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Setting new year goals and writers block

So in my ploy to gently ease myself back into work on New Years Eve, I thought I’d start off with writing a nice easy blog to share my goals for 2019… and it ended up the hardest blog post I’ve ever had to write in history. I was literally wracking my brain for about two days. I re-worded sentences, deleted massive paragraphs and then completely started all over again about three times. I had about 1600 words written down at one point but I just wasn’t happy with how it all came together. It got to the point where I just gave up and resorted to using a quote to summarise my jumbled up thoughts on an easy Instagram post instead. It just shows that you sometimes can’t force things if you aren’t ready or feeling uninspired, and sometimes it’s better to stop, take a break and come back to it again when inspiration flows.

So today I managed to get my inspiration back at the most random time and I opened up the draft copy of my blog post again at 10:40pm. Ideas always come to me very late in the evening and I wanted to take advantage of this motivation and creativity whilst it lasted! So here I am finishing off my blog post as we approach midnight, the day before my first day back to work. 

In my Instagram post I scratch the surface on a topic which has really transformed my life and allowed me to do what I’m doing now. It talks about being brave, confronting fears and overcoming anxiety. I found a really good quote from Nelson Mandela which explains it really well.

quote: I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear - Nelson Mandela

I explain in my instagram post that by making a conscious choice to be brave, despite my fears has had such a positive impact on my life and led me down the biggest path of personal and professional development; it’s not only allowed me to overcome my unhealthy anxieties, but it has allowed me to achieve so many extra things I never thought I’d be capable of, helped me grow in confidence, and made me feel empowered. 

I know on the surface my post may have sounded so cliche and just another annoying ‘New Years Resolution’ but it does dig a lot deeper for me and links back to quite a sensitive subject of mental health. A few years ago I suffered so badly with crippling anxiety to the point where it affected everything in my life. It knocked my confidence, stopped me from doing the things I wanted to do and changed me into a shadow of my former self.

My story of fear and anxiety

I started to live my life controlled by fear and shying away from change, staying in my comfort zone, always taking the easy option and afraid to do things in the fear of it failing and having to start all over again. After a lot of personal work on myself over the past couple of years, I’ve managed to completely move past the unhealthy anxieties I felt and found ways to cope and prevent it getting to the point where it ruled my life. Anxiety after all is a normal emotion, I suppose it’s just how you cope and deal with it that can help you avoid it from becoming a problem.

It hasn’t been an easy process but I’ve now got to a point where I am able to accept the feeling of anxiety and stop it from controlling my life. One of the main things that has helped me was initially plucking up the courage to do one brave thing and then realising that everything was actually ok afterwards and that life went on! This brave thing led to doing another brave thing, and another, until it got to the point where I felt my confidence growing more. I finally had enough courage to leave my day job and take my ‘side hustle’ full time (something I’ve dreamt of doing for years but always been too scared of actually putting into practise).

It’s such a liberating and empowering feeling to know that you can take control of your life and make it a happier and more fulfilling one, so it’s become really important for me to be able to encourage and inspire others to do the same through both my interior design business and with Concept North.

What is my why?

Through the interior design service I offer, it’s not only about creating spaces that look good, but it’s really important for me to also guide people to make brave and conscious choices that are best for them as individuals and the design of their home or business; choices that are only going to help them lead a more fulfilling, balanced and happier life. What I’m finding fascinating this year is the growing awareness and focus on the link between psychology and interior design and the prioritisation of using design to influence moods and behaviour. Wellbeing really has been the buzzword of 2018.

A great example of this is that many of London Design Festival’s events last year were centred around the themes of emotion and wellbeing, plus so many of my client’s last year were requesting spaces that are calming for them. It’s no surprise that with all the chaos, stress and uncertainty going on in the world at the moment, people are craving spaces that make them feel at peace. I’m really enjoying the conversations I’m having with people about what they enjoy doing and what makes them happy as this will really influence the outcome of how I design a space.

My mission and purpose for the year ahead

image of a stack of books

In 2019 I want to continue making brave choices for myself, live a more balanced life and continue to focus on my own wellbeing, self care and living more authentically. But in my business I also want to help other people do the same through the interior design of the places they interact with. I’ve created some mission statements for 2019 and hopefully this will help me stay on the right path!

“I want to help people make brave design choices that are authentic to them in their own homes, without being controlled or influenced by society, trends and this incessant need of ‘keeping up with the Jones’ “

“I want to design spaces where people can experience joy and peace whether that be to work, live or play. I want these spaces to facilitate happy moments where people want to stop time.”

“I want to reassure, encourage, uplift and give people confidence in the design decisions they are making to make the process a positive and enjoyable experience.”

“I want to help others lead a more balanced and stress free life, by taking the interior design burden off them because until you actually try to do it yourself, you don’t realise how time consuming and stressful it can be whilst juggling work and family life at the same time!”

 2018 has been an intense, exciting and rewarding year full of so many achievements, but I’m not going to hide that it’s also come with its fair share of challenges, fears and disappointments too. I’m just so happy at how far I’ve come and I’m excited to  continue to help more people on their own personal journeys too! 

Natalie x

Categories: Inspiration, Ramblings

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Donna Ford

Natalie what a post! Thanks for sharing yourself in such a personal way. My ethos for interior design is so similar to you and I know that with such a deep conviction that you will make it happen. Happy new year and here’s to being brave! Donna x

Lin Warwick

Well done Natalie, it sounds as if you have come so far with conquering your fears. Wishing you the best of luck and more success in 2019 xx

Catherine Cornelissen

Thank you so much for sharing your inner thoughts and goals for this coming year! I have no doubt you’ll succeed and the most important thing anyone can ever do for themselves is to have faith and belief! Wishing you the best of luck xx


I love your honesty Natalie …… you have indeed been very brave, taking huge leaps of faith and letting the ground catch you…. shaking off the shackles that we tie ourselves down with and making a complete success of creative endeavours.
with lots of love & best wishes for a fulfilling 2019 xxx

Lisa McClarnon

You have been really brave writing this Natalie and can be proud of yourself for progressing so far.Onwards and upwards for 2019 x


I ADORE your viewpoint here and agree wholeheartedly. After all, aren’t our homes meant to be our sanctuary? Whatever format that might be! I’m 100% on board with this mantra and your post is a wonderful reminder of that x

Mary Middleton | Hello Peagreen

gosh what a journey and thank you for sharing. It’s wonderful that through this self-awareness process you’ve been able to forge a path for your career that works in harmony. I wish you every success for 2019.
Mary x


Happy New Year Natalie! And what a wonderful way to start your year reflecting and seeing how far you have come. As well as your looking to the future and making things happen in a positive way for you and for those that you design for. It’s so important to design a room around how you want it to feel as well as look. The two are inextricably connected when it comes to creating personable spaces. Wishing you all the very best for 2019 and know that you are going to have a fantastic year! xx


These personal posts are always the hardest to write. I admire that you persevered and did not give up – it would have been easy to do. Life is about making a number of choices and not all are easy. With social media and our lives exposed so much to the whole world, it is so easy to have increased levels of anxiety and wanted to be ‘accepted’ more than would be normal. I am glad that interior design is helping you become braver in your choices but also in guiding others make similarly brave choices as well. Well done for setting some goals, being open and honest. Onwards and upwards Natalie!


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