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Floormaker sponsors Welsh hockey player Natasha

Our Natasha in Malaysia

Hello there. We have a slightly different blog for you this week. Not a blogger interview, an seo write-up or even our infamous floors of the week! No we have actually gone ahead and sponsored someone. We have opened up the hallowed coffers to provide one of our own, well an immediate relative of one of our own with sponsorship to help her on her quest in the Women’s WL round 2 in Malaysia.

Floormaker sponsors Natasha Marke-Jones on her quest to help her and the Welsh team reach the Hockey World championships. Her mum, Leisa Jones is an integral part of the finance team at Floormaker. Money, finance, daughter – we’re beginning to see a trend on how we were convinced to help her on her journey!

Mum & Dad showing their support for Natasha's 50th cap!

Finance jokes aside, we are as proud as punch to be involved and help in some way. 

A Little History

Natasha is a proud product of Porthcawl comprehensive school. Progressing to sports and exercise science at Cardiff Metropolitan University. She now works as a marketing and communication officer for Vi-Ability; a non-profit organisation that tackles a range of community issues.

Swansea spartans logo

In between all that she has managed to garner countless appearances for Swansea Spartans, 53 international caps for Wales as well as being an athlete ambassador for Hockey Wales and a volunteer board member of student led social enterprise Active Valleys.

I mean, we’re exhausted just reading that. Imagining having to actually do it. Bravo Natasha, Bravo!

Natasha plays as a midfielder for Swansea Spartans, and as a forward for Wales. Showing her versatility and attacking verve for both outfits.

Swansea spartans hockey player Natasha   Wales hockey player Natasha  

Making her debut appearance in 2012 in the Ireland tests and scoring her first goal the same year against the US of A. As far as first year achievments go, you can’t trump that.

The Journey Thus Far

Since qualifying for round 2 last September, the girls have been on an extensive training regime preparing for the intense physical and environmental challenges that will meet them in Malaysia. Special plaudits must be given to them for keeping their nutrition on point through the festive season as we can only imagine how tough it is to stay regimented. The head and assistant coaches – Kevin Johnson & Gareth Weaver-Tyler certainly had their work cut out keeping an eagle eye on them all!

This tournament is a precursor for the Hockey World cup and this is the first time Wales have reached the 2nd round. With high hopes of going further, currently ranked 32 in the world; they are seeded 4th for this tournament. With the top 2 teams qualifying for the world cup, they are in with more than a fighting chance.

With 2 Welsh players: Goalkeeper, Rose Thomas and Midfielder, Sarah Jones recently being called up for a future Great Britain squad; morale is at an all-time high within the squad. A natural selection of talented individuals, with a sprinkling of superstars, does a good team make!

It all starts with a bang, first up are Italy, the world number 15; the highest ranked team in the tournament and subsequently heavy favourites for the tournament. Match starts at 13:45, Malaysian time (5:45am UK time).

Next up - Singapore on the 15th and last game of the group is against Thailand on the 17th.

All things going well, the final and places playoffs culminates on January 22nd.

Hockey fixture list

Fingers and toes crossed for Natasha and the team to do well. You can follow Natasha’s observations and reporting on the tournament from her personal blog and real time updates on her twitter account. You can also catch the Vice Captain’s, Leah Wilkinson exclusive interview (starts at 5:30) with Radio Wales.

Full information of the tournament: past, present and future can be found on the  FIH website 

Seo Meetup Cardiff: The Trilogy

Floormaker and Cardiff seo meets logo

Good things come in three. So when I heard about the 3rd Cardiff SEO meet up I was tres excited…..

The 2 previous meetup's had been a great success and the 2nd one topped the first, disproving the sequel theory. The problem with this one – is that the trilogy raises expectation. Can the third SEO meet up - match up, never mind surpass its previous successes.

The answer to that, in one (keyword) is YES. This meeting had all the hallmarks of the previous ones but it was the increased interaction and geeky debates that made it stand out. 

The meeting was held earlier than usual – a 6.15am start. The feedback from the last one and unofficial reviews suggested earlier the better. And Steve, with his feedback ear to the ground, set the meeting earlier. Hear! Hear! 

Turned out to be a stroke of genius as this meeting went on a lot longer than previous meets. After all, content is king, right?

Black Hat SEO

Tom Buckland

First up was Tom Buckland from HQ SEO and blogger at SEO Oasis.

Tom a resident of previous meetings; went from being in the background to centre stage. Not one to ease himself into proceedings – he started with a bang, a black hat bang at that.
Tom included a snippet of his talk on the HQ site. Feel free to take a look, after you've read this of course; rude!

Tom ran through various elements of black hat methods and how they can impact your business in both a positive and negative fashion. All depending how crafty you are and whether you get caught.

The disadvantages of white hat SEO is that it can be more expensive and results take a while longer to come through. Tom suggested that you weigh up the risks of black hat and if you do use the techniques then you can re-invest the profits and success into white hat SEO. Eventually replacing all your black hat success with white hat, helping to sustain the success long term.

Sape was divisibly discussed. Hacking was discussed then dismissed. Word of Warning: Hacking can’t just put your site in purgatory, it can put you in Prison. Luckily Tom doesn’t know how to hack, well that’s what he said :/

What I found the most impressive is that Tom has managed to top rank a gym and site that doesn’t exist. He’s even hoodwinked Google as they have granted power gym a my business listing which is some prime real estate.

Powerlifting gym google my business screenshot

Our site has a lot of traffic so it is too risky for us to invest in black hat as a hit in traffic would be drastic to our revenue, not to mention my employment status. Maybe we can put the black hat on a bleached wash and experiment with some grey hat!

You can watch Tom's presentation here on periscope.

Social Currency & Buy-In

Miranda Bishop

From Black to Breezy – Miranda Bishop switched up the subject and ramped up the dimmer.

Miranda runs Talking Social Media , tweets for @ignitecardiff and is a co-founder of @reprogramuk.... not much then! 

Miranda proceeded to discuss the evolution of social media and what we can expect in the near future. Indicating and breaking our (probably just me) social media hearts with the news that Twitter is the most likely platform to follow Vine into the social media abyss.

