Spotlight on…Lindsay Blair, features editor, Kitchens Bedrooms & Bathrooms
Kitchens Bedrooms & Bathrooms’ features editor Lindsay tells leading PR interiors agency Homestyle PR what inspired her to become a journo and why she loves writing about homes…
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Everywhere! Here at Kitchens Bedrooms & Bathrooms (KBB) magazine, we spend a lot of time researching new trends, monitoring social media, visiting showrooms, attending events in the UK and Europe and talking to designers and homeowners about trends and their tastes and also what they think makes good home design. A feature idea can grow from the smallest of things, such as a tweet, the shape of a tap or the colour or material of a lamp, so we always pay close attention to what’s going on online, new collection launches and trend forecasts. For me, one of the best bits of working on the magazine is chatting to homeowners and visiting their beautiful homes. Seeing how they’ve transformed their property, styled the spaces and finding out why this works for their family, is inspiring in itself. Great if you’re a little bit nosy, too!
Tell us a little about how you started out as a journalist; have you always been interested in interiors?
I wanted to work as a magazine journalist after watching the film How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. While I don’t work on quite the same type of stories as writer (played by Kate Hudson does in the film (not sure how this would work in interiors!), I loved the idea of creating glossy pages filled with lovely images that would inspire readers. After working as a digital content writer, I made the jump to print publishing five years ago and have loved it ever since. There’s something very satisfying about putting a feature together and having the hard copy land on your desk when it comes back from the printers. While online journalism is huge – and something I am still involved with through my job as features editor – print will always remain special to me. Today, I love watching home design TV shows, such as Grand Designs and even DIY SOS, which feeds into my love of homes and finding new ideas both for KBB and my own home.
What is your favourite section of the magazine and why?
It’s hard to pick one, so I will choose two! I love the shopping pages for simple ideas and a quick, trend-led update, which can make a real difference to a room. These pages are really fun to put together, too, as you get the opportunity to see lots of lovely homeware. The downside is I want it all! I also love the ‘real homes’ section. KBB features around five homes every issue and each one is different in style, but each lovely in its own right, so there are plenty of ideas to be gained. My latest favourite was a kitchen-diner with Crittall doors and an exposed brick wall. I’d love this sort of industrial, loft-style look in my home.
What sets KBB apart from other magazines on the newsstand?
As you might expect, KBB focuses on all things kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms related, so is the go-to magazine for homeowners planning to renovate or redecorate any of these spaces. Features offer advice on a wide range of topics right from the start of the design process to the finishing touches, so is a great resource to have on hand for the duration of a project, or even before you begin and you’re on the lookout for inspiration or cuttings for a mood board. As well as great advice from leading industry experts, the magazine is also great for discovering the latest trends, designers to watch, brands to look out for and the latest finishes and fittings to hit the shelves, keeping readers totally in the know.
What is a typical day like working on KBB?
Every day is different, which is what I love about my job. I can be in the office writing a feature, planning future issues or conducting phone interviews one day and out on a home shoot, travelling to an event, meeting designers or viewing upcoming collections the next. I try to start each day by catching up on emails, writing an all-important to-do list whilst having a coffee and then wait to see where the day takes me. Right now, the team is planning content for the whole of 2018, so we’re spending a lot of time looking ahead and predicting what will be the next big thing!
How do you spend your down time?
I’ve recently moved house to a new area, so I am spending a lot of time getting each room just how I want it, which I really enjoy. Outside of homes, I am an avid runner, which I am finding is a great way of exploring a new town and a good way to clear my head after a busy day. I love to cook, so enjoy experimenting with new dishes on weekends and, similarly, love to eat too, so like trying new restaurants and food markets – especially when combined with travel.
Which room has become the most important part of the home?
It has to be the kitchen, or the kitchen-living-diner as is more common today. Open-plan living has been on trend for some years now, but rather than being a design phase, it’s become a way of modern life. A zoned open-plan kitchen-diner with a living space within it is great for family time and entertaining, and even better when it is linked to the garden with a large expanse of glazing and sliding doors which makes the whole space perfect for summer parties. It’s now the most sociable part of the home!
What would you be if you hadn’t worked as a magazine journalist?
My plan B is a world away from being a magazine journalist – I would love to be a midwife! Not only because I love to watch One Born Every Minute, but I have always been fascinated by the profession. Never say never, right?