INTERVIEW: Eve Gunson, Dot+Pop



A few years ago, make-up artist and stylist, Eve Gunson, and her partner, Matt, started renovating their home. They sold it, then did the next one…then the next one...

Back then, Eve’s friends and family would always ask her about her styling pieces - where did you get that? Where’s that from? What’s that? She began to compile her pieces, purchases, ideas and inspiration to her Instagram account, Dot + Pop. Fast forward a few years and D+P has picked up over 80,000 followers and is loved by many for its inspiring and beautifully curated feed. We spoke to Eve about the all-consuming nature of blogging and social media, renovating three houses, and what she thinks will be the next big thing for interior design.

When people ask you what you do for a living, what do you say?

I think first and foremost I say ‘blogger’, and then I also do interior styling. 

Are you still doing the hair and makeup thing?

…and then I still do that freelance as well, just because you know…life! Living in the area that you want to live in and then maintaining that lifestyle, I feel like you need a thousand income streams! But eventually I would like to take the leap to go full time blogger.

It’s a pretty difficult decision to make…

Yeah, and I think that’s the main thing, isn’t it? Taking that leap of faith, and actually just doing it.

I think a lot of people who want to blog full time can be quite scared of the possibility that it won’t work out and then all of a sudden they’ve got nothing…

All the people that I talk to that blog full time, and are super successful, say as soon as you actually put all your energy and time into it, that's when it’s amazing. It will be fine, I just need to do it. So yeah, I’m working towards that! 

Do you find it all-consuming, that you’re just on your phone all the time?

Desktop, laptop, phone, all the time! I try to have a little bit of downtime. I try not to look at things on Sunday at least, but it’s really difficult, especially with sponsored content that needs to be scheduled. Sometimes you just have to do it when you don’t want to.

Did you ever think D+P would turn into what it is? Is it what you were aiming for in the beginning?

No, I started it mainly because we were building and initially, my friends and family and colleagues would ask ‘Oh, what's that? Love that, where’s that from? Where’d you find that? What should I do with this? Can I buy this rug, does it go with this?’ I’m happy to share information, but then I thought, ‘Why don’t I just start compiling it somewhere?’, so that’s how it started. It just naturally progressed into what it is today, which is good. I’ve worked really hard to keep it going in that direction.

A lot of people start blogging and quit really quickly.

They just give up! Or, it’s just not what they want to do.The first two years are really hard, it’s like you’re writing to nobody. I’m happy that I kept going.

What do you think about the role of the influencer? It’s a pretty big term that gets thrown around more and more these days.

The role of the influencer is becoming bigger and more relevant as social media continues to grow and have more power. It's an interesting concept but with the world becoming more and more internet focused, it makes sense that brands and companies are using social media as their biggest advertising tool.

Why do you think people are becoming more and more interested in home renovating and DIY?

Whether it’s things like The Block, or Instagram or Pinterest, people are really inspired and really wanting their houses to become Instagram worthy. Even Kmart, for example, all the stuff they’re bringing out is so on trend, so even if you don’t have the budget to do massive things, you can go and get the latest things and put them in your house. People are obsessed with places like Aldi and lining up there and fighting each other to get a chair…

That was recently! That was a $100 chair and it sold out in minutes…

Yeah, I know! So I think brands like that are making it more accessible for everybody. But renovation wise, I think people are really house proud and they want their places to look beautiful.

What are some of your favourite Instagram accounts? Who are you following at the moment?

I love The Local Project and I follow so many architects! I really love Design Stuff Group. They’re an online Scandi store, but she has a really beautiful feed of other things, like architecture. 

Do you draw inspiration from these guys?

Definitely, especially designing for clients, and also for Matt and my own house…so we’re designing a place at the moment and constantly scrolling Instagram and Pinterest. There’s so many interior designers and architects doing incredible things.

What about the people around you? Are you inspired by what your family and friends are doing?

I am! My sister and her husband were on Grand Designs last season. They designed their house, it was on the show and people loved it. It was in Turner’s Beach in Tassie and was eco-friendly, really modern and a relatively cheap build which is quite rare for Grand Designs. So they’re really inspiring. I work with some amazing people in my other jobs as well. Amazing makeup artists and stylists, fashion stylists…

How would you describe your own style?

People always ask me this—and I think my style’s changed so much—but I think now I’m happy with where I’m at. I’d probably just say Modern Australian Contemporary (laughs), if that makes sense! Minimalist, refined, natural materials…I really like hard finishes like stone and things like that, but then soften it with fabrics and curtains and couches and things.

My style’s evolved a lot. If I scroll to the bottom of my Insta feed, I’d love to see what was there, but I can’t be bothered going down that far! It’s really different. Even looking back at the houses we’ve done for ourselves, we’ve definitely evolved for the better. 

Do you follow trends? Are you always keeping up with what’s going on, or do you just do your own thing?

I don’t say I follow trends. I’m definitely across them and what’s happening, but that doesn’t mean I’ll use a product just because it’s fashionable. But I think like anything, maybe you’re unsure when you first see it but then you keep seeing it and then eventually you’ll love it because you keep seeing it done in amazing ways. 

What do you think the next big thing will be?

Terrazzo popped up slowly in little bits and pieces a while ago, and now it’s flooding the industry and it’s really beautiful. People are also loving Eco.

Like wellness…

Things like that, and even just trying to build houses that don’t have massive carbon footprints, I think that’s getting bigger. Designing for the future, which probably started with grey water…

…and solar…

Exactly. Now I think it’s maybe choosing materials, and landscaping, they’re what people are focusing on. Not just adding those little things that make it a green house, but actually building it to be sustainable; thinking about the sun, facing houses in the right direction, using materials to be sustainable, but in a design way. So maybe that’s the new trend, designing for the future.

Do you think we’ll see a lot of that in the inner city though?

I think people are trying to do what they can. Matt and I always try to add as much as we can, like solar, grey water and tanks. But in little tiny terrace houses, you can only add so much.

How many places have you and Matt renovated now?

We’ve done three houses.

Do you find yourself getting attached to those houses?

No, funnily enough. I really thought I would with the last one, I loved that house! But I think we always have the next project in sight. 

…and you knew you would be leaving…

We just always knew we’d be leaving it. I remember even the night before, we didn’t talk about it. We just woke up, Matt got a truck and we just packed up all our stuff and left. But when it’s empty, it is just a house. All your things are what makes it a home and I think once you’ve packed it all up, yes, the bones of what’s been created is really beautiful, but it’s not a home anymore, it’s just a house.

If you could buy or renovate a house anywhere, with the intention of staying, where would that be?

I think where we are. I love Albert Park and Middle Park…maybe Elwood. But probably where we are.

What do you love about it?

I love the houses because they’ve got so much character. I love heritage homes. I like that it’s Bayside and I love being able to walk to the beach. I know it sounds weird, my growing up in Tassie, and everyone thinks it’s cold…but we used to live on the beach, it was so nice. So I really like that. And I think it’s a really nice lifestyle. You can walk everywhere.

It’s pretty chilled.

It’s so nice. Nice family vibe, it’s quiet enough, it’s so close to the city, but I feel like we walk around Middle Park on a Sunday and there’s no one around…it’s just a nice atmosphere.We spend heaps of time on the Bay during the Summer. Matt has a kayak so we just go and hang out at the beach. I really like it here. Matt grew up in the Eastern suburbs and he always wanted to live here, too, so we just made it our mission!

Follow Eve online at Dot + Pop, Instagram and Facebook

Image via Hannah Blackmore