Not one to be upstaged by Tom’s controversial topic. She promoted her own beliefs of tradition over trend. Preferring an e-mail or snail mail, which is so easy to convince her it, could be classed as emotional blackmail. 

Fortunately, Miranda didn’t leave her physical address. Which would have surely been inundated with mailshots for the foreseeable future. If she wasn’t out of mailbox reach she would almost certainly be out of pocket. 

Miranda’s poor ole mum (metaphorically not literally, unless she also buys all the offers in the post too) took the brunt of her jovial ire of the demographics and audience using certain social media platforms. People switching or migrating to different, fresher platforms as Nan doesn’t have Instagram. Hence it not being called #InstaGRAN (sorry)!

I made a joke about Miranda on the dying platform that is Twitter, suggesting she talked a lot. Well, it was a presentation and she was the speaker….I mean what did I expect – Mute Miranda? There’s one way to never be invited back!

And to be fair she took it in jest

Miranda Bishop and Floormaker tweets

It was also good to have a social media facet to the SEO meet up. The signals from social media do have a positive effect on brands and companies and this can only be good for their SEO and rankings.

Content and Competition

One of the main things I took away was the encouragement of engagement from your audience. Companies can offer big, brash and bold prizes in competitions – this can in some way devalue the competition as people will find it hard to believe the prize even exists, never mind them realistically winning it.

The trick is to offer something that will pique their interest while encouraging their involvement by making the prize seem achievable. Not too expensive and not too cheap and of course it must be relative to your niche. Else you’ll just have competition crazees where ideally you want pre-qualified leads. The goldilocks of rewards – something just right.

Engagement is still very important. Heaps of companies just broadcast their posts and forget entirely about the 80/20 rule. Health/fitness/weight management groups where interaction, and the community effect in the groups is evident and can only be good for the company. Where PT’s could just as easy stand for personality trainers. It’s an example everyone could follow albeit with a little adaption to their own audience

When Miranda invited questions - there was a company/person there that has 80 products but 200+ social media accounts. Even Miranda was rendered speechless!

 It would be very interesting to find out the name of that Company and follow their social media progress, not all the accounts though – ain’t nobody got time for that. Just looking at 200 accounts is difficult enough – imagining trying to create engagement for that many.

Xanthe Studios – Site Review

The sites details were released a few days early , allowing attendees a chance to dive under the hood and get into the nuts and bolts of the site beforehand and not just the UX on the day. 

This time we had an actual developer to throw rocks (suggestions) at! To be fair to Pete – he took it all in great, not just good faith. The reason he put the site up for dissection is because – by his own admission – he’s not an SEO guy.

Holding his coding hands up he let the onslaught begin…..

Xanthe Website Screenshot

Miranda was straight in there with a no phone number or call options visible  - surprise, surprise! I added some fuel to that fire advising that the phone number found at the bottom of the page, had a click to call option that didn’t work, and actually returned a 404 error.

Then the comments rained in thick and fast:
Javascript not minimised
2 spelling mistakes
No call to action above the fold
Duplicate meta descriptions
One page site
Abuse, abuse, abuse

All points were discussed and generally agreed that they were for the better. Xanthe is still a work in progress and Pete is now armed with very helpful info to get his site optimised and ranked higher.

It would be amiss to not mention the geek off, where the branded link at the bottom of the website  and footer links at other sites designed by Pete would be ‘garbage’. That comment has since been cleared up gracefully by David who has helpfully pointed meetup attendees to a search engine round table  article to clarify his point.

Right or wrong, black or white (grey even), there isn’t definitive answers on SEO for the majority of topics. Following best practice is advised and always test, test, test! Debate, including that one is always good, and it encourages learning and development.

What works today in SEO, might not work tomorrow. You can go from top rankings to tanking  rankings in one fell manual penalty. Careful guys and gals – it’s a jungle out there.

Lightning Talk

This is where the compere turned into the Charity Champion. Steve admitted that he promised never to take the stage himself as he didn’t want to hog the limelight and he wanted others to receive the attention and airtime.

However, we’ll forgive him this time. His charitable efforts and altruism deserve to be up in bright lights.

Steve’s client – Adrian, has a daughter that is suffering from Alexander’s disease. Adrian helped raise money for the Climb charity by completing a 10 day, 1000 mile cycle challenge around the UK. This involved himself and 7 chums donating 100 toys and books to 17 hospitals in the UK. 

The specifics of Steve’s lightning talk depended on the money raised. The more money raised = less time per slide. So by raising money he was raising expectations.

Through his fundraising efforts – Steve had 9 seconds per slide, reduced from an original 20 seconds. Being succinct and swift was the order of they day.

Luckily, during his pre-presentation checks, Steve discovered that he has set the slides to 0.9 seconds…..lightning talk indeed. 

To add to the difficulty, Steve also had 5 nominated buzzwords to try and include in the talk. Ringing a bell each time he nailed a word.

The buzzwords were: Clicks and Mortar, Buzz Wedge, Low Hanging Fruit, Black Hat SEO and Link Juice.

I think he hit all the buzzwords bar one, doing the history of SEO and himself proud.  

And that wraps up another meeting with the next one due in February. If you attended the meeting feel free to add any comments below. Hell, even if you didn’t you can still let me know what you think. It is almost x-mas after all. The more the merrier!
Floormaker and British Style UK  meets logo

Best Blogger Interview: Natalia from British Style UK

6 of the best. We're on the sixth interview now. At this rate, we'll be turning into the Parky of the interior 
design world. Hopefully without the emu attacks! This week we interviewed Natalia from British Style UK. 
It took a while for us to nail her down due to the little inconvenience of her getting married. Now that little 
bump in the road (coincidentally her belly now too, congrats!) has been negotiated we finally got to ask her 
the questions she'd being dying to answer (honestly). With some fantastic answers, insights and beautiful 
pictures it's worth a read or ten! 😃 

Hi Natalia, thanks so much for doing this interview. We know you quite well by now, but can you 'sell' 
yourself to give our readers an idea of who you are?

