh, there have been a lot over the years – I’ve been doing this for seven years now – and each and every one still gives me a great buzz. The overall favourite has been the chance to meet amazing people and make lifelong friends, but I’ve also loved the opportunity to travel, visit brands both in the UK and abroad and create some incredible experiences and memories.
SW: What are your favourite design tips for brightening up a tired interior?
JS: In terms of refreshing an existing space I’d always go with cushions, a new rug and a few new vases. If you want to introduce a new on-trend colour, for me this is the easiest way. I’m loving the new Pantone shade, Living Coral and have some ideas to bring it into my home in the spring. It will work well with the dark walls I have. Watch this space!
SW: Where would you like to see the blog going in the future?
JS: Well, I’ve always had this dream that it could be a go-to magazine-style site with a few other contributors, more features and even a style and travel section too. BUT who knows. I’ve almost got it there before and then events have transpired against me so perhaps 2019 is finally the year I make it happen.
To find out more about Jen and browse her blog, visit www.lovechicliving.co.uk.
All photos (c) Jen Stanbrook/Love Chic Living 20190