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.
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’
I’m super lucky that as part of my “day job”, that’s when I’m not being a mum, girlfriend, cleaner…. I get sent off to fantastical interiors shows, jammed packed with inspiration, trends, creative bods, ideas etc – however, one thing that quite often strikes me is that not many of the wonders I lay my eyes on are for the family home. Or maybe, that’s just at first glance?! I’ve come to the conclusion that there are family friendly, practical and beautiful items to be had, just not all on one stand and not in that particular context – after all, who would want to make a mother’s life easy right? It’s a bit like attending London Fashion Week and hoping to find something suitable for the school run – it’s about seeing what parts of the trend you like and making it work for your needs.
On a recent trip (yes, they very occasionally let me out!) I ventured to the mecca of interior and home designs for those in the know – London Design Week (LDF); one week in the year, when the hip, hot and down-right cool of the interiors world descend upon our capital to see what the designers, makers, creators and artisans have to offer for the coming seasons. A trend that we’ve seen time and time again in recent years, and shows no sign of waning is… Marble. Whether it’s being paired with inky blues or blush pinks, copper or brass, this hard wearing material wants to make its way into our homes whether we like it or not. “Oh, but that’s not a kid friendly material” I hear you cry – oh, but it can be. I’m a firm believer in just because we have chosen to bring little humans into this world and into our homes, our style and surroundings needn’t be compromised – the more you instill a sense of respect for their home, the more the wee ones might pay attention when you say – “don’t kick that ball at my Jonathon Adler vase”, or so the theory goes!
Gone are the days of subtle messages in our homes, there’s an interiors trend for saying it how it is and in some cases, quite literally the writing’s on the wall. Maybe we’ve become so comfortable with narrating our lives on social media, giving little stories to the freeze-frames of our moments and finding relevant hastags to get the word out there. We’re using artwork, lighting, banners, cushions, blankets, crockery and even door mats to share our family motto, beliefs, uplifting quotes or a one word mood. Never has the trend for saying it like it really is been so prevalent and I simply love it! Just think of all the captioning we’d have to do if our pictures didn’t contain words too!!
I’ve slowly started to notice that more and more typography is creeping into my interior decor (along with the monochrome landscape – oh black and white it easy with kids!), I’m not sure whether its the living with all the boys that means I literally have to spell stuff out for them. I’ve also adopted a lot of monogramming – again, maybe this is due to the kids, If I don’t stamp my initials on it I might very well forget who I am completely in a sleep deprived stupor!
So, it’s no secret that we have a shed load’a kids (5 boys between us, in case you hadn’t been keeping up!), and with that many small peeps hanging around comes a requirement for space – lots of it! When we first decided it was a fab idea to get our two families and make one big mega-family, we each moved out of our relatively normal 3 bed homes (renting them out in the meantime) into one super-sized 5 bedder (rental). Whilst living with an abundance of space has been fun (and a bugger to clean!) paying copious amounts of rent each month is not so much fun – especially when we have our own houses just down the road! So, we’re moving back – oh, but we’re adding on a whacking great extension in the process!! THAT’s the fun part!!