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Interview

Lucy Gough, interiors stylist

Hello! Hope everyone is having a wonderful sunny Sunday! I’ve got a fab interview for you today, with the incredibly talented and lovely Lucy Gough. I’ve known Lucy for a while now – we were both working for the same magazine publisher and even though we were working on different titles, we met by the printer and got chatting! We hit it off and it’s been great to see Lucy’s styling career go from strength to strength when she went freelance.

When I found out Lucy was having a baby, I just knew the little one would end up with one of the most stylish nurseries around, and so I’m very excited to be able to share some photographs of it with you today, along with a little bit more about the mama behind it…

First of all, can you tell us a little bit about you, and your career!

Thank you so much for interviewing me for your fab new blog, Charlotte! I am an Australian-born, London-based Interior Stylist. I have been in London for eight years and I have been in the Styling industry for seven. I am lucky that I have been able to turn my hobby into my full-time career. I create imagery for companies to use for their advertising and promotion and I style and art direct photoshoots for magazines and various publications. I also style and design interiors of people’s homes and businesses.

What’s the best thing about being an interior stylist?

I love that most of my projects are only a few weeks long so I get the opportunity to meet many, many clients throughout the year and work on different projects of varying aesthetics one after the other. I also love keeping up to date on new trends and new designs all year round and sharing my favourites with readers of magazines and through my blog.

Talk us through your ideas for creating Arthur’s nursery.

It was very simple really – I wanted a gender-neutral nursery as we didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl. I have never loved the ‘blue for boys and pink for girls’ thing anyway so I went for a teal colour. My wife and I love to travel so naturally we hope that Arthur will be an an explorer too so we went with a mountain and hot air balloon theme. I found lots of leftover paint in my shed from previous photoshoots so I used what I had to paint the mountain mural on the wall. It took us two days to create his nursery and we got so excited about Arthur’s arrival while we were doing it!

What’s your favourite element of his nursery?

It has to be the mountains as they are so calm and uplifting. However, I also love the woven rug that I bought from West Elm which has a thick silver thread through it and the ceramic owl knobs on the Ikea drawers. Before we started on the paint and furniture we decided we needed to maximise space in the room (as it’s pretty tiny) so we put built-in wardrobes into the alcoves with shaker-style doors on the front. It’s amazing how much bigger they make the room look even though we essentially lost floor space. I suppose the floor-to-ceiling doors draw your eyes up to the ceiling so it feels taller.

Colourful cot sheet, Kip and Ko from Antipodream

Anything you wish you’d done differently?

I think we should have laid carpet down as a draft comes up through the old, original floorboards. We have tried to cover the floor with the large rug but I still think we may lay carpet before the next winter. I genuinely love everything else about the room though and I think Arthur is happy with it too!

What’s your top parenting survival tip?

Graze on food all day to keep your energy levels up! Parenting is hard when you are tired and hungry (the tired thing is inevitable but there’s no excuse for not eating.) And have a packet of wet wipes in every room. You never know when you are going to need them! Thirdly, make some mum friends. I was always one who dreaded the whole mum-group thing but in the end they are your most valuable asset to get you through your first year. I met my group through mum and baby yoga and we have a Whatsapp group and we talk all day about everything! They are such wonderful women. Motherhood can be very isolating and you need people in your life who are at exactly the same stage as you.

Who or what inspires you?

My mum. She is an amazing woman who taught me everything I needed to know about being a strong, independent and successful woman and mother.

QUICK FIRE QUESTIONS!

What’s your favourite…

…kids interiors brand(s):

There are so many! But my top two are:
Mokee – they have great furniture designs for small nurseries at Ikea prices.
Hedgehog is a wonderful emporium of kids toys, games and accessories.

…holiday destination:
Australia. Oz is so versatile, you get sun, surf, city, rainforest, outback and ski slopes all in one continent! But, then obviously I would say that as that’s my home. I also particularly love Barcelona as it’s easy to get to from London, it has a beautiful beach and there are cultural activities everywhere.

…way to relax:
Read a good book in bed with my phone on silent.

…thing about being a mum:
Watching an incredible little human grow, thrive and develop by the day. I absolutely love being a mum – it’s the best thing I have ever done!

Nursery photography: Georgia Gold

Room Tours

Let’s go to my room: Arthur, 5

I’m SO excited to be able to share today’s post with you! One of the things I wanted to do most on the blog was show off some amazing inspirational children’s rooms – and today’s is the first!

