Family Interiors

When I’m not herding 5 boys, dogs et al, my day job lies in making other peoples home more beautiful and practical to live in. With family and work experience combined I’m able to offer real-family, style orientated interior advice and tips.

Going Green | House Plants for a Family Home

It was only last week, after about 53 minutes of finally moving back into our newly extended/renovated family home, that Mr Only Girl turned to me and whimpered, “I just wasn’t expecting it to be quite so black and white!”. I’m not sure quite what he expected, given that we’ve both been privy to our joint Pinterest “house renovation” board for well over a year, jointly selected a white kitchen, black flooring, white bathroom, black bathroom furniture and a charcoal sofa. Said Pinterest board provides endless scrolling fun of Scandi-inspired interiors, awash with white walls, black accents and the odd smattering of birch ply – so his insistence that this was all “a bit of surprise” was met by “I just don’t think you’ve been paying attention!”. That said, as I wandered from room to room I noticed there was an element missing – something that my Scandinavian muses hadn’t overlooked but was such an integral part to their home design, it was like a camouflaged, subliminal message from the super stylish sanctum: House plants.

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Getting Cosy | Matalan Sheepskin

It’s come to that time of year when Mr Only Girl and I start to wrangle over the thermostat as my inner hibernator craves to whack up that central heating and surround myself with cosiness. Heading into autumn harks the beginning of log fired evenings, lighting spice-scented candles by the dozen, throwing on my much-loved grey cashmere hoodie and convincing the kids it’s bedtime a little bit early, just because it’s dark! Nothing screams cosy more than natural sheepskin rugs – nature’s answer to a warm hug, so when I found this double Sheepskin ready for Autumn, I did an inner-jig at all the styling possibilities.

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Extension Update | Hexagon Tile Trend

We’re getting to that dizzying point in our mammoth extension build where the fun starts – I get to pick out the finishing touches. No longer am I being bugged by builders about supporting walls, first fix plumbing and suspended floor options – instead, I’m losing hours to Pinterest to ensure bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms and even windows hit the interior’s nail on the head.

As a mum to so many boys, one of the only places I find solace, peace and privacy is the bathroom. Need a 10 minute re-group after a fraught dinner time or a 5 minute breather from a relentlessly tantrumming toddler? Excuse yourself and leg-it to the bathroom, lock that door and soak up the calm. (I generally ensure there’s another adult in charge prior to the above!) With this in mind, my sanctuary needs to be a space I retreat to without the thought of “Eugh, I hate those tiles!” – nothing’s worse than trying to regain your inner buddha whilst being distracted by a regrettable interiors decision made in

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Monochrome Rug | My Rugstore Review

Anyone that’s been following along on my instagram would’ve undoubtedly heard me referring to our never-ending building works and the elusive extension – which, of course, will offer the answers to all our spacial problems, child tantrums and teenage angst – right?! Well, maybe not the latter two, but we’re certainly hoping the first issue might be solved. But me, being me, the moment the architect had made his first visit I already had a dozen Pinterest boards dedicated to the cause – bathroom taps, kids rooms and rugs – all with a common theme, black and white. I’ve often mused about the wonders of a monochrome house; when there’s enough chaos under one roof with 5 boys, two adults and two dogs – adding colour to the mix would be like raving it up in a life-size bag of skittles while everyone gets high on candy-floss.

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Great British Sofa – DFS Britannia

It’s now less than 100 days until the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics and as Team GB are putting all their energy into ensuring we get the best medal count ever, there’s been an exciting launch much closer to home… DFS just unveiled their very own Team GB collaboration collection, aptly named Britannia.

It’s fair to say, that in recent years DFS, whilst being a family friendly choice for stain guarded sofas, they have also become synonymous with colour jammed, fast paced TV ads offering eternal free credit and endless bank holiday sales. But this was a far cry from the DFS I got to see a week ago when I they whisked me off for a couple of days (yes, first night away from Casper – ahhhh, sleep!!) for a behind the scenes trip to their home in Derbyshire! I was given a glimpse into one of their factories where skilled craftsmen, upholsterers and sewing machinists busily hand make each sofa to order – yup, no stock just sitting on shelves here!

