Alison Cork: Turn Your Home-design Passion into an Empire. Here’s How

April 25 - On The Dot

FIRST THOUGHT: Bigger is Better

This weekend, I went to a very hip farm-to-table restaurant. The décor was light and bright and Instagram-worthy, for sure. The food held its own too. I mentally gave it five stars, but then I went to the women’s restroom. As I closed the sophisticated reclaimed-wood stall door behind me, claustrophobia hit—literally—in my knees. The space was comically shallow, making a port-a-potty seem like a penthouse. Today, we’re talking about what makes for good design, and I hope more restaurateurs take note that we ladies put significant value on a clean, charming—and spacious—powder room.


I bet most people would say women are better at making interior-design decisions, and that men and women definitely disagree on how things should look. But here’s the reality: According to one survey of 1,000 Americans, men and women actually agree on 85 percent of interior-design decisions.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Alison Cork, Founder of Alison at Home

The best design choices you can make, in my opinion, are those that speak to you. But sometimes it really does help to heed a little expert advice. If you’re in search of a design authority with a sophisticated yet homey style who has an unfailing eye for quality and value and espouses the idea of everyday elegance, you’ll definitely want to check out today’s Woman to Watch, Alison Cork.

This style-savvy Brit studied classics at her Cambridge, England, college, and that classic element is certainly prevalent in her designs. But despite her penchant for creating stunning yet approachable home décor, Alison’s first bite off the entrepreneurial apple had little to do with classics or design. Instead, she published restaurant guides for university towns in the United Kingdom, later moving on to co-found a publishing company. Before long, she was teaching readers about home renovations and carving out her niche in the design industry.

With a talent for enlightening others and an eye for style, Alison eventually settled into broadcasting, with her initial series, The Christmas Show, gaining her much esteem. A year later, she wrote and presented a lifestyle series called Home in the Country that spanned everything from cooking to all things interior. She went on to launch several more TV shows and publish more books, and after years of sharing her expert tips and tricks, she garnered a reputation as the British Martha Stewart. In 2013, Alison dug deeper into product design, launching her own interiors collection, to much success.

The design mogul says her surroundings have always affected her, and she’s had an aptitude for style from a young age, even begging her mother for a jungle mural on her bedroom wall when she was a child, and later, changing her university dorm room’s design theme with each new term.

Alison’s style incorporates some of her favorite elements, like classic French furniture, velvet tufted headboards and full-length garden mirrors. Each item in Alison’s collection expresses a utilitarian benefit while also offering lovely aesthetics. Nothing is too over-the-top, which means Alison’s designs are home staples that will long outlast fleeting trends.

This home guru recently introduced her homeware brand through shopping network QVC UK, with a Fontaine painted sideboard and beaded glass baubles, among other fabulous pieces, catching customers’ eyes.

Since then, Alison has continued to expand her design empire, with fans flocking to her every product and style suggestion. Part of the magic of her design comes from having an understanding that home is the ultimate locale of self-expression and fulfillment, that home is simply the best place in the world.


We’re sure Alison Cork would agree with organizing consultant Marie Kondo when she said:

“The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

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