A Q&A with Paul Lowe of Sweet Paul Magazine

 

How do you find inspiration in your daily life? What’s your most surprising source of inspiration?  
Inspiration can come from so many different places—a smell, a taste, or a color. Window-shopping is a great source for me. If I have a really big idea or tough problem, I think best in the bathtub. A soak in the tub never fails to help me think things through. It’s also why I always keep a notebook and pen beside my bath.

What are you most looking forward to this spring? Are there special things you do to get your home ready for the new season?
Some warm temperatures! I’m not a big fan of the cold. My friends always say to me "Oh, Paul, you’re from Norway. You must love snow and cold.” I don't. I’m a bad Norwegian! I was NOT born with skis on my feet and can't even ice skate! You can imagine my delight when the weather warms up and the snow melts. 

However, spring brings that revealing sunlight. I look around and see the dirt and grime from the long winter. Everything just screams, “CLEAN ME!” I’m not the biggest fan of cleaning the house, but I don’t mind doing spring-cleaning. It’s such a reboot and refresh for everything.

A few tips:

  • Good music. Put on some loud and high-tempo music—it really helps.
  • Don't over do it. Take on one room at a time. Rome was not built in a day.
  • Treat yourself. Let's face it, everything (even cleaning) is better with a few rewards or indulgences.

What homemaking habit would you consider your biggest strength?
No matter where I live, I’m always able to make a home that’s cozy and inviting for me, guests, and loved ones. I can also make some mean cocktails!

Which room in your home is your favorite?
I love my bedroom. Mainly because I like to spend time in my king-size bed. My favorite time of the week is Sunday morning when I’m in bed drinking coffee and hanging out with my family, with the Sunday papers scattered everywhere.

Share your best piece of no-nonsense advice with us.
Don't strive to be perfect! No one is perfect and it’s not important. The important thing is that you love and are loved.

Please answer this sentence: The one sign that tells me spring is finally here is…
The first day when the air starts to feel a little warmer. You can smell the cold retreating and a hint of spring flowers.

How have friends and family in your native Norway responded to Sweet Paul? Are there recipes or home décor ideas that are more/less popular here in the States than in Norway?
They love it! There is actually a Norwegian edition of the magazine sold there. The funny thing is that all of the classic Norwegian food and traditions are making a big comeback in Norway right now. I’m delighted that my friends in the US are getting to discover Norwegian culture for the first time, and that my friends from home are welcoming Norwegian recipes from the past back into their lives.

What’s the one food/dish that takes you back to your childhood?
Anything with salmon or smoked fish and my Mormor's (Norwegian for “grandmother”) pancakes. Her pancakes were wonderfully thin with no sugar in the batter. We would roll them up with fresh blueberry jam in the middle. It’s my ultimate food memory.

If you had unlimited time and budget, what would be your ultimate DIY project?
I would love to learn how to weave on a giant loom so I could make some huge wall hangings and linens. Sometimes I know exactly what I want to purchase but can’t seem to find it. I just know I could create really beautiful things myself.

Which Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day product scent could you not live without?
The whole Basil scented product line is the KING of my kitchen. I use it every single day. I’m not kidding when I say that people often comment on how wonderful my kitchen smells. I know for myself how clean it is, too!