About

Welcome to Hello Walls! This blog is run by two friends who live either side of the Pennines (Kath – Leeds, Liz – Manchester), who take a common delight in being pernickety about all things design.

Kath-and-Liz -Hello-Walls-Blog

Left to right: Kath and Liz from Hello Walls. Pictured at Blogtacular 2015. Official Photos by Piers MacDonald. With thanks to Mollie Makes.

 

We met back in the mists of time (somewhere circa mid 80’s) in a playgroup in Bradford. Our recollections are somewhat misty, but we believe we bonded over our exemplary taste in knitted character jumpers and creative approach to accessories (see exhibit A). We soon realised that the world was crying out for our fresh style approach, and set upon finding willing / unwilling victims (see exhibit B – Kath’s grandad styled with top of the range pastel click-together jewellery).

Liz-and-Kath-plus-grandad
Left: Rocking the dressing up box | Right: Our early design stylings (patiently modelled by Kath’s grandad, George)

 

Fast forward a few years, and our style nerdishness is still a common interest, although we don’t actually speak with any professional authority on the subject. Kath works in the world of higher education (trying to pretend she can still pass for a student, but feeling increasingly conspicuous in Topshop), and Liz works for a small graphic design company in Manchester.

After recently purchasing first homes, our geekery has focussed all things interiors, and despite a brief fling with Homes & Gardens magazine, most of our inspiration and guidance has come from blogs. Frustratingly though, a lot of the brilliant blogs we follow are US or Australian oriented, which means they taunt us with things we covet which either aren’t available to us, or are available only at eye-watering shipping rates. We’ve therefore had to scour the web for alternative products in our locality (and price range), and in sharing our findings with each other, we thought it would be worthwhile sharing them with the wider world. Hello Walls is our effort to create a handy resource for UK folks who love good design and, like us, are new to the world of home ownership (we also like this Willie Nelson song).

Typically the ‘about’ section includes some kind of personal statement, but instead we thought we’d interview each other. The questions were supposed to be related to interior design, but as we’re already familiar with each other’s tastes, we went a little off piste….

 

K: Imagine your house is lonely and looking for love. How would it describe itself in a personal ad?
L: Well it’s Victorian red-brick mid terrace so I guess, “A tall, red-head, who likes to be the centre of attention.” I do like the notion that my 100-year old house still has a zest for life. It’s certainly the best looking house on the street, or at least on the inside, and that’s what counts right?…

K: Favourite Roald Dahl made up word?
L: There are so many. Erm, ok…Whizzpopping!

K: You are given a business card by a colleague. It is printed on flimsy white card, uses Times New Roman font and has a spelling mistake. Which feature incenses you the most?
L: I cannot criticise anyone for bad spelling, mine is atrocious. As for Times New Roman, I’m not sure as a graphic designer I should say this, but I actually don’t mind it – it’s just been the victim of overuse and more importantly misuse. So that leaves the flimsy white card (shudder).

L: If your house were a person, what type of music would it listen to?
K: My house is an end terrace of a row of four, that looks out over a little park, so I imagine it has a vague longing to break away from its 3 siblings and make a bid for freedom, but nothing too crazy and rebellious (it is pretty old after all).  It’s obviously northern, and it a little bit rough around the edges in patches (particularly our garden at the moment…), so I’m thinking maybe shamble-y rockers Dire Straits.  Knopfler’s a northern boy and knows how to put a good riff together, but it’s not going to upset the neighbours.  Also Knopfler’s partnership with Emmylou Harris a little while ago suggests an underlying love for country (rather like its owner).  And frankly, who doesn’t like this and this?

L: Favourite pretentious paint colour name?
K: It has to be Elephant’s Breath by Farrow & Ball.  It’s actually a very lovely (and popular colour), and clearly ‘taupe-ish’ doesn’t cut it in the world of paint-naming but elephant’s breath is such a strange analogy –  a) it has no colour b) I’m not intimately acquainted with elephants, but I imagine their breath is moist, warm, musty, and smells a bit of macerated vegetation.  Not terribly romantic. Close runners up are Thimble CaseDisraeli Green and Opera Cape.

L: What offends you the most? Scratched CDs put carelessly back into the wrong case, a bed with a TV built into the frame or artex wallpaper?
K: Well artex is the devil’s own work (and I’m not as damaged by it as Liz who’s  had to attempt to remove the stuff), but I think I could try and work a retro look around it.  Beds with TVs in are obviously unforgivable, but I can see the practical application – the two items on their own are not offensive, it’s just when they are combined that style is bypassed.  Theoretically it might be possible to do so in an inoffensive way.  But scratched CDs AND in the wrong cases?!  It makes me slightly ill thinking about it – my inner librarian would be too traumatised to let that one go.

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