Mad About . . .

10 Beautiful Rooms

2nd July 2018

Good Morning and Happy July to you all. As you stroll through these 10 Beautiful Rooms I want to let you know about a decision I have made re the frequency of blogging – I will be moving to four posts a week for July and here’s why.

pink linen image by art4interiors_uk

pink linen image by art4interiors_uk

When I started this blog back in 2012 I quickly began a series called 365 Objects of Design. The idea was not only to show you gorgeous products and things that you might not have seen, but also to make sure that I continued to blog regularly.

Many blogs fade out between three and six months when their owners realise the numbers aren’t growing as fast as they wanted, they start to run out of things to say and it’s hard to keep saying them to an audience that just doesn’t seem to be growing.

dark bedroom image by @stankoolen, styled by @marianneluning for @vtwoven

dark bedroom image by @stankoolen, styled by @marianneluning for @vtwonen

I wanted to make sure I pushed beyond that point and so that series was born. For the first three years I posted seven days a week – and sometimes twice a day – using my archive of features from years writing at The Independent and the FT.

After three years, I slowed down to five posts a week, leaving the weekends free for you to catch up and for me to have a rest. Now three years after that, I find it’s a punishing schedule to find and write that much content on my own. Yes, I could, as some people have suggested, expand and bring in another writer but I think that would change the nature of this blog and I’m not quite ready for that yet.

green bedroom by madaboutthehouse.com

spruce things up paint by dowsing & reynolds, rouen bed by sofasandstuff covered in linwood fabric

Blogging has changed over the last six years – it doesn’t feel right to continue with the daily object of design – encouraging people to shop for things they don’t always need. Instead, it feels better, and more useful to write about how to make the most of what you have and to create a home that is right for you.

Of course that will still involve shopping and I still want to help you find the best stores and small businesses that are creating amazing pieces that I think you should know about. But in order to find them, and write a book, and run my interiors consulting business, and create good content that I hope you will want to read, I have decided that for July – as an experiment – I will publish four times a week.

black and white bathroom by cherie lee interiors

black and white bathroom by cherie lee interiors

I was going to say only but I think that’s still quite a lot!

I will publish on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. This 10 Rooms and the Friday Househunter post will remain the same – for now. The other two will be a mix of the usual How To’s, Five Bests, New Stores and Products posts that I have always run. There will just be one fewer.

marble bathroom by @homeplaceonline available to rent

marble bathroom by @homeplaceonline in Ramsgate and available to rent

In its place I have just launched the monthly newsletter which went out for the first time yesterday to around 1,500 people and is a snapshot of behind the scenes of life at The Mad House.

I wanted to answer some of the questions I am asked about subjects that don’t necessarily fit on here – what I wear, buy and eat. I don’t want to be a lifestyle blogger, and this will always be about interiors but, as I said in the first letter, as a 51-year-woman who likes clothes, and eating and reading and who has been clear of cancer (saliva gland) since 2015, I think it can be helpful to hear from these so-called invisible women.

bath by the water monopoly image by @homeiswherethepackis

bath by the water monopoly image by @homeiswherethepackis

If you want to sign up to that you will see there is a subscribe button on the top right hand corner below the sliding photographs. If you are reading on a phone then press the hamburger (three horizontal lines) and the subscribe option will come up.

You can choose either daily updates or monthly – or both as they are quite different. And you can then manage your subscriptions still further.

marble splashback kitchen by cherie lee interiors

marble splashback kitchen by cherie lee interiors

I know many of you like a daily email at 7am but others will perhaps feel – since GDPR, which seems to have made my inbox worse not better – that daily is too often. Instead, you can “manage your subscription” to come perhaps once a week as a digest of the previous five days. This can perhaps come at the weekend when you might have more time to read and catch up – more of a mini magazine if you like.

wallpaper by ananbo

wallpaper by ananbo

At this stage it is an experiment. Four the last four years I have always taken August off as well – the blog still updates daily but I run archive and updated posts – again to give you a chance to catch up and for those of you who are on holiday not to miss anything that might be important.

It can be a good time to revisit subjects that perhaps weren’t relevant in February when you were painting the bedroom but now that you’re contemplating revamping the kitchen it can be helpful to remind yourself of some handy tips. Or revisit some beautiful rooms for inspiration.

wallpaper by ananbo

wallpaper by ananbo

So let me know what you think, both today and as the month goes on and let’s see where we are in September. I might come back to five a week, we might all decide that four is enough. Either way I will let you know the plan and I do, of course, want to thank each and everyone of you for your support over the years. If you don’t already subscribe to either daily or monthly posts then here is the link for you to do that and if you prefer to drop in as and when the mood takes you then you are very welcome to do that too. The virtual kettle is always on.

And we have come to the end of our stroll through the rooms. I hope you liked looking around while reading and that you have managed to garner some inspiration for your own spaces at the same time. And, tomorrow being Tuesday I will, of course, see you then.

outdoor terrace by studiomorton part of the idc

outdoor terrace by @studiomorton part of the idc

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  • Anna 3rd July 2018 at 10:01 pm

    Whoops I meant “At this stage of madness”.

    England just won and outside the roar was so loud I was distracted!

  • Anna 3rd July 2018 at 9:57 pm

    Much has already been said but do ditch the idea of sharing the writing Kate, unless it is an honoured guest, writing a feature.

