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Simply Swoonworthy! Q&A with interiors blogger Kimberly Duran

We chat to Swoonworthy founder Kimberly about all things kitchen, bathroom and bedroom...
   Katie Byrne  |  written on: 04-03-2019 17:00pm

She's one of the UK's biggest interiors bloggers, dazzling readers with her strong eye for quirky and exquisitely styled interiors.

Search 1,000s of inspiring ideas for your kitchen, bathroom or bedroom redesign 

So, of course, who better to share her interiors advice with us than Kimberly Duran, founder of the multiple-award-winning blog Swoonworthy?

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Read on for her thoughts on redesigning your bedroom on a budget, overcoming interior design challenges and creating your very own at-home oasis...

For anyone who isn’t familiar with your home, how would you summarise your interiors style in a sentence?

I nearly always describe my style as ‘eclectic boho glam’: I love to mix different eras from vintage to contemporary, adore a bit of bohemian style comfort, like lots of textures and plants... But I always include a huge dose of glamour, as well.

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Introduce us to your home: how long have you lived there? What style of property is it? What made you first fall in love with it?
We’ve only lived in our home in Shrewsbury, Shropshire since late March 2018. It’s a double-fronted four-bedroom Victorian built in 1889 with so many gorgeous original features - big windows, nice room sizes and high ceilings - that we just fell in love with. It also needed some love and TLC and that’s what we were looking for. Our old girl has a lot of potential, she just needs some assistance so that’s what we’re hoping to do.

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Where did the idea for your blog come from? What can people expect when they log on?
I’ve been blogging since 2010 when we moved in our Edwardian semi-detached in Manchester (the house we just sold!). I’d been reading home blogs for a while although those that shared the renovation of a property were more popular in the United States than they were here at the time. I’d not seen many blogs here in the UK that catalogued a home’s evolution and I really just wanted to try it out for myself.

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So my blog focuses heavily on our own home – having a new project is quite exciting so my intention is to take my readers through the journey as we create a beautiful home. I also share things that are inspiring me, my thoughts on the latest trends, shopping guides and plenty of interior design advice. I also do some travel and lifestyle content for a bit of variety!

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Interior trends: do you follow them? Is there one you really wish would go away?
I’m influenced by trends as much as anyone is. It’s hard to completely dismiss them when it’s what you see in the shops and what you see everywhere on Instagram or Pinterest. I think it’s really important to understand your personal style and what you truly love because that should transcend any fleeting trends. But when I do see something that really resonates with my personal style, I like to dip my feet in it first just to test the waters – a few inexpensive accessories will freshen up a look without heavy investment. As for trends I wish would go away… I’m pretty much over typographical prints!

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One trend you adore unconditionally...?
I’ve loved gold and brass for years now, long before it became as popular as it is today and it’s something I’m sure I’ll continue to love for many years. It adds so much warmth and glamour and considering the fact that it’s a finish that’s been used for centuries, I’m not that worried about investing in it heavily in my home. I have done for a decade now, so I’m not going to stop when, inevitably, another finish takes over...

How to: expert advice for incorporating difficult spaces into your redesign

What’s your advice for anyone who wants to breathe character and personality into their kitchen but has no idea where to begin? What’s the best place/way to start?
Kitchens can be fairly utilitarian but the latest trends see kitchens as an extension of your home’s style and some of the newest looks make your cabinets look almost as though they are pieces of furniture, blending in beautifully especially if you have an open-plan scheme.

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However, you certainly don’t have to rip out your existing kitchen and start again if that’s not in the budget. You can repaint existing cabinets in a fresh colour and add some new handles to breathe new life into it or install some open shelving to display your favourite pieces to bring in some personality. I’ve always really liked art in the kitchen as well – it’s just one more way to create a bit of interest.

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The kitchen, the bathroom and the bedroom: which one of these spaces is your favourite in your home and why?
Considering the fact that it’s the only one of the rooms mentioned that we’ve been able to finish at this point, it’s got to be my bedroom. I used a gorgeous wall mural in the space and splashes of black, gold and warm pink tones. It’s such a joy to start and end my day in that space when there is so much more work to do in the house. 

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However, we are just starting work on a brand new extension which will house our new kitchen and opening up walls to create a lovely open plan feel. So once that’s done, I’m pretty sure that will be my new favourite space.

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What’s your favourite detail of your bathroom?
As much as I can’t wait to eventually renovate the space, I was able to make some small affordable changes to make it liveable for the time being until we are ready to rip the whole thing out and start from scratch! I think using black paint on all the walls and the sloped ceiling really brought some personality into the space. I also love all the plants in there.

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During your home renovations, you must have encountered a variety of big or difficult decisions. Talk us through one of them and how you overcame it?
Moving to a new area is always challenging but we never thought we’d have such a struggle to find a suitable builder for our renovation project. It was taking months just to get a quote back or they simply wouldn’t get back to us at all. Despite the fact that we were ready in every other aspect, no one wanted to take our money! My solution was to simply talk to everyone I encountered about the project and ask if they knew any reputable contractors.

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Eventually, we found a great builder via my dentist who was working on his own extension at the time. Not only that, but he was able to fit us in quickly due to a small gap in his schedule. Finding good tradespeople is always a hard one but my advice is to persevere, get the word out and don’t settle just because you want something done quickly – you just never know who might have a recommendation for you.

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What's your top tip for anyone who wants to do something amazing to transform their bedroom on a small budget? And how about for someone who’s renting and can’t do anything drastic?
On a small budget, paint will always be my first tip to breathe new life into a space. Be bold: try going dark or consider a jewel tone like deep burgundy or indigo blue, which can work beautifully in a bedroom to create a cosy atmosphere.

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If you’re renting, focus on the item that’s the centrepiece of the room: the bed. There are so many beautiful beds and headboards out there to help you create a focal point but even just layering the bed with contrasting textures with linen bedding, cosy throws and textured cushions will create an oasis when you’re not able to do much with the walls and floors.

For more interiors inspiration, read Kimberly's blog here and follow her on Instagram here

NEXT! Ever considered doing something creative with your shelving? No? Cast your eye over our moodboard of ideas and prepare to get inspired - click any image below to begin.





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Katie Byrne


Katie Byrne is a writer, editor and filter fan (coffee, not Instagram), and lives in a Georgian-built flat that features various statement cobwebs.