I’ve met masses of amazing women through CheltenhamMaman but one of my absolute favourite things is when I discover that someone I have been social media stalking from afar lives on patch. And one step further than that they are actually as fun and talented in person as they come across on their social media. A little while back I met one such Maman – Dee Campling, Cheltonian, mum of three and interiors obsessive.
Dee has been working with another interiors expert Lisa Dawson for a while now to provide one day workshops for women to come along, meet some other interiors obsessed people, get inspired and learn some top tricks to save money, style your home well and learn how to find your own style (I love that last part – who wants to follow the crowd?)
What makes these days really unique though is that they are held in people’s homes. Usually Lisa and Dee alternate between their own homes (Lisa is in York and Dee in Cheltenham – future dates here ) but as a one off they also have a workshop booked in London on the 9th June at the home of exquisite neon lighting, Bag and Bones.
Now I’m at that stage in my life when I have so much on that I just don’t have an awful lot of time to spend on making my home look like the glossy pages of Living Etc. I also have a one year old who more often than not has jam on her fingers. I’m all for making life easy so I have minimal ornaments and though I think they look incredible, styled little side tables are just not worth the hassle of keeping the Bébé contained. However I loved the day I spent with Dee and Lisa and came away feeling really inspired to make a few changes on the cheap and to be brave enough to rock my own style.
Dee’s home is gorgeous. Like completely to die for gorgeous. BUT…. it is not at all intimidating. It’s a lived in family home. Ted the dog lounges on the sofa and the spaces, though styled are functional and lived in. I don’t want to give all of her secrets away but she’s a champion of all things natural and advises her clients to bring the outside in and vice versa – so if you have an awkward little space that you want to hide – fill it with logs or plants. Sheepskins adorn her sofas – again a natural texture which can soften an otherwise harsh or dark room.
The other thing I loved about this workshop? Well I expected to come away pining for amazing items from really high end outlets and yes of course the girls recommended that some things are worth spending chunky money on but they are also massive fans of budget retailers like The Range (kid you not), Matalan and of course Ikea. Not to mention their love of flea markets and charity shops (Lisa does a weekly trawl.) Dee’s mantra is if something is en vogue but you know it is exactly your style it’s worth spending the money on but if it comes in to fashion and you love it because it’s in all the magazines but it’s not actually your core style then just buy a small item like a cushion or a print and you can use it for a season before updating it the next year.
Finding your interior style is a big part of the workshops. It’s one thing admiring other people’s homes and rooms that you see on Instagram or in a magazine but where people go wrong is by copying someone else’s style before realising it’s not actually right for them. It’s like in fashion – find out what colours work for you and you’ll know in future that some items will look great on other people but not on you – same thing applies. Turns out I am a combination of warm industrial and classic glam. There you go!
I met some fantastic other women on the workshop too. That’s one of the best things about getting out there and doing things like this. Inspiration to take away, some headspace away from the family and new contacts and friendly faces. Oh and we had a really delicious lunch too. AND prosecco. All the perfect ingredients for a great day.
If this sounds like your idea of heaven too then go and take a look at Dee and Lisa’s instagrams. As another option I am thrilled to be collaborating with Dee for a one off workshop at one of Cheltenham’s best venues when it comes to interiors inspiration, No 38 The Park. The event is on Thursday the 13th July starting at 11.30am and your ticket includes a workshop with myself and Dee, tea and coffee on arrival and later on lunch and a glass of prosecco! Tickets are limited and we have released them super early as it’s our biased opinion that they would make the perfect mother’s day gift so be sure to share this link with the children and ask them to pass it on to Daddy! You’ll need a few weeks to figure out some child care so you can have the perfect Mum’s Day Off!