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Category: Sharing learnings

  1. Living with Less

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    My 6Rs - based on zero waste guru Bea Johnston's 5Rs but including REVIEW and REPAIR


    Fellow Brightonian interior designer Angela Cheung and I have decided to have regular conversations following the feedback we had from our one last month.   We have lots to talk about and to compare notes and most importantly to us - we share our learnings on sustainability and wellbeing in interior design with anyone watching!  We have different specialisms and enjoy discussing the overlaps together.


    This week we are talking about LIVING WITH LESS.  Watch to find out more about minimalism, decluttering, Chloe's involuntary decluttering,  Angela's voluntary decluttering,  the health & wellbeing benefits for us both, design for longevity and buying better. 


    This month marks my 15th year in business and it’s really making me reflect!  This conversation is very real for me because in my first week in business I had a house fire and lost most of my belongings.  I very quickly learnt to Live With Less!  It sounds so shocking doesn’t it - but it was the most important lesson to me about possessions.  Of course it was a shock and upsetting but I was hugely lucky.  No-one was hurt and I was properly insured (you just don’t know for sure until you have to claim).  You realise how many possessions you acquire along the way.  Much of it you rarely use or even look at.  You move from place to place taking it with you and paying for the extra space it needs to be kept in.  Reducing your possessions - severely for me - and it turns out for Angela as well - was a positive and freeing experience for us both.  As Angela observes “it leaves space for other things” which for her meant she’s made time in her life to do a Masters degree in Architecture at the age  of 50!!  I recognise it is not for everyone at all.  But to surround yourself with items that remind you of your loved ones and positive experiences you’ve had has such a huge wellness benefit. for us  I’ve learnt to not save things for best and to use and to wear and use them.  As Angela points out - live your one life now!


    We know we are some of the highest consumers on the planet in the UK and the US.  David Attenborough showed us this in his recent, alarming documentary 'Extinction'.  We are over consuming and not appreciating the huge amount of resources used to keep us in our mindless, one-click buying habits of gathering STUFF.


    In our conversation we talk about how we encourage our clients to REVIEW and SLOW DOWN when buying for a new space.  Buy things you LOVE and find ways to buy those better quality and longer lasting things including PRELOVED.  Appreciate too that those things will also have a resale value should you want to sell them on too!  REFLECT on the reasons you buy things - are they good reasons?  Last of all - buy things that are DURABLE and made to last.

    Book recommendation: The Minimalist Way - Erica Laine

    Must watch: Bea Johnson's Ted Talk


  2. Discussing our specialisms - Interior designers Angela Cheung & Chloe Bullock discuss interior design

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    I’m nearly at 15 whole years of running my micro business and it’s only really in recent years that I’ve started to get to know other designers both in the area and further away.  I’m not sure why it took so long as I’m finding them to be such a supportive and interesting group of people!  


    I’ve met lots of local designers through Design Brighton (old and new versions), through networking such as Property Smarts, also further away via the British Institute of Interior Design, through the vegan design community.  Even the interio designer community on social media has been a support to each other. There’s a lovely group on Instagram especially.  We are by now means the same.  We all have different specialisms and ideal clients.  It’s really interesting how many variations there are and we have lots to learn from each other.


    One is Angela Cheung.  I’ve known about her since I started.  At that time there really weren’t nearly so many designers in the Sussex area.  She was working mainly in residential and I was working mainly in commercial.  So our paths didn’t cross.


    Earlier in the year I heard she was now specialising in Biophilic Design - which is our need for a connection to nature.  It’s an area I am very interested in as well as it’s all about occupant health.   I’ve written about it a fair bit.  I am nowhere near as knowledgeable as Angela is about it.  Healthy building design really is the way forward for the built environment - more than ever in this time of pandemic.  Like me Angela has continued studying throughout her career and you’ll hear about her exciting new learning adventure during our conservation.  We both love to learn.


    Angela contacted me suggesting we recorded a conversation about interior design.  I hope you enjoy the chat!


    Watch to find out more about Biophilic Design, Human Centric Design as a whole, Sustainability and Vegan Design and we both share tips to help anyone watching who might be interested in improving their spaces.

    You can follow Angela at @angelacheunguk