After forging a successful career in finance, Amanda decided to swap the figures for fashion and start up a blog, The Online Stylist. Eight years on, Amanda invites us into her home, telling us everything from her style inspirations to the best ever advice she has received.
What made you move away from your career in finance?
- Having worked in the same job for fifteen plus years, I opted for voluntary redundancy when my team and the function they performed was outsourced. It was a tough decision to leave but one that ended up with very happy consequences in the end. I'm a firm believer in fate!
Who are your style inspirations?
- How long do you have?! I've gathered so many over the years and due to nature of my online consumption, I'm always discovering new muses - generally other bloggers and Instagrammers. Two permanent favourites are Jacey Duprie from Damsel in Dior and Mirjam Flatou. I'm also currently style stalking Anine Bing and I love Sarah Harris, Features Editor at British Vogue. That hair!
How would you describe your style?
- Mostly monochrome, erring on the side of minimal but with the odd unexpected style statement here and there. I love the laid back luxe look and my ultimate outfit aim is one of simplicity with very little effort.
What do you like about living in your home?
- First of all the location - we live in the New Forest and a five-minute drive from the coast. To be surrounded by beautiful scenery is definitely one of life's simple pleasures for me. Over the years our tastes have changed and so we're in the process of slowly re-vamping a few things here and there but regardless of the interior styling, it feels like a happy relaxing place that we're all drawn to come back to. Whether that's having been out for the day or on a week's holiday.
What are the big trends to look out for this season?
- When it comes to trends in the home I tend to be inspired by Instagram and Pinterest… a lot! But I think regardless of trends that come and go, we always gravitate towards clean, light spaces with cosy touches, natural textures and things that are just aesthetically pleasing. Scandi style is my favourite perma-trend for everything!
How do you manipulate your style for the season changes?
- It's funny you should ask as one of our favourite things we've always done is to try and add small changes to the living room as each season changes. I tend to do this by changing up my favourite home fragrances, adding blooms and foliage around the room in spring and summer and making the most of our wood burner and log basket corner in autumn and winter.
Different coloured cushions and throws are a great way to change things up without spending too much and don't get me started on sourcing white pumpkins when we hit the end of September!
What advice would you give to someone about to start an interior project?
- Plan, plan, plan! Right down to the last detail before you get started on anything! Its like those moments on the Masterchef invention tests when the contestant starts out not really knowing what the end result will be, just hoping it'll come good in the end. Generally this is a recipe for disaster when it comes to interiors!
What do you do to relax?
- I try and read as much as possible but fully admit that if I'm reading something that inspires an idea, I'll pick up my phone to make a note and often find myself distracted again. Comes with the territory I guess! I love walking the dog at the beach and just sitting down with a favourite box set. I have a guilty pleasure addiction to Dawson's Creek.
What are your favourite shops?
What exciting things have you got coming up this year?
- I have the newly re-branded Online Stylist blog launching in September! The plan began hatching this time last year and it's finally ready to go live - I am BEYOND excited to see it happen now! Like a kid on Christmas Eve!
Where is your favourite place in your house?
- Can I choose two? My dressing room and the living room.
Where do you relax?
- Apart from the bed when it's just had freshly laundered sheets put on, definitely our living room. It's my calm, happy space.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
-Stop doubting yourself - you're far more capable than you think you are.
What’s the best thing about your job?
-That I built it myself, from scratch, and that I get to talk about things I truly love and am passionate about. Every day. I don't think it gets any better than that!
Name one thing people would be surprised to find out about you?
- I have an irrational fear of getting sellotape stuck on my finger nails - urgh!! If I could delegate gift-wrapping I would!
What is on your Aspinal shopping list?
- The Editor's Tote in black - I think I could fit everything I ever needed in there… and it's so chic!
Images taken by Amber Sibley