TV presenter, property developer, entrepreneur and mother of four – I catch up with the woman of many talents to bag some expert advice on home style, discover what makes her tick and find out where she finds the time…I certainly couldn’t!
How did you get into property and interiors?
My father was an architect, which is probably where the interest started. I don’t remember ever not being interested in building or interiors, but I didn’t set up the business until I met my husband Graham – I think we must have been the only teenagers who visited National Trust houses through choice when we first met!
I’m very impressed with your entrepreneurial skills as you’ve set up both Tepilo.com and Mysinglefriend.com. Who, or what, inspires you?
All sorts of people, but especially those who deliver something that people really want, and deliver it clearly and simply. I believe keeping things straightforward empowers other people to use any tool you produce.
Where do you find the time to run two businesses and be a mum of four? What’s your secret?!
We do have a fantastic nanny, but I struggle – I don’t sleep much and let lots of people down, but I always make time for the children. Our social life has certainly suffered!
What’s your top advice for someone wanting to start up their own business?
Make sure that what you’re offering is what people really want. And keep it really simple, but above all make sure YOU are interested in it.
Are you a country or city girl?
That is a the endless question I ask myself – they both have so much to offer that I just can’t decide between them. I believe my heart is in the country, but I’m just not sure I could really live there all the time.
Describe your home’s style?
My own home in South London I’m afraid is a bit of a mess – a bit of a case of dentists and bad teeth! Its closest to shabby chic, but we never quite got round to the chic. I blame it on having four sons and a dog and cat but it’s probably not their fault really!
What interiors trend do you think will be big this summer?
I think it will all be about pattern and colour. Lots of patterned carpeting and bold colours painted on walls.
What three products could you not live without?
My Apple MacBook Pro as it lets me take my office everywhere with me.
My Vorwerk vacuum cleaner. Boring as it may sound you try using something different once you’ve tried a Vorwerk.
I bought two Ikea sofas just before Christmas, which are in the kitchen. I can’t tell you how much they’ve improved my life as we can now fit all the family on the sofas together and that makes me really happy. They also have removable and washable covers so it doesn’t matter how much you spill on them!
Got any top decorating tips for our readers?
*Re-clutter your home. Now’s the time to enjoy your home and add all that character you’ve been hiding away for years.
*Fill your home with lots of pots! Have them everywhere so you can stuff things into them when you want to tidy up quickly.
Top property tip for our readers?
If you’re thinking of moving I think now’s a good time especially if you are wanting to upsize. Whilst you may sell for a bit less than you once hoped, you’ll also buy for less. So, in the grand scheme of things, you should be able to end up with a larger home for less money.
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Emily Peck, Editor
View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor