We are delighted to be back with our interview series and return with a special guest who shares our love of simple, yet thoughtful design.
Abi Dare is a writer, photographer and stylist from Bristol. She also runs the influential design, travel and lifestyle blog These Four Walls. We are big fans of Abi's work; she takes her love of pared-back, clean design and translates it into welcoming and relaxing living spaces. Truly inspiring ideas for like-minded minimalists! Now lets enjoy hearing more from the lovely Abi...
Describe your own interior style.
I’d describe it as ‘soft minimalism’ – pared-back, timeless and clutter-free, but also cosy and inviting. I love to incorporate contemporary and mid-century pieces alongside period features, and I’m always inspired by Scandinavian design.
I’m also very drawn to neutral colours, and for an unusual reason. I have a condition called synaesthesia, which is when one sense merges with another rather than being experienced separately. In my case, it means I see each letter, number and day of the week as a different hue, and as a result my mind is constantly buzzing with colour. Surrounding myself with muted tones such as grey, white and beige is a much-needed antidote to that!
What 3 things do you love most about your home?
Firstly, the fact that it’s full of Victorian features but also feels very light and airy – it’s what made me fall for the house when we first viewed it. It’s a small, two-up, two-down terrace, but it feels quite spacious inside. Secondly, I love the living room. It’s a little sanctuary, and I always feel myself relax as soon as I sit down on the sofa. It was also the first room we finished after we moved in, so it set the tone for the rest of the house. And thirdly, my husband Chris and our Siamese-cross rescue cat, Loki. They really do make the house a home!
What/where do you take inspiration from?
I’m always inspired when I travel, especially to Scandinavia. I’ve been visiting the Nordic countries since I was a child and I feel at home in all of them, so I think that’s influenced not only my taste in interiors but also my lifestyle as a whole. I remember visiting the design museum in Copenhagen on a school exchange when I was 14 and marvelling at all the beautiful mid-century furniture on display. I knew I’d discovered an aesthetic that was going to have a big impact on me.
I also draw a lot inspiration from spending time in nature, especially in forests and by the sea. The colours and textures always provide plenty of ideas, and getting away from the stresses of day-to-day life definitely sparks my creativity.
What inspired you to start your blog?
I originally started the blog in June 2014 as a creative outlet where I could share my thoughts, inspirations and style. I wanted to show that good design can be accessible to everyone, and that it’s as much about wellbeing and mood as aesthetics.
At the time I was working as Deputy Editor of a travel website, as well as doing some freelance writing, photography and styling on the side. The blog grew over the years, and in 2017 I decided to take the plunge and leave my job to work on it full-time. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride, but I haven’t regretted it for a second!
What motivates you each day?
It sounds like such a cliché, but I really do love what I do. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to make a living from something I’m passionate about, and I genuinely wake up in the morning (most days, anyway!) looking forward to getting started. Work never really feels like work.
Credit: Photography by Abi Dare