THE REALITY OF BEING AN INTERIOR DESIGN BLOGGER

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you’ll know that if anything, I’m honest. Perhaps a little too much at times. I’ll tell you how much I charge for sponsored posts, I’ll tell you how many dick pics I’m sent, hell, I’ll even put a half naked picture of me on Twitter to highlight the fact that we should just embrace our bodies, food babies included.

So today I wanted to spill the truth about what it’s really like being an interior design blogger, and perhaps unintentionally shatter some illusions along the way. Don’t hate me fellow content creators…

Let’s start with the picture above. When you see the final image on someone’s blog, you don’t ever really spend time thinking about what could possibly be outside that crop. The white wooden carving was a last minute addition after I realised something was missing from the shot when I looked through the viewfinder. Off I nipped to The Range to see what I could find and voila, disaster averted.

Which leads me on to the point of, even if you see something in my pictures, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll ever see it again. Sometimes I’ll only buy props for a certain project and off they go back to the shop, receipt in hand because, let’s face it, this girl ain’t made of money.

There are parts of my flat that are completely off bounds to shoot in – my bathroom being the main culprit. With peeling paint on the walls, and tiles that have seen better days, you will never see bathroom content from me on Apartment Number 4 until I move into my own house and I can decorate as I please, not when my landlord gets around to fixing the ever growing problem.

I’m genuinely scared when someone asks me an interior design question, worried that I’ll be exposed for the fraud I am. Yes I have an interiors blog and yes I love to decorate, but ask me what I think will go with that massive floral rug you’ve just purchased from Next and I freeze up.

Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are basically a god send. How else would I have managed to create such a light, bright space above? You can see from my reality, I’m working with some pretty harsh lighting so these two programmes allow me to elevate my surroundings slightly without going overboard and you know, photoshopping myself in New York on a flying carpet with birds flying next to me (true story, google it).

Which leads me on to blue-tack, hairspray, soap and water and kirby grips, all of which I keep close by when I’m putting a shoot together to wash off labels, to hold down rolling pencils which could test the patience of a Saint, or keeping flowers in place. If you think everything just magically stays in place when you style something, you’d be completely wrong.

There’s a certain amount of pressure to keep my apartment looking magazine-ready when I have visitors over – trust me, they’re expecting a show flat, especially after what they see on social media and my blog, and I feel obliged to somehow present that to them. Even if that means they can never go to the bathroom here and have to drive to Asda up the road.

Likewise, whenever I go to someone’s house, they instantly apologise for it not being perfect. “We’re actually planning on redoing this living room”. “Excuse the kitchen, I still need to paint the walls and stuff”. I couldn’t care less. The only thing I have on my mind is, do you have any chips and dip?

I’m always on the look out for blog props. I see a nice chopping board, the first thought that enters my mind is, “table setting post”. I stumble across a nice bottle of perfume and instantly the words “oooohhhhh flatlay” tumble out of my mouth. I’m embarrassed to tell you how many bowls, trays, plates, flowers, vases, cacti, candles and decorative bits and bobs I have in my spare bedroom, just waiting for their moment to shine.

You wonder how the hell people make any money from affiliates, especially in interiors. Last month I made £7.56. Drinks on me girls.

And finally, I constantly ask myself if I’ll ever achieve a “Pinterest-worthy” home, or if I’m always going to be a work in progress. I suspect it’s the latter and I’m hoping after this, you’ll still want to come along for the ride?

About the author
Victoria is the editor and founder of award-winning interior design blog Apartment Number 4. When she's not scouring Pinterest for the latest in home decor inspiration, she's out shopping trying to recreate the looks herself.

14 Comments

  1. I love your blog and your honesty. It’s really refreshing. I particularly like your quote: “Excuse the kitchen, I still need to paint the walls and stuff”. I couldn’t care less. The only thing I have on my mind is, do you have any chips and dip?” I’m moving to a new place soon and though I hardly have any budget I also feel a bit pressure to make it Pinterest- and Instagram-worthy. And I’m not even on Instagram yet! But I have one nightmare in mind. The only thing worse then it being perfect is having that perfect interior and then freaking out because it’s too perfect and clean. And it doesn’t feel as a HOME. Picture perfect is nothing without the people who make it worthwhile.

    1. Yes couldn’t agree more lovely, I would rather have a “homely” house than somewhere that looks picture perfect and cold! Now, I’ll just get back to my chips and dip…xx

  2. I’m here for the journey. It’s the fun bit. Let’s face it, once a room is finished (if that is ever possible) we’ll want to start over again! *dips a chip in salsa*

  3. Brilliant post. Your honesty is so refreshing. I always get people saying to me “I’d love to see your house, it must be amazing”. Seriously, it’s totally not. Yes I LOVE interiors and write about beautiful stuff. But I’m not an interior designer or a stylist and I can’t afford any of the stuff I write about. So when they see my home it must be a real disappointment. Also glad I’m not the only one making pennies from affiliate marketing lol.

  4. Love this post. So honest – it’s refreshing. I can totally relate to what you’re saying. Yes, I love all the pretty things- but does I own them? Doe’s my house looks like it’s from a magazine? NO .. and that is absolutely fine.
    You always inspire me when it comes to homeware and even when it comes to body images <3
    Sending you much love and keep going babe xx

  5. I’ve got to be honest, You honest is what keeps me coming back to this blog over and over again more than anything else, your photos are what I use for inspiration and your interior design skills are incredible but your honesty is so rare I daren’t let it go, thank you so much for being the breath of fresh air in the blogging world!

    Jess x

  6. Oh, how I love your honesty! I feel exactly the same about my house (and that idea of sending my guests to Asda somehow feels very appealing 🙂 ) Love reading your posts! And I’ve made £5.55 through my affiliate links last month, so we can split the bill 🙂

  7. What a great blog, thanks so much for being honest, it is so refreshing and relatable! No one’s lives are perfect, especially not bloggers and social media mavens, and it’s so nice to see that none of us are alone in our foibles or really day to day lives… It just makes your success and your talent with your blog all the more impressive and inspiring, keep up the great work!

  8. Love your honesty Victoria! I can relate SO much to this – I’m renting as well, and have only been in my home for two months. There are parts that I love and am going to photograph to death, and other parts that I am desperate to change up but budget and landlords won’t allow (my very much un-pinterest kitchen tiles being the main culprit)! So glad I found your blog and social media accounts – I draw so much inspiration from them…peeling bathroom walls and all!

    Kara
    http://www.spreadthesparkle.co.uk
    💗

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *