So this is pretty special for me so I hope you will allow me to indulge myself to celebrate a little bit! As you may know, the Amara Interior Blog Awards is an annual event to honour and celebrate bloggers who write about interior design. It’s a tight knit community here in the UK and so having an organisation honour what we do is pretty cool. The yearly awards always mean a big run up and just being nominated is a thrill. For the last 3 years, with your help (because we have to ask for votes!), I’ve managed to make it to the shortlist in the DIY/Crafts category and have attended the ceremony at the Ham Yard Hotel in London. And while I absolutely love getting the chance to be there, I have sadly never won my category!

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Russell and Jordan from 2 Lovely Gays, Sarah Akwisombe and me! Photo by John Nassari

If you watched the ceremony on the live stream, you’ll see that for the third year running now, I STILL didn’t win my category! Am I surprised? No, not really. I’ve said in the past that I don’t think Swoon Worthy is a particularly good fit for the DIY/Crafts category because despite the fact we do a lot of DIY around here and I do the odd crafty post, it’s not really the main focus. Based on the criteria the judges use to choose a winner, those blogs who do make crafty projects their focus seem to nearly always win. So yeah, I wasn’t really all that surprised when my name wasn’t called out! Instead, it went to Melanie Lissack who was a worthy winner!

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Obligatory flattering mirror selfie when getting ready for the ceremony!

However, what took me by complete surprise is when they got to the end of the awards and they announced the biggest honour of the night, The Blogger’s Choice Award. This one is not voted by a judging panel but instead, it’s voted by all the shortlisters who choose their favourite blog to win. And well when they called out my name as the winner, I was absolutely floored!!

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My thought process at this point, “DON’T FALL, OH GOD DON’T FALL.” Photo by John Nassari

This to me was far more touching than a win in my category. It was my fellow bloggers – the ones who understand the commitment and the hard work it really is to run a blog – who voted for the sites they love and wanted to see win. With absolute no disrespect at all to the judges, being honoured by my friends and fellow bloggers was such a tremendous accolade and I can’t even begin to put into words how genuinely grateful I am. After the awards, I had so many lovely people coming up to tell me they voted for me and I can’t tell you how amazed I was at that. It was just such an incredible moment and one I will not soon forget!

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Sophie Robinson, Me with my award and Sponsor, Firmdale Hotels / Photo by John Nassari

The Ham Yard in London is an utterly fabulous venue and it was so nice getting to hang out with my fellow blogging besties! Sarah Akwisombe and I got ourselves ready for the night at the amazing Curious Apartment which I’ll be telling you all about very soon and then it was just a whirlwind of cocktails and canapes with Bianca from French for Pineapple, Emily and Susie from The Pink House, Anna from Don’t Cramp My Style and getting to chat with Sophie Robinson, the truly loveable host that she is. I also had the chance to meet a few of the bloggers I just love – Olivia from Lust Living, Jessica Zoob, Jenny from Seasons in Colour, Maxine from We Love Home, Jordan and Russell from 2 Lovely Gays, David and Mark from Forward Features – oh my goodness, I could go on and on! It was like the Glitterati of the Interior Design World! So much fun!

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IBA 2016 Winners! Photo by John Nassari

So please let me take a moment to thank YOU, my dear sweet wonderful readers who voted for me to get to the award ceremony because I wouldn’t even have been there without your fabulous support. And at the risk of sounding like this is some kind of ridiculous Oscar acceptance speech, I really do need to thank my fellow bloggers who have always been so encouraging to me, so inspiring themselves and who have supported me for so many years. And a big thanks to Amara and the Ham Yard Hotel as well as the sponsors who consistently throw such a gorgeous glam event!

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Not the most flattering picture I’ve ever taken but hell yeah I’m sharing it! Photo by John Nassari

Thank you as well for all the lovely messages I received on social media on the night – my Twitter just went mental and I did my best to thank everyone individually but if I somehow missed it, please know how thankful I am for all the support!

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Anna from Don’t Cramp My Style, Maxine from We Love Home and I enjoying some celebratory bubbles! Photo by Anna Lysik

So, after 3 years, I finally have my Amara! Now I just need to find a suitable place to display it! Ha!

A little shout out as well to some of my fellow award winners who are all lovely people- Congrats! Go check out Jenny from Seasons in Colour (Best Colour Inspiration Blog), Forward Features (Best Design Inspiration Blog), Melanie Lissack Interiors (Best DIY/Craft Blog), 2 Lovely Gays (Best Stylist and Interior Designer Blog), Stella + The Stars (Best International Blog), The Pink House (Best Newcomer Blog) and Sweet Pea & Willow (Best Organisation Blog). All the winners here!

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