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Michelle Ogundehin has become a doyenne in the world of interior design.
While training first and foremost as an architect, Ogundehin went on to become the Editor-in-Chief of ELLE Decoration UK where she spent 13 years at the helm cementing her status as a world authority on the latest trends.
As well as a regular contributor to prestigious homeware labels including Vogue Living, she also penned Happy Inside: How to Harness the Power of Home for Health and Happiness, a practical guide detailing how to make your space work better for your wellbeing and has another en route.
Therefore it comes as no surprise that she was tapped by De’Longhi in line with the launch of its new The Ballerina Collection breakfast range to encourage us all to fall back in love with our home – something we could all do with after a lengthy lockdown.
We caught up with Ogundehin to find her tips to transform your home into a more creative space.
What are you up to at the moment?
I’m about to wrap filming with Alan Carr for Season 3 of Interior Design Masters, and I’m starting work on my second book, Simple Inside: Master your Space, Master your Life.
What is your interior design style?
I don’t subscribe to the idea of having a style. Instead, I surround myself with the colours, things, patterns and prints that I love, and feel no need to give that a handy nametag! Simply put, I believe that your environment is as important to your health and happiness as good food and exercise, and the point is to create a truly supportive environment. One that is absolutely authentic to you, and therefore capable of being both soothing and sustaining. Basically, I like to think of home as my secret superpower!
How can you transform your space with just a few simple purchases?
To me it’s less about what you buy, as why you buy it. Considered shopping is the fast-track to real transformation at home. And the key is to have done the work of discovering what you like before you hit the shops or click those links.
Which are the colours that delight you? Which are the textures that thrill your fingertips? Which materials bring you the happy vibes! Once you’ve done this, you’ll never again buy anything that isn’t really right, or doesn’t work in your home. You’ll also be able to embark on a very considered clutter clear to rid your home of those things that do nothing for your spirit. It’s only then that we really make space to see that simple pot, received as a gift, that we truly treasure. Or the pictures, casually framed, that are priceless by virtue of being done by your children.
What are your kitchen equipment staples?
Of course, a kettle! And other than that, a set of sharp knives, a wooden chopping board, some wooden spoons, two stainless steel mixing bowls, glass measuring jugs, a good blender and a trio of steel cooking pans. Oh, and now autumn is maybe on its way, I’ll be digging out my slow cooker to make some warming stews.
What recent purchases have brought you joy?
In truth I haven’t bought anything for a while because I love everything that I already own but I love to switch my things around regularly to keep my creativity flowing! I also have a weakness for art — anything from charity shop or market finds to online fair picks — and books. I always seem to be able to find space to hang a new picture or stack another pile of reading matter.
What pieces are essential in curating a homely space?
Comfort is everything, and personally I think you can never have too many cushions! I love to mix all different finishes, prints, and colours together to create a truly textural environment. And when piled high on the sofa, it can become the equivalent of a modern den, somewhere to sit with legs crossed like a child, and to feel cosy, safe and able to relax at the end of a busy day. After all, we are profoundly sensory beings, so home should be a profoundly tactile place.
How do you treat yourself?
Bath, book and an early night!