Bright Bazaar's Will Taylor is hooked on hue
Will Taylor was something of a lone voice when he started his Bright.Bazaar blog to highlight colourful products that caught his eye.
Four years on, the mainstream shops appear to have caught up with the chap who is "hooked on hue", with vibrant furniture and accessories on sale in most high street stores and even supermarkets introducing products in increasingly brighter shades.
Bright.Bazaar, named the number one interiors blog by Homes & Antiques magazine last year, is now read by 400,000 people every month. Meanwhile Will has 20,000 followers on Twitter and 2.6 million on Pinterest, making his account the most popular in the UK.
What was a hobby has turned into a full-time job for Will, who spent his early years in Bishop's Norton before moving to Longlevens with his parents Polly, a nurse, and Nick, a retired GP and dermatology specialist. "I started the blog in 2009 because I was a young guy obsessed with colour; it affects how I dress, the products I buy and how I decorate," explains Will, who attended The Richard Pate School and Sir Thomas Riches before studying journalism at Cardiff.
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"Back then everything seemed to be very minimalist, with lots of white and beige; now there has been a real shift towards colour, especially in clothes and furniture."
Bright.Bazaar has become a virtual "one-stop shop" for colour inspiration, as well as the place to go for advice on decorating and furnishing using brighter shades.
Will's own flat is full of primary hues that are tempered with a sophisticated monochrome backdrop.
"I want my schemes to look very grown up so I use a lot of black, which I see as my neutral if you like," he says.
"A lot of my furniture is made from iron or mango wood and I layer on colour.
"I have a retro-style yellow sofa and yellow curtains I made myself and I introduce a range of primary brights with cushions and art work."
Will's advice for people looking to follow his example is to start by looking at their clothes, cars and even packaging to see what they're naturally drawn to.
From there he suggests looking for simple items such as cushions, textiles and lamps in the desired hue and living with them for a while before jumping in with both feet and making bigger decisions over furniture or paints.
"Bright.Bazaar isn't about telling people to paint their homes bright green," laughs Will. "It's just trying to open people's eyes to colour a bit more and be a champion of it as an element of our lives."
With colour being especially on trend at the moment, Will says there is a wealth of products on the high street for people looking to dabble with a wider palette.
He's particularly impressed with products from Toast, which has a branch in Cheltenham, describing its range as "fascinating".
"The reason I'm drawn towards it is they tell you the provenance of different things so that you know exactly where they were made," says Will, who turns 26 this week.
"They sell beautiful quilts made by artisans in India using recycled pieces from saris – just stunning."
Other stores to catch his eye include BHS, with colour being prominent across nearly all its homeware shops, and Sainsbury's.
"Supermarkets have really upped their game and, with their buying power, are able to provide really good price points," says Will.
In just four years, Will has gone from being a man writing a blog during his spare time to an acclaimed voice on interiors as well as a social media guru who is invited to speak at conferences all over the world.
He is currently working on a book about colour, the publishing rights for which were the subject of a fierce bidding war in the US.
And, with TV experience under his belt from working for Blue Peter and Strictly Come Dancing while he was at university and fronting product videos for HomeSense and Laura Ashley, he says he wouldn't turn down the prospect of fronting his own programme if the right opportunity came along.
"I still cannot quite believe that something I started in my bedroom has become my full-time job," he says.
"I think my parents are proud of what I've achieved; as with many people, they hadn't heard of blogging and it took them time to realise it's a viable career and something that's growing.
"Every time I go home I have to make sure there is time to go shopping for mum's latest home project!"