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Photo Finish: What’s Next for Kate Spiers

When she first started sharing images of her lifestyle online, Kate Spiers would never have guessed that it might one day lead to a dream job with the BBC. As she says herself, “I really didn’t think that I would be doing TV, but here we are.” Here we are indeed, with just north of 300K Instagram followers and a presenting role on Scotland’s Home of the Year. “I sort of fell into it well over a decade ago, before it was a career. I used social media to sort of share my life and now I work with brands daily to create content for them. It’s like New Age marketing, I guess you’d call it.”
Part of that sharing was documenting the two home renovations that Spiers and her husband, Jordan, took on. The latest being her current home, a Victorian tenement in central Glasgow that she has lovingly restored with many of its original features intact and her own stamp placed on the interior design. “I’m mainly lifestyle focused, but I guess I’m more known for my interiors, which led to me getting the job on Scotland’s Home of the Year… We’ve just filmed our fourth series, so that will air next spring. It’s been really well received. I think it’s the highest watched show on the channel. We have a massive audience and it’s a really great wholesome show, which involves us going around properties in Scotland and judging them.”
The judges are careful not to go over the top with their observations and critiques. Whenever you enter someone’s house, you are a guest, after all. “We’re never really negative about the homes. We know that, at the end of day, it’s someone’s home that they love and they’re obviously passionate about it to enter the show, so it’s always good fun. I like that it’s quite upbeat and it’s nice to have a little nosey around people’s homes. When I first took the job, I was thinking it would just be a one-time series and something to do for a couple of weeks over the summer, but now it’s escalated into this massive show. And it’s become such a big part of my career.”
Lots of people have been inspired to take up DIY and home renovations during lockdown, and Spiers’s own philosophy when it comes to working on a ‘fixer upper’ is to take some time in the beginning and get a feel for the project. “I think it’s good to live with the space for a little while just to get an idea of how you use the rooms, how to maximise the layout, especially with things like kitchens and bathrooms. The kitchen, especially, you want to understand how you’re using the space… and then let the ideas build, create mood boards, look for inspiration and get a solid idea of how you want to do it.”
As someone who works with brands so much, what are the brands that are currently inspiring her own imagination? “Oh, that’s a good question. I think that because we’ve just returned from travelling around Scotland, I have a lot of Scottish brands on my radar. When we’re away, we always try to pick up some good gin and Scotland is known for its nice botanical gins these days – so we got our bottle of Isle of Harris. Another brand that we see on the road is the Highland Soap Company, which is based in Fort William. It does a lovely mix of local ingredients in its soaps and makes bubble baths too. It’s a really lovely brand.” 
As for international brands, Spiers is enthusiastic about the addition St James Quarter makes to Scotland’s retail and lifestyle landscape. “When I saw the list of shops and restaurants that were going to be there… it’s amazing for Scotland. The shop that I was most excited about is & Other Stories, which is a Scandinavian clothes store. They’re in London but, otherwise, there aren’t many of them around the UK, so to have one in Scotland is just amazing. I was also excited about the opening of some really good restaurants. There’s one called SUSHISAMBA which will open further down the line. Again, I’ve been to one in London and New York… I think Scotland needs those places.” She feels that Scotland can only benefit from the range across the SJQ offering: “It’s amazing to see somewhere open up with such a good mix and not just the bigger stores… They’re putting in several indie shops and local artisans and things like that, which will be good. It’s a really interesting mix.”
Her own future plans are an interesting mix too. With series four of Scotland’s Home of the Year in the can, Spiers is now pretty open about what comes next. “I’m hoping to travel a little and I would love to work on a drinks brand. I’m originally from New Zealand, so white wine is definitely my thing, or a book would be ideal… The thing with my job is that it leaves a lot of doors open. I’m quite an easy-going person, so I would just let things come to me,” she adds. That approach seems to have worked so far.
For further inspiration or to keep up with Kate Spiers’s adventures, follow @katespiers on Instagram