Michelle Halford started finding and sharing the interior design she loves on Pinterest. After building a huge Pinterest following, The Design Chaser blog was born. Michelle blogs daily from her newly-built (and very stylishly decorated!) home in Auckland…
Tell us about yourself Michelle – what do you do ‘9-5’, and why/how did you come to start the Design Chaser?
In addition to blogging, which in itself a full-time job, I’m a Mum to two busy young boys, so I tend to work around the clock! Prior to having kids I worked for the magazine publisher ACP Media (now Bauer Media) in account management. I’ve always loved magazines, and while working there I became obsessed with the ‘home’ titles. Becoming a homeowner for the first time fuelled my passion. Having built up a great Pinterest following, I was craving a greater online platform to express my creativity and eye for design. Inspired by international blogs that I love, I decided to create my own, and The Design Chaser was born!
One of the many Pinterest moodboards Michelle regularly puts together
Yes, your Pinteresting following is VERY impressive, wow! We hear you got an amazing kick-start from an international fan? How did that come about?
Yes, I’m a complete Pinterest addict! Without me knowing, one of my followers, Melanie of a A Cut Above the Resty who has always been hugely supportive of my blog and Pinterest boards, nominated me for the Huffington Post Home Pinterest Accounts to Follow Now list.
I got a late-night Facebook message from her telling me they’d chosen me and was so excited, I woke my husband up just to tell him!
Another super-cool Design Chaser moodboard, with images selected from Michelle’s Pinterest page.
You’re currently building and decorating your own home. What’s shaping up to be your favourite room in the house?
Yes, we recently moved in so it’s an exciting time! I’m loving the open plan space upstairs, which includes the kitchen, dining and living areas. It’s white and bright, with lots of natural light providing the perfect canvas for me to showcase my Scandinavian-style aesthetic.
Favourite features would have to be the pale wooden flooring, marble e-stone kitchen benches, Muuto Pendant lights and the String Shelf.
The Halford family’s stunning dining space in their new home
What do you most enjoy about blogging? What are the challenges?
I get to indulge in what I love everyday, and share it with others. I find it incredibly heart-warming when people say that I inspire them, and it makes all the hard work worthwhile. I’ve met some amazing people along the way, including other bloggers and those who I get to interview for the blog.
The biggest challenge for me right now is time management. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to do all that I want to do with the blog and social media side of it. The downside to spending so much time online is that there are a lot of distractions, and I have a constant need to pin! Continually coming up with original content can also be challenging, but it’s getting easier now that I can finally share my new home!
What’s next for The Design Chaser?
I’ve recently caught the Instagram bug, and it’s added a new angle for the blog – a behind the scenes look, and of course progress on the new house. There are also some possible styling and interior design opportunities on the horizon, which I’m really excited about.
Instagram snaps of Michelle’s new home – she’s been very busy decorating it lately!
And finally, what are your top tips to help new bloggers stick with it?
Pinterest allowed me to put my style out there and express what I loved. People responded so well that it gave me the confidence to start the blog and put my voice to the images. After I started I enrolled in an online blogging course run by Holly Becker of Decor8. I learnt a lot and also got to meet bloggers from around the world, who I am still in contact with today. Find out who are the successful blogs in your niche – chances are you’re following them anyway – and learn from them. Stick to what you love, and don’t be afraid to share a little bit of yourself. People love getting to know the person behind the blog, learning from them, and following their journey.