A pleasure, thanks for asking me! I’ve always been obsessed with interiors and started my blog 
BritishStyleUK three years ago. My husband and I are total design geeks he’s an architect at Danks Badnell
but a lot of blogs and magazines at the time were a bit too high-brow. You just couldn’t imagine how those 
designs would work in your own home. So I started my blog with the aim to make interior design more 
accessible and encourage people to get creative in their own homes.

Plenty of bloggers have stated their reasons for starting a blog but what gives you the passion and drive to continue and succeed?

Blogging is like everything else – sometimes you can lose your drive with it. But as with any business or 
hobby, you just have to keep inspiring yourself. Often people can get disengaged if they’re heading down the 
wrong track or doing something they’re not 100% happy with. The great thing about blogging is that you can take it in any direction you want and I’ve chosen to keep seeing it as a (totally geeky) hobby rather than a job.

Do you set yourself goals, or do you have more specific targets? For example, how many views of a blog post would qualify as a success for you?

I find it almost impossible to set myself goals and targets. I know the type of posts that would get huge traffic but they’re not the type of posts that I want to be writing every time. For example, I know any blog post featuring my home and family gets huge spikes in traffic. But we’re like most other families saving up and doing up our own house room by room. I also just finished doing a series of blog posts on our Wedding day  and they’ve been so popular!

Natalia Wedding Collage

Congratulations on the wedding and the photos look fabulous. We used the setting photo above to show how beautifully arranged the room was, not to suggest that you had no guests!

The blogging and interior design industry seem to have a great informal feel to it. The right mix of business and pleasure. What is your relationship with your fellow bloggers like and in some case your direct competitors? Who's your fav?

Most of the interior design bloggers that I’ve met are so lovely! We’re quite a small (but growing) group 
compared to parenting or beauty bloggers and so we all know each other and catch up regularly at press events etc. Anna from Don’t cramp my style has become a really good friend. She’s an interior design pro and  I’m a digital communications pro and so we’re always swapping tips and advice!

Natalia, Alina & Anna

That's a delightful combo. We know Anna well, she's always liking our social media posts and what not. We almost had to take out a digital restraining order, until she bribed us by including us in her eco flooring post.

Anna eco tweet

So the IBA awards, you didn't win, unfortunately. We think our bribe got lost in the post! Sorry about that. How were the awards? We noticed you had your losers game face on - bravo. Any salacious, albeit non-libellous gossip for us?

The awards are always great fun – I’ve been a finalist three times now and my aim is always just to get to the 
final (the goody bags are amazing). 

Blogging awards vote confirmation
We tried voting numerous times........oops!

I wish I did have some gossip, but we’re a pretty tame bunch in reality. We’re more likely to be admiring the 
tables then dancing on them!

Amara awards on table

No room on the ^^^ these tables anyhow! 

Floormaker does Rugs now, not changing to Rugmaker any time soon tho. Which flooring and rug combinations would you recommend for a beautiful room setting?

I’ll always opt for stone or wood flooring over wall-to-wall carpeting! It allows you to be so much more 
flexible with the seasons and your own interior décor. I’ll always opt for engineered wood flooring, you get 
the same solid wood finish but it’s far more reliable and won’t warp like solid wood does. I have a soft-spot 
for parquet and loving black oak at the moment. When choosing rugs, it really depends on the size of the 
space and the room is used for. In hallways and walk throughs you’ll need a rug with a short tight pile so that 
it wears well and you don’t trip over it, whereas in the bedroom or living room you can get away with 
something cosier under your feet.

Floormaker Wolftip Sheepskin Rug          FloormakerBlack & Cream Ziegler Runner Rug

Funny you should say that, our 20mm oak engineered flooring was the most bought flooring for October. We blogged about Octobers best sellers too.

You follow us on Twitter! Thanks. How has social media benefitted your blog and what is your fav sm channel to use? Do you have any favourite people, companies you follow?

I see social media as an extension of my blog and so my Instagram is my favourite social media channel. 
British Style Uk Instagram

It’s so visual and I get a lot of inspiration from it, but I do much better with traffic and followers on the other 
channels! There are so many inspirational Instagram accounts to follow. Just some that always get a heart 
from me are MiaFleur (who you’ve interviewed before), Gabriella from Flat15 (), immyandindi

Instagram collage

Being in the business of digital marketing do you have any tips bar social media utilisation of how people can get their blog seen?

Optimising your blog posts for SEO is so important for making you findable in google. Often this can mean 
finding a balance between writing for your audience and writing for Google!

Interior design is very subjective. Do or have you owned something that you love but everyone else hates?

My biggest critic is my husband! As an architect, he likes a house that’s been stripped back to basics – bare 
floors and white walls. So it takes him a while to get used to my bold interior style. 

Our bedroom and kitchen makeovers took some convincing, but he loves them both now!

British Style Uk bedroom      British Style Uk kitchen
                                 New Look Bedroom                                                  New Look Kitchen Kraft

What's in right now in the interior world?

Nordic interior style has been hugely popular and the Hygge way of life is the latest concept that we’ve been 
adopting. Hygge is all about decluttering your life, your home and your mind and enjoying the simplicities. 

Hygge encourages us to go for quality over quantity, natural products and materials that have been produced 
locally. Nature plays a huge part in a Hygge lifestyle, enjoying the great outdoors as well as taking inspiration  from it too.

We love your originality but how do you keep your content unique. There is so much content in the blogosphere how do you generate ideas that hit home with your audience and are not imitations of other posts?

I think it’s inevitable that there will be cross-over with interior blogs. Many of us get our inspiration from the same books, magazines, press events etc. And so the topics we write about are often the same. The key is to be original in your tone of voice and imagery, no one can imitate that ; )

Congratulations on the pregnancy. How many in your brood now? How do you balance your home and work life? Blogging with babies!

Thank you! We’re very excited to have another on the way! We have one little boy who’s just started school 
and he can’t wait to be a big brother. It’s not easy to balance everything, but it helps to have a small house, a 
patient husband and a wordpress app so I can blog whilst commuting!

