Browsing Tag

nursery tour

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

INTERIORS My house

Daphne’s nursery tour

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I just love this ‘D’ Flower Fairies print – possibly my favourite thing in the room

I didn’t really want to do a post on Daph’s nursery because it’s basically been a bit of a… CHALLENGE. It’s a teeny tiny room, which I stupidly while pregnant made even tinier by adding a whole wall of mirrored wardrobes. I hadn’t realised at the time that this made it impossible to fit a normal-sized cot bed in. I basically used up the one good wall with these damned wardrobes – while we needed the storage, I really didn’t think it through.

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Less is not more when it comes to shades of pink. OK?

It’s also a really weirdly shaped room, with the door at an angle – sort of cutting off one corner of a square. Plus it has an awkward chimney breast sticking out on one wall. Anyway with a lot of measuring and squeezing, we’ve managed to get in a small cot – the Mokee mini cot in fact – as well as a small chest of drawers and a shelving unit (which we already had). And a chair (although you have to move the chair to get into the wardrobe but luckily I don’t need to do it that often!).

It’s not the ideal child’s room/nursery that I had in mind when I pictured myself as a mother, but despite this, it’s actually turned out to be a really cute, happy room. When I’m feeding Daphne last thing before her bedtime, I sit in there and look around at the random mishmash of stuff (and different wood finishes!!) and I can’t help but smile. It’s ridiculously girly (especially with those pink polka dot curtains that I already had) but it suits a tiny baby girl and I feel like there’s plenty for her to look at it, all of which has some story or meaning behind it – as with everything else in my flat.

Here are some more pics… (apologies for the crap photography. The light in this room is also a bit of a challenge!)

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Don’t worry, she sleeps with her head away from the window

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A present from her Auntie Sophie

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Daphne’s great-grandmother, who she was named after, and her dad as a littlun

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We bought Florence the doorstop when I was pregnant – total random M&S purchase but I just love her!

It’s a bit cluttered, it’s probably a bit too PINK, it was done on a budget, but it’s a room full of love. As we’re house-hunting this won’t be her room for too long (can’t wait for more SPACE!), but I think it’s quite a good start, and I’m pleased with how we manage to work around the tiny floorplan and create a usable space for her. It’s my new favourite room in the flat. I hope she feels safe and happy in there.

LIFE Midweek Musings

Midweek Musings: Baby Bottles and Nursery Progress

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Hello there! I don’t often do reviews on here (mostly because the things I am offered aren’t usually relevant) but when Scandi brand Twistshake got in touch with me and offered me one of their new baby bottles to review, I couldn’t say no. (That sounds so cheesy and hackneyed but it’s true).

As Daphne has always been bottle fed, we’ve been through our fair share of different bottles – we started out with the ones that came with my breast pump, then we moved onto Dr Brown’s Anti-Colic, which I think were good but were a right palaver and a half to wash up, and then we moved onto Mam’s Self-sterilising Anti-Colic bottles which we currently use. They’ve been pretty good and I don’t have much to complain about with them (although Daph hated their fancy teat and so we still use Dr Brown teats with them), but the Twistshake is quite frankly genius thanks to one thing – the little powder box it comes with.

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When we moved onto powdered milk, this really worried me – how would we store the powder when we went out? I know you can get little plastic boxes but they looked fiddly and lots of people said how much they leaked. To avoid the issue completely, we usually make up a bottle then flash-cool it and take it with us, keeping it in a cool bag (or fridge if we’re at a friend’s) until Daph needs it. I’m pretty sure the NHS would string me up for this, but touch wood it’s been OK so far. But today I went to my mum’s and I roadtested the Twistshake and it was just brill – I simply scooped out the powder required into the little powder box then tucked that neatly back into the bottle. Then topped it up with slightly cooled boiled water when I needed to make up Daph’s feed.

I’ve seen that you can also use this powder box to store snacks for older kids (like cucumber sticks etc) which is another brilliant idea. I do like a multi-functional invention!

The bottles are bright and colourful (I hated the look of the Dr Brown ones) and very easy to use, with a special powder filter that stops any lumps from clogging up the teat. They’re Anti Colic too, although Daph no longer has colic so I can’t comment on that. They kind of look like grown-up drinks bottles I think! I love the fact that the colours are bold and not insipid or very clearly gender-specific. We use blue Mam bottles (as well as pink ones) and it annoys me that the pictures on them are clearly designed for boys.

The only downside of the Twistshake is that (as far as I can tell) they are not self-sterilising like the Mam ones – this is a real plus for me as we don’t have space for a separate steriliser in our stuffed-to-the-brim kitchen. Otherwise though, I’m impressed, and very happy to recommend them. They’re available on Amazon

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Daph ‘helping’ with the cot build

In other news, this week we’ve been getting Daphne’s nursery ready for her to move into when she’s six months old (in just over two weeks). Sniff! Part of me can’t wait to move her into her own room because quite frankly, she’s a noisy little bugger and between around 2am and 5am just basically makes noise non-stop – singing, gurgling, shouting, crying, you name it. But then part of me is really soppy and can’t bear the idea of her not being next to me anymore, all soft and snuffly and smelling of babies. I will miss her!

As we’re hoping to move house at some point this year we didn’t want to spend too much money on the nursery, so we’ve really just made do with what we’ve already got, and bought a few new touches like a rug (not the horrible old one in the picture!), some artwork and a cot mobile, to try to make it nice for her. I’ll do a proper nursery ‘tour’ post when it’s all finished but the cot is in and looks fab, and my mum is busy adjusting the existing cheap Ikea curtains (finally cutting them to the right size for the window and lining them with blackout lining). She’s also making a cot bumper for me. My mum is a superstar! I really need to learn how to do this kind of stuff – seriously considering a sewing course at some point…

The one thing that I have yet to manage to source is a nice lampshade for the boring pendant light fitting. We have a bright pink one (also Ikea) up now that I bought when I first moved in and it’s just dull dull dullsville. I’d love something quirky but not too expensive. Or cheesy. If anyone has any bright ideas, I’d love to hear them!