This week we invited David and Mark, the masterminds behind award-winning blog 'Forward Features', to take part in our new series - 'In Conversation With'. The duo share our passion for quality design and believe your personal style should be stamped on every room of the home.
1. Tell us about yourself and what you do.
We’re interior bloggers Forward Features, made up of David and Mark – two interiors geeks based in Peckham, South London. We’ve both worked in the world of interiors for a combination of twelve years, so we know a thing or two about the industry and we love sharing our insider insights with our readers – plus things we adore! Currently renting, we’re on a mission to own our little slice of London and we are so glad so many have joined us on this journey!
2. Where did your passion for interior design come from?
From part-time jobs in interior showrooms to working for interior PR agencies, we’ve always been surrounded by design and all the insights we’ve gained over the years are priceless. We love how design is everywhere and accessible to everyone because we live our lives in it. It’s a constantly growing and changing industry and we’re fascinated with what we see on a daily basis and what’s just around the corner…
3. What is your design mantra?
Trust your instinct. Most of us get dressed pretty well in the morning, so you just need to apply the same mindset to design. Whether it’s picking accessories or painting walls, have a look in your wardrobe for inspiration – your home style and fashion sense won’t be too different! Also, don’t be afraid to take risks – we once moved into a flat with a bright yellow chimney breast and we’ll always sight this as the one thing that’s inspired us to play with design and colour.
4. How does this reflect in the design of your house?
When it comes to design in the home, we both have quite different styles, but this sometimes works in our favor as we create a look that’s quite diverse. In the kitchen for example, David loves having different coloured crockery and enamelware on display while Mark would go for a sleeker, more minimalist look. The fusion of these two looks results in paired back elements – but given statement pops – making for a look that’s both eclectic with the more muted pieces allowing the bright and bold to sing through.
5. Have you noticed any new trends in the kitchen?
We’re seeing a move away from the overly-scandi designs in the kitchen and back into something a little more homely. We spotted the Arbor range from Harvey Jones which sums up the trend perfectly. It’s a take on the Original and Shaker kitchens that’s been brought up to date with playful uses of darker colours, such as midnight blues as opposed to the traditional whites and creams. Plus, industrial handles are a must in the 2018 kitchen – with brushed nickel and copper handles as opposed to the super-modern chromes (which let’s face it, just end up covered in fingerprints!)
6. If you had £250 to spend in the kitchen, what would you buy?
We are absolute plant fiends – i.e. our home isn’t complete until it looks like a scene from Jumanji, so we’d spend a fair bit on these to bring some greenery into the kitchen. However, something else we’re very passionate about is wine (obviously) so we’d really love to integrate an amazing wine rack into our kitchen – not that it would stay stocked very long. If we couldn’t integrate it, a really fantastic iconic design like Tom Dixon would take its place.
7. What colour(s) should we be using in the kitchen?
Anything but white. No-one wants a cold, plain, boring kitchen. Have fun with colour! Our previous kitchen was painted a fantastic murky green colour – which sound horrendous, but actually worked really well against a white painted floor and lacquer cabinetry. The combination of colours but also textures brought the room to life. We also love a wooden or marble-effect worktop as these are classic styles that won’t date.
8. What are your three top tips for decorating shelves in the kitchen?
First things first – make sure the pieces you’re choosing for the space work with the food prep you’ll be doing around it. You don’t want melted wax pouring out of a candle holder that’s over a kettle. Once the practicalities are sorted, it’s time to have a little fun. The kitchen is a great place to display collections, from coloured crockery to novelty salt & pepper shakers – if you’re collecting something, have it on display! Lastly, don’t be afraid to be bold in the kitchen. It’s just like any other room in the house, so if you want to have a smattering of colour or loads of pictures, then don’t hold back – your style should flow through every room of your home.
9. What are your kitchen must-haves?
The most important thing in our kitchen is space. Unlike Carrie Bradshaw we use our oven for cooking, rather than storage – so a work top that’s got room to make a mess on is a must in our book. Also, a well-stocked and accessible spice rack. We’re not afraid to say we are a bit particular when it comes to our condiments, but we definitely need to be able to see the difference between Marjoram and Chilli Powder.
10. Where do you go for design inspiration? (websites, magazines, Instagram accounts etc.)
Sadly, we live our lives on our phones so it’s all about Instagram, Pinterest & Houzz for us. However, both working in the interiors industry, we love a flick through the glossies for some good old fashioned down time. We’re really inspired by some of the other interior bloggers out there too – it’s amazing to see the practical application of ideas and we’re just inherently nosy and want to see what others have done! Although we’d love to see MTV Cribs come back for some trashy celebrity inspiration.
Quick fire questions:
- Dark tones or bright shades? Dark tones
- Plain or patterened? Why can't you have both?
- Chairs or stools? Chairs - we spend a lot of time in the kitchen so it's better to be a little more comfy
- Wood or stone? Stone
- Aga or oven? Aga
- Industrial pendants or decadent chandelier? Industrial pendants
- Larder or utility room? Utility room
- Cooking or eating? EATING
- Instagram or Pinterest? Pinterest
- Minimalist or maximalist? Maximalist
Keep up to date with David and Mark's take on all things design related via their blog and Instagram page.
Inspired by Forward Features' interiors advice? Speak to one of our expert designers to discuss your kitchen project. Call 0800 389 6938, book a complimentary consultation or visit your local Harvey Jones showroom.
Photo: Houzz and Chris Snook Photography