Natalis son and husband in wedding first dance

Quickfire questions: Favourite blogger/s? Fav own blog post? Trump or Clinton?

All the Amara IBA finalists are amazing bloggers and I tend to dip in and out of various blogs when I have 
some time, but there’s no one blog that I religiously read!

Ahh that’s a tough one... I’ve written over 200 posts now! My two most popular posts of all time were more 
lifestyle than interiors – my review of the Cambridge Satchel Company and a Day in the Life of a Lifestyle Blogger
 Cambridge Satchel

Oh gawd don’t get me started on Politics – little known fact I have a degree in Politics and International 

Little-known until now!

Finally (we got there eventually) what is next for British Style?

Well, I’ve started an online Diploma in Interior Design with KLC and hoping to make interior design my 
career as well as my passion. I’m soon to go freelance in my day-job too so I can be more flexible with the 
demands of family life. 

Maybe one day I can convince my husband to start an architecture and interior design practice with me – watch this space :)

And that concludes our mammoth interview for this week. We'd like to extend our gratitude to Natalia for 
allowing us to delve into her life and her blog. We're sure you'll agree it is a fascinating insight into the real 
life of a blogger. We hope you enjoyed reading this interview as much we liked creating it. It would be great 
if you could let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

For regular updates on our bloggers and interviews, you can follow us on Twitter, or like us on our Facebook page.

Related Reading:-

Floormaker's Flooring Favourites For October 2016

It’s the end of October…..and maybe a few days more! We thought we’d let the dust settle on our sales (it’s quieter before holiday season) before releasing the much anticipated floors of the month. I mean there hasn’t been much been going on in the month of October – bar our Halloween sale – did you get involved with that? Trick or treating yourself to new flooring!

Floormaker halloween poster

There was some mild kerfuffle about an American election? It barely raised a titter in our offices,  our flooring news sure does Trump that!

Trump wearing a floormaker hat

We had a new line of rugs which are available to buy now. Sheepskin and Angora making up the bulk of our new range. More about them in a future post; you can’t have it all in one blog - we can’t be spoiling you this close to Christmas! 

Onwards & downwards (to the floor) that is and this week’s fantastic flooring has a wonderful mix of different styles and species. Our August favourite floorings were dominated by laminates  but this time – engineered and luxury vinyl have joined the flooring fiesta!

Variety is the spice of flooring life and we are yet to see a home with the same species of flooring laid throughout. We mean, there’s a lot to be said for consistency but change can do us all good (no more Trump jokes, honest).  

In order of the most popular but not necessarily the best (oops I did say no more Donald jibes, soz) – the flooring on Floormaker.

You’ll notice that all of these are Westco products, and if you didn’t – then you do now (you’re welcome!).

Westco Bottocino High Gloss Laminate

Slightly slipping from the 2nd spot is the Westco bottocino laminate. This flooring popularity is due to its compelling look and glamorous high gloss finish. These laminates fly off our shelves to 
people’s floors. Likely to be found laid in a household near you. And if not, then perhaps it’s time to 
move to a more fashionable area! Reduced from £19.46 per m2 to £17.48*, there has never been a better time to join the trend.

Westco Bottocino High Gloss Laminate

Westco Luxury Grey Vinyl Tiles

With luxury written all over it. Metaphorically not literally – don’t panic, although if you’re into that kind of effect you should check out our white and brown wine and fruits laminate!  - the writing really is on the floor.

   Parador 8mm Wine & Fruits White Narrow Board Laminate  Parador 8mm Wine & Fruits Brown Narrow Board Laminate

Another popular vinyl flooring to add to our fantastic list. The grey oak neutral tones make it the perfect accessory to build on or blend in. Its adaptability allowing it to be used in kitchen and bathrooms too. A floor for all occasions. 

Westco Luxury Grey Vinyl Tiles swatch     Westco Luxury Grey Vinyl Tiles room shot
Aesthetic, affordable and adaptable. There’s no flooring more suitable for the everyman and its clic 
fitting system makes installation a doddle.

And the winner is........

Westco 20mm Engineered Oak

Just forget for a second that we already told you and sit back and behold the beauty of this 
engineered flooring. Not sure what engineered is – then allow Laura from her interview explain to 
you in layman terms

A flooring so attractive you’ll have trouble leaving your home once it’s been installed. A tongue and 
groove fitting system that will make your jaw drop at first sight. Available at £35.77* per m2, it’s a 
price that a lot of people are willing to pay for a premium flooring that will go the distance and then 

Westco 20mm Engineered Oak room shot     Westco 20mm Engineered Oak room shot  Westco 20mm Engineered Oak swatch
Flooring often gets left out during home makeovers. The floor being seen as an unchangeable base. Alas with engineered flooring you can involve the flooring in the action too. Sanding it back 
periodically will help give it a new and refined appearance. Perfect for revitalising the room when the need arises.

We update the running order of floors of the week on Wed at 3pm on our Twitter account
Follow us for first past the post on Flooring.

We’d love to know what you think of our top 3 floors. Maybe you even own one of them 
yourself. Please let us know your thoughts and comments below.

Other product news:

*Prices correct at time of publication.

Best Blogger Interview: Daisy from Pretty Green Tea 

Our fifth, fifth? Where does the time go! This weeks interview is with Daisy from Pretty Green Tea, not to be confused with Ginger Lilly Tea our guest interview from last week. Not sure if this is allowed but they are both Floormaker's cups of tea - after all we do have two hands (nobody mention the one mouth 😉 ) so we can indulge in both.

So tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi, I’m Daisy and I run Prettygreentea, a UK based lifestyle blog. I currently spend my time between Cambridge and Sheffield. I love working hard and going on city breaks.  

What did you do previous to blogging (occupation)?

I’ve worked in a couple of marketing agencies and client side at a charity on their digital marketing. I’m very very happy to now be working for myself. 

Describe Cambridge and Sheffield in 3 words each?

Cambridge: Bright ☀️ ☀️ , cheerful 😀 😀  and positive ➕➕.

Sheffield: Business hub, innovative ⚡️⚡️ and grey 💧  ☂️ 💦.

