Bethan

Bethan is a twenty-something country mouse turned city mouse living in leafy south London. She lives and breathes all things interiors and gathers the world’s most inspiring homes and ideas together on her blog, Decorator’s Notebook. At weekends you’re most likely to find Bethan rummaging for treasures at a car boot sale, roaming the countryside with her camera or teetering on the top of a ladder decorating her flat. She’s a little bit in love with David Bowie, secretly shops for her one-day-dog on Pinterest and loves watching films that make her sob.

A few questions about nice things...

Who do you most admire?

Aung San Suu Kyi – she’s given up so much to fight for freedom and democracy in Burma and is the most inspiring and beautiful woman. When I am her age I hope to be wearing flowers in my hair.

What are your favourite possessions?

The most special things in my home are those that have stories to tell. I love imagining my vintage treasures in their previous homes and think of their time with me as one more stop in their history and I often reminisce about where and when I found them – my little wooden toy horse from La Braderie flea market in Lille, collected pharmacy bottles from a trip to Honiton in Devon or the carved chicha cups I picked up on my travels in Peru. It’s these gatherings that make my home meaningful and beautiful to me.

Tell us about your perfect day or weekend...

I’d spend my perfect day in my favourite place in the UK – the ruggedly beautiful island of St Agnes in the Isles of Scilly. It begins under canvas with a simple breakfast of freshly baked bread, real butter, apricot jam and several mugs of tea eaten overlooking the glittering sea.

When we’re ready (no rushing today) we gather together a picnic and set off for a walk around the island, breathing the crisp Atlantic air, stopping every now and again at one of the little coves along the way to sit on the sun-warmed rocks and watch the seabirds swooping in the sky. If we’re lucky we might spot grey seals and porpoises too, or find glass beads from an 18th century shipwreck washed up on Beady Pool beach.

As evening falls we’ll walk a little faster to make sure we reach the Turks Head pub in time for a drink (gin, tonic, lime) and a warming supper before returning to the tent, tired and happy. Life is simple and days pass slowly here – what could be more perfect than that?

What makes you happiest?

Christmas! I’ve never grown out of the excitement of preparing for the big day – baking the cake months ahead, collecting ideas for homemade decorations, planning how I’ll wrap my presents, filling the house with scented evergreen and holly, baking mince pies with my mum. My family is quite spread out across the country, so it’s always so special to get together at Christmas to catch up on the year that’s passed and share hopes and dreams for the one ahead.

What would you like to do in the future?

I’ve always dreamed of opening my own interior shop selling carefully selected home accessories from all around the world. I’d love to travel the globe seeking out creative designer-makers, skilled artisans and the most unusual vintage treasures that people can use to make their homes more beautiful, personal and meaningful to them. My blog, Decorator’s Notebook, is a gathering place for all the inspiring interior design ideas I come across and it would be wonderful to create an online shop where home-lovers can shop and share. I hope to turn my dream into reality very soon so watch this space!