Malcolm, the creator of Designsixtynine went home with the ultimate prize of the 2017 awards night – the Bloggers’ Choice Award. This special award is awarded by the shortlist themselves, where we ask all of the shortlisted bloggers to vote for their favourite blog of all and this year they chose Designsixtynine! The IBA Blog takes five minutes with Malcolm to discuss the win and those beautiful hand drawings…
What inspired you to start your blog?
I had always fancied blogging as a way of communicating my love for interiors and DIY, but never felt that I had the right projects to keep me inspired, let alone hold a reader’s interest. Moving from a one bed flat to number 69, a three bed terrace, definitely motivated me to start blogging. However, it took a while to build up the courage to go live. My partner Brian is really to be thanked for convincing me to finally make the leap.
Do you have any advice for new bloggers?
Be passionate about your subject and your desire to communicate it to others. I believe it’ll show in your work. Also, don’t put it off through fear of failure…just do it. Start your blog. Once that first post goes live, you’ll be eager to do more.
Where do you think your blog will take you now?
Through the blog, I recently had the opportunity to work with a client, redesigning their master bedroom (to be revealed soon). It was great fun designing for someone else so would be keen to undertake more projects like this in the future.
Your blog is full of your beautiful hand-drawn room plans, what goes into creating these? How do you go from the ideas to the final drawing before taking the plunge and redecorating?
The drawings really started as it has always been something I’ve enjoyed as a hobby. I love the qualities evident in hand-produced work that you just don’t get from a CAD rendering so I thought ‘why not put them on the blog?’. I like doing things the old fashioned way. I love getting inspiration from books and magazines, as well as online. Usually I have a strong feeling about the direction I want a room to go, so it doesn’t take long to source furniture and accessories… unless I’m after something vintage. Once I’ve sourced the key pieces, I start the drawing. It may sit uncoloured for weeks while decisions are being made. Sometimes, seeing the room drawn out and ‘furnished’ can inspire the colour choice. Quite often, the prep work has started way before the drawing starts. This was very much the case with the living room.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned so far through blogging?
To have confidence in myself and what I do. If someone had told me this time last year that I would have an award winning blog, I would have questioned their sanity. It turns out that people are interested in what I have to say! I’ve also realised how organised you have to be! Not only with planning for posts but for when you can produce the work to go into them! Everything needs a schedule…. I still need to get to grips with that.