You have 2 blogs? That’s ambitious. Where do you find the time?

I actually have 3 blogs. I like to keep busy and the more I have to do the more I get done. I think it’s all about getting into a good routine and then running with it. 

fm: So Pretty Green Tea, Llama Social & Now............ Dairy Free Daisy!! It took us long enough to link to these blogs, never mind write them all. Bravo!

What other bloggers do you follow? Any new up and coming stars we should look out for?

I read a lot of blogs and at the moment I’m really enjoying Fran from Frances B. She shares a fantastic monthly interview series called Women Leading. I also enjoy reading and Sophie’s blog - one ten zero seven. Sophie’s blog is like a diary and she shares bright colourful photos of her life in Yorkshire and her business.

We love your blog posts they are soooo varied. Which of your posts is a particular favourite?

Thanks, that’s really kind. I really enjoyed putting together my post on 3 dairy free coffee-based treats -  and I’m also enjoying sharing my Behind The Biz interview series.

Hmmm, you don't seem to follow us on Twitter. Is this your favourite social media platform and how has social helped your blogging?

I really enjoy using Twitter, I have ever since I joined in 2009. However, my favourite platform at the moment is probably Snapchat but I’m also really enjoying Anchor too. 


Social media goes hand in hand with my blog. It’s helped me to connect with new friends, discover new blogs and I’ve even been invited to job interviews through it. 

fm: Disclaimer: she follows us now. Amazing what a not so subtle hint can do!  

Are there any design fads you feel are over and gone for good?
I think trends always come back ‘round' but I can’t say that woodchip wallpaper will. I hope it won’t!  

Do you have any hands on DIY experience or you a teller not a doer?

I do bits of DIY here and there. I like to learn as much as possible so I’m always ready to give anything a try, especially as there are so many fantastic tutorials online these days. 

Which of our flooring is your favourite?

It’s hard to pick, there are so many I really like, especially when it comes to the solid wood selection. I think it has to be your 18mm solid wood wide oak floor - it has a very cosy feel to it without being too dark. 


What is your favourite interior design trend right now and are there any trends you feel will get a lot of attention this season?

Right now, I’m loving two-tone kitchen cabinets. I think they bring a unique touch to the kitchen, a place where a lot of time is spent. Going forward I think minimalism will still play a key role in the home but with a cosy touch through the use of warm and rusty tones. 

What's the prettiest thing you own? And the ugliest?

Now this is a hard question. I’m loving my beautiful, yet practical storage jar from Orla Kiely. I can’t think of anything particularly ugly other than my new camera charger which can charge 4 different types of batteries. Although it’s not pretty it’s very very useful and I adore how easy it’s made my travels. 

You've conducted a few interviews before. Are there any questions you've been dying to ask or be asked?

I can’t think of anything I’ve been longing to ask anyone. 

fm: Oooh ignore the tumbleweed while we think of our next (uninspiring) question!

What’s coming up in the world of daisy? What’s next?

I’m about to launch a new blog all about living a dairy free life. I’ll be sharing my favourite dairy free snacks, my own recipes and sharing my advice on allergies and eczema. It’s not fully ready yet but I’ll give you a first look 

Well that's enough  🔌 🔌 🔌 's for one interview, we'll wrap it up there. Out sincerest thanks to Daisy for answering all our questions fully and frankly and for providing some stunning images. As always, please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. The more the merrier!

Like this interview then like our Facebook Page and/or follow us on Twitter for regular updates on our best blogger interview series. Next interview TBC 

Previous Interviews:

  1. Ginger Lilly Tea
  2. Side Street Style
  3. MiaFleur
  4. Life at 139a

Best Blogger Interview: Keri-Anne from Ginger Lily Tea

This week in our best blogger series we interviewed Keri-Anne from Ginger Lily Tea. Some, well actually all of her photos are absolutely beautiful, her answers ain't bad either! 

You and your blog in 30 seconds, go?

Hello, my name is Keri-Anne. I am a mother to two little girls and we live in England. We spend most of our free time in the forest or meadows, painting or collecting flowers. I love to capture creative photographs or film of the girls on adventures and I post these to my blog. I also love to blog about home interiors, baking and crafting. I have been blogging since I was 15 (when I was full of teenage angst) and it is one of my biggest passions alongside photography. I am a creative product photographer also and a little bit of a dreamer.

How did your transition from teenage to adult blogger go? What has been the biggest change that you have noticed in the blogging world?

When I blogged as a teenager, my blog was very personal and my way of writing and dealing with typical issues. I didn't ever think about brand/PR work and I used it as a diary. As I grew older, I saw more blogs working with brands and more creative opportunities becoming available. I still kept my own blog as a personal diary until only a few years ago when I started getting some amazing opportunities. I still like to think my blog is very personal and I will always keep it that way. I blog because I love to write and document mine and my family's life but having some amazing opportunities has been a great support to us too.

You have a DIY section on your blog. Have you every had any DIY mishaps or disasters even?

 I love my DIY section. It is mostly just little tutorials on crafts but I have had the odd disaster such as putting a nail into the wall to hang a picture and having plasterboard fall off so I have had to put a poster over it to cover it. I also tried to paint my room claret once and I am terrible at decorating so the whole wall was super streaky and looked like a child had painted it!

We love the collage and mosaic styling of your collective posts. Do you create your own images from photos or do you have a go-to resource for images?

Oh thank you. I use a site called Polyvore for that. I find products I love from around the Internet and add them to my favourites via the site. The site then automatically uploads the information and URL of that particular product so if I am using it within a collage or for my site, it will link back to that product for others to see.
Polyvore logo  Ginger Lily Tea Collage

You have previously said you get inspiration from Instagram and Pinterest, with the every evolving world of social media, are there other platforms that have been useful to you since?

I am very visual and I think, for me, those two platforms will always be a favourite. When I feel that my house needs a little freshen up or I am looking for adventure ideas, I automatically have thousands of images to inspire me. I thank Pinterest for the amount of housework I get done because if I need to do house work and look at my home folder on Pinterest, it always makes me get up and go and clean my own home! With my Instagram, I feel that the inspiration comes from the engagement I get too. People can be so wonderful and supportive and if I upload a picture and get lovely comments, that always inspires me to keep doing what I do.

