So excited about this fantastic initiative – a joint project between the children’s charity, Barnardos and Dr Geraldine Tan, NHS Consultant by day and super successful Interiors Blogger, Little Big Bell, by night (or sometimes the other way round!!)
Lockdown has prompted a marked increase in interest in our homes: over the last 6 months we have done a lot of changing up and refreshing of our interiors, which is great, but sadly this had led to some thoughtless waste.
With the dual aim of rescuing pieces that still have value and raising much needed funds for this brilliant charity, Geraldine has curated a virtual Pop Up Shop open from the 1-8 August. You will be able to bid on the beautiful pieces of home ware that Geraldine has chosen: all items big and small will start at just 99p and be open to bidding for one week; after which they will be sent direct to the lucky winners. Look out for on-trend pre-loved pieces from Le Creuset, Oliver Bonas and a gorgeous vintage jade green tea set.
I for one cannot wait!
On top of this excitement, I am delighted to have been invited to interview Geraldine. We go go back a long way as fellow bloggers and I have always admired her hugely.
AG: Geraldine, welcome to the Great Scottish Indoors. You have such a strong sense of style, how do you feel you acquired the ability to make your home so distinctive?
GT: I just love colour and design. I decorate with what makes me happy and there are no set rules in the way I do it. I am not formally trained as an interior designer or stylist. I guess when you decorate from the heart, that instinct makes what you do unique.
AG: Where do you find inspiration for your interior schemes?
GT: I get inspired by the colours I see when I travel.
AG: I know you live in North London, with your husband and two children, who I think are close in age to mine? Do you all work on your interior schemes together or is someone in charge?
GT: Both my kids are now teenagers. My family usually leave me to decide on the interior scheme. They are very supportive of what I do.
AG: That is wonderful, very good of them! I love your fruity colours, did you make a conscious decision to choose them or are you just naturally drawn to particular shades?
GT: I’m naturally drawn to a particular colour palette. I love shades of pinks, yellows, minty greens and sky blue.
AG: You run a very successful instagram account that depicts your home, I imagine this is a fun outlet and a refreshing contrast to the long hours you put in at the hospital, but how exactly do you do it?? Do you ever sleep? How do you find the time?
GT: I do sleep but probably not for long. I usually wake up around 5am to work on my blog and social media before leaving for the hospital. I work seven days a week: five days at the the hospitals and at the weekend I work on creating imagery for my blog. I have a formula and structure for organising my life to ensure I exercise for 2 hours a day, and spend time with my family too.
AG: How do you manage to exercise for two hours a day on top of everything else?
GT: Well I walk to work and back an hour each way, I do not listen to music or podcasts, I simply love drinking in the sights and sounds of the city. I find it very relaxing.
AG: Your house looks so tidy and orderly – I assume this is how you live or are you wildly tidying up for the camera every few days??
GT: I’m sure lots of people would prefer me to say the rest of my house is a mess. However, 4- 5 years ago, I made a conscious decision that what I depict on social media has to be real. I do not have a cleaner, I do everything myself. I have a system in place to make my home look tidy. I follow that system religiously and it has now become automatic. I declutter every 2 weeks and I give a lot of my Homewares to NHS colleagues.
AG: I know you work for the NHS as a consultant, what is your field?
GT: I am dually accredited as a specialist in both General internal medicine and medicine for older people, but I work within a team in A&E. It is a service I set up 10 years ago.
Wow – I am sure everyone reading this interview is just thinking one thought – ‘Be more Geraldine’: exercise; save lives; tidy; in spare time create; repeat!
She does relax though, I asked her a little about this –
AG: Do you have a favourite interiors magazine?
GT: I subscribe to Living etc and Elle Decoration
AG: Your favourite movie?
GT: You may laugh at my answer, but I love watching Marvel’s Iron man! I love watching it with my husband and son – Robert Downey junior is so good in that role.
AG: And finally, what are you reading at the moment?
GT: Inside Vogue by Alexandra Shulman
Seriously though, this amazing lady works long hours as a doctor in a large London teaching hospital, and I know that during the pandemic she has been been working even harder: the words ‘going the extra mile’ do not cut it. She has been shielding from her family, for instance, when she had to isolate at the height of the crises, by living in the basement of her home.
I know I am not alone in feeling incredibly grateful to her and all her colleagues who have done so much, not only treating afflicted patients, looking after them in extreme distress but also undertaking valuable research helping us all to understand this disease to help reduce it’s spread.
THANK YOU GERALDINE!
All she is asking in return at the moment is that we support this wonderful initiative. The Pop Up opens tomorrow, you will get lots of reminders to have a look on social media all week, so please enjoy!
Special thanks go to Bombay Duck London, Catherine Rowe designs, Doodle_Moo , Eleanor Bowmer, Gayle Mansfield Designs, Hannah Carvel, Kitty McCall, Moi_Mili, Nanas of Anarchy, Particular People ,Sugar Snap Studio, The Happy Blossoms, The Native State and W.A Green who have all generously donated pieces.