When the Amino PR team caught up with the very lovely Linda Clayton, Interiors Journalist…
How long have you been a journalist? Nearly 16 years
How did you get the journalist bug? I’ve wanted to be a journalist ever since I can remember – originally just because I thought it sounded cool when various grown-ups asked ‘what do you want to do when you grow up?’. Possibly not the best reason but nothing else inspired so I did a journalism degree at Cardiff, then a post-grad in magazine journalism, and didn’t go off the idea. I started at a news agency, court reporting for the Nationals and door-stepping unfortunate souls for a scoop, which I hated (and, frankly, was terrible at). It was only when I moved into my first home, a small listed thatched cottage in Devon, and bought Period Living, that interiors mags caught my attention. I was hooked, and badgered the editor for months before I got a commission.
What’s the best part of your job? Being nosy. I think I’d also make a good estate agent, if I wasn’t so rubbish at sales – I just love snooping around people’s homes.
What’s the most challenging aspect? Dealing with the egos. You have to tread very carefully around some interior designers, but I also work with plenty who are absolutely brilliant.
Is your own home filled with all the fabulous products you write about? Hahahaha. No. I can’t afford 90% of the products I write about but I must admit I do usually find a way to get the one or two things I really lust after. For example, I’ve wanted a Gaggenau oven since I went on a factory tour to their German HQ while working on the trade mag kbbreview at the tender age of 24. I finally got one for Christmas 2016. I’d like a matching combi-microwave but that might not happen for another decade or two…
Have you renovated your own home? I’m on my fourth, and hopefully last, major renovation project. My husband and I just bought a house built in 1924, that hasn’t been decorated since the ‘70s. Unfortunately our decorating budget is pretty non-existent so I’m hoping the swirly carpets and textured wallpapers will be back in vogue soon!
What’s your top tip for looking forward to the next interior trend – is it fashion led? The colours and finishes are very fashion led but interiors trends are generally much faster paced now too. When I started going to the Spring interior design exhibitions in Milan and Cologne a decade ago, it would take the UK at least three years to catch up, but now, thanks to the immediacy of social media etc, it’s pretty instant. I’d argue it’s pretty impossible to stay ahead of trends, so buy what you like, what makes you smile and what works in your home.
What couldn’t you live without in your own home/ your best find or buy?? The nicest thing in my current home is my new oven, which was eye-wateringly expensive, but I also get pretty excited about bagging a bargain. Just recently I needed a quick fix to replace the broken blinds on our three-metre long patio doors (which are also broken and likely to be replaced with something wider) but I couldn’t find any ready made curtains for less than £300, even on eBay or from curtain exchange companies, because it’s a non-standard size. So I bought two pairs of curtains in the Habitat sale and sewed them together. The whole project, including the pole from Dunelm, cost £84. Happy days (and thank you to my friend Megan for the idea).
Everyone is said to have a book within them – would you consider writing one and what would your subject be? If I had nothing else to do with my days I might be tempted, but it would probably be interiors related so it’s not likely I’d make The Times bestseller lists. I have to admit that the relative brevity of magazine features is much more my cup of tea. I imagine writing a book would be a little like writing a thesis at university – and hang over me in a similarly oppressive way!
What do you love doing in those precious free time moments? Walking with my family and dogs on the beach or moors (when the children are being good and the dogs aren’t running off). I hate the train to London for work but nothing beats the daily joy of living in the heart of Devon.