In the design world has there ever been a massive trend where you thought was going places but has gone away rather quietly without the fanfare?

My favourite two trends have always been shabby chic and botanical. Last year, botanical was pretty big and I loved all the products that came out in the stores but I haven't really seen too much this year. For me, I don't really follow a trend. I love both those styles and that is what I have in my home. I feel the trend now is quite rustic with lots of wood and distressed items. I think though that it shouldn't really matter if something is in style or has been/is a trend. Everyone had their own tastes and not everyone will like what is on trend. I decorate my home with items I love and it makes me happy to be surrounded by my hanging lace dresses, botanical prints and wicker baskets. If you can sit in your home and feel happy with what you are surrounded with then I think that is the best reason for the theme you have chosen.

Ginger Lily Tea Lace dress and wall hangings

What bloggers do you like? Any newcomers making waves you can give us the heads up on?

One of my favourite blogs that I have loved for years is My Cakies. Ruby-Ellen's home and lifestyle is really wonderful. A few of my other favourites who have beautiful homes are The Tea Drinking English Rose (another blog I have followed for years and years) and Anchors and Honey who posts lovely DIY's.

  My cakies blog logo   
The tea drinking english rose blog logo  Anchors and honey blog logo

We have added rugs to our flooring range recently. Could you pick 2 favs and why?

Oh I love rugs!! I love the green and cream Ziegler rug because it just feels so homely and like it should belong in a beautiful old cottage and Frise accent rug. Anything with florals or leaves is perfect for me!

Floormaker green and cream ziegler rug
What's the quirkiest thing you own?

Oh wow! I don't believe I own anything quirky but I do believe I have a unique, quirky style. I love to hang lace dresses and flower crowns around the house and I love to make wall features out of book pages. My house has been like this for years and I try to fill a lot my wall space with a garland or botanical print of dried flowers. 

Ginger Lily Tea desk and collage image  Ginger Lily Tea wall hangings & dolls

Quick-fire round: Fav post, toughest post and dream post?

Fav post: Oh my gosh. This is very very hard! I have so many and I actually have a list of all of my favourite posts here

Ginger Lily Tea favourite blogs roll

Toughest post: I think this post:  because I was trying to figure out what to do with myself when my youngest started full time school. 

Dream post: In this post, I am talking about my dreams and goals for the next year."

What are the top 3 things on the wish list?

On my wish list, I would love lots of hanging plants in the bathroom. I would also love an old ottoman for all my blankets and I would love a beautiful rose garden!

Hedgerow rose garden

Image: Hedgerow Rose

If we only had time to read 1 blog (sorry!) of yours, which would you recommend?

Just one? I feel this might be a good post and would give a good sense of who I am :) 

Well, you did recommend 75! Yes 75 of your fav blog posts. So we're a little busy for now!

A huge thanks to Keri-Anne for agreeing to this interview and sending over some wonderful photos for us to use! Please let us know your thoughts in the comments. If you missed our previous interviews then you can catch up below:-

Best Bloggers Interviews:- 

Lifeat139a         MiaFleur           Side Street Style

 Moderna Rugs Of The Week 


Whether you’re a circles or a square fan we have just the rug or 2 for you! Part of our new additions to our flooring range which I mentioned last week.

Moderna Circle

Both rugs are composed of elegant and vibrant colours, not too bright, just the right shade of delicious. The circular Moderna rug’s circles are made through a combination of leaf shapes, moulding together to create the perfect leaf circle.

Floormaker Moderna Circles Rug 

Floormaker Moderna Circle Rug

Moderna Square

The square Moderna rug is comprised of blue, purple, brown and green colours and shades. Each individual square has the same colour but with different shades and alternate thickness of the designs. This helps create a disjointed and visually stunning effect.

Floormaker Moderna Squares Rug 

Floormaker Moderna Square Rug

The rugs are very comfortable and soft underfoot. The polypropylene fibres doing their job sufficiently. Not content with being soft and stylish – these rugs are sturdy and can withstand a high amount of foot traffic.

We suggest these rugs are most appropriate for dining, living and bedrooms but they can also be laid in busier areas with no problems whatsoever.

More of a modern style than the retro rugs we mentioned last week, the clue of course being in the name! This offers a different look for interior designs and its fresh look helps it blend and complement any room it graces. 

To keep up to date you can follow us on Twitter where we'll be updating all the info about the new rugs as they happen. To see the rugs in all their glory you can view them on our Resplendent Rugs Pinterest board.

Floormaker Rug Pinterest Board

Please let us know what you think of our Moderna rugs in the below comments. 

Similar Articles

Retro Curved Rugs


See, I promised didn’t I, that rugs of the week would be back. It was more a case of when not if! Any doubters should hang their heads in shame – then make it up to me ‘buy’ buying half a dozen of our new rugs💰💰! Only joking, 1 or 2 will do. After all, they are stunning and worth every penny.

So rugs of the week is back. Did I mention that already? Our blog timeline has been filled and filled impressively by our best blogger interviewees Life at 139a, MiaFleur and Sidestreet Style. If you have missed any of those interviews then you have definitely missed out.

    floormaker meets life at 139a logo           floormaker meets miafleur logo            floormaker meets side street style at 139a logo


This week we are concentrating on the retro curve rugs we have added to our range. They are a thrilling throwback to the 70’s era – the decade of style and fashion.

The curves, arches, arcs and bends of the patterns on the retro rugs is the making of them! The colours are vibrant enough to stand out whilst blending in effortlessly. They can complement or combine a room’s décor all depending on how you utilise them. Traditional and Trendy – they straddle both generations with ease and a dollop of grace.

The grey retro curve version stands out more as an individual piece while the beige version is outstanding in itself. More of a background to a room while the grey takes centre stage.
Floormaker Retro Curve Beige RugFloormaker Retro Curve Grey Rug
  Retro Beige                                                  Retro Grey    

Picking your selection of colours and desired prominence of a rug means you have a decorative style to suit your own particular tastes.


