In conversation with Girl Friday By The Sea

Lyndsey from Deal runs a popular Instagram page as Girl Friday By The Sea, where she documents her passion for interior design. As a mum of two young children its great to see how she balances a home that's thought out and styled as well as one that's functional and lived in. It was great fun invading her home and discovering all of Lyndsey's cool ideas and unique creations, some of which we'll definitely be stealing. We asked her about her inspiration and for some tips on styling the home.

How do you go about getting inspiration?

I discovered blogs about 10-12 years ago and I already had quite a strong style of my own, and I think as you get older you kind of know what you like more. Blogs gave me a few ideas and the confidence to do what I wanted to do and not get so many raised eyebrows. Instagram has  taken over a lot, I still read blogs but Instagram’s much easier and more addictive to flick through, it doesn’t take long and there so much inspiration out there. Pinterest is also good but I think that’s got a lot more advertising now rather than realistic shots of people’s houses. I prefer a little bit of mess here and there, you can see how people live

Is there anywhere you’ve gone to whilst travelling to inspire you?

I think there’s a lot of inspiring shots you can find, but I don’t specifically go anywhere, I think you take inspiration from a lot of places really. I love Morocco, my house isn’t particularly Moroccan but that’s one place I think you could get a lot of inspiration from. I do enjoy architecture and places like Barcelona.

Before starting a project to you collect reference images or just go for it?

I tend to screenshot things, I used to save a lot to Pinterest but nowadays I save images on my phone. Just gather a few ideas and maybe make a mood board, and just get a general idea of what I like. But mainly my decorating is more organic, I know roughly the components I’ve already got, I’m not going to go out and but everything brand new or find new items I tend to use what I’ve got and then slowly put together the ideas in my head and then look for a few pieces that will bring it together.

Do you have any tips for people who want to freshen up their homes on a budget?

I think if people just de-clutter and get rid of the things they don’t particularly like, or like looking at or using, get rid of it and then find things that are practical and beautiful, they don’t have to be expensive, we’ve got loads of brilliant charity shops in Deal, but I think a lick of paint is always the best thing. And then artwork really, a gallery wall is always useful it focuses the eye and makes a room feel much more homely.

You have young children, how do you make it both a styled home and a functional one?

Its tidy now because they’re at school! The house does get toys and things left out. I have a basket on the stairs, and at the end of the day I put all their little bits of junk that they bring down into the basket and we try to remember to take it back upstairs and have a tidy up at the end of each week. But I try and keep it tidy because I need to be organised, with being a single mum of twins and working, and if you can’t find stuff it can get on top of you and you end up being late and disorganised. We’re not an overly tidy family I don’t think but I do try to teach the kids to tidy up after themselves, it has mixed results.

Your kitchen door is covered with the kid’s artwork, do you have zones that you let them take over?

I pretty much let them do what they want. The front room we don’t really have paints and things in there, my daughter loves drawing so she takes her pens in there sometimes and is quite careful. My son isn’t quite so careful although he’s not that interested in art particularly. This kitchen table has been handed down to me from my Dad. We did all our homework on it and it gets sanded down now and again when there are too many dents and marks in it. The doors are those hollow core type doors so that one in particular has been used as an art door, and we don’t ever shut it so it’s quite handy.

Where did you get the prints behind your table from?

I like a lot of artists mainly from America, you can’t always afford their artwork though. This one is Teil Duncan, she’s a US based artist and it was a calendar that I ordered and then I just cut out the artwork and put it in some frames I got from IKEA.

Have you ever thought about designing for other people?

I’d love to, I don’t know if I’d have the skills to do that, I don’t have any training, my day job is not very creative. But I have helped friends style their houses or come up with ideas. I quite often get requests from people saying can you help me come up with some ideas for my new living room or whatever, so that’s nice. But I haven’t done anything formal.

What sort of shops do you get homeware from?

It varies a lot, a lot of things I’ve bought when I’ve been on holiday or travelling. Aldi has some bargains, some of its from Facebook  that people were chucking out, other bits are from charity shops. My sign over there is from The Range, it folds out, so it can say open or closed. I’m careful not to buy everything, but if there's something that catches my eye and makes my heart beat a little bit faster I’ll buy it. My friends think I’m a bit weird when I walk into a shop and see a rug or something that I really like,  I’ll get the palpitations. You can just go out and buy everything in one hit, but I don’t think that’s reflective of your personality, and I think you need to be careful because of your bank balance as well. Then I’ll have a budget and not spend anything for a few months. Some of the furniture is from IKEA especially in the front living room and the rest of the stuff has just been bought over the years.

This is from ebay, it was meant to go in the bathroom as a vanity unit. I was going to put a sink on top of it, but I’m nowhere near ready to do the bathroom, so at the moment it’s got all the kid’s shoes and junk in it. Because we use the back door, it actually works out really well to hide everything away.

Do you have any other creative outlets in your life?

I think mainly the home, before the kids I used to go off to places like Barcelona and Morocco and look at the architecture and enjoy all that sort of stuff. I don’t do that much now, although there’s plenty of inspiration around locally. It’s mainly the house and the garden. Also helping the children with their projects and artwork and their dress up day costumes that sort of thing. My daughter really loves it she wants to be an artist, she’s constantly drawing she doesn’t really play with toys, just drawing and making cards.


Lyndsey’s local picks


One of my best friends runs the Zetland Arms, so I’d have to recommend there, great for a drink along the seaside.


We’ve got an amazing high street and it’s totally changed since I’ve moved here. I would say to start at the end oftown at the north end and work your way up looking at the boutiques and vintage places.

Also the Saturday market is great for fresh flowers and I got this letter there the other day. There are lots of brilliant things there, they have a lot of vintage items. I love browsing through the charity shops as well, particularly good for books and things for around the house.

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