Dreamcatcher Series: Interview with Emma Forbes

Today we have a lovely visitor to the birds nest…

Having been a TV presenter and broadcaster for many years alongside being a wife of 29 years and a mother of two, Emma Forbes career has evolved to encompass all things lifestyle.

She lives between America and London and so has collated and collected all her ‘haunts’ and favourite places to go and visit, and she informs us of discoveries new and old via her gorgeous lifestyle blog Emma Forbes Lifestyle. 

A new, beautiful and very welcome addition to her website is her collection of vintage glass candles, available to admire or buy now. I’m in the process of choosing some for myself at the moment and will show you my wares next month in a dedicated ‘candles’ post. 

She’s a woman of impeccable taste and many talents. She also happens to be absolutely lovely. 

Do check out her website and listen to her latest project, the brilliant ‘The Lifestyle Newshound’ podcast. I promise it’s one of the best out there. She interviews everyone from Liz Earle to Melissa Odabash to Amanda Wakeley to Lulu Guinness to Alan Carr. These are extended interviews where you really get to know the person and hear their stories in a laid back and often hilarious interview. 

First though, learn more about the gorgeous woman herself, in this interview…

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MM: You’re known for being very stylish person. Do you remember being interested in interior design, style and interiors when you were very young? I have a young cousin who is really interested in interior design… were you like that? 

EF: I have always been interested in style….not so much interior design until I got married and started having ‘homes’ – but I definitely had my own style of dressing, and loved to do what I call ‘faffing’ around in my room, changing things when I was young and a teen! I think then my style has ‘evolved’ with my life – even my homes now are different in the style they were in the past – but I have a far more ‘defined’ look I think now.

MM: How would you describe your aesthetic or the ‘defined’ look you mention? 

EF: I think my own home style is modern, mid-century, with an art deco twist! I love clean lines, pops of colour, comfort, but I love the odd mad piece of something like glass or perspex…and I adore photography on walls rather than paintings. 

MM: You’ve said that your style has evolved with different homes, which is a totally natural pattern I think. Has that ‘clean lines’ style always been your default style or have you ever had an opposing style to that? 

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EF: No my style has definitely evolved with age and stage of life – I think when you have tiny children keeping a clean minimalist home is a lot harder with brightly coloured toys and plastic!! And your needs change….I don’t need to child proof a house anymore!!

MM: Lucky you don’t need to childproof because that means you can display your stunning new candles at every level! Your new range of candles are the most beautiful things… Can you tell us about them? 

EF: My candles came from a conversation with a great interior designer friend of mine who always notices that I adore candles and have them burning even during the day, and I also adore collecting glass… I was saying what a shame it was that most of the time when the candle is burnt down, you basically just throw away the container, and how great it would be if it was in a piece of glass you could keep….and he suggested I try doing it…..I realised I needed to create my own fragrance which is when I then found Rachel Vosper who co-created the actual fragrance, and my collecting of glass is the easy bit as I love it! 

MM: It sounds like a lovely process. Can you tell us how you went about creating the scent of the candles with Rachel Vosper? 

EF: Yes! Creating the scent with Rachel I basically went in with a list of smells that I love and we went back and forth until she helped combine the right ones to make the scent clean, fresh and unisex…. I am super happy with the fragrance!! I called it ‘highwood’ after our family home we used to have…

MM: How lovely to call a scent after a family home… It’s perfect. Candles are a great way to create a cosy atmosphere or a specific mood. I instantly feel more “at home” when I light one of my candles so it’s lovely to name an actual scent after a home. What other tips do you have for creating a welcoming environment? 

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EF: I agree, I think lighting a candle creates an ambiance in a home, scents a room, and makes it feel cosy…..I also love flowers…I think fresh flowers are the finishing touch, and I also always have snacks around in glass too – nuts, chocolates, fruits….I think they all create a nice welcome feel…

MM: Good tips… although you know chocolate doesn’t last too long in my place! Now, away from the home, you had a really successful TV career. What led to your transition from TV to a more ‘style’ based career? 