Available in 2 sizes – 120cm X 170cm | 160cm x 230cm – ensuring you can get the perfect fit. Suitable for the home and the office, giving the opportunity to jazz up the workplace or punch some panache into the home.

Floormaker medium and large size dimensions

And that’s it for this week I’m afraid. Short and sweet – just a selection of 2 our new range of rugs. Hopefully enough to whet your appetite for the upcoming range. You can follow us on Twitter to keep up with the news on our rugs and all things Floormaker, and even like us on Facebook! Who knows you could be our 1001 like!

Floormaker 1000 likes facebook meme

From the archives

Previous popular editions of the rugs of the week include             

Please let us know what you think of these rugs in the comments. 

Floormaker and Sidestreet Style logo

Best Blogger Interview: Laura from Sidestreet Style

This week we are interviewing Laura from Sidestreet Style. She's based near Floormaker don't ya know and her partner cuts our Google Ads guy's hair -  it's a small and wonderful world 😃 

Ok, first things first. You, tell us all about yourself?

I'm Laura, I'm a South African expat  🇿🇦  🇿🇦  living near Cardiff in Wales with my Welsh partner and our two young sons. We absolutely love adventures and travelling the world but also making our house a home and enjoying all that Wales has to offer.

          Laura in fashionable clothing

We are based in Cardiff too, how do you feel interiors style has changed over the years particularly in South Wales? Has anything really surprised you?

I love the current Scandia inspiration that has filtered through into the homes in and around Cardiff. There are also a lot more interior and home stores in the city which are very design driven. There have also been a real movement towards chic interiors when it comes to local and independent coffee shops and restaurants as people want to relax in stylish surroundings. 

Childrens bedroom collage

What did you do before you started blogging?

Before blogging I was studying and working as a freelance photographer, mainly covering events, music festivals as well as some products and portrait commissions.

spiderman and camera

DIY is becoming more common and evidently so are the mistakes. What's the biggest blunder you've witnessed or god forbid committed yourself?

Luckily we have made very few DIY disasters ourselves, My parents developed properties for years, in fact by the time I was 4 years old I had already see around  properties being done up and sold so when it's come to advice they have been key and have provided us with very practical advice. Our current home which we bought as a project had some terrible DIY including shelves that had been put up in an alcove in the living room which was held together by No More Nails and on the verge of falling down.

One of us follows the other on twitter, we won't say who doesn't (awks)! Is Twitter your favourite social media platform? You have loads btw! How has social media helped you and other bloggers?

Haha we do actually both follow each other now. Twitter is probably my most successful social media platform as it's one I use daily and enjoy using and still find there is a lot of discussing and dialogue that goes on. Social media can be amazing if used for the right reasons and can bring creatives and companies together in a  seamless and natural way as well as connecting others. I also love social media purely for keeping in touch with friends across the world and that’s the beautiful thing about social media that it can really help to inspire blogs.

Recalibrating and finding a balance https://www.bloglovin.com/blog/post/2897443/5164259869  on @bloglovin

Ok, your top three favourite bloggers and why?

That's such a hard question as I read so many blogs and I am inspired by them all but in different ways. Here are three blogs I am currently reading at the moment

  • Wild and Grizzly - I love Lori's eye for design, fashion and chic interiors with a does of European travel.
  • Kat Got The Cream - Another very stylish lady who captures that minimalist and effortless chic into everyday interior and adventures.
  • The Roost - A collaborative interior design blog which offers of loads of inspiration and tutorials on up cycling, currently love reading this blog
         roost & kat got the cream & wild and grizzly blog logos

For more great blog recommendations Laura has a blog roll of honour on her site. A quick look confirmed that we have the same tastes. Luminaries include:

side street blog roll of honour

Continuing the favourite theme - which of our floors or products tickle your fancy?

I really like your Solid Wood and Parquet Flooring as I think that wooden floors brings a real sense of warmth into any home and is so classic and timeless. In fact when we go to view houses the first thing I always do is look what’s under the carpet and often do a little dance if the original floorboards are there and can be stripped and buffed and if not laying down solid wood flooring is the next step.

You have written a few posts revolving around flooring, we've noticed (obviously), do you have any particular personal insights about flooring that you would like to share?

As I said above my main tip would be try and repair or preserve the original flooring if you can. It absolutely kills me when people buy a period property and rip out those beautiful Victorian tiles in the hallway or cover up potentially stunning wooden floorboards. Another tip is don't disregard how important and impactful good flooring is for your household and as much time and care should be put into keeping your floors in good condition as with any other part of the home.

laura and baby on wood flooring

Which of your blog posts have garnered the biggest interaction with your readers? 

I find my interiors posts especially the more personal ones always do well, as do our family travel adventures which often highlight different cultures and their homes. Seasonal posts also do very well and I had a Christmas Craft post that went viral and had more than 90, 000 views within a few days.

christmas craft

What do you think is next for interior design? Have we said goodbye to any recent trends or fads already in 2016?

I think simplicity and minimalism is going to be sticking around for a while and excess and clutter is out. This may also be down to the shift in society, with life becoming increasingly manic and stressful, more people are focused on making their home life a calm, clean and clutter free place, which is why I think the Scandinavian approach to interiors has done so well.

minimilistic style images

A question we usually ask our bloggers is: Do you know what engineered flooring is?

Please correct me if I am wrong but I think it's a real wood based product that is easy to maintain like laminate but has a more high end look to it?

That's pretty much it, no correction needed.

Our sincere thanks to Laura for that great interview, if you liked that let us know in the comments below and you can follow us on Twitter for updates on our best blogger series.

Previous Best Blogger Interviews

The ladies from MiaFleur
Stephanie from Life at 139a
Floormaker and MiaFleur logo

Best Blogger Interview: (Hollie, Jacqui & Amelia) from MiaFleur

MiaFleur is the second installment of our 'Best Blogger Series' (you can catch last week's here) with 3 lovely ladies answering our probing questions about all things fashion.....and more!

