I’ve been feeling so inspired by the Style Matters podcast that I decided to interview Zandra, the brilliant home styling expert behind the episodes. Obsessed with interior design since she was a kid, Zandra began channelling her home organising, decorating and design into her website Little Yellow Couch. Now, she is bringing her advice and expertise to life through the Style Matters podcast where she interviews stylists, designers and artisans to inspire us all to get more creative in the art of homemaking. I caught up with her for an Up Close interview to find out more…
The Style Matters Podcast
What’s your favourite aspect of your work?
As the CEO and the chief bottle washer, I do pretty much everything. I love the variety! Being in the interior design space, the content I develop requires a lot of creativity. There’s also a lot of creative problem solving but I also have had to learn about marketing, website design, the tech behind producing a podcast, community building, social media, etc. I just love that my days are never the same.
Let’s talk about home design
Describe your interior style
It is very much uniquely my own! I mean, it better be — that’s what I preach for a living, after all!
We’ve been collecting original artwork for 20 years and it’s really the focal point of our home. I’m also a collector and avid thrift market/antique mall hunter, so I have a lot of objects that also beg for your attention.
I’m all about mixing everything! New and old, high and low, colours, patterns, eras, styles. I love taking a classic and turning it on its head a bit. I’m also passionate about craftsmanship and celebrating the small details that make something truly beautiful.
If you’re trying to figure out your signature style, start in your entryway. That’s usually a small space and therefore, less intimidating. Think of it as the prelude to sharing who you are. When a guest comes in, they should know something about who you are from how you’ve designed it. And when you come in, you should immediately see something beautiful to remind you of your own value and worth. You deserve beauty.
Best return on investment on an item
Probably our very comfy, very well made red couch. Yes, the colour makes a statement and you may think that it’s limiting but, for me, it’s had the opposite effect, even when moving homes. You start to learn how buying something you love will always win out over buying something that’s “safe” because it’ll “go with everything.”
Inside the wardrobe
Describe your fashion style
Well, since covid, it’s been all about comfort! Pre-covid, I loved to dress up in nice jeans, a beautiful silk shirt, high heels and long earrings with red lipstick. I’m also partial to patterns and I look best in dark colors. I guess you’d say I’m a mix between Anthropology and Boden.
3 brilliant small clothing brands
Top 3 go-to items in your wardrobe when you are in a rush
Jeans, a cowl neck sweater and boots.
3 items that make you feel a million dollars
Great fitting jeans, a shift dress or an A-line skirt.
1 item that everyone asks where you got it from
My gold earrings that look like palmetto leaves. They came from the Dewberry Spa in Charlotte, NC.
Biggest purchase mistake ever
Bras, bras, bras! Why oh why can no one make a bra that has straps that don’t fall down, doesn’t hurt around the ribs, and still makes you look like gravity hasn’t won?!
Boots or trainers
Silver or gold jewellery?
Favourite jewellery brand
I love finding new jewellers at craft shows and boutiques but I can always find something I like at Madewell.
Life-saving beauty buys
Barefaced or full face?
Oooooh…. can I pick the in-between? I have a LOT of sun damage (childhood spent in the Florida sun with tanning OIL… not sun protection)! To feel even halfway presentable, I need some foundation to even out my skin. And honestly, I feel my best when I have on mascara, eyeliner, and a little cheek and lip colour. But I’m also lazy, so it’s often just the foundation!
You might also like: 5 Brands To Refresh Your Skincare Routine
Best beauty buy on the market
I’m still looking
Top 3 items in your make up bag
Primer, foundation, all-in-one pink-ish tint that I can use on my eyes and cheeks if I’m in a rush.
Although it’s tempting to try different styles and different lengths, I’ve always, always regretted it when I make a change from my long, mostly evenly layered style without bangs.
Life-saving hair product
I absolutely love Shea Moisture’s Coconut Oil Leave-In Treatment! It has absolutely transformed my morning routine. All I do I spray it all over after I get out of the shower and it smooths out my fly-aways and gives my slightly wavy hair a bit more curl and style. No hairdryer required!
Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Leave-In Treatment, Shea Moisture
I’m in the States, but if you’re ever outside of Boston, I’d definitely recommend Juniper in Wellesley, Massachusetts. They have a cookbook if you’re interested – it’s gorgeous! If you’re in NYC and you can really splurge, I’d say Per Se.
Chicken Tikka Masala. It’s my oldest son’s favourite and last night was his last time eating with us before going back to college. Oh, wait… you didn’t mean the last supper I ate! As in, last night’s supper! HA. Ok, if I had to choose the last meal I’d ever eat, it would probably be a perfectly cooked steak. Just a small amount, because I’d want a lobster roll on the side and lots of red wine.
Default kids supper
Looking to update your wardrobe, buy a gift or treat yourself?
You will find a gorgeous range of jewellery, accessories and clothes on TLM Edit, all hand-picked by The London Mummy.
What do you do to relax?
Read novels or hang out with friends over great food and wine. (Are you seeing a theme here? I drink a lot of wine).
Beach or pool
This is a tough one. I’d want a pool in my backyard that looks out onto my private beach entrance.
Swimsuit or bikini
Oooooh, we are loooong past the bikini days!
Keep fit activity
Does standing up while cooking count? Um… I guess I’d have to say taking walks (but I do have to force myself).
Drink tons of water while you’re drinking! Set your alarm to go off every 45 minutes so you don’t forget! Also, try organic wine. It’s really made a difference for my headaches. Other than that, I always eat eggs and an apple the morning after.
Last book you read
The Winter People by Jennifer MacMahon, three books by Walter Mosley and Ann Patchett’s The Dutch House.
The Winter People, Amazon
If I’m binge-watching, I’m probably not going for something that’s top of the line in terms of artistic merit, but there’s always good acting. My faves have been The Blacklist, New Girl, Grantchester, The Marvelous Mrs. Masel…
All-time favourite film
Geeeez, you ask hard questions! I go kinda dark when it comes to movies. All-time faves have been Reservoir Dogs, Raging Bull, and Leon: The Professional. I also love Elf.
The song you belt out in the car
I Will Survive
3 favourite websites for passing time
Hmmmm…. I don’t really go online for browsing.
3 Instagram accounts you seek out
3 favourite podcasts
Other than mine? (JK).
What tests your patience?
My kids, when I’m waiting for them.
3 words to describe yourself
Welcoming. Brave. Easily Bored. (I know, I know. That’s cheating).
Take a peek at my ultimate directory for the best parent, style and business recommendations.