So on a personal note to start this blog I wanted to say that I was so excited to write this blog. Agi of Agi_at_59 intrigues me as I am sure she does you, she has immense style and has had huge success so I was elated when she agreed to do this Question and Answer style blog with me so I could find out a little bit more about her...oh and pick up some tips for success along the way!
So your instagram journey, when did it start?
I started posting on IG two years ago but it took me good few weeks to figure out what I wanted to do with my account. I love cooking so I was torn between interiors and my culinary journey.
What have you learnt about what works in your pics ?
I’ve learnt that everyone loves wide shots of interiors rather than close ups, detail shots or flat lays. Also using all sorts of ‘lived in’ props always works for me. People are often afraid of including any signs of 'living' in their pics but I think that a cup of tea, pair of shoes or a slice of cake make the space look more like a real home and hence more appealing.
I also can not stress enough how important the quality of a picture is so it's definitely worth to wait for a good lighting if possible.
A couple of early pictures from Agi_at_59 that didn't do well on Instagram. Agi now posts wider angles and rarely posts flat lay as these prove much more successful for her
What influences you ? Who's your style icon. Do you use any other media for inspiration?
There are so many amazing people I’ve discovered on IG that inspire me daily that it would be impossible to choose just one person. I absolutely love Jaz @jazzierere, Nicola @the_girl_with_the_green_sofa, Lara @lara.bezzina and many more.
@jazzierere beautiful home
@the_girl_with_green_sofa much loved home
@lara.bezzina wonderful bathroom
Regarding inspiration outside of Instagram, I do like a bit of Pinterest sometimes but IG is usually the main source of inspo for me.
Your bio suggests hubby is a DIY wizard, does he help much behind the scenes?
Yes my hubby plays a huge role in the decorating process. I often laugh that I’m the brain and he’s my hands, so basically I come up with all the ideas and he makes them happen!
So we see you working with companies on Instagram. Do you have any tips for how to go about an ad?
The collaborations with brands, small businesses and artists are definitely something I didn’t expect when started my account. You learn as you go along as every collaboration is different and there's no instructions on how to deal with them. However, I would say always stay true to yourself! I would never promote something that I wouldn’t be happy to buy with my own money. I get approached by all sorts of businesses but if the item isn’t right for me and our home I will just politely decline. It's also very important to get a good understanding of what’s expected from you before you agree to collaborate with a brand to avoid any problems in the future.
It is always a very humbling experience when someone thinks that our house would be a good place to 'advertise' their products or art work and I'm always very grateful for that.
So we all know the hashtag you help to run #gallerywallhashtag can you tell us more about it ?
I have the pleasure of cohosting #gallerywallhashtag together with Jen, Pati and Tamara. We are all absolutely passionate about gallery walls and just want to share our passion with our followers. It's open worldwide and anyone can play along by following all hosts and tagging their pics with the #gallerywallhashtag. We choose the winner weekly and share the winners picture on our feeds. We also try to share our favourites on our stories each week.
What is your favourite part of your home and do you have any immediate plans for renovations at home?
I think the downstairs living/dining space. It is the part of the house we all spend most of the time during the day and I like how diverse it is decor wise. I would love to make more changes as I have a head full of ideas but there are a few things we need to finish first.
What part of your home has the most success on Instagram?
I think it will have to be my kitchen. It always gets a lot of love on IG. It is only a tiny narrow galley kitchen with a budget units from Ikea but for some reason people absolutely love it. My sink also gets a lot of love on here regularly.
Agi's gorgeous kitchen that receives so much love x
I think perhaps the reason for the success of my kitchen is that it is so 'relatable'. A lot of us have small kitchens with cream/white units and so people can relate. I have had 15-20 people over the last two years sending me pictures of a dark painted wall after seeing my dark feature wall. It is just very easy to achieve if that makes sense and perhaps that is what attracts people to it.
We have seen huge growth and success on your Instagram page, what timeframe has this been, when did it really take off, what do you put this down to. How much do you feel engagement is necessary on Instagram?
It took me 15 months to get to 10k followers and after that the numbers went up pretty quickly. I really appreciate every single like, comment, direct message, every single follower and I always try to reply to every comment under my pics.
In terms of 'succeeding' on Instagram, I honestly don't know. Instagram is a strange beast and its hard to say why some people do well and others pictures don't seem to evoke much of a reaction! I do put my everything into each post though as I am a perfectionist and if I'm not entirely happy with a picture I just wont post it.
For me IG never was about numbers but about connecting with like minded people and getting inspired by creative people all over the world. I do try to comment on as many pictures as I can simply because I love interiors and I know how lovely it is when someone takes the time to comment on your post. Is that simple!
Lots of people use videos and talk on stories but I have noticed you don't, is this something you would ever consider? Do you see this as a necessary part of the app as things change and stories may be become more of a focus?
Yes I’ve heard that a lot but then I’m not the most confident person and I hate my voice on videos so it’s not really something that would be for me a natural way of communicating on here. Never say never though!
How much time do you spend on Instagram ?
I do spend way too much time on IG. A big chunk of it is the admin side of things now my account has grown, so it’s replying to comments, direct messages and emails but then I also love looking at the interior pictures so I often fall down the Instagram rabbit hole. I would estimate around 2 hours per day are spent on Instagram and that doesn't include taking photos and faffing!
What do your friends and family feel about your Instagram habits and success?
My hubby has always been very supportive. I've always loved interiors and was often encouraged by him and some of my friends to do something about it so they have always been on my side since the very beginning.
Lastly, on the subject of family..you recently renovated your daughter's room. Can you tell us a bit about how it all came together?
This is probably my personal favourite of Agi's, her daughter's beautiful bedroom
With Hanna's room I wanted to create a look that will grow with her. Something that would be girly enough for her now (she's only 6) but if styled slightly differently would work for when she'll be 10 too. I was desperate to find a bamboo headboard for her and that was the starting point in my head. Then I started thinking what goes with bamboo and that's how I've got to Japanese vintage style wall mural. I was very lucky to be gifted the mural and that's definitely been a huge help in terms of the budget. Everything else in the room is second hand with the peacock chair being a bargain of a century at only £5, bed base £30 and headboard £40 ( headboard was very kindly given to me by one of my IG friends as she knew I was looking and I just had to cover the courier costs) everything else is what we already had in the house.
Thanks so much Agi for agreeing to write this blog with me. I hope you have all enjoyed reading and feel like you know more about @Agi_at_59 xxx If you have any questions or comments please comment below or direct either myself or Agi.
xxx @daniellelouisedoughty xxx