In the bath with:

Kimberly Hughes: Swoon Worthy

Here at we believe that everyone should be able to afford good design. Our inspiration team reaches out to the world’s most creative bloggers, tweeters and pinners daily, immersing themselves in the ever-evolving world of online creativity so they can share everything that amplifies our philosophy.
In the first interview of our “In the Bath With” series, we welcome Kimberly Hughes, also known as ‘Redlilocks’, a trending creative whose personal design style is expressed through her inspirational blog, Swoon Worthy, and her work as editor for the lifestyle blog AO at Home.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m American but have lived in the UK since 2001 (my accent is all over the place!) and I’m the creator of Swoon Worthy – a blog about “Inspiration, DIY and Getting Pretty on the Cheap.” I’m all about getting big style on a small budget, although I do believe you should splurge on at least one item in a room to elevate everything else.
Do you think growing up in America and then moving to the UK has had an effect on your style, if so how?
Time definitely has – my own sense of style has definitely grown and changed in the last 12 years since I’ve moved to the UK but people still tell me my home is very ‘American’ so perhaps the UK hasn’t had as big an influence on my style as it has on everything else!
You described seeing your house as ‘love at first sight’- what first appealed to you when you saw the property?
I love older properties and this one just ticked all the right boxes – the big windows, the high ceilings, the great room sizes and the light were all there.  I love the character of older properties and couldn’t quite believe our luck when we stumbled upon this place that was not only everything we were looking for but also within our budget!  It also needed some work so the fact that we could put our own stamp on it was definitely a plus – guilt free decorating!
How do you manage to combine your style with that of your partner Wayne? Do you have similar tastes?
He doesn’t have very strong opinions on interior design, which for me is a plus. I’m lucky in that I have pretty much full reign on how the house is decorated and he’s happy for me to take care of those decisions.  That doesn’t mean, however, that I can do whatever I like – he has a say on most everything and I always get his opinion before every big decision (especially as he’s the one leading the big DIY projects while I always just help!).  He has the power of vetoing my decisions so if he feels strongly against something; I’ll always look for something we both like instead.  Even though there is a strong feminine influence, I try to ensure it doesn’t get too feminine and there’s an element of masculinity. (With the exception of my dressing room – I went OTT with girlie glamour on that one. As an exchange, he got full reign on decorating the ‘Man Cave’ – our remodelled cellar which is totally his space!)
Which is your favourite room in your home?
Changes all the time and it’s always the room I’ve finished last. I think at the moment it’s the dining room but ask me again next week, and it’ll be a different room!
Your bathroom is on the list for 2013, what plans do you have and what kind of bathroom do you want to achieve?
The bathroom needs complete refitting even though we painted it and made some cosmetic changes just to hold it off until now.  So we’re looking at new tiles, new fittings, new flooring, the works!  I haven’t made up my mind exactly where we’re going to go with the remodel just yet but I’ll be sharing some of my ideas on the blog soon.
You’ve described your style as ‘Eclectic Boho Glam’; can you describe this for our fans?
Haha! I can’t really pin down my style because there are so many styles that I like.  So trying to work many of them into a cohesive design has been fun but challenging!  The ‘eclectic’ side is that meld of different styles – a touch of Hollywood regency and chinoiserie, traditional, contemporary, vintage – it’s all there!  The ‘boho’ side is the layered pattern and colour, the comfort of textures, the welcoming atmosphere that makes you want to curl up and stay a while. The ‘glam’ is all the sparkle – I am absolutely in love with anything gold or brass and that glamorous edge takes everything to a different level.  So the expression ‘Eclectic-Boho-Glam’ seems to fit.
How did you get into design? Was there a defining point in your life, and if so, how did it shape you and your choice in work?
I don’t think there was a definitive moment at all.  My mother had a very distinct style and was always decorating and re-decorating our house when I was growing up.  I remember leafing through her dog-eared design books as a child, reading them over and over again.  When I was 16 years old, my parents gave me some money for my birthday. Instead of spending it on going out or clothing, I redecorated my bedroom!  I think it’s always been in me.  In terms of work, I was actually a Product Manager with a background in Marketing but decided to give that up and pursue something more creative – and stumbled upon the job of being a blogger full time!  I couldn’t be happier doing what I do.
Where do you get your inspiration and what do you do when you are struggling to find some?
I’m never at a loss for inspiration! Other blogs are definitely a big source of inspiration as are digital magazines like Lonny, Rue and Adore.  When I am struggling, Pinterest is a perfect escape and a fantastic source of inspiration – I don’t actually remember what I used to do without it!
Do you ever suffer from being over inspired and want to do too many things at once? How do you handle this?
Oh yeah, all the time!  I’m always working on about 5 different projects at any given time and have 15 ideas up my sleeve. When I start getting a bit too crazy, a break away from the computer usually does the trick – ordered by my partner normally! It usually helps to ground me, decide my priorities and stop before I impulsively take action. When that doesn’t work, looking at my bank balance will usually bring me right back to earth!
What design tools could you not live without?
The internet for one! Aside from that, my tape measure, my sewing machine, a level and a drill are all must-haves.
Do you have a design hero?
At the moment, I am in love with everything American designer Emily Henderson does – her style is beautiful but so accessible. Lots of vintage finds, creative colour and pattern mixing and everything is styled in a beautifully casual way. I also love British designer Abigail Ahern – she’s got such a unique take on interiors which is so different from her peers, lots of dark sultry interiors with pops of colour and a lot of casual vintage layers. Both are big influences on my own style.
Follow Swoon Worthy at: To interact with our Inspiration team, find us on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. As part of our “Affordable Design Competition”, Kimberly nominated the following books as prizes: Design Sponge at Home: A Guide to Inspiring Homes – and All the Tools You Need to Create Your Own by Grace Bonney and decorating with Style by Abigail Ahern.

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    Hi Kimberly! I loved reading the Q&A, so fun getting to know you better. I do have a question…You said people still tell you your home is very “American” which made me giggle because I didn’t realize you could take a style with you, so to speak. I’m just curious as to what aspects make it look “American” Either way it’s gorgeous!

    Elisa, 25th of May 2013

    Hi Elisa,

    Thanks so much for your lovely comment! To be honest, I’d never even thought of it until it was said the first time – it certainly wasn’t something I’d done intentionally 😉 Perhaps because brass is still catching on in the UK while it’s a pretty big trend in the US and I absolutely love it -that might be one reason. Also, I always tend to go for bright geometric patterns which is quite an ‘American’ look so perhaps that as well. I’m going to have to ask the next person who says it though because 98% of the things in my home were all purchased in England 😉

    Kimberly x

    Kimberly Hughes, 28th of May 2013

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