Will Taylor — or Mr. Bazaar as his readers know him — is a young British blogger with an eye for color. When he’s not blogging for Bright Bazaar, Will makes his living as a stylist and columnist for various interior and lifestyle publications. We find his daily posts inspiring and we love to see what’s happening in the decor world across the pond! Read more about Will and Bright Bazaar…
Which came first? Styling or Bright Bazaar? How has your styling evolved as you blogged?
My first experiences in styling came when I worked in visual merchandising for UK retail brand Habitat whilst I was a student. Transferring from a sales assistant into the in-store visual team was the ideal move for me because I had realised how much I enjoyed the process of creating an inspiring shopping experience for customers. From assisting the Visual Merchandising Manager to set up the seasonal window displays to creating room sets and little vignettes, the experience gave me a solid grounding in arranging products with colour, texture and composition in mind. As this was retail-based styling, the focus was as much on creativity and experience as it was on encouraging up selling and sales, so when I founded Bright.Bazaar in 2009 it was exciting to have a space for which I could style without restrictions or required elements. I started the blog after I graduated from university with a Journalism degree, and have since written interiors articles on a freelance basis for both newspapers and magazines, then I started prop styling for clients and magazines in 2010 as the blog became more prominent and well-known.
How do you stay inspired to blog?
As well as visual merchandising (you can’t beat a great in store experience for inspiration in my book!), I often turn to the natural environment for inspiration. Visits to Italy and Spain over the summer boosted my love of colour, giving me a different palette of hues from which to take inspiration, as well as those I see daily in London. The soft, pastel hues mixed with the occasional vibrant bright pink or orange in Italy’s north west coastal towns ran my camera battery down quicker than I could take all the photos I wanted!
Color is your forte — what is your favorite color?
Tough question! It depends on the space and the subject – so, for example, I love to wear blue; navy, electric, sky, any shade really. For interior decorating I think you can’t beat black. It’s a great base colour as it teams really well with a plethora of accent hues from white and grey naturals through to yellow and orange brights. A good example of this is in the bedroom at my apartment when I have painted one wall in chalky black behind the bed. The white bed frame looks great against the black, and the solid black base colour allows me to add in brightly coloured bedding as an accent colour to the scheme; its flexibility with other colours is what makes me like using black over other more common base shades.
In addition to the blog, you’re active on Facebook, Twitter and have an especially engaging Pinterest page — how do you manage all of these things? Do you treat them differently? What is the best of each form of social media?
Since I discovered Twitter, taking public transport in London goes a lot quicker as I can pass the time on the bus chatting away with friends, bloggers, designers, stylists, shop owners and more from across the world. Twitter can be a great way to source information quickly, too. For example, if I need a product for a shoot, or to include in a trend feature I am compiling, I can ask my twitter followers for sources and suggestions whilst on the move. Facebook is an enjoyable way to connect with readers, but I enjoy twitter more as it has a real feeling of two-way communication; I find it quicker, simpler and more effective as a way to chat with others. As for Pinterest? I think it’s a game changer – it’s such a simple yet useful tool for cataloguing visual inspiration. I often use my boards as a starting point for inspiration for blog posts and magazine features. Oh, and for a whole lot of procrastination when I have a fast-approaching deadline!
What kind of styling jobs do you enjoy the most? Which are you most proud of?
I styled a Christmas story for Rue magazine last year, where I took one room and festooned the space in three different schemes for the Holidays — Technicolour, Folksy and Noir. For me, I was so pleased with how the story came out because it just shows how you can make a space feel totally different depending on your choice of accessories. From as far back as I can remember I have loved decorating for Christmas, so styling up three different looks was a real treat to work on.
Well, if I’m being honest, all Christmas issues are fun even if it means trawling press shows and Christmas preview events in 30+ degree heat of the summer! I remember writing and researched my latest Christmas feature for Sweet Paul back in August/September and it look a whole lot of will power not to hit play on my festive playlist in iTunes!
Color is your strong suit but what are your favorite tips for pulling a room or look together?
