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It's been almost four weeks since Christmas when our home was buzzing with loved ones and laughter. It's already two and a half weeks into the new year, but most importantly it's been one and a half weeks since my hubby and kids went back to Europe while I stayed on in the Caribbean. The decision to do so is never easy but in some ways welcomed. It allows me to spend time with my family and friends here on my own, take time to get loads done that has been neglected and also a moment to sometimes simply breath and appreciate my life. I can't speak for other designers but I know the way my brain works is that I am constantly seeking, exploring, wondering, mentally and physically creating and hoping for the next big challenge. I love challenges, I love taking things back from nothing and making it into something. I see potential in everything and everyone I meet. I try to encourage others to not allow fear to stop them from reaching their true potential, knowing very well how crippling fear can be. Fear of allowing others in, fear of others betraying your trust, fear of others trying to drag you down, fear of failure, fear that you are simply not enough. Fear is always present to stop us dead in our tracks. This season I have been inspired and given a reminder to put my fears aside by my girlfriend Michelle Elliot who has converted this old plantation house into a beautiful restaurant and now Bed and Breakfast (see the two interior pictures posted here). She reminded me it's not always easy to keep fighting for your dream, your livelihood , sometimes it's downright exhausting, but we must never give up. So sometimes I find myself saying, 'one moment please'. One moment please while I reflect, one moment please while I take some time to appreciate everything around me, one moment please to miss my hubby and children so I can appreciate the life we have built together, one moment please to rid my private space of negative people, one moment please to find the strength and determination that has kept me steadfast on this journey, one moment please to appreciate my culture, my heritage, my country, one moment please so I can simply breath....... So after I have taken this moment I will return with hopefully renewed determination, renewed energy and renewed positivity.......One moment please.
One of the most rewarding things I find about my job it’s not getting the high profile projects or creating the spaces we create. Yes, of course I appreciate those opportunities, of course I find them rewarding but not the most rewarding. This may sound very cliché, but what I find most rewarding is meeting the amazing people I get to meet through this medium. These past few weeks I have been meeting some absolutely phenomenal women. By phenomenal I don’t mean women who conquer the world or have high profile jobs, or who have no problems annihilating others as long as it gets them to achieve their goals. No, no no, not that type of woman, rather women who do what they truly love doing and keep doing it for the love of doing it. Many believe that when one works with what they love doing it is easy but quite often it’s the opposite. It’s a struggle, so for these women often the price they pay for doing what they do is a high one. Those who truly put their heart and soul into everything they do sometimes find their soul slowly weltering away and that’s when it can happen. That’s when you can lose your mojo. To do what you love and continue to hold on to your mojo is an everyday struggle. It’s an eternal battle that one has to fight everyday, but if you can do what you love and hold on to that mojo then the everyday battles are worth it. This reminded me of why I do what I do. Why I work with interior design concept. Why even if sometimes I can feel a little bit of my soul wistfully escaping my very being, often when I meet the very challenging clients that we inevitably will have to deal with, I try to stay positive. I claw, dig deep, repeat my mantras, sometimes speed up, sometimes slow down, I do what I must to ensure that I keep that mojo burning within me.
I found myself waking up in the wee hours of the morning this morning. I wasn't sure what woke me. Maybe it was the heavy autumn raindrops or maybe it was the excitement of having to go install our trade fair stand at the Bomässa, Hem & Trädgård taking place this weekend in Borås. I decided it was both and was pleased to realise how much the job I do still fulfills me to the point that I find it exciting enough to wake up early even when I don't have too. We decided to participate in this trade fair literally at the last minute. When I told everyone at Lilly Box I had made this decision on Friday last week the first thing that one of my employees said to me was that it was impossible. We would never make it. I calmly looked at him with that look.... 'how many times have you said this to me before, and what happens each time?'. I sat down and did the planning, did the drawings, choose the items that were to be displayed and sent out the details to everyone. We then worked on getting everything ready and packed up over the next three days. What once again seemed impossible became possible and the one who doubted the most was the proudest of all. Yes, we did it.
A few months ago I was asked to do a project in Marbella, Spain right off Nikki Beach. Although private commissions is not something we usually do it was easy to say yes to these amazing and extremely funny clients. For the globetrotters, you will be aware that the majority of the architecture and interiors in the vicinity of Nikki Beach reflects more of the very contemporary, sterile influence. Although I have nothing against this I did not think however that is what Spain was all about and thank God my clients agreed with me. So we decided to take the journey into the unknown. I wanted to inject a sense of color and style while keeping the balance of both the Spanish vibrant colors with the more subtle Scandinavian tones. When I first sent the drawings to the Architect and Contractor in Spain with the material choices for the floors etc. I really thought they were going to flip. While they pushed for the more modern, clean line style I pushed back for the more traditional with the influence of the modern. Our clients stood by what we recommended and they have been an absolute pleasure to work with so burning the midnight oil and ensuring everything worked just right was an absolute pleasure. After months of back and forth and lots of demolition works the project is finally starting to take shape. From everything I have seen so far I think my favorite part are the beautiful handpainted tiles which we commissioned in Portugal that leads to the upper patio and bedroom suite. It took quite some time to get them but it was worth the wait.
There will be loads more to treasure in this holiday home in Marbella but until it's done I can only give you a glimpse of what can be expected. In a few weeks I will be heading there to put the final touches and will definitely share with you how it all went.
The world is changing and that holds particularly true where Sweden is concerned. What most captures my interest with these changes it’s how the face of interior design is changing along with it. My first impression of the interior design industry in Sweden was one where it felt like people were almost frightened to have a personality. The norm was to follow what others did and not really try to stick out too much. The designs were clean, nothing over the top. The color spectrum were bland in comparison to my island home of St. Lucia and the Caribbean. The word ‘lagom’ translated in english meaning just enough or sufficient, was something that I heard over and over again. But that word was not something that ever fitted into my English or Swedish vocabulary. Not because I refuse to be ‘lagom’ but because I do not know how? So my journey started trying to find a balance between my world and the Swedish world. The journey has in no way been easy but who said anything in life that is worth having should come easily? Welcome to my world of interiors. Welcome to Lilly Box Interiors.
The journey begins here……
Converting a beautiful old building on Kyrkogatan 3, in the middle of Kinna into our new showroom….Before and After.