5 Inspirational People who Deserve Inspirational Bedrooms...
People touch our lives. Whether they are friends or family, acquaintances or strangers; we are touched every day by somebody or another, somewhere in the world. I feel it's important to let people know when they inspire you; not everybody is comfortable with praise or admiration, but I believe everybody should be told when they're doing something to be proud of.
I am fortunate enough to have some lovely people in my life who inspire, encourage and support me every day; some of these people are family, some are friends - but some of them are people I am merely acquainted with via other people or through instagram; and some are people who have helped me to be the person I am today - who have helped to shape me in ways I never thought would be possible, in my younger years.
I have created this blog to celebrate these people; to let them know how fondly they are considered and how much I appreciate their presence in my life - no matter how much or how little, how real or how virtual - or how present or absent they are in it. These people are the people who make me smile, make me cry, make me dream and make me push even harder to be the best version of myself I can be.
They inspire me to keep pushing my goals, motivate me to try harder when I fail, celebrate me when I do well, support me when I need it and/or encourage me to carry on when the world feels bleak. Whether they realise it or not - these people are some of the people who keep me on track. And I appreciate everything they do - for me and/or for others.
I only hope, one day, I can do something lovely for them in return. Because these people deserve wonderful bedrooms!
Let me introduce you to them:
Visual Merchandiser - Swatch Group
*A.K.A: My little sister
She's beautiful, she's cute, she's funny, fiery and full of smiles; she's the ideal example of the 'pocket rocket'. She is my little sis... but she definitely fills the big sister role better than I do; she is most inspiring person I know.
She hasn't always had it easy; she's been through her fair share of heartache and we've almost lost her more times than I like to remember. Mum definitely should have called her 'Kat'!
As a baby - in the 80s - she fell out of the door of our Nan's car on the motorway (those days when we didn't bother with seatbelts, baby seats, or thinking about locking the doors - evidently!), but thankfully my reflexes were fast enough to grab her before she hit the road. I think I was only about 5 at the time and I still remember the feeling of my stomach flipping as I leant over and saw the road racing past us - just below her little head!
A little older - about 3 - mum had an awful feeling in the middle of the night and went in to the bedroom to find her hanging by the neck. She had slipped under the bar on the top bunk and was choking underneath it. Thank goodness Mum checked!
In her teens, she was hit side-on by a boy racer; her car flew into the air, spun around and slammed into the pavement. We thought she'd broken her neck, but thankfully she was okay. Around the same age - give or take - she had an operation and caught sepsis and gangrene afterwards; the experience was horrendous and we were warned she may not make it.
And not too long ago, she suffered negligence when she was away for work and diagnosed with food poisoning / gastroenteritis after calling an ambulance and then making her own way to A&E in the middle of the night after a day in and out of consciousness and excruciating pain. Eventually, she drove herself the 4 hour journey home in agony (she refused help) and was rushed back into hospital later that morning for emergency surgery, having finally been diagnosed with a burst appendix. Her appendix had "exploded" into all four quadrants of her torso and her organs were infected. Her surgeon said he found parts of her appendix behind her liver and is amazed she was still alive, let alone that she managed to drive back home to Kent from Manchester. She also had an infected uterus and the appendix was gangrenous, causing more sepsis.
When we saw her, she was thin, grey and clearly in a lot of pain. I remember being really scared that she'd fall ill and we'd lose her. But - as always - she bounced back.
And now, this month... she's had covid - albeit much milder thanks to her jabs!
My little sister never complains. She carries on with a smile and kindness for everyone. She works hard, stays positive and battles on regardless of what's going on in her life. If she does complain, we know we need to worry.
But what she does do is pick herself back up - every time. She is a truly remarkable young woman; she never ceases to amaze me and I wish every day that I was more like her.
Our mum did a good job in raising us to be decent human beings who have empathy and love for others; she raised us to be strong women; and though I have often battled much harder to stay that way, the little sister I should take care of often makes it look easy in comparison. She is amazing.