As a prop stylist I value the little details of space above all else, so my top tip would be to focusing on layering the scheme. Start with either a blank canvas, or the elements already in the room, and consider how you want the space to feel. Then start working in colour, pattern and texture as you go, layering these elements up across the room as you go. So, you might add in accent colours to the space through a throw over the side of the couch, then echo this hue in a different shade, pattern or texture in a rug on the floor, or a throw pillow. Personally I’m not keen on spaces that are too overly matched with all the same shades. I think a space can be more subtly tied together by using other sensory experiences, such as the tactile feel of the textiles used. It’s also good to think about how you arrange the contents of the room; don’t feel all the furniture needs to sit flat against the wall. Rather, bring the space alive by moving pieces to other parts of the room. Living in an open plan apartment in London, I’ve found this a useful way to zone a larger space into cosier, more defined environments for working, eating and relaxing.
What are your favorite tools for blogging?
Without a doubt it has to be my iPhone and Olympus PEN camera. Access to my emails on the go helps me to keep on top of my email correspondence as well as helping guide me to obscure locations, shops and press events across the city. Then I have my PEN camera which is my number one pal for helping capture original content to share on the blog. I use both the camera in my iPhone (with the help of the wonderful Instagram) and my PEN to photograph my inspirations for the weekly Monday series, 10 Things I Learned and Loved This Weekend where I share all that inspired me over the previous few days.
Surprising Post: Could you give an example of a BrightBazaar post that surprised you — either by being crazy-popular, crazy polarizing or surprisingly lame?
When I returned from Paris in January I blogged a few of my photographs from the trip and I couldn’t believe how generous and kind readers were with their comments. The weather was grey and overcast for the majority of the trip, so I decided to shoot everything through a sepia filter instead to try and embrace the city’s moody hues. I wasn’t sure if it worked or not, so I was pleasantly surprised with how readers responded to the photographs in the post.
One of the exciting things about blogging is getting reader feedback in the form of comments and email — do you have a favorite example of some of the feedback you receive?
As well as having a creative outlet, engaging with readers is my favourite reason for blogging. Since I started the blog I’ve made some lovely friends all over the world, even travelling to stay with some of the bloggers I have met in their own homes. There’s nothing better than exploring a city through the eyes and knowledge of someone who lives there and knows those special places off the tourist paths. I also love the feedback I get from businesses or bloggers to say that they’ve seen an uplift in sales or readers following a post on Bright.Bazaar; knowing you can support businesses (big or small) that you believe in and feel inspired by is an exciting and rewarding feeling.
What are your favorite sources of inspiration? Blogs, books, artists, etc.
Bonnie Tsang, Peggy Wong and House of Brinson are great for photography inspiration.
I love the fashion images over on Preppy Supply and Tetino Tetê, and I find Amanda Jane‘s posts to be an all round treat for type, design and photography lovers. Another of my number one reads is Hither and Thither, written by couple Aron and Ashley. The blog details their adventures in and around New York City and beyond, so it’s always full of inspiring sights, sounds and experiences.
I continually return to Apartment Therapy’s Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces as I find it ideal for inspiring ideas in my own small space. The concept behind Jonathan Adler’s My Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living makes the book a joy to read. I also find a lot of inspiration from recipes and food styling, so often return to Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italy, Urban Pantry by Amy Pennington and Winter on the Farm by Matthew Evans which is a new favourite.
Dream Project: Is there a project you want to attempt but continue to put off?
One day I would like to write an interiors styling book. I was fortunate enough to be approached by two publishing houses this year about possible book projects but after much thought and consideration I decided not to proceed. If I was to take on writing a book I’d want to feel 100% comfortable with the concept, have a lighter schedule to allow for the huge amount of work such a project would take and also be a little older – I don’t feel pressure to rush into anything until I ready. That said, and let’s not beat around the bush, it’s hard to say no to such opportunities but I hope that being more selective and waiting until I feel ready will result in working on projects I feel more comfortable with and will ultimately be more enjoyable.
You can see updates from Will on Bright.Bazaar.