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Abi Dare

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Who are you?

I’m Abi Dare, founder of interior design, travel and lifestyle blog These Four Walls. I’m based in Bristol, and I focus on minimal design, calming colours and relaxed, Scandi-style living.

What’s the day job?

I’m the deputy editor of a travel website, and I also undertake various freelance writing, styling and photography commissions. My life basically revolves around words and pictures!

What does your dream day look like?

It would start with coffee and a lazy breakfast, and end with good food, good wine and good friends. In between there would be a long walk – perhaps along the coast or through the woods – and a few hours snuggled up in comfort with a good book.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Copenhagen. I’ve been visiting since I took part in an exchange programme with a Danish school at the age of 14, and it’s a wonderful city – stylish, relaxed, inviting, unpretentious and brimming with fantastic design! I also love Barcelona – I spent six months living there as a student, and it feels like my second home. It has such a creative, outward-looking energy.

What’s the first thing you check out when visiting someone’s home for the first time?

The front door! A well-dressed door can say so much about the interiors waiting inside. I love an eye-catching colour and smart door furniture. My fiancé and I are in the process of repainting our front door at the moment, and I often find myself gazing at other people’s doors for inspiration when I’m out and about.

What’s your interior addiction?

The colour grey – it’s the perfect, calming neutral, and it works with all sorts of accent shades. I’m also addicted to understated, minimal design which stands the test of time, and I have a bit of an obsession with candles – I have them all over the house, at all times of year.

What makes you really angry?

Prejudice, in any shape or form – there’s far too much of it about at the moment.

Pick a favourite film, book and song.

My favourite book of all time is The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende. I love the way it charts the history of a country (Chile) and several generations of the same family, with a bit of magic thrown into the mix.

Film wise, it’s a toss-up between Sleepless in Seattle (such a classic rom com, with a brilliant soundtrack), and Monsoon Wedding, which is so full of joy. The last scene makes me want to dance around the living room!

I love such a wide range of music – everything from jazz to Spanish flamenco – that it’s impossible to pick just one song. It would change according to my mood, too.

Best place you’ve ever been on holiday?

I love exploring the Nordic countries and I’ve had some fantastic holidays in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, but the most memorable was a road trip around southern and eastern Iceland. We went in the depths of winter and had to contend with snow storms, gale-force winds and iced-up roads, but it was worth it for the spectacular scenery and the chance to see the Northern Lights – truly magical. It’s also where we got engaged, so it will always hold special memories.

What’s your favourite smell?

That’s a tough one, as scent can be so evocative. The smell of jasmine instantly takes me back to childhood holidays around the Mediterranean, and I love the scent of wood smoke lingering in the air in autumn and winter.

What single thing would improve your life?

An extra hour in the day. I juggle so many things that an additional 60 minutes to put my feet up and relax would make all the difference.

What are you bad at that you wish you did well?

I wish I could sing in tune! I love singing, but I don’t think anybody else enjoys hearing me…

What would be your Death Row meal?

I’d cheat and choose tapas, so I could have a spread of all my favourite things – chorizo, olives, seafood, cheese, pan con tomate, Spanish hams, gazpacho soup, chocolate desserts…

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