International Women’s day followed by Mother’s day – I couldn’t think of a better post to comeback with. First of all, I really can’t believe I haven’t blogged since October.!!! Work and life got in the way, but to be honest, I shouldn’t have waited this long. I work in Finance, so although some people think I work in an interior design company, truth is, I do not. Interior design is my passion and I wasn’t willing to let it go so I’m using Apartment 19 to keep the passion alive.

Side note – Apartment 19 turned 1 in February – happy days!

As mentioned above, given that this week felt like ‘Women’s week’,  I thought it was relevant and appropriate to dedicate this post to Women in Design. The women below, have all inspired me in one way or another when it comes to the world of design.

However, I want to first dedicate this post to my Mum! My passion for design definitely began with her. Growing up, I watched her make curtains, blinds, cushions etc and I was always in awe of the results ! She has amazing work ethic and it always paid off. After following her around for many years, to different homes and exhibitions, my love for design just grew stronger and I will always be grateful to her for taking me to various projects. I learnt about the fabric world pretty quickly and I found myself at Design fairs every year without fail. So for all those wondering where my love for design comes from- its her.

I will do a more in depth post about her business, Drapery Box, at a later date.

(I feel like I owed you a mini explanation) – Now let’s get started on my list of inspirational Women in Design:

1. Kelly Hoppen

Kelly Hoppen was probably one of the first Interior Designers that I came across. She’s been in the game for a long time and I remember opening her books in stores and thinking ‘wow this woman’s vision is something else’. I’ve always been impressed with the scale of her projects – It’s one thing to do a home- but its another thing to do hotels and and yachts- the scale is impressive.

I also love her use of neutral colours – it makes her work timeless and sleek. You’ve probably noticed through my Instagram and blog that I’m obsessed with monochrome and greenery and Kelly manages to merge the two time and time again, in a unique and stunning way.

More importantly, Kelly Hoppen, is a great example for young girls who want to be more than just one thing. She is an Interior Designer, but she is also a great business woman – she was a Dragon on Dragon’s Den,  she’s an author of several books books (I have 3- super good- get involved), interiors and jewellery line with QVC, just to name a few. Kelly reminds me that I don’t have to limit myself to one thing, I can always do more.

I went to a talk with Kelly in September, which was hosted by GoodHousekeeping magazine. I had the opportunity to meet her- I tried not to fan out too much- but it was great to have someone so highly regarded in the design industry take note of my blog and actually like the idea and support it.

If you’re super interested in design, Its a good idea to get involved in Kelly’s Masterclass where you can learn all things design directly from Kelly Hoppen herself.



2. Kelly Wearstler

I think its fair to say that Kelly Wearstler encourages us all to be daring. She doesn’t shy away from using bold colours or prints and that’s what I love about her work. I went to her showroom in the New York Design Centre last summer and seeing the actual pieces made me realise how much detail goes into every product. Her work is very quirky and her products make statements. As I mentioned previously, I tend to stick to neutral colours, but Kelly Wearstler made me realise that bold colours are full of character and can also be timeless.

Her showroom is an exciting place, because there’s so much to look at. She uses a lot of gold, which I love. i honestly think I spent about and hour and a half in such a small space- but everything was so cool!


3. Natalia Miyar

I met Natalia last year at a Women in Design event with The Mayfair Collective. I attended the event shortly after I started the blog, so it was inspiring to see a panel of women who had successful interior design careers. After the event I remember researching her work and loving the freshness that each room had. It was clear that every object had been put in its space for a particular reason. Natalia’s work taught me symmetry and whenever I’m thinking of where I would place things in a room, I look to Natalia’s work. I also thought it was pretty cool how direct she was at the event and she told us the highs and lows of what it means to work in design. She comes from an architecture background, so she also has a unique edge -being able to see design projects from inception to the very end- awesome.


4. Elaine Griffin

I came across Elaine Griffin when I was searching for interior design books on Amazon. Her book is called Design rules and it’s an insider’s guide to becoming your own decorator. The book takes you through different rooms and gives you key tips for each room. Design Rules taught me a lot about space. I learnt to look at a room in zones and really think about how each space in the room could be used. I learnt how to think about making a room practical and not just good to look at. it’s the easiest thing to say something looks nice, but its the hardest thing to actually implement it- and this book is great for that! It’s worth checking out if you’re trying to design a space and you’re a bit confused on unsure of how to make the best use of a space.


5. Sophie Ashby

I fell in love with Sophie’s work because of the way she incorporates African prints and materials in her projects. It’s clear that she’s holds her South African roots close to her heart and it really shines through in her work. She also designed one of my favourite restaurants ‘Ikoyi’- if you haven’t checked it out already- it’s a must (St James, near Piccadilly). The restaurant interiors encapsulates modern Africa and the colours makes the space feel warm and cosy- she did an amazing job.

It’s very rare to see African art and fabrics used in modern way and I think Sophie delivers this very well in every project. She is also quite early in her career so it’s inspiring to see her penetrating the industry and really making her mark.


So there’s my 5 and there are so many more but I will be doing more of these as time goes on.

I thought it was important to share my favourite Women in the industry this week as the above have all influenced me in one way or another.

So…I’m back to blogging and loving it!