Last Thursday, this blog got a massive award. I still cannot quite believe this and I am not lying when I say that I did not expect it. I made my way with dear husband to the Ham Yard Hotel in London for the presentation of the Amara Interior Blog Awards and - spoiler alert - walked away with one!
Ask my husband about it and he can confirm that as we were taking our seats in the theatre of the superbly designed Ham Yard, I was still asking him "do you think I have a chance in this? I really wanted this but so did everyone else. My brain gave me 20% chance of winning given I was 1 of 5 shortlisted blogs in my category.
With a central London location, outstanding catering facilities and a private theatre like this next to a super cool bar, the Ham Yard Hotel is an ideal venue for corporate events like the IBAs.
A few years ago, AMARA founder Sam Hood launched the inaugural AMARA IBAs (as they have come to be known) which are in effect the top awards for those in the interiors blogosphere.
From architectural to colour and design blogs, to magazine and organisation blogs, the IBAs have cemented their reputation as the leading awards in this industry, with over 30,000 votes cast during 2015 and 500 nominated blogs from all around the world.
Dream Team! AMARA's beautiful ladies (and one lucky guy) ready to sign us in, take our photos and generally hold our hand while we were ready to fall apart. The driving force behind all: Amara founder, Sam Hood, second from left.
Although the IBAs have been around since 2014, I only came to know about them in 2015, shortly after I had begun blogging. The IBAs were like an epiphany to me. Being by nature very competitive and never happy to give less than 110% in anything I do, I set my standards really high, wanting to make an impression.
In 2015, this blog was shortlisted in the "Best Designed Blog" category and was competing against the superb Copperline, the award winning Ana Mum Diary and Love Chic Living and the Upcyclist. Going up against those fabulous blogs was hard but I was realistic about the whole process.
It simply made me want it MORE. Read all my thoughts about blog awards here and see how these challenges can help you raise YOUR GAME TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL!
All photos courtesy of brilliant photographer JOHN NASARRI
For 2016 the blog was shortlisted in the Best Colour Inspiration category - ALL THANKS TO YOU, THE READERS.
We were in high spirits during the night. For me, it was the nerves! Two drinks and a few (alright 5!!) scrumptilicious canapés later and we were taking our seats while Great Interior Design Challenge past presenter, stylist and general force of nature Sophie Robinson (and her silver skirt) was taking hers behind the baked beans pod on the stage. It was time for the show to begin. I had merely clapped 3 times when the fun begun.
Sophie Robinson was on a roll:
OK, now for my personal favourite, the Best Colour inspiration category. This is one I like to keep an eye on, being a bit of a colour lover. The shortlisted blogs for this award inspire their readers with new takes on colour schemes as well as reporting on the latest decorating trends. And to hand out the award, Head of Creative at Farrow and Ball, Charlotte Cosby, please join me to the stage.
Have you heard of Farrow & Ball's "Charlotte's Locks" ? Well, yes, that Charlotte.
So the shortlisted blogs for this award are: Candy Pop, Don't cramp my style, Mairi-Helena, Seasons in Colour and the Villa on Mount Pleasant. So, the blog that won this (award) ticked all the right boxes, for the judges, in this category.
They had the notion that this blogger had sorted out all the colour trends at design events rather than simply repeating information that was already out there. And so without further ado, I'd like to announce the winner, for the Best Colour Inspiration blog award, sponsored by Farrow & Ball, is..
Seasons in Colour!
This photo of Sophie Robinson as she announces the name of my blog makes me really happy. Possibly my second favourite photo of her, the first one being this one of her on a horse. Bonkers!
I stumbled onto the stage (literally, as my heels got a bit caught on the hem of my long skirt) and possibly hugged Sam hood for a second too long (keep holding Sam, I might faint) before joining the two massive creatives, Sophie and Charlotte to receive the precious award designed by Cutture.
13 blog awards - See all winners for this year here.
If you watched the replay of the awards - go on to 17 min into the video to catch me repeat over and over " I'm going to faint" - I thought Charlotte Cosby was worried for a moment! Hilarious!
Now it's time to congratulate all winning and shortlisted blogs - everyone's blog is really unique so you, dear reader, can surely have more than a few favourite blogs - as well as thank the organiser, judges and the sponsors in this event. And the AMARA team who put the goody bags together and co-ordinated the event beautifully (live stream, electronic sign in, winner interviews, they did the lot).
Thank you everyone who contributed in this blog being awarded by reading, voting, and judging it as your favourite !
On to the sponsors: As a winner, I left the event with not one but 3 goody bags filled to the brim with fabulous products by Farrow & Ball, Christy, Missoni, LSA International, Wedgwood, AMARA LIVING, Umbra and more, as well as gift vouchers to spend on RISEART.COM.
What a fabulous evening and more so because I got to meet some new (to me) bloggers (finally met Kimberley Duran of SwoonWorthy in person as well as artist Jessica Zoob, Melanie Lissack of the eponymous blog, Anna Lysik from Don't Cramp my Style, Tamsyn Morgans of The Villa on Mount Pleasant as well as an entire team that ascended from Farrow & Ball and Wimborne to London for the awards.
Thank you Amara Living for hosting the awards once more. Here's to a bigger and better for - yes, I'll say it...