Juan Sandiego, founder of Boreal Abode, took home the Best Newcomer Blog Award at the 2018 Interior Blog Awards. On a mission to inspire people to find their “happy at home”, Juan swept the judges away with his passion for interiors. The IBA Blog catches up with Juan after his win…
Where do you find inspiration for your blog content?
Inspiration kicks in at random times so I usually carry my phone around with me to take quick notes. I have a document with dozens of ideas. Some become blog posts. Others become subscriber-only articles. And if they’re succinct, Instagram posts.
Going for a walk in the park, reading a book or even commuting on the train. My best ideas often appear in unexpected locations. I don’t believe in writer’s block. There’s always something to write about. No-one has ever experienced talker’s block, as Seth Godin said.
What’s the best blogging tip you’ve ever been told?
I’ve read countless articles and books about blogging. Sometimes you have to take those tips with a pinch of salt because we’re all different.
The best piece of advice came from Henri Junttila. He said there’s no need to find your voice when writing. All you have to do is uncover your own unique voice. It’s there already. The one you use every day. That struck a chord as I realised there’s no need to write like a fancy magazine. Uncovering your own voice is the easiest way to infuse your writing with personality.
How did you feel when you won the IBA18 Best Newcomer Blog award?
I felt immensely grateful. Being surrounded by such a supportive community was completely heart-warming. To be honest, the whole night was a bit of a blur! I woke up the next thinking “Did it really happen?”
My only regret was not having enough time to talk to other shortlisted bloggers. Or meeting all the blogging icons I follow religiously. They’ve set the path of the interiors blogging industry. Everyone was incredibly nice, though. Being amongst people following their passions is very inspiring. To be nominated is one thing; to be shortlisted is another… to actually win, amongst such gifted bloggers… I’m just very grateful.
What inspired you to start an interiors blog?
I’d previously written blogs about photography, graphic design, happiness quotes (yes, really), travel and music. Even though I liked those topics, I wasn’t channelling my passions, as such. That’s why most were abandoned.
When I moved to my current house, however, it was a blank canvas. Decorating the house room by room sparked my curiosity about interior design. The rules, the principles, the styles, etc. I wanted to make it my forever home. I also realised I could incorporate my existing interests – photography and graphic design – in a new format… and Boreal Abode was born.
What started as a blog topic has now become a new journey: I study interior design part-time. Expanding my knowledge in design and feeding my incessant curiosity on the way.
Do you have any advice for new bloggers?
Be social. Respond to every comment and mention. Interact with other bloggers and share their content. If you loved someone’s blog post, why not leave a comment and share it with your followers?
Your audience enjoys carefully curated stories from other sources. And other bloggers will appreciate it. They’re not your competitors. They’re your allies and mentors. We’re all part of the same community. Above all, be yourself and write from the heart; your passion may become someone else’s inspiration.