EF: I think my career transition came out of spending more time at home with my family – so I instantly became more interested in creating a home, what went into a home, and doing up homes…

MM: You’ve worked on radio as well – including your great show Radio 2 show with Alan Carr. Now you have a wonderful new podcast with your friend Gemma Shepherd. Is podcast your favourite medium now? 

EF: I loved doing radio as it was ‘live’ but I adore the medium of pod casting – it’s quite new to me but I love it as it reminds me of live TV – no edits, literally like you are listening into a conversation…easy to record and upload and it’s a joy to do and be our own producers with Gemma!!

MM: It’s amazing to listen in on a full unedited conversation. It’s such a welcome change from reality TV where it’s all just ‘clips’ edited together for drama. What made you decide to get involved in podcasting?

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EF: Gemma and I were friends anyway, and we are never short of something to chat about…..so one day she was telling me about pod casts as she is a huge fan and then suggested we just ‘try’ recording one of our own chats to see what it sounded like….and it just sort of went from there!

MM: Who is your podcast for? 

EF: The podcasts were really aimed at women over 40 – as gemma is 41 and I’m 51 and between us we have kids ranging in age from 9 – 20 – but the fact you are about 14 years younger and love it too fills me with joy!!! I had hoped it would cover all ages…but ultimately it was started for women over 40…

MM: To your friends and family you are known for being a “fixer” of people and problems. Are you still like that or if you’ve given up helping to fix people, in favour of fixing up rooms?! 

EF: This question about me being a fixer makes me smile…yes, I still am and yes I think I do like ‘fixing’ rooms as a result – nothing fills me with more pleasure than going to my daughters apartment and her letting me fix things from filling the fridge or doing out her sock drawer – I love fixing, faffing and sorting!!! I love to be needed for that.

MM: Now, speaking of fixing people… what’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? 

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EF: I’ve been given lots of good advice over the years, but one that stands out is someone telling me ‘you have nothing to fear but fear itself’. I always think that’s such a good quote….and good advice!!

MM: Definitely a great quote! On the subject of advice, you have much of it in your book, “Life and Soul”, which was all about styling and hosting celebrations. Writing a book is such a common “dream”. Was it one of yours? And would you like to write another? 

EF: I am currently working on another book idea – I do love doing books – and so I can’t say much yet, but yes, am working on another book!! I will keep you posted…

MM: Ah, so exciting! Can’t wait to hear more! Apart from fixing things and teasing me with book ideas, what do you like to do in your downtime? How do you relax? 

EF: To relax I adore massage, and seeing movies – particularly currently La La land which I could see on a loop….I adore spending time with my two kids at home – as those moments get more rare as they grow up and when we just sit around, chat and chew the fat I am in heaven! 

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MM: I laughed at your admission recently that you like watching shows like “I didn’t know I was pregnant”, which is one of my guilty pleasures! Do you have any other TV favourites at the moment? 

EF: I am a self-confessed TV addict….I watch so much TV it’s almost embarrassing…currently watching the series ‘Nashville’, I love Real Housewives….the list goes on and on! James Corden, and lots of American telly…

MM: We talk a bit about beauty on Mindfood Magpie… what are your favourite skincare and beauty products? 

EF: Skincare products…. I adore all sorts again I am a dream for people selling in department stores! I experiment and buy all brands from Max Factor to Bobbi Brown to Charlotte Tilbury for makeup and anything from Nivea to Valmont to Dove for skin care….

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MM: As fickle as me then! When you’re not hunting down new beauty products, creating gorgeous candles, chatting with you kids or watching fantastic TV, what are you working on? What’s next for you and what are your hopes and dreams for 2017? 

EF: A lot of hopes and dreams for 2017 – firstly its hugely exciting our podcasts are going to be on British Airways global flights from April 1st, that’s a real dream…. working on a book that will take up the spare time, and may even attempt a little go at getting back into TV but maybe the American market more than British. The dream would be to get on a USA show like ‘the view’ or Live with Kelly…..lots of dreams, always working on plans, and Gemma and I are never without a ‘what next….’

To find out what happens next with Emma and Gemma, please do have a listen to their brilliant podcast on iTunes. The lifestyle news hound 

To buy Emma’s exquisite candles, visit emmaforbeslifestyle.com

Follow Emma on Instagram here:

Instagram.com/emmaforbesstyle