Sarah Akwisombe LDNER

This weeks LDNER knows how to put her stamp on a place. A double award winning interiors blogger and stylist, who went from being fired to launching her own business. She has also just created an installation for Habitat on Tottenham Court Road. Meet Sarah…

Where do you live in London and what do you love about that area?

I live in Croydon. I really love the people who have grown up here, like me. There’s a definite sense of ‘realness’ – you can’t get away with being too big for your boots. I think Kate Moss summed it up nicely when she said ““I’m from Croydon and if you get above your station someone will f****** knock you down.” It breeds a type of integrity and grittiness. In terms of places to go, I love TMRW hub, it’s a brand new co working space and is really bringing the whole startup world to Croydon, which we really needed. You also can’t beat a hot chocolate at Matthews Yard. It’s one of those places that people have been saying for years will be the next ‘cool spot’ but only recently has it started to actually feel that way. I mean we just got a frickin’ boxpark for gods sake! If someone had told me that a couple of years back I would have cried laughing.

Interiors LOTI

Tell us what you do for a living?

I’m a design blogger, interior stylist and founder of the No Bull Blog School, where I run online courses that teach people all about how to turn your passion into a blog and potentially a career. I started blogging whilst I was working full time in tech startups. I loved the whole tech / startup stuff but I was desperate for some old school creativity and has a huge passion for interiors and home decor, so I started blogging about little jobs that I was doing around my flat and styled little still-life shoots at home. Over time it grew and I started getting styling and design work off the back of what people had seen on my blog. Because the styling world can be very up and down work-wise, I wanted to put into use everything I had learnt about blogging and branding yourself online and teach people how to do it too. All of my background in tech startups and online marketing really came into play then.

You went from being fired to running your own business, how did that happen?

Well, firstly I shat myself, because I was the main earner in our family and we had a 1 yr old daughter, mortgage and bills to pay. I made the massive decision not to go and look for another full time job and instead try and take my little hobby blog and turn it into a career and business. I was sick of other people dictating what hours I worked, when I saw my family, if I was home in time to put my daughter to bed… When I got fired it was like the universe saying ‘go on then. Grow some balls and fucking do it’. So I did. I wrote a blog about it actually, and it’s been one of my most read posts of all time.

Sarah Akwisombe LDNER LOTI

Tell us about your recent collaboration with Habitat?

I’d done some little bits here and there with my blog, and earlier in the year I was asked to style Henry Holland’s House for their Habitat voyeurs series which was so cool! However I was gutted when some the images didn’t make the cut due to various reasons. I thought my working relationship with them might have come to and end but then a few months later they asked me to create a micro apartment installation in their flagship Tottenham Court Road store. I was well chuffed! I’m so pleased with how it turned out, it’s basically a 15sqm space that I designed to be like, the coolest little studio apartment of all time. It’s a great bit of inspiration for any London based creatives who are living in a shoebox. It shows what you can do with hardly any space and that small can still be pretty damn sexy.

When you need inspiration for your interior projects, where do you go?

Restaurants and hotels. Because they have much larger budgets to play with they can be so much more experimental and daring. They create statement looks to shock and awe. That’s what I want all of my interiors work to be like – a moment. People really play it safe with home decor but I think that’s a real shame. I love the decor at Bob Bob Ricard – David Collins was my favourite interior designer of all time and he did the decor there and at various other London hotspots before his death. I also am obsessed with the pink gallery room at Sketch, and the dining room at Berner’s Tavern is dope.

Sarah Akwisombe Habittat

What would be your perfect day in London?

A stroll around somewhere looking for antiques. Portobello Road is an obvious choice and I also love Bermondsey square’s antiques market too. I also love vintage clothing shopping so I’ll hit up Blitz on Brick lane and spend the day trying on ridiculous outfits. Lunch and cocktails would have to be consumed at Bob Bob Ricard, a stroll through one of London’s amazing parks (someone would be carrying my shopping obvs) and I’d probably end the day visiting The Sanctuary spa in Covent Garden. It’s like a little hidden oasis in the middle of chaos.