The creative brain behind this design is talented mummy and interior designer Lisa, from Born & Bred Studio. Born & Bred specialises in interior design for little people and creative families, with the focus more on home than house and a mission to make interior design accessible and less intimidating.

We asked Lisa to take us for a look around Arthur’s room…

Who lives here? A family of four: Mum, Dad, Arthur and little sister Ivy.

Where is the property? Dollis Hill, NW London.

What was the room like before? The whole house was a complete building site. So it was a complete blank canvas. The homeowner wanted it to be a really fun and happy space. Nothing gender obvious and lots of places to stow the endless amount of toys and books that inevitably build up over the years.

Did Arthur have any input into the design – if so, what? No, he was very young at the time. But he loved the owl wallpaper at the big reveal!

What was your starting point for the design? Pinterest! The homeowner wanted to stay true to the building’s Edwardian ‘bones’, but she was keen to do so with a twist. I recall her mentioning how Jules and Jamie Oliver’s house might look like. Not a bad benchmark! So I created moodboards from Pinterest research and that created a great basis to start the discussion on our final scheme.

What was the most challenging aspect of the design? There were no particular challenging points. It’s a modest-sized room which is normal in a period London property. The client was very open to new ideas and leaving us to it.

Did you encounter any difficulties during the installation process? No. It was pretty straightforward. The bed arrived with one panel unsprayed… but that was soon resolved!

What is your favourite part of the design? I just love the fun wallpaper and colours. Your eyes are drawn to so many focal points, whether it be the lighting, wallpaper, lockers or beds. It’s not matchy coordinated but has synergy. And it really shows off all of Arthur’s belongings and collections.

I love the wallpaper – were the homeowners as keen or did you have to convince them? I presented a few options and Ferm Living was always a favourite for the homeowner. No persuasion needed! We chose it because it’s fun, bright, colourful and gender neutral and the design has longevity in terms of age. It’s suitable for a nursery right through to primary school.

Are there any special features that you’d like to mention? The teepee bed is pretty special and actually came a little later as originally there was a cot in its place. I cannot tell you how amazed Arthur looked when he saw his ‘cool big boy’ bed.

Any design elements you are particularly proud of? I’m proud that it’s very personal to Arthur and his family. It’s a unique fun room that they’ll be making memories in for years to come.

ARTHUR’S VERDICT

What did your old bedroom look like?
Don’t know, I was a little baby then.

What do your love about your new room?
My bed because it’s so cool! I stick stickers on it but mummy takes them off.

Is your little sister allowed in?
Yeah only if she plays diggers with me… she messes my games up.

How would you describe your room?
It has lots of toys and a cool bed. And a drawing on the wallpaper that won’t come off.

LISA’S SOURCEBOOK

Bed – Cuckooland

Wallpaper – Ferm Living

Lighting – Marks & Spencer

Filing cabinet and rug – Ikea

Desk – eBay


Floor cushions – made by Born & Bred from Ikea fabric

Born & Bred Studio has just launched Kids E-Interiors, a range of packages to help the busy family or mum-to-be to source the perfect products for their nursery – genius idea! Find out more about Born & Bred Studio>

Credit for top two photographs: Anna Stathaki

GTYR Loves

Pretty & Mighetto’s bed panels

I have another blogger friend to thank for today’s post (thank you Stacey from The Design Sheppard!) as she gave me the heads up on these absolutely beautiful bed panels.

On that note, I am ALWAYS keen to hear from people with amazing/unusual/innovative/shiny new kids’ designs, so please get in touch with me via the contact page to share… I can’t wait to hear from you!

But back to today’s post. I’ve only been blogging for about six weeks but already I seem to have developed a little theme revolving around hacking Ikea products to create something special (see my 3 of the best play kitchens and 3 of the best armchairs posts for more!). So this post seems really fitting. Pretty Pegs, if you don’t know them, specialise in creating replacement legs for Ikea furniture, so that you can customise your cheap but cheerful pieces to give them a more luxurious look. Anyway, they’ve now collaborated with uber cool Swedish design brand Mrs Mighetto, to create these amazing bed panels, designed to fit securely to Ikea’s box spring mattress.

Mrs Mighetto, if you’re not familiar, is a Swedish illustrator who specialises in whimsical and magical watercolour paintings, full of fantasy and mystery. The cloud-shaped panels also help prevent little ones from tumbling out of bed. They come with screws and mounting plates and are easy to attach. And of course, you can also change the bed’s legs to a pair from Pretty Pegs to create a really wonderful design of your own, for a fraction of the cost of a bespoke bed.

