Thank heavens Spring has sprung and feeling a little heat and a dip in the winds has been such a welcome here on the North Coast!. Bringing spring flowers into the house and hanging the washing on an outside line are 2 of the big signs of spring in my house!
Its also a time of many birthdays and anniversaries - some fond, some hard. So Spring for me is green and yellow - nature signalling new life and the next season.
I hate winter with a passion, in fact I'd even forgo Christmas if it meant we didn't have to have winter. For those who live in this part of the world you'll maybe sympathise with me a little, but I know not everyone will agree. It's not the cold entirely, it's the rain and darkness when you get up and come home from school, which are the real bummers. Northern Ireland has incredibly short days in winter and with miserable weather too. I know Scandinavians have short days but they've all that glorious reflective snow. We had one day of proper snow this winter (I'll add 'so far' just in case mother nature has a wee late joke up her sleeve!!). And on that one day of snow my kitchen was illuminated like never before due to the reflection from the snow in the garden!
So, I suffer from a small degree of SAD and this year I made one small change in my interior to reflect this. I bought a daylight alarm clock by Lumie from Amazon and I have to say, it's really good. I should have bought it earlier in the season though to get real benefit out of it. It lights up slowly for about a half hour before your alarm goes off - meaning you can sometimes get to the alarm before it starts, (birdsong noise if you're wondering). This for me is a whole new world. I'm usually the head under duvet sort of person. Of course, now mother nature has sent the early birdsong herself, which I have to say is lovely in our new home, so between light and song I'm waking more gently again. The alarm light also helps you wind down to sleep with a slow fade to darkness for a preset bedtime. I don't normally have a problem getting to sleep as its about midnight when I'm getting to bed...
That may change this weekend however as the clocks change on Sunday - Spring Forward!
Yes, the bloody spring clock change - this time change is a killer, especially if you have small kids. Try telling a baby the clock has changed!! Telling an animal!! - you dairy farmers are nodding vigorously in agreement (aye there's loads who will read this you know!!) I feel strongly we should stop this changing time thing and just crack on with what nature throws at us and adjust accordingly. Don't suppose anyone will listen. in the meantime for all of you with young children - do your best. It'll work out in a week!
Spring this year sees me officially launch my new website House Therapy HQ. This is a new beginning for me that has taken a while. I have been busy behind the scenes and with gaps in Covid lockdown regulations and being very careful when on site, I've been able to do some client facing work and of course developed the ability to work online like so many others too. An exciting, steep learning curve which we've all had to manage!
So, Welcome to my Blog!
This is me, Heather Quiery getting ready to go out to an appointment in my van, armed with my trusty toolkit....
I hope you'll give me some leeway on my first blog to introduce myself and why I'm here. In the future, it'll be a bit more like a normal interiors blog - umm maybe!
I'm a big proponent of following your heart, your gut, your instincts, your purpose - however you frame it. I was reared in the country where simplicity rules and my hard working father's one piece of advice was -' Stay true to yourself'. And I have to say the moments I haven't, I've felt it deep in my gut.
Laterally its taken me having a break from my previous profession, marketing, due to illness mixed with a lot of hands on craft, making, painting, gardening therapy to really let my gut and my heart be heard again.
You see I love to paint and can apply myself OK, I love designing and making handbags from recycled leather from charity shops, or family wardrobes, and still do. I also absolutely love polytunnel gardening (its toasty in there), so I've been helping out through lockdown in our local school.
Just by DOING all these things did I remind myself that my heart has always lead me to Interior Design. This is where my creativity lies. It's what I've always been asked by friends to do, have a look at, what do you think Heather?, could I do this here?, Am I brave enough to do this? etc etc. So finally the formula for House Therapy HQ developed with the great help and support of my friends and family and my 2 'Double AA Work Batteries' Anna and Alice!
Seriously, I could have self-sabotaged and impostor-syndromed my way out of this all over again. I started down the interiors path before I got married but then, the main man came into my life and has given me 3 more small men to keep us both busy and distracted! Thankfully, they have been my biggest cheerleaders in this venture.... and critics naturally!
One of the barriers I kept coming across in starting up House Therapy HQ was that I didn't want people to feel that good design has to be expensive and inaccessible. I'm passionate about affordable Interior Design and I've always felt very uncomfortable with design being a luxury item. I just needed to ensure my brand concept was real and authentic to my own values. I am an upcycling, bargain hunting, doer upper kind of woman and always have been, whether in rented accommodation in Uni or London or now owning my home.
My happiest moments as a child were spent in my very own mini greenhouse and reshuffling and reorganising our bedroom around with my big sister. She was (is still) great as she was so much better at the actual moving I liked the colours, fabrics, vases of flowers, arranging the room, making more space etc as 2 sisters, who share a bedroom, always need! I remember coming out of hospital as a child and my mother had decorated my bedroom in pale blue, star wallpaper. It was the best present ever - and I'll never forget how content it made me feel!
My entire family are good with their hands, hand sewing, engineers, inventors, bakers, floral art genius, but always in their own quiet ways. I'm not as good a hand sewer, floral artist, carpenter or baker as they are but I have developed a good eye for design and gathered sound skills through experience. I suppose I've been soaking up design all around me and the rest I've reached out to learn. I've always had an opinion on interiors and an eye for detail. I've been lucky enough to indulge my passion in re-modelling some homes and using interior design and styling skills in my former profession.
I'd better mention why I chose House Therapy HQ as a name - it took a while... I want everyone to feel safe, warm, loved, energised in their own home. Shelter is a very primal need. Your home should be your sanctuary! This sodding pandemic has taught us many things and one is how important our environment is, not just how expensive it is, but how it makes us feel. If you walk to bed every evening past a pile of laundry, over shoes, brushing past a bike, noticing dust, a stack of paperwork, frayed curtains, stained carpet, chipped paintwork, peeling wallpaper (sound familiar?); or even if you can see nothing wrong but feel uneasy about a room then it can slowly sap a little bit of energy or joy out of you bit by bit.
These insidious details get into our heads and annoy us. Often some interior tweaks like re-organising, or changing the flow and furniture placement in a room can make a big difference to your peace of mind at home, meaning you can relax quicker.
Top that with a well chosen paint colour or wallpaper, add a few well placed items 'shopped' from the rest of your home and your room can take on a completely new 'more you' vibe.
This is the magic of Design which will ensure your home works for you and gives you a big therapeutic hug when you come home to work, rest and play!
And that's where I can help.
Promise to be more hardcore interiors next time... thanks for reading!