The first exciting thing is that I am running a GIVEAWAY this week for one reader to win a copy of the book! Just leave a comment on this post before Friday 14th May. (don't forget to leave a contact email!!)
And secondly I'm so pleased to have caught up with Sania to hear about her inspiration for the book, where she shops for crafty items and how she styles her own home.....
Hi Sania, your lovely new book The Homemade Home has just been published. What led up to you writing this book? Is it something you’ve wanted to do for a long time?
From a very young age I have always loved making things. After art college, I worked as a textile designer for seven years then retrained as an interiors stylist. I started combining my homemade and customised objects within my photo shoots and Elle Decoration and Easy Living magazines featured my how-to stories. Whilst taking time out with my young children, I started writing a list of ideas over several months in my scribbly note book (which stays with me in my bag at all times!) It then became clear they needed to be made into a book. Cico Books then gave me this opportunity. The main aim behind the book was to inspire people to make things for themselves, hopefully The Homemade Home will do this.
There are 50 inspiring projects in the book, can you choose a favourite?!
I have to say I like the Lovebird pillows with silk flowers on page 74. I struggled with this project and after several different directions finally came to the bird pillows. The birds were printed on an apron bought from a carboot sale and I like the mix of the dark fabric with the floral fabric and the silk flowers, all a little kitsch, but still quite romantic and quirky.
Is there anywhere you particularly recommend for picking up items to carry out the projects in The Homemade Home?
One of my favourite shops is VV Rouleaux in London. It is a grown-ups answer to a sweetie shop – rows and rows of beautiful ribbons and trimmings in fabulous colours. A pick and mix of one metre of pale blue velvet and two of pale green silk. They also sell silk flowers, butterflies, small cut out suede leaves and flowers, expensive but just a little makes a big difference.
I love carboot sales too, for wonderful inexpensive pieces of fabric, books, maps, stamps, jewellery and buttons. The ‘antique fashion and textile fair’ in Hammersmith is wonderful as well for lovely covered buttons and vintage buckles and fabrics. Art shops too; it may be that I discover a new material or technique, while walking through the shop and this then sparks off a new idea. John Lewis haberdashery department is a necessity, fabulous for the basics, buttons to cover, tapestry hoops and a wonderful range of embroidery threads.
How would you describe your own personal interior style?
I love quirky and individual bits about the house, if I cant find it, I’ll make it. It’s a mix of customised Ikea with antique shop buys. My curtains I have just recently made and love, they are pinstripe suiting fabric with the ‘All wool - made in England’ selvedge still running down the edge. I love the graphic quality and I suppose I do like graphic objects with strong shapes.
There are bits I love that I have collected over the years, pieces picked up from holidays and trips abroad. I always try and buy something from degree shows too, or New Designers show in Islington is a fabulous place to pick up lovely art at reasonable prices and supports the students as they graduate. I think that a home is made over time, it can’t really be made in one go or bought off-the-shelf, but collected over years so it gathers interest and reflects your taste and personality. I also love to display items that are practical or have been well used in the past. I have a love for rulers and display them. I also own a rather beautiful and strange collection of old wooden spoons that were my grandmother’s and great grandmother’s that have been used so many times they have worn down to almost nothing. I love the history behind them, all the meals they would have been involved with creating. They are on a shelf and look quite tribal with there worn out ends.
Degree shows, antique shops, car boot sales, inherited furniture, given a new lease of life. I try not to but too much off the shelf but customising Ikea and Habitat can work well. Vessel in Notting Hill has wonderful ceramics and glass.
The trend for handmade homewares has become massively popular, is there any other trends you think will become popular over the next year within interior styling?
I think now is the time for the return of colour. It’s mixing in colour in a new way. It may be a chair is painted in a vibrant shade and placed against a grey wall, or adding a pop of colour by tying a neon-bright ribbon around the neck of a vase. Different coloured cushions on each chair around the dining table.
Do you have any tips for my readers for styling their own home?
I always try to only keep beautiful or practical items out. If it isn’t then put it away. Keep your space simple and then have areas, on shelves, fireplaces, cabinets, that have lots going on. Display an interesting mix of postcards, drawings, packaging, leaves collected from a walk, blue tack them to the wall. Mix different heights of vases in with pebbles below. To start styling an area, clear it, remove every thing and put it in a corner and then add bit by bit. The pieces that don’t work in this arrangement will fit into another, or may be put away to come out another time.
Do you have any exciting plans coming up that you can tell us about?
I am spending time with my children at the moment as they are both still small, but I must admit that new ideas are filling up my scribbly notebook for the next book!