Did becoming a mother change how you viewed the style of your home space?

Not known as one to shy away from a collectable - and a big fan of displaying said collectables, there was many a knowing look from other mother’s pre children “oh you will have to move all of that when Baby comes along”.

The heart of our home is the kitchen and one entire wall is lined with the string system shelf. It is full to the brim with ceramics I have collected throughout my travels. Suffice to say I was horrified at the thought that I might have to strip the shelves of their goodness!

Do you think it is possible to find a balance between ‘beautiful’ and baby proof home?

When Goldie was a little tot  - she couldn’t reach my treasures, my ‘installations’ managed to stay on display for that little bit longer. And over time, even when she became a mobile and inquisitive toddler, they still managed to remain in tact.  Don’t get me wrong, my best pieces were always located just that little bit higher, but I didn’t see the benefit of packing away life for my babies’ formative years. Rather - trying (where possible) to instill respect that I too have things that I covet, and yes, you can touch them and look at them - but they are not toys. Just because it is in your reach it doesn’t mean it is yours.

Was this philosophy ever challenged?

I am not going to lie, my experiment has come unstuck, and things have been broken. But there has also been a very real awareness from Goldie when she has broken something. Incredible what a disappointed look can convey to deter future accidents.

What advice would you love to share with new mothers preparing for new arrivals?

Of course you can baby proof your home and remove all of the things you like to surround yourself with, but I like to consider a little inspiration from countries like Denmark, parents instill a sense of good design in children from a very young age. Design becomes a way of life, desirable over disposable products, investments instilling an understanding of worth, all working to build a sentiment above all, that we live in this home together.

This quote from Louis Kahn captures it beautifully...

“Design is not making beauty; beauty emerges from selection, affinities, integration and love. So rather then thinking of my home as a gallery of designer pieces, I prefer to think of it as a collection of stories from travels, pieces that spoke to me that all evoke a sense of happiness and love.” You wouldn’t want to pack that away in a box for twenty-four months would you?

Image: Derek Swalwell