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Inspiring Blogs - Lobster & Swan

The last couple of weeks have been total madness. In anticipation of the AMARA Interior Blog Awards 2015, and as my blog was shortlisted in the "Best Designed Blog" category, I was keen to find out more about what it takes to create a blog that has great appeal and which manages to get the message across in the best possible way. So I reached out to Jeska Hearne of Lobster & Swan who was the 2014 AMARA IBA winner in the "Best Designed Blog category". As well as running an award winning blog, Jeska and her husband Dean are also the force behind the new online shop sensation The Future Kept.

There is obviously a lot of literature out there about how to optimise your website and make it more appealing and user friendly but let's hear it from someone who put theory to practice and has an award to prove it as well! Some really great tips coming up! I am really greatful to Jeska for taking the time to answer my questions as she is such a busy lady!

Jeska Hearne

Jeska hi! I am a big fan of Lobster & Swan and The Future Kept. Your blog Lobster & Swan won 'Best Designed Blog" in the Amara IBA14. What was your main focus while designing your blog?

The main thing was that the blog should be responsive for viewing on mobile phones. My husband did all the tech and code stuff and I helped with the finishing touches.

You have been blogging since 2007. Have you been consistent in your posting frequency over the years and how did you achieve that?

I have always posted when I want to, I try to be consistent in that I will post most weeks a couple of times, but if I don’t have time, life gets in the way or don’t feel I have something to say then I just wait until inspiration next arrives.

Where do you draw inspiration from for your posts?

I honestly post on a whim most days, my usual Monday posts are a section of favourite images from the weekend, and beyond that I just blog about whatever catches my eye or takes my fancy out in the real or internet world.

Wool Week and the Gotland blanket from Urbanara on Lobster & Swan

If you could turn back time and do something differently in terms of blogging, what would it be?

Ooh, I don’t think I’d do anything differently, is that bad? Each week I have learnt something and the blog has naturally evolved over the years in an organic way. Maybe I should have imported my old blog when I moved to Wordpress, years ago from Blogger, but it felt good to start fresh!

Visual stimulation is definitely a must for any blog. Are there any rules you follow in relation to imagery?

I am not really a rule follower, more of a freestyler. But just lately I have started to take all the photos for my blog portrait instead of landscape, as they are more pin-able that way!


A great tip here - pictures are more pin-able in portrait than when in landscape!

You have produced some great photographs over time, like the one above, what type of camera do you use?

Thank you! In the beginning of L&S I learnt to take photographs with my first digital camera and it was a handy little Sony Cybershot. Now I use a Canon 70D with a 50mm lens.

Two websites, two blogs, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, {at mine}. How do you handle the pressure of having to keep an active presence all these different social media while looking after your new online shop The Future Kept?

I wouldn’t say I handle the pressure all the time, some things have to give, and some days I hide! I run the Lifestyle store with my husband who is very organised so we have Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest pretty well covered for both TFK (mostly him) and Lobster and Swan (me). I try to post on L&S at least twice a week and Dean takes care of the store blog. But since the shop got busier, finding time has definitely become harder. Facebook is the form of social media we like the least so that gets a bit neglected, but you can’t win them all!

You are a founding member of {at mine}. Has there been a particular {styleatmine} challenge that you have really enjoyed?

I do love all their collaborations with Urban Jungle Bloggers - all this {at mine} talk has made me very conscious that I need to add some more recent images to my profile!

What is your social medium of choice and why?

One hundred percent Instagram - I just love the sense of community and amazing photography. Everyone is so encouraging, positive and friendly. Posting once a day is enough and I love seeing what folk are up to creatively or the small details of their everyday lives.

2016 interiors Trends, any predictions?

Good quality, handmade everything, from textiles to furniture and even more plants/trees in the home.

Uashmama Metallic Paper Bag Rose Gold, The Future Kept

About The Future Kept: introduce us to 3 products that have recently been added to your collection.

I am a bit obsessed with blue at the moment so this beautiful woven throw and hand stitched cushion are amongst my favourites and the calendar is a great oversized wall print for 2016!

Thank you Jeska!

Merino Lambswool Ombre Throw Teal, handmade in the U.K

available in a choice of colours from The Future Kept

Indigo Cushion, hand quilted in the UK using Japanese Sashiko thread, The Future Kept

2016 Wall Calendar 'Tattoo Lady' A2, Designed and printed in the UK, The Future Kept

So there you have it! Some great tips, right?! I know that mobile optimisation is the one I have been postponing for some time but it's on the agenda so do watch out for the new look of the blog in a couple weeks time. There's further development on this as I am waiting (my turn to be called) to move the blog on The Grid.

For some great inspiration, you can follow Jeska on Instagram here as well as on Pinterest here. Read Jeska's blog, Lobster and Swan, here.

This is not a sponsored post. All photos courtesy of Lobster & Swan/ The Future Kept

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