Monday, 29 October 2018

My night at the Amara IBAs 2018


In case you missed it, last week I had one of those moments I've been dreaming of since I started on this blogging journey three years ago - little old me was invited to the Amara Interior Blog Awards 2018 (described somewhere as the ‘oscars of the interior blogging world’) as my blog was shortlisted in the DIY & Home Improvement category. To say I was shocked to be shortlisted is a complete understatement, I've followed the awards for years (even streaming them live a couple of years ago), so was genuinely gobsmacked to receive the email and initially thought it must be a mistake (classic me). 

After palming off baby duties to Mr DC I travelled up to London with my younger sister, and after a quick outfit change in St Pancreas loos (oh the glamour!), we arrived at One Marylebone - seriously one of the fanciest venues I’ve ever been to! It's directly opposite Great Portland Street station, and if I'm being honest this beautiful sight made me feel a little emotional when we popped out of the station (probs the reason why I nearly got hit by a car crossing the road too). 

Amara Interior Blog Awards 2018 - Interior award ceremony held at One Marylebone in London

Amara Interior Blog Awards 2018 - Interior award ceremony held at One Marylebone in London

Amara Interior Blog Awards 2018 - Interior award ceremony held at One Marylebone in London

The night was really a who’s-who of Interior blogging, and it was so wonderful to get to meet some people I’ve been following for ages, as well as some new friends too! 

Amara Interior Blog Awards 2018 - Interior award ceremony held at One Marylebone in London
Me & my plus one - my very glamorous little sister 
(Photo credit: Clement Lauchard)

Amara Interior Blog Awards 2018 - Interior award ceremony held at One Marylebone in London
I got to meet Karen from Well I Guess This Is Growing Up, who was named winner of the 'Best Colour Inspiration' award 
(Photo credit: Clement Lauchard)

Amara Interior Blog Awards 2018 - Interior award ceremony held at One Marylebone in London
Me & Amy from Little House in London - who I've followed forever! 

Amara Interior Blog Awards 2018 - Interior award ceremony held at One Marylebone in London
It was also so nice to finally meet Leoma from Style the Clutter & Jess of The Hoppy Home, who were both also nominated  

After some canapés & bubbly we were ushered into a hall for the big moment - the awards! There were ten categories split into three sections of five nominees each - UK, USA & International, so 30 winners in total. Michelle Ogundehin, former editor of Elle Decoration Magazine was on presenting duties, and to be honest just to have her read out my name was amazing! The fab The Carpenters Daughter took the award in my category (DIY & Home Improvement), of which she was very deserving.

(Photo credit: Clement Lauchard)

Amara Interior Blog Awards 2018 - Interior award ceremony held at One Marylebone in London
Look at my name up there! 

Amara Interior Blog Awards 2018 - Interior award ceremony held at One Marylebone in London


After the winners were announced it was free gin cocktails & party before the last train home! Not before grabbing the biggest goody bag I’ve ever seen! 

Amara Interior Blog Awards 2018 - Interior award ceremony held at One Marylebone in London

As I’ve mentioned (lots of times!) before I started this blog as a way of escaping real life, and to give myself a creative outlet. It was just a hobby, something for down times and if I'm honest I never really expected it to be anymore than that. And with the exception of a few friends/family members who stumbled across my Instagram account, I've kept Dove Cottage a strict secret ever since. I’m not really sure why to be honest, but predominately because I am super-critical of myself, worry too much about what people might think, and can't bear any attention/ praise at all.

But being nominated for this award has taught me that my attitude towards myself is wrong - you should be proud of your achievements, even if they’re something that others might not “get”, because,  as someone said to me recently: don’t hide your light under a bushel. Perhaps its a British thing, but we're far too quick to downplay our achievements so being invited to such a prestigious award ceremony has made me realise that you should always be proud of your hard work.


Thanks for reading, and as ever, for all your support, 

Sam Xx
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22 comments

  1. Sam, I'm so glad you've had this epiphany. You should be shouting it from the roof tops. Your blog is wonderful and it doesn't matter if friends or family don't get it. There is a whole community of amazingly supportive interiors geeks out there waiting to read your news and posts. Massive congratulations on being shortlisted! That in itself is HUGE.You should be massively proud of yourself.

