How to get an Instagram ready home

Nowadays, a wealth of gorgeous homes, DIY hacks and incredible collections is just a scroll away. Here, Sophie Hannam asks three antiques-loving Instagrammers for their advice on curating a good-looking home and a unique feed that are worth sharing

Lisa Dawson

From inky grey walls and velvet sofas, to trailing houseplants and that La Redoute rug, Instagram is a treasure trove of decorating guidance, interiors inspiration and display ideas. And, with millions of users worldwide, it’s swiftly becoming the hottest social media platform for sharing snapshots of your home. If you long to draw in the likes, shares and comments on posts of your own, we’ve asked some of our favourite Instagram influencers for their advice on creating a beautiful home that’s sure to look great on camera. Time to dust the dresser, plump up the cushions and #Shelfe!

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LISA DAWSON

@_lisa_dawson_

JOINED JANUARY 2016

NUMBER OF FOLLOWERS 106K

Mostly posts images of her eclectic Georgian home in York. Think antique and vintage pieces paired with luxe textiles, houseplants and impressive gallery walls of framed prints and paintings.

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My background is working as an executive assistant, which I did for many years, followed by a period in estate agency. After my last child was born eight years ago, I worked from home transcribing books and interviews. For years I have been obsessed with the idea of bringing once-loved furniture back to life. I love the juxtaposition of old and new.

My Instagram story began when we sold our house in Berkshire and moved to a five-bedroom manor house in Yorkshire. Although I had used Instagram for years, posting pictures of my children, food and holidays, our new house gave me the opportunity to create new interiors from scratch and post them online. My following quickly grew and, seeing a gap in the UK Instagram market, I launched the #myhomevibe hashtag with two Instagram friends. This enabled interiors obsessives like ourselves to post on, and also follow, a dedicated feed, which really took of. Instagramming interiors was still new in the UK then and I feel lucky to have been there from the beginning.

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My style is unfussy and eclectic. Mixing old and new pieces is my signature look. Colour also plays a huge part in my spaces, so I try to keep the basis of each room neutral so I can bring in the pieces I love without them clashing. My favourite piece at the moment is a custom-made neon light in the words of my favourite song, Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer. It was number one when my husband and I first met!

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LISA’S TIPS FOR INSTA SUCCESS:

Take a good photograph. Blurred or wonky images don’t cut it – Instagram is growing so fast that your posts need to be really good to stand out.

Don’t forget… Use texture. It’s so important when styling your home. Mix layers, fabrics and materials to add colour and interest.

STACEY DYER

@end_of_the_row

JOINED NOVEMBER 2016

NUMBER OF FOLLOWERS 73.1K

Mostly posts updates from the renovation of her end-ofterrace Edwardian home on the Norfolk/Sufolk Broads. Discover practical decorating advice and seasonal ideas.

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My background is in the beauty industry, where I originally worked as a make-up artist. However, in more recent years, I have mostly worked in social media – writing beauty articles and blogs for YouTubers. I’d always enjoyed reading interiors magazines, but it was only when we purchased our Edwardian home that I began to take a real interest in design that reflected the era of our home.

My Instagram story began when we started our home renovations. Originally the images were purely for our own reference, to see what we had achieved – we never expected others to show an interest. It didn’t take long before the following really snowballed and people started asking us questions and tagging friends in our posts. This encouraged us to post more and try out new interiors projects.

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My style is dark interiors with pops of colour, and I also love neutral rooms with flashes of opulent fabrics and statement furniture. I’m always taking inspiration from other people on Instagram or from places where I’ve stayed in order to keep evolving my home. My favourite room changes regularly, but at the moment I would say it’s our master bedroom. We’ve added period wall panelling and a hidden dressing table area – it’s a lovely, restful space to relax in.

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STACEY’S TIPS FOR INSTA SUCCESS:

Post what you love and not what you think other people will love. You will then develop an organic and engaged following who love your individual style.

Don’t forget… Learn the time of day that suits your following before uploading. Different times work for different people, but I tend to upload most of our images around 7am. This is the time when my demographic are perusing Instagram before heading of to work or getting the children up and out of the house for school.

ALICE COLLYER

@aliceinscandiland

JOINED JULY 2012

NUMBER OF FOLLOWERS 15.4K

Mostly posts swoon-worthy shots of her open-plan Cornish home. Expect Scandinavian-inspired minimalism and plenty of shapely and covetable mid-century furniture.

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My background is full-time mum life. I always enjoyed playing house as a child and used to move my bedroom around on a weekly basis. I grew up in period properties and my parents always preferred antique furniture to new, so I’ve been surrounded by quality and history all my life. They also had a house in France, so I have fond memories of searching for treasures at brocantes. I now run a blog and a newly opened Instagram shop, where I sell vintage and contemporary pre-loved homewares.

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My Instagram story began as a personal place where I would share (badly taken!) photos of my children and day-to-day life. As time went by, we began to tackle our house, so I changed my Instagram account to focus on that. Through trial and error, I have improved my photography skills and have gained more followers. Instagram has enabled me to create a bespoke career for myself, all centred around my interiors blog and Instagram vintage shop. I haven’t quite worked out what that makes my job title!

My style is based on the core values of Scandinavian lifestyle and design, but it’s a little more eclectic. I like a mix of vintage, reproduction and modern pieces – all blended together in a neutral, light and open space. We have no doors on our ground floor, so it works as a circle that flows from room to room. Since we extended our home two years ago, the house has been transformed. Each space opens into the next and is flooded with light.

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ALICE’S TIPS FOR INSTA SUCCESS:

Work out your own style of photography and stick to it. Your Instagram feed should feel cohesive and should fow.

Don’t forget… Instagram gives you 30 opportunities to hashtag your photos, so use them. They can help you atract new followers and grow your account.

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This article was first published in the August 2018 issue of Homes & Antiques.