From pinning to styling Hilton hotel rooms.

Hilton's Queenstown hotel room designed by Michelle Halford.
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Hilton's Queenstown hotel room designed by Michelle Halford.

A Kiwi interior stylist who pinned and blogged her way to creating her own brand has been commissioned designed three rooms for Hilton hotels.

Michelle Halford started her blog, The Design Chaser, five years ago as a hobby and never thought it would bring her the opportunities it did.

Halford has been flown around the world to style several shoots by international brands. Next week she'll be jet-setting off to Spain for a blogger tour.

The Auckland Hilton hotel room designed by Halford inspired by Hotel du Marc
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The Auckland Hilton hotel room designed by Halford inspired by Hotel du Marc

After leaving her job in publishing to start a family in 2012, Halford took to Pinterest and started a blog both as a hobby and an inspiration board for the home she was building at the time.

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It was through curating her inspiration boards on social media that exposed Halford to international style aesthetics, including Scandinavian style, which she was most drawn to.

The Taupo Hilton hotel room designed by Michelle Halford.
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The Taupo Hilton hotel room designed by Michelle Halford.

But Halford said it wasn't until she started her Instagram account and collaborating with brands, that she started getting noticed.

"It was really important to stick to my own style and not deviate from that. If you are, authentic brands will want to work with you and followers on social media will also see it."

She has a social media following of over 330,000 across Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Halford's latest project with Hilton involved designing three rooms, one for each of its hotels in Auckland, Taupo and Queenstown. The hotel rooms have been created to mimic the French luxury, invite-only Hotel du Marc.

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Halford used images and visitors' experiences of the exclusive French hotel she found online as reference to recreate the feel of the rooms.

Halford said her success was the result of many long days of doing finances, promoting her blog, liaising with brands and churning out fresh content.

But she said for her like many of her fellow blogger friends, being her own boss and working from home was a double edged sword.

"I can work around my boys but then it also becomes hard to switch off when your office is the next room. It's all consuming, you get caught up in people liking your posts or commenting and you feel like you need to respond.

"It can be too much work for one person. I have suffered burn out a couple of times and that's a common thing with bloggers as we're creating web content and running a website alone."

She plans to build a team in the near future as she continues to grow her brand internationally.

 - Stuff

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