This week on my Conversation With series I’m talking to the instagram queen Pati Robins, the diva of DIY, dark interiors and maximalism. If you’re an interiors obsessive on Instagram you’ve almost certainly come across Pati. Not only are her dark interiors famous, her DIY solutions are innovative and inexpensive, and she’s also a blogger and photographer.
WCH: What’s your name and where do you live?
Pati: My name is Pati and I live in Cardiff with my husband, daughter and 2 dogs
WCH: What sort of home do you have?
Pati: I live in a small rented 2 bedroom home
WCH: Can you share a little more about the disabled person in your home?
Pati: My husband suffers from range of disabilities ( Gosh I hate this name! ) for instance from fibromyalgia and knee shock syndrome to post traumatic stress disorder
WCH: How does this disability impact your home?
Pati: In a design and an eye-sore level it does big time as the home is rented from the city – we don’t have much of a choice when it comes to adaptations and they are so darn ugly – we have an outside wheelchair lift (that most of the time does not work and I have to carry his electric wheelchair up the stairs!), stair lift, disabled adapted wet room and a bed lift.
I also have to mind the amount of free space my husband requires in order to pass safely – being a maximalist living in a small home it’s tough 😉
WCH: How do you incorporate or disguise the adaptations and equipment into your home and lovely Instagram feed?!
Pati: For me is either camouflage or distraction – for instance our main bedroom is covered with layers and layers of cushions blankets and so on – and I have had a fair few questions in the past if I don’t get bored putting “all that lot on the bed “ – what people don’t see is that underneath this lot there is a bed lift!
When it comes to distracting the eye so it doesn’t necessarily spot the adaptations that I cannot blend in – I use art and decorative objects! The more punch they have the more the eye is drawn in for example my landing – the painted portrait resting on the bureau draws the eye in – and what is passing unnoticed is a metal stair lift track 😉
WCH: Do you have any great tips for furniture buying, room design or planning that helps with the disability?
Pati: Just because you or your loved one have some kind of disability it does not mean you have to compromise on style! Picking up furniture I need to make sure they will withstand the husband driving into it – it’s safe to say mirrored furniture is a no-go in this home (although I managed to fit a little side table that so far is not broken yet!)
If you are like me and have to have a disabled shower you will know that the options for shower curtains that are long enough to fit the shower are white or white – or if you are very lucky to find anything other than white then they are pricey – and as I am decorating on a tight budget – I improvise – I buy a standard shower curtain that I like plus one plain one – and sew a band on the bottom so the shower curtain is long enough – safe to say no one as yet pointed it out so it seems that the shower curtain looks as if it was bought like this!
WCH: What’s been the trickiest thing to deal with in the home to make it accessible?
Pati: The bathroom! I hate it so much! From the safety flooring that is just awful to the massive self-washing toilet (that looks as if a tank is parked in a small garage) 😉 but hey we can’t have it all.
WCH: What’s been your best find for the home?
Pati: The tiles in the kitchen as they are non-slip and since they look “rough” any spills that hubby makes blend in well 😉
WCH: What would you say to an architect or interior designer to help them in designing an accessible space?
Pati: To stop making them look so boring – not every disabled person likes magnolia, or adaptations looking white, hospital-like and bulky!
Huge thanks to Pati for chatting with me. I know she gets loads of requests for her time and I’m so pleased she was happy to talk to me. I love the way in which distracting the eye and being innovative with simple things like a shower curtain can make the house feel personal and homely, but still with the things that you need around the home to help you be safe and stylish. Please make sure you follow her and give her some love on the Style Squeeze Blog and her Instagram
Photo Credit: All photos are by Pati Robins.