Mia Fleur ladies

First things first, there are 3 of you! Can you talk us through how the blog came about and how you collaborated?

Well, we’re a mother and two daughter team, so it was a very organic and natural collaboration for us really.  As we’re all passionate about interiors, design and styling, an online homewares shop was the obvious answer.  We started blogging in 2012, at the same time as launching our online boutique.  We know that simply buying a product is not where the journey ends and for some, knowing how to make the product look just as good in your own home can be tricky. Which is why since the inception of MiaFleur, we’ve always felt that the blog is an integral part of what we do and we love helping our customers to achieve their own unique style.  

We thought you were all sisters!

What did you do previous to blogging (occupation)?

Jacqui is a partner in a Potato Merchants business with her husband and has been doing that for about thirty years, whilst also raising five children, gaining a degree in Textile Design and desperately trying to fulfil her creative side in her spare time.  Amelia graduated in 2012 with a degree in Textile Design and had previously spent many years in our ‘sewing room’ at home being taught by Jacqui. Hollie graduated in 2008 with a degree in Fashion and Textile Management and prior to MiaFleur had most recently been working as an Account Manager for a footwear supplier.   

Having 3 different inputs into the blog, what do you feel are the advantages and disadvantages over a solo user blog?

It’s very much a joint effort between the three of us, with us all playing some part in either the writing, styling or photography.  We very much see 3 inputs as being a benefit, rather than a negative in any way.  We each have our own aesthetic, which gives MiaFleur its quirky style, however we also have our own skills and knowledge base as well, which helps us to produce more varied content.

Many of our interviewees past and upcoming are winners and nominees of blog awards. Yourself included. What's your take on these awards and have they helped you in any way?

Entering, and indeed winning awards is a fantastic way to increase exposure for your blog.  It’s also an incredible feeling to just be nominated, never mind to actually win!  Creating interesting and varied content on a weekly basis is a difficult and time consuming task, so for any blogger to feel the recognition that awards can give is a huge sense of achievement and pride.

Amara 2015 awards banner

You have a few posts on your blog in reference to Flooring. How important is flooring in completing a look for a home and do you have any tips or DIY gone wrong stories?

Well, I think it goes without saying that flooring is one of the key components of any room, it ties the whole scheme together and should be a big consideration. The key thing to consider with flooring is what the space will be used for.  Having had 5 kids (and a dog!), Jacqui can safely say, hard flooring was a wise choice!

Now that you mentioned pets, we saw (and borrowed) and posted an infographic that helps you decide what flooring based on what pets you have.

Which of our Flooring takes your fancy?

We’re rather taken with the engineered wood range, this herringbone parquet in particular is lovely: 

engineered herringbone parquet flooring

You guys follow us on Twitter - thanks! Is it your favourite social media platform? How has social media helped your blogging efforts and success?

Each social media platform has its own merits really. Personally, we love using Instagram, but it’s also a fantastic resource as a blogger and business because of the levels of interaction and engagement.  I think you’d struggle to have a successful blog without social media, it’s the most valuable tool available as a blogger for promoting your content and gaining new readers.

What's in and what's out in home and garden décor?

We have heard that copper may be on its way out, but we think it’s still going to be a big trend for a good while yet.  It’s safe to say shabby chic has had it’s day in the trend stakes, but then again we’re antique and vintage addicts, so we’ll always keep some element of this in our homes.  We would never advise anyone to slavishly follow trends, it’s knowing what works for you and what you like that’s the key.
In terms of big trends right now though, tropical is one of the most popular looks, but that doesn’t mean you need to kit your house out like the Amazon, the idea of trends is to just take a few ideas and incorporate smaller elements to update your existing décor.

Parrot money box

Tropical plates

What's the most eccentric thing you own?

That’s a tough one, we’ve amassed some pretty eccentric things over the years!  In terms of personal possessions, I think it’d probably have to be Jacqui’s crazy bird vase  – in combination with the floral wallpaper it makes for a pretty eccentric look!

Antique italian bird

But of course we love our quirky pieces on the site too and our brand new ‘Monty Dog Watering Can Vase’ is gorgeously kitsch, but proving to be a popular one.


What are your favourite blogs right now and why?
  • We love Swoon Worthy, written by Kimberley Duran – we always link to her posts on our social media and we’re all regular readers.  Not only is her quirky taste really similar to ours, but we love her writing style too. 
  • We also really like Mad About the House, written by Kate Watson-Smyth.  She has a seriously in-depth knowledge of interiors and offers plenty of advice, as well as just an opportunity to drool over gorgeous houses. 
swoonworthy website logo  mad about the house website logo

Great blogs think alike. We love swoonworthy too! Kimberly has kindly allowed us to interview her in the upcoming weeks.

For newcomers to your blog what would you recommend they read first - to get to know you and your methods?

Our ‘Ultimate Copper Styling Guide’  has proven to really popular.  We had so many requests from customers asking how to style copper and what colours to put it with, that we decided not only to write a blog about it, but to make a downloadable ‘guide’ which covers everything you need to know to make copper work for you. 

We already have an ‘About us’ page, but we decided it was high time the readers of our blog really got to know the ladies behind MiaFleur.  So we have shared 5 things about each of us that readers wouldn’t already know.  So if you’d like to know why Hollie is a puffer fish, why Amelia resorted to rinsing a chicken tagine under the tap and how Jacqui managed to survive bringing up 5 kids, read on.  

What's next for MiaFleur?

We have extended the styling help that we offer on the blog, to now include ranges of products.  We now offer ‘styled vignettes’ where customers can purchase a complete set of products, which we have collated and styled into specific looks; this is perfect to give customers a basis to work from and to inspire them with confidence to design their own home.   We have had fantastic response on this from customers and press alike and we’ll be expanding the range considerably over the coming months.

And that's all folks! A huge thanks to the MiaFleur ladies for the valuable insights. If you have any questions or queries regarding this interview, then please let us know in the comments below.

Like this interview like our Facebook Page and follow us on Twitter for regular updates on our best blogger interview series. Next interview is with Laura from SideStreetStyle