A Glamorous & Relaxing Haven
If I were designing a bedroom for this little inspiration, it would have to be somewhere relaxing, glamorous and beautiful. She deserves an elegant space where she can unwind, chill out and feel at peace.
I'm sure she's more than happy with the bedroom she's already created in her house with her fiancé, but that isn't the point of this blog; I'm forcing my designs onto these people as a virtual gift, whether they like it or not. And I'm sorry little sis, but you're not having grey!!
Kay's favourite colour was always pink, growing up. So much so that I couldn't dare to like it too, because it was hers! If I even tried to like something the same as her, she would freak out. She'd claimed it and that was that! This happened with everything; to the point that, when we played with our Barbies together, my Barbie wasn't allowed a boyfriend called Glen, so I had to adapt mine to 'Glyn' to satisfy her territorial ways! (Glen was taken from Johnny Depp's character in A Nightmare on Elm Street because we both fancied him - yes, we did watch horror from a young age and no, we weren't still playing with Barbies at 18 years old!).
So, I'm thinking champagne metallics and soft pink tones for this one. I love this champagne cherry blossom mural - and with Kay's growing love of her garden, I don't think it will be too long before she starts to appreciate the beauty of floral prints in the home. She's never going to be full-on cottage-core, granny-chic like me, but a little flourish here and there will surely please her femininity - and her love of sparkle (and her fiancé's love of sparkle, too!).
I'd team these beautiful prints with luxurious champagne metals, thick pile cream carpets (or dark wooden floors with a thick cream rug!) and beautiful fabrics; think heavy curtains, cosy blankets and silk bedding to show off her bouncy duvet and plump pillows.
Crystals lit with soft white bulbs, a dimmable shadow-gap around the ceiling and a beautiful, show-stopping bed. I'm sorry little sis, I just couldn't bring myself to put a TV-bed into this design; you know I don't agree with TVs in the bedroom! You can have a white noise machine instead, or we can make that shadow gap give you some ambient lighting to drift off to (for those who don't know Kayleigh, she's always needed sound and light to get to sleep to, so her TV is really important to her)!
I guess we can sacrifice the design a little for the TV bed if it's that necessary, though!
I can definitely see Kayleigh enjoying this space; but I've been lucky with this first 'entry' because she's my sister and I have the advantage of knowing what she likes. If you ever want this design, little sis - let me know!
Now for the people I know very little about; let's see if I can create the bedroom-of-dreams for them, shall we?
Consultant Dermatologist - Guys & St. Thomas' Hospital
Expert in pimple popping - The Bad Skin Clinic, Save my Skin
Specialist skincare creator - Klira World
*A.K.A: Skin Heroine & altogether lovely lady!
If you've never seen Emma on TV, you've been missing out on a great show, an emotional rollercoaster and a lovely and very funny host with an amazing Irish accent!
I don't know Emma personally (yet!) and the only reason I came to be in contact with her is because my dermatology consultant (he's coming up in this list!) told me to check her out after asking if I watch her show, when he then went on to impersonate her telling one of her patients that their extracted pilar cyst was "like delivering a wee beeeerby!".
I did check her out as soon as I was home and I instantly loved her. She's just an all-round warm, kind, compassionate and wonderful lady - and I was very excited when she followed me back on Instagram! Ever since then, we've had the odd chat here and there and I just think she's incredible; so she definitely deserves a bedroom to be proud of as a reflection of everything she does in her career for others.
Emma dedicates her life to improving the lives of others; she helps people with skin conditions who feel they have nowhere else to turn, no hope and no self confidence to keep fighting. These people leave her surgery with a renewed self-esteem and a whole new outlook on life. It's just amazing what these specialists do for others; and as a dermatology patient myself, I know first-hand just how wonderful and selfless their jobs are; and just how much they save lives every day - probably without even realising it.
