They’re still a fairly new phenomenon on the interiors scene, but the growing popularity of listening to podcasts has provided us with an easy-to-access source of ideas and advice, writes Carol O’Callaghan.
I’M A fan of audiobooks, borrowed free through the BorrowBox library app.
They’re perfect for countering the monotony of a trot on the treadmill, and for taking the stress out of moments of bumper-to-bumper traffic: the frustration of going nowhere fast can be eased and the time can even be enjoyed with a story.
Lately, though, when I’m out and about in the car, or even pottering at home doing weekend jobs, tuning into an interiors podcast on whatever subject interests me at the time makes me feel like I’m learning while getting stuff done at the same time.
They’re the unsung alternative to vegetating on the sofa watching design deities sermonising about quartz worktops and light-filled spaces when you could listen to ideas targeting a particular interiors topic you want to tackle in your own space right now.
Little known outside of die-hard interior nerds like myself, I’d recommend a spot of Googling to discover their value.
Inevitably, you’ll gravitate towards favourites which reflect your style.
Homegrown podcasts are thin on the ground, however, while the United States is awash with them. I’ve rounded up a few I like to tune into when I’m flicking a duster around, or driving through that dreaded rush-hour traffic.
I’ve really grown to like Young House Love, run by serial renovators John and Sherry Petersik.
Based in the US, they’ve made a career out of ripping apart five houses while having two children and writing a book.
The tone is chatty, like they’re in your kitchen explaining how they approached what you’re intending to do yourself. They include reference to their mistakes, and, happily, their resolutions also.
They are slickly produced and informative and my favourite, No. 150, is called “Changing our minds about our house (again)”.
This is the perfect one if you painted a room six months ago or even took a sledgehammer to an interior wall and are now sorry. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done that you regret, John and Sherry have been there, and it’s a relief to know it’s okay.
Now we’re moving into spring and nesting mode, what about a bit of decluttering?
Miranda Anderson of Live Free Creative is in the business of reducing everything — possessions, decisions and activities and investing time and effort in the most important.
In her podcast no. 27, Beyond Kondo — 10 Ways to Declutter, one of the first things she tells us is Marie Kondo is not for everyone.
Having just gone from scepticism to something close to real enthusiasm for the Kondo method, Anderson’s saying “declutter an area and put the items in the closet or garage for a month” made me warm to her instantly as someone who has fallen foul of more ruthless approaches to the ridding of excess possessions.
Her suggestion, had I heard it three years ago, would have stopped the impulsive dumping of a camera charger cable I later needed, and which I still harp on about every time someone brings up the subject of decluttering.
As a bonus, for those listening from a PC or laptop rather than a phone app, there’s a printable tipsheet and flow chart on her website to keep track of progress.
On home territory, bloggers Caroline Foran and Jo Linehan of Gaff Interiors are new to the podcast scene. Their newly launched six-part series The Home Stretch is geared towards first-time house buyers.
Over the coming weeks they’ll cover areas like finding the right house, what to look out for, sorting finances and even the fun stuff of furnishing.
The first episode, “Getting your financial ducks in a row”, features a financial advisor who joins the pair for a chat.
This will be followed soon by more chats, including one with an estate agent about finding the right house, and advice from a builder.