    You house for sale comparisons each week have been fun but possibly less appealing at the stage of madness? I would scrap them and even though this would free you up, I would suggest 3 posts a week plus your new, more personal, blog which I thoroughly enjoyed and recommended.

  • Dorothy Blackwell 2nd July 2018 at 1:52 pm

    I’m so glad you posted about this. Your blog is my favorite, and fewer days/posts a week would be absolutely fine with me, including posting 2-3 days a week, or even once a week. I will follow no matter what. With all of the other sites I need to read (mainly newspapers, etc.), I don’t always have time to read five posts a week on décor. I always skim your posts, but sadly, sometimes in a rush. You are doing so many other outside projects (designing rooms for shops, etc.) that honestly I don’t know how you find the time to post, and to do it so well.

    I also follow India Hicks’ Instagram, and same feeling there – love the content and photos, but fewer posts would be absolutely fine. I’m sure bloggers are under enormous pressure to grow audiences, etc., but family and personal life and time off to recharge are important as well. Please know that you have many loyal readers who will continue to follow you, no matter how often you post. And sincere thanks for all the great posts and inspiration!

  • Elaine Thomas 2nd July 2018 at 1:41 pm

    A blog every day is hard to do. I’ll enjoy it four times a week! Elaine xx

  • Fiona Wyatt 2nd July 2018 at 1:30 pm

    Hi Kate,
    I’m grateful for whatever you decide to share with us … you wonderfully entertain, inform and inspire … thank you, thankyou! x

    Fiona

  • Ursula in Cádiz 2nd July 2018 at 1:27 pm

    I’ll take anything you can give us! For which many thanks.
    Hadn’t realised there was a newletter, so off to subscribe – as I believe that stylish people are going to be stylish in more than one part of their lives adn the odd photo of you that I have seen was proof of same. I have you in my Feedly so don’t need a reminder that there is a new post up (if that’s the general idea of the daily option); do, please, correct me if I’m wrong about that!

  • Ellen 2nd July 2018 at 1:24 pm

    No explanation necessary. Seriously. Love your blog. Thank you for your professionalism.

  • Claire 2nd July 2018 at 12:06 pm

    Yours is one of my favourite blogs, and the excellent newsletter is more than enough compensation for missing Wednesday’s post (I was delighted to see we have similar tastes in fiction…). We offered on our (potential) first home this morning, so fingers crossed I might be able to put some of your great advice into action sooner rather than later…

  • RachwithsnE 2nd July 2018 at 11:51 am

    You’ve got to have some work/life balance Kate, do whatever works for you. Where will I find the monthly newsletter in future? I use the search button to find things (not always successfully (but that’s more about my memory than your posts). Will,you add another header? I might take a look at some of the books you’re reading, once I’ve finished my current pile, and will not remember them come the end of July. Hence the need to search or for a separate header.

  • Natasha 2nd July 2018 at 10:42 am

    While I will miss my Wednesday update I think you’re right (otherwise you’ll reach burnout) and you’re with waiting for.

    • Natasha 2nd July 2018 at 10:43 am

      Should be worth – not with

  • Gerry Rust 2nd July 2018 at 9:33 am

    I am amazed that you have been able to create so many blogs, for so long, and still maintain such a high standard and completely understand why you might want to try some changes! While I enjoy reading them each day, I can survive one day off a week, and the monthly newsletter is a welcome a addition, yesterday’s was a good read (as usual) so thank you. Although I doubt if you will ever run out of content, it would be such a shame if producing it became a chore…

  • Ailsa Boyd 2nd July 2018 at 9:28 am

    That sounds fine – I don’t always have time to read your lovely blogs and sometimes store them up. Great work!

  • Sue 2nd July 2018 at 8:49 am

    You apologise too much. We will all be there for you Do what is best for YOU

  • monica 2nd July 2018 at 8:14 am

    Sounds like a plan Kate, I support you all the way!
    Thank you!

  • monica 2nd July 2018 at 8:13 am

    Sounds like a plan Kate, I support you all the way! As long as you continue to write the way you always do, I will be there.
    Thank you!

  • Sigrid Schwarck 2nd July 2018 at 8:04 am

    Dear Kate,
    I enjoy your blog immensely and better four times than none at all. I live in Germany and built 2 houses, the third is being completed shortly. At least I hope so. Even before I came across your blog I used mostly grayish colours in the second house. The first one is dominated by a huge natural stone wall from around 1850 and goes the entire length and height of the two storey house. Why not come and visit and stay in the second house mentioned above. I live south of Frankfurt about 35 minutes from the airport at the foot of the beautiful Odenwald Mountains.

  • Jo 2nd July 2018 at 7:56 am

    Yes! I SAY YES! Thank you for what you do, Kate.

  • Siobhan 2nd July 2018 at 7:53 am

    I think four is pretty awesome, thank you!

  • Rachael Hare 2nd July 2018 at 7:41 am

    Kate, you do whatever is right for you, as long as I still get to hear your insights, expertise and advice, albeit one day less a week, I’m happy!

  • Anne 2nd July 2018 at 7:22 am

    Hi Kate, well I’m sure that plan will work out well. Four blogs a week is more than enough for anyone.
    I thoroughly enjoy your blogs, lovely to hear what’s going on in English design, so much more choice than here in New Zealand. Shades of Grey is fab, a really great book, everything about it from the front cover to the print to the content.
    Thank you.
    Anne

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