Sarah Powell is a radio and TV presenter, she also blogs, writes articles and co-hosts the appropriately titled ‘Jules & Sarah The Podcast’ with her friend Jules.
When I heard her say the following words in her interview with Emma Gannon, I felt my soul do a little curtsey at the wisdom...
“The way I feel about social media, is like my relationship with cheese. Some days we go everywhere together, and some days it’s the root of all my problems and I want to put it in the bin.”
We love Sarah’s style, her outlook on life...and her super cool flat. We had a chat about shelves, snacks, her heroes, Momiji, dusting and being brave. Here’s what she had to say…
A few questions about yourself/SHELF…How long have you and the shelves been in one another’s lives?
We’ve known each other for almost four blissful years. They were here when I bought my flat but they were a dark granite colour which was a bit grim. At first I wanted to paint them all of the colours, but I realised it would be better if they were a blank canvas to put things on, so I went for a grey. Choosing that grey paint was very boring but now I love it.
Are the shelves an ongoing project; do you curate and rotate their contents or does everything have a specific place?
I’ll design it and put everything neatly, otherwise it will keep catching my eye and drive me mad. Then something new will get added and squeezed on. Every few months I’ll get sick of it and take everything off and swap it all about. The Powerpuff Girls always sit on the top shelf because I can’t reach them to get them down.
If you could employ a famous person to come in and dust your shelves every week, who would you choose and why? This is not a euphemism.
That is my new favourite euphemism! Julie Walters as Mrs Overall is an obvious choice and would be hilarious though not actually very efficient. I’d like Mel and Sue, Dame Edna, Mary Portas and Claudia Winkleman is always very welcome.
Sarah's celebrity shortlist for the position of cleaner...
It’s evident from your home and the way that you dress that you have a real sense of personal style - is this something that has evolved over time or have you always been comfortable in expressing yourself?
What a lovely thing to say! I definitely find housey bits a lot easier than clothes. You never have to worry if an ornate jug is going to make you look fat. When I was 15 I painted all the furniture in my room blue and wrote song lyrics over it all with black marker, so I have always imposed myself on a room. Clothes are a bit more of a mystery to me and I’m quite fickle about them. One day I’ll love everything my wardrobe and the next I’ll want to throw it all out.
At the risk of sounding a bit metaphysical and mystical, do you feel that how you’re dressed can influence how you sound on the radio?
Radio is a brilliant job if you want to live in leisure wear, which I’ve take full advantage of for the last 10 years. I work from home a lot and I definitely feel more productive if I have a bra on under my pyjama top.
I do find what I’m wearing completely affects my mood. If I’m not wearing something I love it will bother me all day and be quite distracting. Dawn O’Porter has an amazing podcast called Get It On, where she speaks to people about what they wear. On the episode with Dawn French, she says “I don’t think it’s the clothes that matter, I think it’s the way that clothes make you feel that matters; the idea that when you find an outfit that means you can get on with your day without your outfit interfering with the way that you feel, then you’ve nailed your style.” Right now I am absolutely working towards that.
The world can seem like a pretty serious place...what role does ‘kawaii’ play in your everyday life?
I just googled that word and now I shall be using it as much I possibly can. The world is SO serious! Work, careers, exercise, dates, plans, figuring when you can and can’t have cake. It’s exhausting. My boyfriend’s daughter, who’s 7, asked me the other day why I like colours so much and I said they just make me happy. It’s a joy to look up from doing emails and see a rainbow tea cosy on my shelf. It’s a relief from how draining everything can be.
What would be your ideal next addition your shelves?
Obviously the entire Momiji family but that goes without saying. I really don’t know what’s coming next and that’s the best bit. For Secret Santa this year I got an enormous pink pig money box, who I’ve named Lionel. He sits proudly on a bottom shelf and I never could have predicted he was just the thing I needed. People give me things or I see things in shops or abandoned by the bin at work and rescue them. I’ve got a Minnie Mouse doll which I got at a school Christmas fair for 20p. Who knows what will come next.
Which Momiji doll do you feel the most affinity with and why?
I absolutely adore Funny Girl because she likes June Whitfield and Acorn Antiques. I also love Thank You (she likes moonlight & teapots) because I’ve always got a teapot on the go and I think saying Thank You is the easiest way to feel happier. And her bunches are divine.
At Momiji we believe in living boldly and encouraging one another to live brave, ambitious lives. If you could give any advice to anyone who might be feeling a bit wobbly or nervous about the future, what would it be?
Being brave is one of the hardest things to do and I constantly flit between being a confident warrior woman and then having The Fear. Be kind to yourself and remember to keep breathing, that might sound obvious but meditation has saved me so many times. Also things always look better after biscuits or a good cry.
In the kitchen, what’s your speciality dish?
I can put together an excellent cheese board. With bread and olives and pickles? Does that count?
Friday nights or Sunday mornings?
Sunday mornings are for sleeping and eating a mountain of toast. But finishing work, going to the pub on a Friday night with the whole weekend stretching ahead is just the best isn’t it.
Thank you Sarah! You can find her colourful life on Instagram here: @ThisSarahPowell
Jules and Sarah the Podcast is out every Friday on iTunes and acast