Our skin is the biggest organ on our bodies - and when something is wrong with it, we can't always hide it from the rest of the world. It really can have such a drastic effect on our mental health and when that happens, it can make you want to give up altogether. Emma and her colleagues are heroes in their field; they're skin-magicians, dermatological miracle workers. And they all deserve a lovely place to retire at the end of each day. I hope they all realise just how special they are.
Recently, Emma launched her own skincare brand; a one-item subscription-based product, catering for all twelve skin-sizes; saving you the faff of using multiple skincare products and the hassle of having to go out to buy them in the hope that you get the right kind for your skin. Check out Klira World.
I love to see people doing well in life; it gives me hope that my dreams will someday manifest; anyone who follows their dreams and makes them a reality is a big inspiration to me... but those who do it whilst retaining their beautiful souls, kind hearts and level heads are the people who inspire me the most. And Emma is one of these people.
I hope we have coffee one day, Emma; and I hope to design for you in the future. Keep being amazing!
A Mirror of Pride
Now, I have absolutely no idea what styles Emma is into, what colours she loves the most, or what kind of bedroom she would find relaxing; all I have to go on are a few small details I have picked up through our chats over the time we've followed one another; she has mentioned Victorian houses to me and she has also commented on a design or two that I have shared, to say that she likes it, so this is where I will begin for her.
Emma is beautiful; she has a grace and elegance about her; she is feminine, classy and warm. Her bedroom should also be all of these things. She should walk into this room in the evenings after a long day saving lives and this room should reflect back at her, all of the marvellous things she has achieved that day. She should walk into it and feel proud. Proud of her space and proud of herself.
I think Emma needs a bold statement; this room needs to shout, 'Look at me!'.
From what I've seen of Emma online, she loves fun; she likes festivals and camping, family and time in the sunshine (with the safety of sun protection, of course!); she seems to like boho prints and florals - and she loves colour.
I've chosen this beautiful chinoiserie style wallpaper in soft peach and green tones, and paired it with a gorgeous floral velvet from Woodchip & Magnolia, which I would use for a statement headboard and curtains - putting the peach pom-pom voiles in the background for the sun to shine a warm glow into the room.
These elements, along with natural pine French armoires, bamboo and velvet lamps, vintage armchairs, crystal pendant lighting and an abundance of plant-life gives the bedroom that botanical elegance found in palaces and stately homes of the Victorian era.
I'd be very happy in this bedroom; hopefully Emma would too.
Vintage hair stylist & owner of The Vanity Box Salon
Pulp Riot & B3 educator
*A.K.A: Proof that you can turn your life around if you believe it enough...
I first met Verity when I was into the 1950s rockabilly scene at a weekender and, although we've known one another for about 8 years now, we've only actually spent a little bit of time in one another's company. We're always saying we'll meet up again soon, but... life!
Verity really is an inspiration. She is total proof that you can turn your whole life around with the determination and belief that you can do it.
When Verity was a young teenager, she found herself homeless having had a tumultuous relationship with her mum. She struggled with her mental health, hitting rock bottom when addiction became her crutch; I'm sure there were many moments where she couldn't see life getting any better than it was. But Verity is a fighter; she battled her addictions and managed to get herself into an apprenticeship with a hair salon in an attempt to get herself back on track. At 18 years old, she had already faced a lifetime of hardship and now she was also expecting a baby. She knew she needed to make huge changes - not only for herself, but for her little-boy-to-be.
Not even 20 years on, Verity is now the owner of her own hair salon and she is incredibly busy! Her vintage hair styles and bold, vibrant colourings are hugely popular; she turns the most unhealthy looking hair into a masterpiece in just a few hours and her before and after images never cease to amaze me!
As well as this, she has also become an educator for future stylists, featuring on stage to showcase her amazing talents and show-stopping hair designs.
On top of that, Verity has managed to raise a wonderful young man in her son, Jake. I haven't ever met Jake, but I've only ever heard about how lovely and respectful he is - and I am sure that he is set to be very successful, having been raised by such a strong and courageous woman. She really has done an amazing job, especially considering the rough start she had.