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    1. Ahh thank you so much for your lovely comment! That's so true! Thank you xx

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  2. Gosh you just made me tear! When I started blogging about two years ago, no one really got it. Most still don't till now. The criticism was hard and awful at times. It was one lonely road - very few people blog in Greece (and all of them except myself in Greek). So, I felt isolated and when I received the email with word that I was nominated, it felt so surreal! Needless to say that I when I got shortlisted I was crying for a whole day. To make a long story short, I'm sorry I didn't get to know you at the event. It's a shame that I made the trip to meet other bloggers but let my shyness get the best of me. At least, now I hope to make amends and get to know you and some of the other bloggers who are doing such an amazing job of showcasing the best interior decorating. And yes, you should definitely be proud. In Greece we have a saying ' it's all about the journey, not the destination!' xx

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    1. Wow what a lovely comment, thank you so much! I'm sorry you experienced criticism, but good on you for not giving up and going for your dreams! Congratulations on your nomination, and what a shame I didn't get to meet you in person at the Awards. I totally agree with you that I felt incredibly nervous on the night, but to be in a room full of people passionate about the same thing was a wonderful experience! Good luck with your blog, hopefully our paths will cross again at some point in the future! xx

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  3. Completely agree with what Stacey has said above - you rocked it lovely! It was my first time to the award too and I was just so in awe to be there. It was a great night and I was so pleased to meet you <3 x

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    1. Thank you lovely! It was a fab night wasn't it, was so nice to meet you too! Xx

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  4. I echo Stacey too your blog is really great. I had a Mum at the school gates ask me whats the point of blogging, you have to filter the naysayers out. There are so many supportive people here on the web. It looked like you rocked the Amara's wish we could have met up! another time.

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    1. Ahh thank you so much! Oh that doesn't surprise me at all unfortunately - but you're absolutely smashing it! Congratulations on your win! Yes that would have been lovely, there's so many bloggers I didn't get the chance to meet, hopefully next time!

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  5. I'm SO thrilled for you!! What a fantastic experience! I kept my blog a secret for about 4 years — before I began feeling confident enough to tell people. 6 years on and I'm SO proud of it.

    Keep doing what you're doing and ultimately, as you keep being shortlisted for awards like the Amara's, people will begin to take notice and see what an amazing job you're doing!! Maybe then you'll start believing it too :)

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    1. Ahh thank you so much for such a lovely comment! It's strange isn't it as I think lots of people feel the same, and we should be proud of our hard work!

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  6. Congratulations on being shortlisted, that's an amazing achievement. Glad to hear you had a good evening.

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  7. Such a lovely heartfelt post. As someone who feels exactly the same way, thank you x

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  8. Ah great little post. So sorry not to meet you on the night. That's a shame. What I'm learning is that "success' is defined by you and I am was so chuffed to be invited and part of it all. Such a great and friendly industry!!!!

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    1. Ah yes would have been lovely to meet you! Yes me too, hopefully I'll be lucky enough to go again one day and will get the opportunity to meet everyone I missed! xx

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  9. I was an IBA finalist in 2014, but was so crippled with fear and uncertainty about who I was I didn’t attend 😞 Even now I dread being asked what I do and just say I write. I’m going to enter again next year and hope I get the chance to finally be proud. Polly, curious-coco.com

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    1. Oh thats a shame, but I totally understand what you mean - I pushed myself so far out of my comfort zone to attend, and definitely felt the 'why am I here' fear, but you deserve to be there as much as anyone else. Let me know if you do enter next year, I'll give you a vote! x

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  10. Congrats on being shortlisted!! And having attended last year it really is a special evening to embrace what we all love to do and that's write and share our love of interiors. So pleased you had a wonderful evening Sam and well done on being shortlisted!

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes it's a really fun evening isn't it! x

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  11. My husband doesn't read the blog, my mom doesn't (but she's always interested in which brands I work with... as Stacey pointed out, it doesn't matter. I am very happy for you, because you blog great things, you're consistent and you're such a nice person too :) well done!! BIG BIG CONGRATULATIONS!

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    1. Oh what a lovely comment Jenny, thank you so much! Haha no I don't think any of my family read my blog either!! xx

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