Hayley Gilbert
1. How long have you been a journalist?
Goodness, I feel old answering this but I’ve been a journalist for 22 years now!

2. How did you get the journalist bug?
After graduating from uni with a degree in Media & Cultural Studies, I moved back home and got a job on my local newspaper in the production department. Whilst my role was quite tedious and involved occasional night shifts, I used to gaze longingly at the writers’ desks and knew that that’s what I wanted to do. After that I moved to London where I worked on a music magazine before finding my niche in home interiors publications.

3. What’s the best part of your job?
It has to be getting to see the most beautiful properties and interiors as well as meeting fabulous, friendly people and having sneak previews of upcoming trends.

4. What’s the most challenging aspect?
Probably keeping on top of all the emails that come in when I’m working on maybe four or five different features at once. I am pretty organised though but it does keep me on my toes.

5. Is your own home filled with all the fabulous products you write about?
Hmm, not the high-end expensive stuff but yes, I definitely take inspiration from the high street and online trends that I cover for shopping pages; there are definitely times when I see something and think, I just have to have that!

6. Have you renovated your own home?
Yes but only in terms of installing a new kitchen and bathrooms and updating the décor. I did knock a wall down between the old kitchen and dining room to make it one larger open-plan space. That’s something I write about often, so I had to follow my own advice on that one. The house was built in 1993 and hadn’t been updated since so there was a lot of peach in the bathrooms… No amount of retro revival could bring that back!

7. What’s your top tip for looking forward to the next interior trend – is it fashion led?
For autumn/winter 2017 it’s all about navy, gold and emerald – rich, dramatic shades that work well in homes as well as fashion.

8. What couldn’t you live without in your own home/ your best find or buy??
I do have a soft spot for kitchens and love a good gadget. I don’t think I could manage without my kettle or my Dolce Gusto coffee pod machine; I drink tea and coffee constantly when working and it’s a good excuse to get up from the desk and have a stretch. I recently bought some film prints from Etsy, which I framed in simple white frames from B&Q. They are by Law & Moore and I chose some of my favourite films – The Goonies, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Indiana Jones trilogy – find them on www.etsy.com

9. Everyone is said to have a book within them – would you consider writing one and what would your subject be
Yes definitely; it’s something on my ‘to do’ list. Having a 15-year-old son who refuses to read for pleasure, I’d love to write a novel for the teen boy market that’s aimed more at his age group. Girls seem to have more options so it would be nice to make reading for boys cool again.

10. What do you love doing in those precious free time moments?
I spent two years learning how to swing jive, which was amazing. Great exercise and fun and I met some lovely people. I also love pottering round craft fairs and markets, heading to the beach in all weathers and occasionally baking the odd cake.

Julie R

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