In Conversation With Kimberly Duran

27th October 2017

Harvey Jones invited Kimberly, the creator and mastermind behind Swoon Worthy, to reveal her interior expertise on all things kitchen design. We share a love of colour, and believe in reflecting your personality and creative flair into your home.

1. Tell us about yourself and what you do.

My name is Kimberly and I am the creator of the multi-award-winning blog, Swoon Worthy which, since 2010, has catalogued the work we’ve done to our Edwardian home since we moved in that same year. The blog has since grown to one of the UK’s leading interior design blogs, sharing everything from large-scale DIYs to smaller crafty projects, advice and help on decorating and styling, trends, budget ideas to luxury splurges. I’ve recently expanded my content to cover various lifestyle topics such as fashion, travel, opinion pieces and beauty. I’ve been very lucky to see my home and my blog featured everywhere from the Daily Telegraph to BBC Radio, multiple print magazines and interior design books.

2. Where did your passion for interior design come from?

I’ve loved interior design for as long as I can remember. It began in my childhood when I claimed my mother’s interior design coffee table book as my own, thumbing through it until the pages were falling out and dog-eared. My mum was always quite house-proud, and we used to spend afternoons painting, wallpapering or moving furniture around. It continued until I found myself decorating flats for friends after they’d seen what I’d done in my own. But it wasn’t until I started my own blog that the passion was fully realised.

3. What is your design mantra?

I can think of so many! Of course, there’s the William Morris quote, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Or even Miles Redd who said, “Buy the best and you’ll only cry once”. But perhaps my real design mantra is “Buy what you love and you’ll always find a place in your home for it.” That’s not a direct quote, it’s just what I believe! And this is the beauty of eclectic design which I love. There are no wrong answers in design, it’s all in the execution.

4. How does this reflect in the design of your house?

Your home should be a direct reflection of your personality. We wear clothing to express our personalities and so should our homes. My style is eclectic, it’s glamorous, it’s a touch bohemian. These are all things I love. Combining a bohemian and glamorous aesthetic seems to be a contradiction, I realise. They are very different looks. But I love them both and so I’ve found a way for them to live quite happily side by side in my home. In my kitchen, the marble-look worktops and tiles, the black cabinets and all the gold touches (including a gold sink and tap!) are all incredibly glam. The open shelving showing off the collections I’ve amassed over the years and the mix of plants and baskets give it that boho vibe too. Somehow, it all works.

5. Have you noticed any new trends in the kitchen?

I’m definitely seeing a trend of mixing and matching in the kitchen, especially in terms of materials. You can have a different colour for your lower units to your uppers or you might have your kitchen island in a contrasting shade or with a different kind of work top. Wood finishes with marble, stainless steel with copper or brass – there’s a real creativity and eclecticism that I’m loving right now. I think kitchens are finally being seen as an extension of the home and less like utilitarian spaces.

6. If you had £250 to spend in the kitchen, what would you buy?

Anything from Ruffoni’s Historia Decor range. Absolutely stunning hammered copper pots with bronze embellished handles and tops. They are utterly gorgeous and very luxurious, and I probably would forbid anyone to even use them if I had any of the pieces – they are almost too beautiful to use!

7. What colour(s) should we be using in the kitchen?

We are seeing people step away from the all-white kitchens of a few years ago and I think, really, nearly any colour goes. I’ve seen beautiful mint green kitchens, navy blue and emerald green kitchens and blush pink kitchens which are incredibly on-trend right now. Of course, if you want something that has a bit more longevity, neutrals are always a good bet and greys – from pale shades to deep slate colours – can look incredibly beautiful, especially when mixed, creating a sort of ombre effect. Natural and unstained wood is another big trend, especially when mixed with luxurious worktops in marble or good quality marble alternatives. Personally, I love a touch of black in the kitchen – I think it can look incredibly classy, especially when mixed with brass hardware. It’s such a classic combination.

8. What are your three top tips for decorating shelves in the kitchen?

I love my open shelving and couldn’t be without it now. But I am fully aware it takes a very specific personality type to keep them looking their best! You really should only display those items you love and want people to see (in other words, cereal boxes or plastic tumblers should be behind closed doors!). So that would be my first tip – choose only to display those items that fit that William Morris quote – both beautiful as well as useful. It can be a stack of your everyday plain white dishes or your favourite set of hand-blown glasses but whatever it is, make sure it looks good. My second tip is to think practically. Store the items you use the most on the lower shelves and those you use less on the highest. My third is to simply have a bit of fun with the styling. Include small pieces of artwork, plants, pretty vessels in the mix. Layering decorative items amongst your practical and pretty items gives shelving a bit of personality.

9. What are your kitchen must-haves?

Open shelving, as mentioned above, is something I don’t think I could live without. I also need a bright space with lots of natural light. We are currently house-hunting and I think my wishlist is already probably a bit too long but after living without a dishwasher for years, I just want room to include one in the design! I also love a bit of gold in the mix, my kitchens will always include a splash of brass and gold, it’s a definite must for me as it really warms up the space visually.

10. Where do you go for design inspiration? (websites, magazines, Instagram accounts etc.)

At the moment, I’ve really been inspired by hotel and restaurant design. They are incredible at making really good use of a space whilst also being able to push the boat out in terms of the design aesthetic so that’s my biggest inspiration at the moment. Of course, I also look to other blogs, design magazines and of course, Pinterest and Instagram. Travel has always been great as well and seeing how cultural influences can affect design choices. I always feel very inspired when I’m back from any trip.

Quick fire questions:

  1. Pastels or primaries? Oooh tough one. I’ll have to say pastels.
  2. Plain or patterned? Patterned
  3. Chairs or stools? Chairs
  4. Wood or stone? Stone
  5. Aga or oven? I love the look of an AGA but it’s probably a bit too rustic for me so I’ll say oven
  6. Industrial pendants or decadent chandelier? Definitely the chandelier
  7. Larder or utility room? Utility room – that’s on my wishlist as well!
  8. Cooking or eating? Eating (although I’m not a bad cook)
  9. Instagram or Pinterest? Instagram
  10. Minimalist or maximalist? Definitely a maximalist! I love a bit of carefully curated clutter!

Keep up to date with Kimberly’s take on all things design related via her blog and Instagram page.

Feel inspired and ready to start designing? Speak with one of our expert designers by calling 0800 389 6938 or in your local Harvey Jones showroom.