In 2020, Verity was diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis), having gone blind in one eye. The blindness lasted a couple of months and was, understandably a very scary time for her. MS is a disease of the brain and spinal cord; the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) which covers the nerve fibres and causes communication problems between the brain and the rest of the body. There is no cure and Verity has to face a lifetime of pain, as well as the likelihood of a shortened life span as a result of the disease.
But as I said before - Verity is a fighter and she is prepared to battle this with the same determination and courage that she used to battle her previous problems. She's always smiling and she's always so bright and sunshiny... she is also super cute!
I have no doubt that she will absolutely continue to smash life the way she always has - and she totally deserves a bedroom to rest, recover and relax in. She deserves a beautiful boudoir to remind herself how far she has come...
A Kitsch & Uplifting Sanctuary
You only need to look at Verity to know that she loves pastels, Disney, mermaids, unicorns and everything cutesy! This is going to be a fun one...
I know Verity loves pink, purple and iridescence, so that is where I'm going with this design. I also know that she loves anything girly and anything fun and cheerful; but I want to design her a bedroom she can wind down in, rather than one that keeps her in work mode - although, it also needs to help to motivate her on those days when it's harder to find her get-up-and-go, so I'll need to find some kind of balance.
Who knew you could get a Disney themed Toile de Jouy wallpaper?! Not me! But I think it's absolutely perfect for Verity's space; a more mature and sophisticated version of something super girly. I'd team this with a pink sky wallpaper on the ceiling and double layered twinkly curtains with a darker pink for the woodwork and trims. I think I'd also have twinkly star lights in the ceiling for that cosy night time vibe.
Continuing the pink throughout the room, I'd bring in Verity's love of sea-shells and mermaids with a shell-inspired headboard and cushions and an iridescent clam-shell bedside lamp. I'd then introduce French style furniture for that Disney Princess element in whites and soft pinks.
I can definitely see Verity in this design; I hope she likes it!
Well, that turned out to be a lot of pink, didn't it? Let's move onto something different for the last two designs, shall we?
Talented clay worker & disability fighter
Talented crafter, female chimney sweep & business owner
*A.K.A: All-round Beautiful Couple & The Sunshine of Life
This incredibly handsome chap is my friend Murray. We met on Instagram about 13 years ago (give or take) and immediately hit it off when I commented on his profile photo with the cringeworthy pun, "fan-tache-stic"!
He and his gorgeous wife, Penny (whom I became friends with a little while later) are two of my most favourite people. They are equally kind, fun and inspirational; and are the perfect example of a couple who have true love, who support and encourage one another and who make marriage look like an easy part of life. They truly do inspire me.
Now, I know the title of this blog said "5 Inspirational People" and there's still one more to come after this, but we all know that married couples are technically one person (right?!); and besides which, I really couldn't choose between these two if I had to.
Here's a little background for you:
Murray is just the most contagiously happy soul I have ever met. I am sure he has his darker days, like all of us, but he never shows it; he smiles and the world smiles back. He is just a completely adorable and loveable character with the most charming Essex accent and the greatest laugh. He's hilariously funny, super stylish and old fashioned and he is also really talented - and completely modest about it too!
When I attended Murray and Penny's wedding I lost count of the amount of people who commented that you can't help but smile when you're in Murray's company. He just makes you feel cheerful.
Murray has been through a tough time in recent years, having injured his back and suffering a lot of pain. Having fractures in my own spine, I know just how debilitating and miserable it is to be in constant pain - especially in your back. You really don't realise how important your spine is until you start to struggle with it. But Murray continued to find the positives in life, even on those days when it was hardest to find the light.
Murray had to stop working because of his pain; he's had numerous operations and painful recoveries, often finding himself unable to leave the house when the pain was severe. But despite these difficult changes to his life, he battled his way back into a positive mind-set and discovered he's actually a really talented polymer clay worker. Make sure you check out his clever creations, on his page!
Murray and Penny are both keen gardeners and their garden has been transformed into a beautiful space in the time they have been working on it. I can't wait to see it again 'in the flesh' because I know they have added so much more to it since I last visited them and it always stops me scrolling when it pops up on my feed.
