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This week, we met TV presenters, power couple and keen upcyclers, Michael Underwood and Angellica Bell.
AB: Because we are both freelance and you never quite know what job you’ll be doing week to week, there’s no such thing as a normal day, but if we’re both at home it will always revolve around our children. One of us may get up at 5.45am and go to the gym, the other wakes up the children, we all have breakfast and then the other heads off to the gym!
It’s then a combination of entertaining the children and prepping their meals before we take our son to nursery and put our daughter down for her nap. That’s when we get all our emails and business done before heading off to collect our son. Then it’s getting dinner ready, bath time and bedtime! Obviously we squeeze in other bits and bobs but if one of us is working it’s not so hectic.
AB: I love the fact it’s always different. You’re meeting new people, travelling to new locations and having new experiences.
MU: We were both trained to present live television too and you get a real buzz from being in a studio and hearing the countdown in your ear, knowing you’re transmitting to the nation is amazing.
AB: Staying in work! It’s a difficult business to do well in and there’s a lot of competition. Nowadays being good at your job isn’t enough and you have to be proactive otherwise you’ll get left behind. We’ve been very fortunate and managed to maintain a career, but it’s hard work.
MU: We both became interested in upcycling when we bought our first house together; we spent a lot of time looking around antiques and independent shops and saw how much people were charging for painting old furniture or even to reupholster a chair seat. I always moaned about having to a pay a premium when we could just do it ourselves. A short while later Angellica booked me on a course and it just went from there.
MU: As I was really getting into the upholstery and upcycling, it seemed to make sense to sell things, as they would just clog our home up. I knew eBay wasn’t ideal and there were a few places we’d visited before, so I thought I look into hiring a space in an antique shop. I met another lady on a weekly night course who was also interested in doing the same so we decided to share a space. Angellica was happy as I then stopped clogging up the porch.
MU: It’s about having a specific area I can work in. No distractions, just me and the materials I’m working with. I can then focus in on what I’m doing and before I know it a couple of hours have flown by.
AB: Sometimes we can both work on pieces together and put the world to right at the same time!
AB: Everywhere and anywhere! It could be when I’m out with the children in the park, buying food in a shop or driving around London. For me it seems to work better when I’m not actively looking for inspiration, I just happen to see something and take it from there. It could be outside a charity shop seeing a piece of furniture, reading a magazine or going to film in a contributor’s house!
AB: We are quite new to Instagram, but like following designers based in New York. We love the place and this is a way of getting our NYC fix without actually being there. Also Loaf is great for home ideas and Living etc magazine too. We tend to follow friends and restaurants as we are foodies love eating out when we get the chance.
AB: We love every room in our house and each has a different vibe and feel. Our bedroom is white vintage French looking creating a calm aura to it so we love chilling in there with the children. We get lots of compliments about the dining room. It has a darker antique feel. We painted the walls a mushroom colour, it has big open original fireplace, old pictures, velvet purple chesterfield copy sofa, art deco mirror, old oil lamp and pieces that are different. When the fires roaring away and we have friends over they don’t want to leave.
MU: We think natural materials like bespoke wooden designs will be big in 2016. These will contrast with metallic interiors and vintage industrial pieces. But at the end of the day, each individual knows what they like and how they want their house to feel. So sometimes you have to ignore trends and be individual.
* Photography by Tangle Photography UK