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My Habitat Bedside Story

My love affair with Habitat started very young – I would follow my mum into Brighton and gawp, stroke and inhale the chunky, red velvet sofa that greeted us in their ultra hip, industrial shop space in the otherwise dilapidated, concrete structure of a shopping precinct; I must have been all of about 5! Move on 10 years, and with a blatant disregard for employment law, I applied for their Saturday sales assistant job at the tender age of 15 – yes, I got the job but, needless to say, all fell apart when they requested my national insurance number which wouldn’t arrive in the post for another 7 months! So, when my first interiors love got in touch – like a long lost beau, to ask if I wanted a slice for their bedroom furniture cake -how could I refuse?!

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Grey Nursery Ideas

I’ll admit, I feel slightly bad that since birth our littlest man has not had the luxury of his own nursery. To start with, as a newborn, it was a must to have him as close as humanly possible in his co-sleeping cot. The chunky-monkey outgrew his co-sleeper at a rapid rate though and moved into his cot-bed but didn’t make the transition to his own domain, instead just to the end of our bed!

All is not lost though: with the realisation of our extension (see more on that here) towards the later part of this year the little man will be able to pleasantly enjoy his very own nursery. Whilst the last 11 months has been fun (as will the next 6 whilst the extension is being built and we have no option than to have him in with us) what were once little snuffles have turned into full blown murmurs and the size of Casper’s belongings are getting bigger! Plus, what a better excuse than to go on the hunt for the fabulousness that will be his first, and my last *sad face*, nursery.

This will be the third nursery I’ve decorated, as I constantly point out like a mama on repeat, back in 2006 with the first two bubbas’, the internet wasn’t as super-duper as it is today. I was lucky if I could find a single grey baby accessory at all, and chances were, if I did it would have a yellow or blue elephant/giraffe emblazoned on it! So, this time – I’m going to town!

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Monochrome Kids Room: Get The Look

Our (my) love for Scandi inspired interiors lives on – none more so than in my kids room decor ideas (see THIS monochrome inspiration post). Not only are my favourite hues of black, white and grey gender neutral, they’re easy on the eye (even after minimal sleep or a few G&Ts) and ageless, easily going from tot to teen with just a few tweaks. Even Fisherprice, primary-coloured plastic doesn’t seem half as garish against a monochrome backdrop.

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Monochrome Kids Bedroom

As a mum, sometimes it would be nice to have an easy life, to not have to engage our sleep deprived brains too much when making important decisions – which is exactly why I love monochrome. It makes interiors shopping, styling and living just that much easier with the simple rule – black, white with an odd splash of grey.

In the same vein, it would be lovely to have the boys of this house agree on something, or just agree with me on ANYTHING. We seem to spend our days debating the finer details of… dinner, activities, tv channel or even toothpaste flavour. But I’ve cracked it, they all seem to like the idea of monochrome bedrooms. I’m not sure if this is down to a lot of subliminal messaging coming from my direction or whether they’ve secretly been stalking Pinterest in their spare time, but either way – I’m not about to argue.

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Playing Dress Up

I’ve spent a lot of time recently watching the eternally stylish and pure bonkers Iris Apfel in her bio-doc over on Netflix – yes, originally it was my idea to watch it whilst feeding bubs, but I soon realised he was mesmerised by her over-sized glasses and spectacular range of colourful outfits; she by far outdoes any purple dancing dinosaur or primary coloured nit-wits for entertaining a small human. It was on about the third run through I caught the lovely Iris say something so very true to my heart:

‘I didn’t give a damn about going to the party or being at the party.

It was a about getting dressed for the party. And there’s truth and poetry in that’

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