The Lovely Drawer is a bright and happy corner of the internet dedicated to the best DIYs, crafting ideas galore and a glimpse at the life of a London based designer, illustrator, stylist, crafter and all around cool girl. We caught up with Teri and got the dish on what makes this pretty machine run and priceless bits of wisdom she's collected along the way. Get to know this lovely lady across the pond below.
SMP: Any guilty pleasures?
Anything that involves peanut butter chocolate! Neither get me excited on their own but together they totally floor me. I also have a slightly strange love of scandinavian crime thrillers. My husband loves watching them too so it works out just fine.
SMP: What did you think your dream job was before your dream job found you?
For a long time I actually thought I was in my dream job. When I left university I was determined to design in house for a greetings card company and that’s exactly what I was doing.
SMP: What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
Sing my way through life. The only problem is I can’t really sing.
SMP: What's your favorite quote that describes your creative process?
‘You will have more time than ideas and that’s ok.’
I constantly put pressure on myself to create at an intense speed because my head is swimming with ideas. Sometimes I need to be ok with knowing I’ll never have enough time to do everything and just enjoy the process instead.
SMP: If you could do it all over again, would you change anything?
No. Of course if I was in similar situations in the future I might approach them differently but what’s done is done and I wouldn’t be here doing what I’m doing if it wasn’t for that series of events and mistakes.
SMP: What was the first job you ever landed?
I helped with pattern cutting at a local bridal shop and I really didn’t enjoy it. I realized a career in fashion wasn’t for me.
SMP: What is one piece of advice you would give to a blogger just starting out?
Get cracking! Don’t stress about perfection as that can be crippling along with endless comparison. Decide what it is you love and start blogging about it. Do it regularly and you’ll be able to see growth and progress happening organically. There’s something to be said for just getting started and plugging away. If you truly love what you’re creating then this won’t feel like a chore.
SMP: What is your favorite item in your home?
My favorite item is probably the large painting I created to fill a huge space on one of our walls. I spontaneously decided to do it, not really knowing what it would look like. I made a happy mess of colored brush strokes and it’s really grown on me. It gives our living room a focal point.
SMP: What's your best tip for balancing work and personal life?
I really don’t think I’m very good at this! The whole issue is a definite work in progress and I’ve tried to put various things in place to rein my over-working tendencies in. I have set hours from 8.30 am / 9am to 6.30pm but I struggle to stick to that when I’m busy. Working at the dining room table doesn’t help with separating work and life but I try to clear all my work away at the end of each day to help this. I’m also trying to be more disciplined with reading before bed rather than checking social media and replying to work emails which is such a bad habit and just means Im thinking about work all the time. From the start Sundays have been a no work day. I spend that with my church family and I can’t explain how healthy it’s been to block that into my week, without compromise.
SMP: What was the tipping point in your business that made you feel like your blog was going to thrive?
It might sound silly but I had been blogging for about 2 years without really taking it seriously. I didn’t really engage much on social media or promote my work very much and I had been totally happy with that. There came a point when I realized in order to move to the next level I had to do those things and when I did I instantly saw growth in my audience and their engagement that’s accelerated over time. I realized with a bit more effort my blog could thrive. Sound obvious right?!
SMP: What is the hardest lesson in business you've ever learned?
That I’m a pretty harsh boss. I’m incredibly hard on myself and continually set unrealistic goals for myself. I’m slowly trying to be more realistic and to remember I’m human and can’t do it all in 5 minutes flat. I’m trying to accept when unforeseen things come up and derail my plan. That’s what happens in an office too and it’s just how life goes.
SMP: Stranded on a desert island question... what's the one cocktail you would take with you?
It’s the classic mojito I’m afraid. You can’t go wrong with one of those and they’re super refreshing.
SMP: What color do you think will stand the test of trend time?
Black. I do love mixing fun colors together but black is usually my base or accent color. It’s classic in all forms and I continually using it in branding projects for clients as it always looks smart and isn’t a fad color. Black will always be the new black.
SMP: One thing every style savvy homeowner should have?
Houseplants. They take a stylish room and make it pop! Adding a bit of greenery around the house in cute pots and planters really does add a lot of personality to a room. Bringing nature inside the home makes for a happy space and there’s so much inspiration out there on blogs and pinterest from cacti to palms to hanging beauties.
SMP: If you could buy yourself a single gift of any cost, what would it be?
It’s a pretty enormous gift but you did say any cost so it would have to be a house in my London neighborhood. Then I could find somewhere with a studio for my work and paint everything white!
SMP: Three things every home should have?
1. A stylish and comfy sofa. I’m pretty sure you’ll get your money’s worth with the amount of love a sofa gets.
2. Clever storage solutions so that you can tidy away clutter easily and keep the space looking lovely.
3. Good light. Which isn’t necessarily something you can buy. I really respond to light. I can’t be in dark houses for too long and they leave me really uninspired. Great light lifts my mood and of course helps with shooting photos around my home for the blog.
SMP: Your most prized possession?
This would be a toss up between my camera and my laptop. I’m not sure I could do much day to day without these.
SMP: Your secret to success?
Hard work, which isn't really a secret and is probably not what any one wants to hear but although hard work doesn’t guarantee success, I think its rare to have success without it.
SMP: One small design change that can make a big impact?
When you’re choosing items or furniture for you home, why not pick them in white? This will open up a room and then keys pieces you love will really stand out against the white.
SMP: Advice you’d give to your younger self?
You will only ever have less free time so use what you have to be creative and pouring into relationships.
SMP: Number one interior design tip?
Try your hand at some simple DIY projects. It’s a great way to put your own twist and personality into your interiors. You can also have the pleasure of saying, ‘I made that’.
SMP: The best job you ever had?
I would have to say my current job, which coincidentally is also the hardest. If I was to say what was my best project then that would probably be working on all the stationery elements for an Etsy fashion PR event. The Summer Festival brief got me really excited so it was so easy to design for.
SMP: Best moment of your career so far?
The month I earned more than my previous job. It was a big encouragement that I wasn’t totally crazy for going full time freelance.
SMP: Your favorite instagrammer?
It’s a toss up between the bright and happy feed of @clarenicolson and the clean and minimal feed of @rebeccairess
SMP: Your go-to recipe?
Wow what a question! I have many but possibly this mango salsa. We have it over grilled cajun chicken breasts with pomegranate couscous. It’s so simple and tasty!
SMP: Your most memorable moment?
It sounds obvious but saying our vows on our wedding day. I can remember the sounds, the smells, what I was thinking…everything. Makes sense for something that’s such a big deal. I also remember messing up what I had to say!
SMP: One tip for bloggers hoping to monetize their blogs?
When you’re approached by brands don’t be afraid to ask for a fair price for the time you’d put in to a sponsored post or promoting their product. If they can get away with using your audience for free then they’ll try but it’s likely they have a budget so don’t sell yourself short.
SMP: Where do you see yourself in five years?
I would really like to have kids by then. Ideally still able to blog and design a bit on the side to keep my creative juices flowing. I’d love to be able to be doing those things in our current London neighborhood and that’s at least what we’re aiming for.