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Posted 02.07.19

Find your Style with interior designer Lisa Dawson

By Kat Peberdy

With a background in fashion retail, including four years at Topshop, interior designer and award winning blogger Lisa Dawson is highly influential in the world of interior design.

Lisa was awarded Best Newcomer at the EKBB Influencer Awards and was shortlisted in the category of Best Newcomer in the Amara IBA's 2017, as well as being listed in the Top 30 Power List in Marie Claire. Lisa is also a regular contributor for Real Homes magazine, writing a monthly column called Home Truths, and with over 143,000 followers and counting on Instagram, it's safe to say that Lisa is a force to be reckoned with.

Lisa visited our students recently to share her skills and experience in the industry, and BA (Hons) Interior Decoration, Design & Styling student Zoe Newson reported back for us on Lisa’s visit and what she learned...

Earlier this year, guest lecturer Lisa Dawson gave an account of her first-hand expertise in the interiors industry to BA (Hons) Interior Decoration, Design & Styling students. Self-made entrepreneur Lisa is known for her award-winning blog and Instagram account with over 143,000 followers, where she shows audiences how to find their own style with interior design. Starting with a vintage shop on Etsy, Lisa grew her brand, connecting her Instagram to a blog (Lisa Dawson Styling) which she founded in 2016. With a weekly post, her blog gets as many views as her Instagram has followers, posting about the latest interior products, trends and her current revamp and interior projects within her own home.

Lisa Dawson, left, leading a hands-on workshop with students.

Lisa describes herself as an ‘interior obsessed addict’ as her content centers around the DIY renovations of her Georgian Manor house in York and brand endorsements in the interior market. Over four years, Lisa has expanded her social media empire into other outputs across the industry, including writing a regular column in Real Homes magazine and running workshops based on her brand across the country. The content creator has proven to be a great influence in the interior design industry, as she has been awarded many accolades, recently including the Best Interior Influencer in the Northern Blog awards 2018. 

Giving two lectures on the morning of her visit, Lisa shared her journey into the interiors industry and what she has learned from creating content in this field for the past four years. Lisa engaged with students, expressing her realistic approach on how she became the brand she is today, and she explained how her social media platforms grew with the connections of viewers between Instagram and her blog.

With her passion for interior and home design shining through both platforms, her audience constantly comes back for more of Lisa’s interactive and relatable content. Her particular obsession with vintage and retro styling is clear in her house renovation projects, and styling work that references and uses vintage furniture and retro accessories.

Developing in her interior design career, Lisa is known for promoting local businesses on her platforms to aid the small independent business movement, as well as collaborating with interior brands such as bathroom specialists Grohe.

Lisa explained to students that working with big brands really helped the development of her social media and has led to her being able to create workshops that are sponsored, and therefore accessible across the country for all her followers. Recent workshops include 'Revamp Restyle Reveal' and ‘Find Your Style’. 

Students work with a variety of props provided during the workshop.

Later in the day, all BA (Hons) Interior Decoration, Design & Styling students were able to learn directly from Lisa, as she led a hands-on workshop on how to get the perfect product photograph. The workshop looked at how directing the best camera angle, lighting and composition together can create the perfect Instagram shot. It involved students working in teams using styling props to create the perfect Insta-worthy shot, judged and advised by Lisa.

Student Zoe Newson's styled image captured during the workshop with Lisa Dawson.

Second-year student Lydia Hughes said about the workshop, “It was so enjoyable to learn all the tips and tricks from Lisa and learn how she’s built her business from her home. As an aspiring stylist myself it was great to get first-hand experience in a workshop putting Lisa’s advice and techniques into practice. Lisa has an eye for composition and gracefully combines colour, shapes, and textures in her styling shots.”

The interactive workshop, allowing students to be led by Lisa on a one to one basis, has really inspired me and given some insight into her role in the interior design trade. Being a content creator is an aspect of the industry that is rapidly growing, and is great for budding interior designers and stylists on our programme to be educated about. 


Links to industry are a key part of the curriculum at Plymouth College of Art, with award-winning and industry-leading guest lecturers often visiting all of our degree programmes to share their skills with our students. To find out more about industry links for each programme, take a look at their individual pages.

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