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Home Journal Kindred Tales | Cate St Hill & Francis | Writer & Designer

Tell us a bit about your work and how is all started?

I’m an interiors blogger, stylist and designer. I write about minimalist design with a focus on wellbeing and sustainability, and create simple spaces for relaxed, everyday living. I started my blog in 2011 as a creative outlet while training to be an architect. I never became an architect in the end – my passion was always for interiors and honest, domestic spaces. I believe our homes are a backdrop for everyday life to take place, they should be designed around how we live not just how we want it to look, so that they can evolve and grow with us. I’m fascinated by how our homes can becomes our inner sanctuaries, soothing our souls and uplifting our wellbeing.

Tell us about Francis and how he came into your life?

I grew up with dogs and always missed having that friendly companion while living in London. As soon as I went freelance four years ago, I managed to persuade my now-husband to get a dog of our own. For a year or so we had signed up to Borrow My Doggy and looked after a black and tan miniature dachshund while its owner was at work or away. We fell in love with the cheeky character of the breed. Living in a city we also wanted a fairly small dog that could fit into our lifestyle, so it could come to pubs and restaurants, and travel around with us easily.

How does having a dog fit into your general working day?

Before lockdown I was working from home on my own and he became such a wonderful companion. I never felt on my own in a quiet, empty house. He always makes me smile and laugh, and gets me out of the house once a day to get some fresh air and take a walk in the park. I don’t think I could have been freelance without him, or if I did, I’d just be stuck at the computer all day!

When your not working where do you & Francis like to hang out?

We’re in the park every day, where Francis can be found chasing squirrels and scavenging for food. At weekends, we might venture further afield, perhaps to another London park or into town to have a wander around and a bite to eat. Most places in London are doggy friendly so he can come into shops or cafes with us.

What essentials do you always have on you when heading out for a dog walk, and what do you carry them in?

Poo bags of course! That’s all we really need, sometimes treats, but he’s fairly good at coming back to us now so we find we don’t need them. If we’re going to a pub or restaurant we’ll take a small blanket or his travel bag. Being a dachshund, he can’t possibly lie on the bare floor, he has to curl up in something cosy and warm!

What adventures do you have planned with Francis for later this year?

We’d love to go away for a winter break. We went to Camber Sands last year and Francis loved racing along the beach chasing the seagulls. It’s so nice to be able to go away with your dog and have them be part of the adventure too.

You can follow Cate & Francis's adventures together on instagram and check out Cate St Hill's work on her website

Kindred Tales | Cate St Hill & Francis | Writer & Designer