10 questions with...Carole King of Dear Designer

In our new interview series, we talk to our favourite bloggers about their trend predictions and styles. Here, we meet Carole King...

white wall with cushions and women with muffler
(Image credit: TBC)

1. What’s your biggest trend prediction for 2017?

I think there's going to be a big increase in the use of organic materials. I'm suddenly seeing cork everywhere. Cork, stone, wood, baskets, and woven textiles. There's a big 1970's inflluence of course. Who knew this would be the decade everyone would aspire to in 2016? But there's also an element of wanting to keep tradtional craftmanship alive. All of these materials also look fabulous when accessorised with last years' big trend of tropical prints and real plants.

2. Which trend would you like to see the back of in 2017 – and why?

The Danish Hygge trend. The word in its truest sense is actually referring to a mental state of well-being, but it's been hyped up to mean 'cosiness at home'. I do get it, but I'm bored with images of pastel and sludgy coloured cushions.

3. Describe your style in three words:

Eclectic, stylish (I hope) and comfortable.

green wall with shelves and laptop on desk

(Image credit: TBC)

4. Paint or wallpaper – if you had to choose?

That's a tough one because I love and use both. It depends on the room and the effect you are going for. There's nothing that will give a room more impact than a striking wallpaper, but there is the risk that you will tire of it over time. Paint is easier (and less expensive) to change. However, I have been known to paint a room and then feel so disappointed that I have to wallpaper over it. Maybe my answer is wallpaper after all?

5. Give us three tips to make a small room feel bigger:

Contrary to popular belief dark colours make a wall recede and hence the room will look bigger.

Mirrors will fool the eye and also bounce light around a room.

Choose furniture that is on legs. The more of the floor you can see, the bigger the room will look.

white wall with wooden desk and chair with flower pot

(Image credit: TBC)

6. When decorating a room, where should you spend your money and where should you NEVER cut corners?

In the living room I'd always spend as much as I could afford on the sofa. It needs to be comfortable and hard-wearing too, as you don't want to be replacing it every few years. The same goes for your bed. I usually recommend spending more on lighting too as it can make or break a room and you really can tell the difference between a cheap and cheerful fitting and a quality one.

7. What’s the best thing you’ve ever bought for your home?

My bed. I've had both wood and metal beds before and knew that I just wanted something comfortable this time. The extra high padded headboard is so comfy to lean against and makes reading and relaxing in bed a real pleasure. I think the height of it also makes more of a statement in the room.

8. What’s your favourite room in your home and why?

It's my bedroom at the moment because it's the last room that was finished. It's a largish room with a semi-separate dressing area and an en-suite. It was quite difficult to decorate as it has sloping ceilings, small windows and no real character, so I decided to paint the lower half of the walls black and the top half white. I'm really pleased with the result as it's pulled the whole room, and my eclectic collection of furniture together.

bedroom with white wall and white cushions on bed

(Image credit: TBC)

9. What interiors objects are you currently lusting over?

I've got my eye on some tropical palm leaf wallpaper to add some impact to my black and white kitchen. That one will be a reality soon. But if I'm entering the realms of fantasy it would be a large velvet sofa in a jewel-like colour. Or a few outrageous animal heads for the walls.

10. What advice would you give to people looking to start a blog?

It depends whether the blog is to be a hobby or a business. If it's to be a hobby I'd say just do it. You'll learn as you go along. If it's to be a business eventually, I'd warn people that it actually takes a lot longer to build up content and followers than you can imagine. And you need both before you can ever earn any money. You also need to stand out from the crowd, be consistant with your blogging schedule, be a social media expert, know at least something about SEO, be handy with a camera and if that's not enough, you need to put in the hours.

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Deputy Editor

Jennifer is the Deputy Editor (Digital) for Homes & Gardens online. Prior to her current position, she completed various short courses a KLC Design School, and wrote across sister brands Ideal Home, LivingEtc, 25 Beautiful Homes, Country Homes & Interiors, and Style at Home.