Penny is a very rare business woman; she is a chimney sweep! How impressive is that?! Like many successful business women, Penny inspires me with her hard working ethic and her determined attitude. She's often highly in demand, especially with other women, who want to feel safe having someone in their homes. And I just love to see how proud of her Murray is; you can see it in his smile when he looks at her - and you can tell just how proud she is of him in return.
These two are just the sunshine of life; and even when things are tough for them, they make sure others are supported and they never fail to make you feel like you're doing something great. They're just a very special couple and I love them so much!
Penny and Murray deserve a romantic, peaceful bedroom to connect in after a hard day working and a (sometimes even harder) day surviving; they deserve somewhere cosy, comforting and safe. Let's see what I could do for them...
A Vintage Cocoon
I know that Murray and Penny love the Autumn months; they love to be warm and snug and they love the colours of fall. They love knitted blankets, cosy slippers and cups of tea. They also love a cheeky G&T by the fire and the homely feeling of sitting in their wool-upholstered armchairs, completely contented with one another's company. How beautifully romantic! I want that!
For their design, I'm going to delve into the vintage war-time era of romance. Antique colours, snug, comfortable materials and furniture which lasts a lifetime - just like their love for each other!
I found this beautiful floral wallpaper with a beige background; it looks like 'aged cream' and gives the impression that it's been hanging on the wall for decades - the colours looking like they've faded slightly as time has passed by.
I would team this with (yet another) Woodchip & Magnolia fabric in the same colour palette and I'd use this on the headboard and window treatments to pull the scheme together perfectly - along with the rather well matched rug. This scheme totally sings about their love of gardens!
I'd paint the ceiling a soft beige and pick out one of the pinks in the wallpaper for the woodwork and trims; all of these colours would then feature around the room in the furniture and accessories to bring a timeless romance into their haven.
For the bedding, I'd introduce a soft coral and layer quilted throws with crocheted blankets for a homely feel which could be added to in the winter months.
Overall, I love this design; I think it really suits Murray and Penny's style and their love of all things vintage, quirky and cosy.
I hope they would be very happy in this bedroom for many years to come!
One last thing...
Professor John McGrath
Consultant Dermatologist & Head of Dermatology - Kings College, London
Dedicated to finding a cure for Epidermolysis Bullosa & other rare diseases
*A.K.A: My Consultant
Last, but definitely not least is my incredible consultant, Professor John McGrath.
I first met John around 2007, when I was referred to his clinic, having struggled my entire life with what turned out to be two very rare conditions, as well as developing alopecia areata in 2006 (ish).
I shan't go too much into how much this man has changed my life, because, quite frankly, I think I terrify him with my constant appreciation and reminders of how special he is to me - I'm a "gusher"; and it's so easy to feel you haven't thanked someone enough when they've had the impact on your life that this man has had on mine. I mean it when I say that, if I had never met John, I definitely wouldn't be the person I am now. I would still be miserable and absolutely stuck in a rut with zero self confidence and no self-esteem.
My diagnoses and the steps taken to help them have improved my life more than I ever thought was possible; meeting this man created a light at the end of a very dark, very long and very lonely tunnel. There are no cures for my conditions and they will always effect me in some way or another, but I now have ways of lessening the impact they have on my life - and that is all thanks to Professor McGrath!
The day Professor McGrath prescribed me wigs will forever stick in my memories as the day my life changed forever - and the day I gave a very lovely man a very hard time (I'm sorry JM!). When I heard those words, I remember bursting into tears; the thought of having to wear wigs every day terrified me. I imagined them to look so obviously fake and I just didn't want to accept that, that was my only option; and my goodness, did poor Professor M push me to full brat mode!
But despite my indignant attitude, John stayed composed and compassionate; he let me have my strop and at the end of the appointment, he sent me into an empty room to sort myself out. He then came in after me and apologised that there was nothing more he could do; it was then that I realised I could trust him to help me, to be kind and caring and to have my best interests at heart. It was the first moment I realised that he was genuinely doing everything he could to help me; and I suddenly appreciated his presence in my life.
