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Once upon a time there was a young, creative little girl who spent copious hours playing around with her dads paint brushes, sawing scraps of MDF, gluing them together to create, well, quite frankly, clutter, but, nevertheless, playing & experimenting. Always creating, learning, absorbing, watching. Fast forward to today and that little girl is me. I’ve always been creative and grew up loving all things DIY thanks to my dad. My dad used to be an interior designer in the city, (London that is), and is an avid DIY’er. You name it, he puts his hand to it, so this hands on creative outlet seemed almost inevitable. So what is it that I do today? As well as my love for all things creative, I get a huge kick out of the process of transformation. The art of turning something old, or dull & tired, to a piece of beauty. I am also fiercely passionate about our planet, this climate that we live in, with all the beauty of nature & wildlife, and I recognise that we are in a climate emergency that we all, collectively, need to be doing something about. In all honesty I’m very much an animal person, but as a quote from a podcast I listened to the other day said ‘saving nature is actually about saving humanity’ Dr.M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International. So combining these two passions, My Sanctuary No.8 was born, my way of doing my part for our planet. I had previously toyed with getting involved with interior design, but it just didn’t feel right, and after transforming a few pieces of my own furniture, naturally, I was led to this. I often speak to people who are redecorating their homes, perhaps they have an item of furniture that they are thinking about throwing out because it doesn’t suit their newly decorated space, but often they are reluctant to throw it out as it may hold sentimental value or maybe it just fits the space perfectly size wise, and it’ll be hard to find another piece of the same size. So I encourage people to not be so hasty, why not think about if your furniture can be refurbished into something new and brilliant that also has the added bonus of being completely unique to you and your home or business. How satisfying it is to transform something that would otherwise be thrown out, knowing that just by saving even just one piece of furniture, you have made a small act that is helping our planet. Isn’t it also great to give your furniture a story. Not just ‘oh yeh it’s from Ikea’ story (and I love me a bit of Ikea, I do, don’t get me wrong) but to be able to feel that your space has been tailored to you and what you love. Win win situation!!! So you may be wondering how saving your furniture can save the planet…. Did you know that a huge proportion of trees that are cut down are done so illegally? Deforestation across our planet is a huge problem for us. Tress are felled for many reasons, and a certain amount of it is necessary, however, essentially we are cutting down the homes of thousands of species of wildlife, and trees are our planets lungs, we need them to soak up all the toxic gases that we release into the environment. Now, many companies are really responsible and have programmes where new trees are planted to replace the ones that they have felled, except, there is a large amount of companies who cut down trees illegally. Why? To satisfy OUR increasing desire for cheap furniture!!! It’s just not necessary, and as with most of these issues, it seems to boil down to money. But if we all thought a little more about our spending habits, perhaps invested in furniture that may be more expensive, but will last you a lot longer, or thought about whether you’d be able to transform furniture that you already have, we may be able to make a dent in this need for cheap furniture that is essentially affecting our planet. We are just far too disposable and fast with our spending, whether it furniture, as I speak about, or even fashion that we wear. It’s all about getting away from this fast fashion culture we’ve created. So if this resonates with you in any way, and you think that you may have something that you’d like to talk about refurbishing, then please get in contact. Together with my clients, we sit down and discuss if they have any ideas in mind and get an idea of what their brief is, before deciding together on the final design, which I will then go away and complete for you. I am London and Hertfordshire based, however, technology allows us to reach further afield, so don’t hold back if you are out of those areas. Alternatively, I also have my Etsy store, that contains my selection of items that I have completed purely for the love of it, from items I have been given or I have found. There’s everything from stools, to cushions, to drawer knobs on there with plenty more to come. Each of my pieces are completely unique and one of a kind, so not only will you be doing your part from the environment by purchasing a piece with sustainability at its core, but you’ll have a bespoke item of furniture or homeware that no one else has. I hope your 2020 has begun beautifully, and has set the tone for how you’d like your year to go. If it hasn’t, then never fear, you still have another 11 months to create some brilliance, and as a good friend of mine reminded me the other day, ‘it’s a marathon not a sprint. Be kind to yourself’. Zara xxx

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