Muse: Linda Rodin

Linda Rodin. How did I not know about this utterly inspiring silver fox? She’s a 63 year old fashion stylist (turned beauty entrepreneur) who lives in NYC in this charming flat filled with all her collections and bits of pretty clutter. And a poodle named Winky. She oozes style and confidence and manages to make boho tops and silver ankle boots look magical rather than cringe-worthy on an older woman (Mum – don’t get any ideas!)

She stands as a great reminder to ignore all the rules about age and personal style. I’m generally not a big rule follower anyway when it comes to style – fashion or interiors – but sometimes I forget and I start to worry. I think maybe as I get older I should dress in a more mature way, have a more mature house, basically act like a proper grown-up.

When I look at this woman and the beautiful home she has created, I remember that it’s all a load of rubbish. Acting like a proper grown up is dull and ordinary. Oscar Wilde said it best: “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken”.

Would it be weird if I put a framed photo of her on my wall as a constant reminder to say “shove it” to the rules? Mixed in with the family photos perhaps? It might be hard to explain to guests that in fact she is not my mother or great aunt, but a person I don’t even know and just read about and like a lot. I think instead I will just pin her and gaze at my boards.

Happy Friday. xx

All photos via Refinery29 except the last portrait which is via The Chalkboard .


Low-tech Beds

Today I’m dreaming of beds. Mainly because I would love to stay in mine this morning and not go to work in this miserable rain. It’s a perfect day to stay in my jammies, watch the box set of The Killing, drink loads of coffee and cuddle my dog.

Aside from that unfulfilled dream, I’ve also got beds on the brain because we didn’t bring any with us when we moved here. We’ve been in a furnished flat for the last year, but now we’re moving to an unfurnished one and we will need beds….

I’m hesitant to buy too much stuff in case we decide to move back to LA in a few years and have to lug it all back (and by lug I mean pay an arm and a leg to ship it) or sell it all again – which by the way, is much more painful to do than I thought.

So, simple beds is where my mind is today. Mattresses without bed-frames/bases. Is it possible to pull this off without looking like your old university dorm room?

Here are a few good ones.

via Design Sponge

via photographer Magnus Anesund

via feeling a bit artsy

via fox on the run

via middle child complex

Behind The Scenes


I don’t usually post personal photos on here (unless they’re interiors related of course and then I have no problem showing you my messy house). But with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this past weekend and all the fun stuff happening around London (despite the rain) I couldn’t resist.

We headed down to the river bank to try to catch a glimpse of the Royals on their boats and grabbed a load of periscopes – free with the newspaper – genius! 

Always looking to improve on an idea, little Johnny strapped 3 periscopes together – with a bit of help from big sis – and was able to easily see over the crowds.

For the record, my daughter is not actually as tall as me. And yes, my son is eating an ice-cream even though it was cold and rainy (June in the UK is delightful, let me tell you).

Me planting a flag on little one’s head.

We had loads of fun and I was thrilled to be back living in London to experience it in person. Dare I say it…it made me proud to be British. 


Eclectic Kids’ Room Madness

Today my kids’ room obsession continues. I’ve always loved everything kid-related. You can have so much fun with it. Years ago I designed a line of children’s clothing called Spike & Ella. Tiny little vintage style dresses with a modern twist. So much fun! Now it’s all about children’s rooms for me.

I just saw these on The Selby. The Sao Paulo home of Cris and Marcelo Rosenbaum, fashion designer and designer, respectively. A perfect example of Real Kids’ Rooms – yes I capitalised, that’s how important it is. Rooms that kids actually live in, play in, make a mess in, and maybe help decorate themselves…now there’s a novel idea! And the best playhouse I’ve seen in a while complete with jungle gym style rope thingy to access it.

Check out the playhouse below…

All photos via The Selby

Update for 2013: For stunning examples of creative and eclectic kids’ rooms, take a look at a new book Creative Family Home, by Ashlyn Gibson. Our books came out at the same time (September/October 2013) and by the same publisher. And her kids’ clothing shop Olive Loves Alfie is around the corner from my house in London. It’s a beautiful book!


Dreamy Bunkbeds

I’m still obsessed with kids rooms. I’m not sure what I’ll do when mine won’t let me interfere anymore. They’re already deeply involved in their room schemes (see my post about kids who decorate) but I still get to direct a lot of it and contribute ideas.

I’m getting ready for our move to the new house in a month or so. I’ve been gathering lots of ideas for various rooms on Pinterest and these blew my mind. Even though the kids have their own rooms at last, I still can’t get enough of brilliant bunk bed ideas.

These bunks are so inspiring in three very unique ways.

Crazy seventies fabric mash-up via babyspace

Calm, vintage-style room with built-in bunks via The Telegraph

Incredible triple bunk in Majorca, Spain via NYTimes

And here’s our old house in LA where the kids shared their bunk under the tree.

This time last year, when we moved to London and rented out our house, my daughter helped to paint over the tree. Gone forever! You can’t get too sentimental about interiors though, can you? 


When Kids Decorate

How do you feel about letting your kids’ make their own decorating choices? Do you let them pick paint colours for their room? Their bedding? Or are you – like me – afraid they’ll pick Moshi Monsters duvet covers and glossy orange walls?

It’s a tough one isn’t it because, for me at least, my home is really important and I want it to look great. But I also want to raise independent-thinking, creative children.

Mary Randolph Carter, whose amazing interiors book A Perfectly Kept House is the Sign of a Misspent Life is a must-read for anyone who cares about interiors but has kids and a busy life. In it she features the home of Pamela Bell, one of the founders of Kate Spade. Her home is the perfect blend of stylish, eclectic, cool, elegant and kid-friendly.

Rather than upholster her John Derian sofa and chairs, she let her kids colour all over the muslin. Some people hate it and think it’s a waste and a bit spoiled to let kids “destroy” an expensive piece of furniture. I think it’s fabulous regardless of the price. If you’ve got the money what does it matter? It’s all relative isn’t it?

But I was brought up by a mum who let us do anything to our rooms and always let me decorate the Christmas tree. (Pink ribbons on every branch? Sure, why not!) I once drew a large pair of big-lashed eyes on my bedroom wall (not sure why exactly). I dipped my palms in paint and covered my wardrobe doors in handprints (again…why?). I plastered my walls in hundreds of fashion magazine tears as a teen and experimented with all sorts of ideas over the years. If nothing else, it led to me being the creative and resourceful person I am today.

What do you think? How much input should kids have in their home’s design?

For some creative kids’ space ideas have a look at my kid space Pinterest board.