Mollie Makes meets: Ilaria Bonomi

Ilaria Chiaratti Bonomi has a crochet addiction we totally sympathise with. We find out what makes Ilaria tick and how her devotion to interiors led her to creating IDA Interior Lifestyle 

Ilaria Chiaratti Bonomi is a blogger, photographer and keen crocheter. She documents her makes, interior styling and more over on her website. Once she started blogging about her makes, great feedback followed and it encouraged her to open an Etsy shop. We find out what makes Ilaria tick and how her devotion to interiors led her to creating IDA Interior Lifestyle.

Please tell us a bit about yourself and where you’re from.

My name is Ilaria, I’m Italian but I’ve lived in the Netherlands with my husband since 2009. In 2010 I started my blog, IDA Interior Lifestyle, where I share my inspirations for interior styling and my crochet makes. I also work as a freelance photographer and founded my interior styling consultancy company after graduating as an Interior Stylist in 2012.

What’s your earliest craft memory?

Drawing and playing with Plasticine was my favourite activity! I’ve always been intrigued by handmade things.

What made you decide to set up your own business?

I started crocheting for myself to create something original for my old, rented apartment. I then shared pictures of my items and received a lot of positive feedback. That’s why I decided to sell my crochet pieces on Etsy. Plus, the apartment was completely full after a couple of months!

What inspires you?

Everything from a walk in the woods to a particular object or picture can inspire me. For example, after a couple of days in Barcelona last year, I made a cushion inspired by the work of Gaudi. Also blogs and magazines inspire me too.

Please complete the following:

Creativity is… to do something that makes you feel happy.

My favourite quote is… “dream big!”

My top photography tip is… keep it simple and NO flash! I think in photography less is more. So, don’t overfill the space and always use natural light – the flash makes objects look flat.

Can you offer any advice to fellow creatives keen to set up their own blog?

Find your own voice and speak from the heart. Do some research before you start your blog and be thoughtful of design and pictures – first impressions are crucial.

How do you keep your studio organised?

My pictures, prints and packaging materials are kept in big, cardboard boxes, and my pencils, brushes and paints are stored in some heirlooms.

How did your workspace come about originally and how does it fit into your home?

When we decided to buy a house, one of our main priorities was to find a large workspace for me. I freelance from home, so I was looking for a bright attic – big enough for a couple of desks, a wardrobe and shelves for my collection of books and magazines.

How did you go about maximising the space?

The lower part of the room is organised with bookshelves displaying my collection of interior books and magazines. Wool, fabric and my sewing machine is kept in a wardrobe I covered with wallpaper. Meanwhile, an IKEA trolley is used to store pencils and other stationery supplies.

What inspired you when you were creating your space?

I was looking for a bright room where I could create an airy environment for me and my clients. I used a simple colour palette and a white base. I was inspired by Scandinavian design and then added my personal vintage touch, like the computer desk and the pink lamp.

How much time do you spend in your sewing space in general, and what is its day-to-day state: tidy, messy, chaotic?

I spend most of my day here, that’s why I decided to have two separate desks: one for the computer and the other for the projects that I’m working on. This way my computer desk is always tidy and organised, while the other desk can stay messy and chaotic until the end of the project. But in general, I try to tidy up at the end of the day.

Where did you get all your furniture from?

For the most part I bought my furniture at IKEA, but I have some vintage items such as my Eames rocking chair.

How do you go about organising your supplies?

My yarn is organised by colour and the magazines are separated geographically in magazine files. The other supplies are organised in boxes and baskets.

What’s the most important thing in your studio space?

The most important thing is the light. I have two windows that provide enough light when I’m crocheting and taking photographs. It’s also convenient to have a private area away from the rest of the house. I can close the door and be focused on my work without any distractions.

Is there anything you’d like to add or change about your studio?

I can say that I’m pretty happy about what I have and what I’ve done with this space, although I’m constantly moving around furniture and changing elements as part of my job… so, who knows?

This interview originally appeared in issue 25 of Gathered by Mollie Makes – buy now

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