Find out more about the magical world of Mrs Mighetto here, and check out the bed panels from Pretty Pegs here. Although both companies are based in Europe, Pretty Pegs ship to the UK, and you can buy Mrs Mighetto prints from Diddle Tinkers.

3 Of The Best Toys

Play kitchens

When I was a kid, all I ever wanted was a play kitchen. I have no idea now why I didn’t get one (I was totally spoilt so I’m sure my parents weren’t being mean) but I didn’t (perhaps they knew how crap I’d be at cooking – you have to pay me to step foot in the kitchen these days), and I used to be so envious of my friends who had them.

I have to say, my love of all things miniature has continued, and I still absolutely adore looking at small versions of things that should be big (that sounds a bit wrong).

Anyway. Picking the three best play kitchens for this post has been an absolute joy.

I can’t wait to be able to get Daphne a play kitchen. At the moment, she’s just a little bit too young but the childminder has already said she’s shown an interest in the one at her house, so it’s only a matter of time…

There are so many play kitchens out there. Loads. At all different price points. So to narrow down to three was a bit tricky (am definitely considering changing this category to 5 of the best as I always seem to find more than three things each time). In order to show you three that are completely different, I’ve gone for the best budget buy, the coolest and the most expensive. Here we go then…

Let’s start with Ikea’s classic play kitchen. Cheap, cheerful, with adjustable legs so it can get taller as your child does, it even features a realistic ‘glowing’ hob which can be switched on and off. But worried it’s a bit dull? Allow me to introduce you to the world Ikea play kitchen hacks

There are hundreds of them on Pinterest, and you can even buy special packs like this one from Etsy to help you create something a little more special. Failsafe.

Next up, something a little more sophisticated in design. The play kitchen by Danish brand Sebra is made from plywood (what else!), has pleasing turnable dials for the hob, a removable sink for easy cleaning and comes in a few different finishes. I love the curved sides and the splayed legs, and the fact that it’s relatively neat and compact too.

My personal favourite is the lovely dusky rose version above. Available from Minideco and Coolshop.

Last but not least – any millionaires out there? Because this magnificent work of art will set you back a bit. But it’s worth it. The bespoke handmade designs from the Play Kitchen Co are made from solid pine, with solid oak worktops, real ceramic Belfast sinks, brass taps, and even a laser-engraved granite hob. They can also be personalised. They’re little works of art, and best of all they were designed to help children with ADHD and autism, who find electronic toys over-stimulating (the dad behind the brand had faced this challenge with his own son). I think they’re beautiful and timeless, and if we can’t afford them at home, then every nursery and primary school should have one!

INTERIORS My house

Sourcebook: My Bedroom

houzz-tour-lifebylotte

Oh isn’t it lovely when you think of an idea for a SERIES for your blog? No effort involved, no racking of brains trying to find something of interest to share with the world. All the hard work is done already.

So here we go, without further delay and following on from my previous post all about my living room, it’s time for the lowdown on all the bits and bobs in my teeny tiny bedroom. Yes, I do manage to fit ALL MY CLOTHES into that one built-in wardrobe and chest of drawers. Ha ha ha, only joking.

Enjoy. As ever, please leave me a comment if I’ve missed anything off or you have any queries! I do love talking interiors.

lifebylotte-bedroom2

Wall colour (pink), Calamine, Farrow & Ball
Wall colour (white), Brilliant White, Dulux
Bed, Loaf
Bedside tables, Ikea
Bedside lamps, Original BTC
Screenprint, by Clare Cutts from Baxters Gallery
Framed postcards, frames from Habitat, postcards inherited
Tissue box, The White Company
Bedlinen, Laura Ashley
Cushions, H&M
Curtains, Dunelm Mill
Storage baskets on top of wardrobe (just seen in first pic), Ikea

lifebylotte-bedroom3Chest of drawers, Ikea
Clock, Heal’s
Mirror, Ikea
Pigeon light, Thorsten van Elten
Wicker washing basket, Debenhams
Vase, inherited
Glass storage jars, The White Company

lifebylotte-bedroom4

Carpet, Wool Cord in Moon, Alternative Flooring
Ottoman, Loaf
Mirror, taken from an old wardrobe door, painted in Ammonite, Farrow & Ball

All photos copyright Houzz UK and taken by the supremely talented Chris Snook