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Resourceful Living by Lisa Dawson

You are a Content Creator, Author, Writer and Presenter, was interiors always your job or was it a passion you into a career ? 

I have always had a passion for interiors, particularly preloved and thrifted, but when we moved here to York to our Georgian house it was a completely blank canvas.  I started posting pictures of the rooms as I was decorating them on to Instagram, which at the time (this is 2016) didn't have a big UK interiors presence.  I started engaging with people and my account got bigger and bigger - prior to this time, Instagram was really the domain of fashion and beauty but as this demographic grew, they starting renting and buying their own homes, meaning that there was lots of interest in interior design.  I started writing a blog in 2017 as I was asked so many questions about my process and then in 2020, I wrote a book called Resourceful Living which talks about how to create a home that works for you by mixing repurposed and preloved with more contemporary pieces.  I also ran workshops talking about how to style your home.  I now work full time on social media creating content for brands, alongside writing and contributing regularly to editorial features.

If you have a limited budget to decorate your home what would be the first thing you would do / and tips to make it go further?

I'd assess what you have and work out what you really love - divide into piles of keep, donate or sell.  The idea is to create a home that is filled with things that you love so this is a good start.  Whenever I have moved into a new home, I have almost always whitewashed the walls to create a neutral palette - pretty much anything looks good against white and if your budget is small, this means that you can still have a room that you enjoy being in rather than living with crazy wallpaper or colours that don't suit the way you live.  It's a great way too to work out exactly where the light sits and how it works with the room.  I would also consider doing this if you move into a home with a carpet you're not sold on - rip it up, check out the floorboards, sand and stick a rug on if you can.  Again, this may not be your dream floor but it will certainly make you happier with the space until you can afford what you really want.  I'd sell furniture that I no longer loved (as per above piles!) and repurpose this cash to invest in pieces that I did.  I'd also head to charity shops, second hand stores, Facebook marketplace, car boot sales (we are coming in to Spring so they're about to kick off) to find unique pieces that don't cost a fortune.  

Biggest Interior Mistake you have made at home ?

When we moved into this house, it was 2015 and the nation was obsessed with dark interiors and F&B Downpipe.  I had never had dark walls before but I was totally sold on the trend so I decorated my family room in this very dark grey.  It looked cool, but none of the family would go in there as they found it too claustrophobic - the darkness of the space was too much for them and didn't make them feel good!  This was a really good lesson to me to stick to my core style which is without doubt a light neutral background.  It's good to try new things, but I need light and bright spaces to keep me positive.  I've never painted a dark wall again, ha.

Best Investment piece in your house?

I have been pinning and cutting out pictures of Ligne Roset Togos for the last 20 years and back in 2019, I saved up and bought one.  It is without doubt my absolute favourite thing in my home and every day I look at it and it makes me happy!  It's also an investment piece in a classic design that will never go out of style or look dated.

What is your favourite room in your home?

I love all the rooms in my home, probably because I work in my home as a job and therefore I never have any spaces that don't work for me! But I do really love my kitchen. It's had a few different looks over the years that we've lived here but it's current look of pale yellow doors (Wharf Sacking by Mylands) and cream walls is super calming. I also incorporated vintage in there by adding a reclaimed French workbench that was originally a shop counter and it's given me that vintage hit that I need in all my rooms. We have comfortable bar stools around it and we spend a lot of time in there.

Best tips for hiding clutter stylishly? ( for eg. shoes in the hallway / letters / vitamins)

We created an MDF diagonal door in the hallway which was previously an empty space filled with coats - look around to see where you can create storage where there previously wasn't any. I have an array of baskets and boxes to keep post and bits and pieces in which I regularly edit and clear out (this is super important ha else it would overflow). I use big baskets in my hall cupboard (Homesense is great for these) to store scarves, hats etc.

Ultra Modern or Period Houses ? Always period houses!

Interior trend pet hate ?  Too much stuff.  I can't function in rooms that are layered up to the extreme.  

A little bit about Lisa...

Ten ago, we sold our family home in Berkshire and moved to our dream Georgian house in York. After years of being totally obsessed with thrift and charity shop bargain hunting, I started using Instagram for room styling shots and got so many ‘where did you get that?’ requests that I decided to write my own blog. My book, Resourceful Living was published by Kyle Books in April 2021.  I'm passionate about interior and home design - I love restyling my spaces and am passionate about decorating resourcefully, using what you have and incorporating vintage to create a home that works for you. I’m committed to the promotion of local, small businesses as well as how to scour the High Street for the perfect look at a minimum cost. I regularly work and collaborate with brands for editorial and tailored workshops, primarily producing quality

content for social media platforms and print publications.


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