As Bristol becomes the Green Capital, Zoe Hewitt explains how up-cycling can inspire your home. This post is featured in the January issue of The Bristol Magazine.
I first met Zoe Hewitt nearly 3 years, as both our girls were ‘early birds’ and spent time in NICU together. One of my stand out memories, is of us chatting in the affectionately named ‘pump room’, while Zoe described her daughter Olive’s nursery scheme. While most parents had opted for mute colours, Zoe went into detail about the wildlife wonderland wallpaper she had chosen, which sounded so magical your mind could wander a thousand adventures.
Scroll forward several years & both our ‘babies’ are now ‘big girls’ and are very much making their mark on the world. In Olive’s case, she seems to have inherited her mums love of colour & loves her bonkers bedroom. It makes sense when you discover that Zoe is an interior designer, with a love decorating work & homes.
With a background in theatre & set design, she’s used to making a splash in spaces – only now it’s in peoples homes, rather than stage or screen. In many ways, says Zoe, it’s very similar. Instead of taking a brief from a director on stage, with the text, she takes the brief in their home & makes her mark there instead.
Part of her offering includes a newly weds nest design – to help newlyweds successfully consolidate two separate lives’ worth of belongings into a blended & balanced scheme. Looking around at my home, I wonder if we could have done with that! Our love of browsing brick-a-brack shops, means we seem to own a strange array of furniture, which in my minds eye was more stylish, but in reality feels more like a mish mash.
It would seem we’re not alone in that, Zoe explained, the eclectic look is one of the strongest trends emerging at the moment (‘trend’, I knew we were starting something!) with up cycling being a part of that. So can our brick a brack belongings be given a breathe of life? Yes they can – to quote Zoe they can ‘tarted up a bit’, tired items can be given a new lease of life with a lick of paint, upholstery or even decoupage. Just one of the many ways you can stay stylish, up cycle and be green. As an interior designer Zoe can do the work for you, or you can try your own hand & have a go at one of her workshops.
As a woman who seems to be a dab hand at up cycling, does Zoe have a favourite medium to work with? Decoupage seems to be her signature style, which in simple terms, is cutting & pasting. Building up layers of paper, with small pictures – a bit like a scrap book on table tops. You can be as bold & as brave as you feel – some people opting to cover just table legs, while others may cover the whole thing. The important thing is, you make your mark & personalize your look – varnishing along the way to give a smoother feel.
While I found myself wondering, if this would simply add another layer of muddle into the melee, Zoe explained you could pick a theme – like music sheets, or maps. Plus if you used out of date maps, you start entering a real up cycling zone.
As I write, there is a background orchestra of builders, extending our house & making a playroom for the girls. If ever there was a time to make our mark, it is now – lets see if I can take a leaf out of Zoe’s book & enter the world of up cycling. No more brick-a-brack brown!
With kind thanks to Simon Regan / Red Dog Productions, for the beautiful photography.