Interview: Hayley Southwood of Southwood Living
Hayley Southwood is an entrepreneur in every sense. Following the loss of her mother in her early thirties, Hayley made a promise to herself never to settle for second best and to strive to enjoy her work as well as be successful in business. Having already set up a kids nursery school she sold her part in the business and bought an ice cream van. This lead to a presence at events across the country, national press coverage and another huge success.
Fast forward several years and Southwood Living was created. Now with its own social hub, linking women in business together (I am a member of the hub aka maven) and Hayley has created a new shopping experience entirely.
Hayley has made her new house into a showhouse. Everything you see, you can buy through her website (or if you visit). Genius, right? We were very excited when Hayley chose some our bedding to feature in her guest bedroom. We asked Hayley a few questions about her amazing style and how she threw herself into becoming an interiors leader.
Do you prefer to work alone or in a team when it comes to interior design?
I tend to work alone and trust my own gut feelings when it comes to making interiors decisions but I look on Pinterest and Instagram and must absorb more than I think when it comes to deciding what I love.
What do you consider when choosing a colour for a room?
My new house has changed my colour choice completely. The old house was white and monochrome, I am obsessed with Scandinavian style and it was light and airy. Our new home is totally different and it has given me an opportunity to explore using deeper colours and darker wood.
We are styling the new home on a budget and therefore have worked with what is existing already. For example, in the kitchen we had the cupboard doors painted and bought some brass handles from ebay and Paul (Hayley’s husband) re-tiled the walls using some cheap but beautiful white tiles.
How do you mix much-loved older items collected over the years with newer items?
I have a vintage cabinet that we have taken to every home and painted in different colours, to make it feel like new again. I love buying old furniture to up-cycle and am always keeping half an eye on Gumtree and Facebook to see what people are clearing out. One person's junk, is another person's treasure.
How did you come up with the idea for the showhouse?
The home is always evolving, it allows me to explore new products all the time, I mix high street with vintage to allow everyone the opportunity to be inspired and purchase things that they love to have at home. I frequently hold workshops at my house for my maven community (Southwood Social Hub) and find that changing my stock every six to eight weeks keeps it fresh and allows me to engage with my community.
Finally, why did you pick Fizz Pop from our Liberty print bedding range?
I just love it so much, it’s a really fun prints with colours that I adore and work well with my guest-room. The fabric is so soft it feels like silk, I am very tempted to move into the guest-room!
You can read more about Hayleys guest-room here.