Five minutes with UKIA judge and 91 Magazine founder and editor, Caroline Rowland...
UKIA: What made you realise that you wanted to work in interiors? Was there a defining moment?
CR: "When I was a child I used to enjoy rearranging my room and 'styling' it, but I don't think I acknowledged my interest in interiors until I was renting my first flat (circa 2008) with my now husband. I'd never considered it as a career option, and it wasn't until a friend suggested I start a blog to write about this new found passion, did the whole world of interiors really open up to me!"
UKIA: What three words would you use to describe a day in the life of an indie magazine editor?
CR: "Creatively inspiring and fulfilling."
UKIA: What’s been your career highlight?
CR: "There's been a few. Getting my first interiors book published, and then seeing the first print edition of 91 Magazine in shops. I still get a huge thrill out of seeing my book and the magazine for sale in shops!"
UKIA: What’s your biggest style secret?
CR: "Be clever with your budget. We've never had bags of cash when decorating our own home, but if, for example, I've fallen in love with some tiles but couldn't afford to tile a whole room with them, then instead I'd use them in a small area – the downstairs loo, the fireplace, etc. Same with wallpaper – I always end up lusting after expensive papers, but if you just do one wall or a small section like an alcove or chimney breast, it means you still get to have it without blowing your budget."
UKIA: Have you any career-focussed goals on your bucket list? If so, what are they?
CR: "This year my aim is to widen the distribution of 91 Magazine internationally. We get lots of orders via the website from around the world, but I think shipping costs do put people off, so we are keen to make it available to more readers around the world. I'd also love to write more books at some point."
UKIA: If you could feature any property in the world in 91 Magazine, what (or whose) would it be and why?
CR: "Ooh, tricky! I don't think I aspire to feature any one particular property. I'm inspired by the homes of creative people, and I particularly love discovering beautiful homes of lesser-known or up-and-coming creatives that our readers may not already have seen in other mags or on Instagram. That's harder than you'd think these days, so I'm always excited when I come across a fab home of someone who doesn't have a big following or aren't widely known. I'm excited about a shoot we are doing in a couple of weeks for the next issue, actually!"
UKIA: What one piece of advice would you give budding interior writers/journalists/bloggers?
CR: "Just start. Start writing, start creating content and then start sharing it. Don't be afraid to reach out to people you might be nervous about contacting. If you don't ask, you don't get. Just make sure you do your research before approaching an editor, as they will be able to tell straight away if you haven't actually ever read their magazine."
UKIA: What are you most looking forward to about the UK Interior Awards 2018?
CR: "I'm excited to see the creative homes of real people, and to discover new people and businesses to follow."
UKIA: What will you be looking for when choosing your winners of the UK Interior Awards 2018?
CR: "A natural sense of style. It's lovely to see a home where the personality of the owner/s really shines through. It's not forced or over-styled, it simply brings together the things that the person loves in an effortlessly stylish way."