Creative & attainable interior design with Caroline from 91 Magazine

Welcome to the first in our new blog series, in which we interview other interiors-focused brand owners about their love of design, sustainability, and running a small business.

As a small, family-run business, at Uashmama we love championing others, learning how they run their business, and of course, finding out how they stay as sustainable as possible. 

First up in the series, we’re chatting to Caroline Rowland from 91 Magazine, who lives in sunny Surrey, in the south east of England.

91 Magazine is an independent biannual print magazine, featuring beautiful interior spaces and inspiring creative folk.

Caroline started the magazine back in 2011, and since then it’s gone from strength to strength, providing both a digital and print magazine to its readers, as well as a website jam-packed with helpful articles.

Let’s find out more about this brilliant business.

 

UASHMAMA: Why did you start 91 Magazine?

CAROLINE: I started 91 Magazine because I was struggling to find an interiors magazine that really spoke to me. I'd subscribed to many of the mainstream titles for years, but I grew bored and frustrated by most of them as the interiors featured were unattainable for most people.

I wanted to see creative interiors, where the owner had injected their personality into the space, and had been clever and creative with the design.

Plus, I have loved magazines from a very young age, so when I realised publishing my own was a real possibility, it was a dream come true.

 

2 copies of 91 Magazine on a table with flowers and glasses

 Photography by Georgia de Lotz

 

UASHMAMA: Tell us what you love most about interior design.

CAROLINE: I love how a really great space can make you feel. My heart genuinely races and I get so excited when I go into a really interesting interior, whether that's a beautiful shop, a restaurant or someone's home.

When I've been on shoots for the magazine in the past, I literally come home and want to change everything as I've been so inspired by the home we've been shooting!

I love an interior that really conveys the personalities of the people living there in a creative way. It's completely in line with the fashion world in that it is a chance for self expression.

 

UASHMAMA: Why is sustainability important to you as a business owner?

CAROLINE: I think it has to be important for every business owner, doesn't it? I worry everyday about the future my daughter and her generation are heading towards. It's scary and it angers me how so many people don't take it seriously.

I think producing anything has an impact on the environment, but if we can at least strive to minimise that impact that has to be positive. I do what I can to ensure my business is as sustainable as it can be - I wrote a bit about it in this Instagram post.

 

UASHMAMA: What's the nicest thing a customer has said about 91 Magazine that still makes you smile now?

CAROLINE: I have had some lovely comments from readers over the 12 years since we started publishing, so I can't pinpoint one in particular, but I think it's when people clearly 'get' the reason behind it and really appreciate what I've tried to create.

It's not always easy to do what we do, and there's been a lot of challenges over the years, but knowing that the time and love that is poured into making the magazine brings our readers joy and inspiration means everything and keeps me going.

A reader recently said about the last issue that it was 'a work of art in itself' which was lovely.

 

Photography by Jemma Watts 

 

UASHMAMA: What are some of the best ways to incorporate sustainability into your interior design?

CAROLINE: I think it's so much easier these days as there are many brands out there offering sustainable choices, although I think the challenge is still cost which makes it harder for those on lower incomes to access these options.

I do think one of the biggest things people can do which shouldn't cost them more, in fact it should cost them less, is just to not buy so much 'stuff'. Really think about whether you need something before you buy it, and consider what you will do with it when you no longer need it or want it.

I'm having to learn this lesson myself as I have always loved shopping and beautiful things, but I'm now being so much more considered about what I bring into my home.

If you do declutter, then think carefully about how you are disposing of stuff. It's easy to just chuck it in the bin, but it's likely there is a way of recycling that item or finding a new home for it.

 

UASHMAMA: What's a lovely thing you are looking forward to over the next 12 months of running 91 Magazine?

CAROLINE: I'm currently working on the second book in our PLACES series. The first one - PLACES to Shop - featured independent lifestyle stores across the UK, and got a great response, so I'm excited to share the next one soon.

I've also got some other ideas in mind that I'd like to try, so watch this space for some more lovely publications :)

 

As recommended by Caroline

We asked Caroline to recommend 3 podcasts, blogs, or Instagram accounts that she'd recommend to those interested in interior design.

The Modern House

I love poring over the homes featured here, their photography is always great and they feature some really interesting spaces (that I often wish I'd found for 91 first!)

Coralie Felicie

One of my faves on Insta - her home is beautiful and her travel posts are always inspiring too.

Beautiful Misfits

podcast from Mary Portas

 

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You can find out loads more about 91 Magazine on their website, follow 91 Magazine on Instagram for a daily dose of inspiration, and they’re on Pinterest too.

And if you'd like a little more from us at Uashmama, take a browse of our other blog posts, or read through our about page

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