Since then, I've come to know John a whole lot more - and yet, I haven't gotten to know him at all, so this will be interesting, considering I know absolutely nothing about his life or what he likes! I do try, but he is ever the highly professional man you'd hope him to be. All I can say on the matter, is 'damn Hypocrites'! I'd love to make a friend of him one day (Professor McGrath, not Hypocrites!); because, although I know nothing about him, really, I've always felt we'd have a lot in common.
Anyway, back to why this inspirational man deserves an inspirational bedroom.
As I said at the start, people all over the world inspire us everyday. We don't have to know them and we don't need to have been impacted by them personally in order for them to touch us with the work they do for others.
Just like Dr. Emma, John dedicates his life to helping people in dermatological need; and one group of people in desperate need of a cure are those who suffer with the awful disease known as Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). This disease causes incredibly painful, open blisters, cracks and sores on the surface of the skin; just a small knock or touch of the skin can cause a debilitating injury to the patient that struggles to heal. Many patients lose fingers, toes and other features over time as the skin and bone is gradually worn away through repeated flare-ups and injuries. It's heartbreaking to see and it must be terrible to suffer with. You can learn more, here.
When I was first referred to Professor McGrath, I researched other skin conditions and EB was one that stuck in my mind and made me realise just how lucky I am not to struggle with anything worse than the diseases I have.
Professor McGrath and his student doctors work hard in the lab, trying to find a cure for this horrendous condition; he regularly attends fund raisers where huge amounts of money are donated towards the cause and I don't see him giving up any time soon (he better not anyway; he isn't allowed to retire!).
And yet, despite this incredibly important side to his job, John never makes you feel like anything is too small an issue to help with. He is always ready to do whatever he can to make things better and he often goes above and beyond to make you feel just as important as anyone else.
He truly is a wonderful person; "a legend", as Emma says!
A Sophisticated Retreat
When John gets home from a long day at work, I think he deserves a place to release all of that emotional energy he has been surrounded by; he needs a space where he can unwind, recharge and breathe in his surroundings with a renewed sense of calm and positivity.
John is a man with class and - I imagine - taste; and therefore, his bedroom should reflect that. He is modest and yet he has a sense of pride about him; he is very funny and yet he is also very serious. And he has a lovely aura about him.
I don't know why, but when I think of a bedroom design for John, I think Arts & Crafts; William Morris prints, rich, deep colours, luxury fabrics and timeless pieces. I imagine deep blues, greens and mustard tones; bold lighting, heavy curtains and a little nook with a beautiful wingback chair and a cosy rug beneath his feet.
So, that's where I'm taking this one. I have no idea if it's the kind of thing he'd like; he might love contemporary minimalism for all I know!
I chose these William Morris prints for this design; the dark shades of blue and green, teamed with the dark woods, open our minds to the idea of being closer to nature; this helps to lower blood pressure and bring a sense of calm, whilst a little pop of mustard yellow and brass accents help to lift the space, giving a hint of fun and brightness - which is exactly what you see in John when you're in his company.
I'd probably use the green oak leaf fabric for the wingback chair, whilst using the bramble wallpaper to zone the sleeping space. Obviously, this all depends on the size of the room, but I'm just working with what my imagination tells me for these people.
I can imagine this scheme in low lighting of an evening; how cosy it would be!
A sophisticated bedroom for a sophisticated man!
That's it; those are my 5 (or 6) inspirational people who deserve inspirational bedrooms. I hope you've enjoyed learning about these lovely people and I hope you enjoy the designs; it would be interesting to know how right (or wrong) I got them, wouldn't it?
Who knows, maybe one day I'll actually be able to design for them. Let's hope so!
Thank you to each of the people on this list for inspiring me every day; my life would not be as rich as it is, without you in it.
Thank you so much for reading!
Lots of love!