It's time for the next instalment of Me & My Roomwreckers, which uncovers the impact inspirational parents' children have had on their homes, and unearths any tips they may have on keeping kid-muck at bay.
Next up is fashion, interiors and lifestyle blogger (and former fashion editor) Erica Davies from The Edited (Instagram @erica_davies), whose ongoing colour-filled renovation of her new home an hour outside London is nothing short of spectacular, despite the residence of two small children. The girl knows how to rock an outfit, too; all the bow-down-hands emojis...
EM: Hey Erica! So to kick things off - where do you live?
ED: Hey! Well, we moved to the Essex/Suffolk border from South East London last December. It’s around an hour’s commute back into the capital, but we’re now surrounded by fields and gorgeous beaches which make weekends (and working from home) a joy.
EM: Who do you live with?
ED: My husband James, a news editor-turned-PR consultant, and our children: Charlie, 6 and Lila, 4.
EM: Can you describe your home for us?
ED: It’s a five-bedroom, detached Georgian-style house that was built eight years ago, on the grounds of an old manor house. It was NOT a house I ever imagined us living in. For a start, I have NEVER lived in anything more modern than a twenties house and really love the character of old houses. I actually pulled a bit of a diva strop when we were heading to view it for the first time! Tantrums aside, once I'd seen it, I couldn’t ignore the space and potential. I KNEW I’d be able to add character with a bold scheme. Plus, it’s really nice not having draughty windows.
EM: Which is your favourite room? Least favourite?
ED: My favourite room is the living room; the first one we tackled. My least favourite currently is the kitchen - it's so incredibly bland, with the worst airport style lighting, that I genuinely question how the previous owners lived with it. We are in the process of ripping the entire thing out and starting again - we've already knocked through the wall dividing the kitchen and a conservatory and have turned the conservatory into a proper room with a roof. It’ll be one large kitchen/living/party space!
EM: How has your home changed since having kids?
ED: In our old house in London we lived surrounded by various grey fabric tubs housing plastic crap! Toys, games, everything child-related was dumped in them. In the new house, we are lucky enough to have a playroom so EVERYTHING goes in there - Lego tubs, craft stuff; there’s even a TV and sofa. I’m more practical with my choices; I know there'll be chocolate-covered fingers on everything at some point. And also - even though I obviously want it to look lovely - I'm not as precious about things as I used to be. I just don’t think you can be with kids running around.
EM: What are your feelings on where toys should live?
ED: They tend to trail around the house, but we blitz it once a week or so and put them all back into bedrooms or the playroom, organised on shelving units or in cool storage boxes.
EM: What are your feelings on where your children should live?
ED: I love that have their own spaces. They can have downtime in their own rooms if they want, or play together or with us in the playroom. The playroom means I can keep the living room as a grown up space - although we do all snuggle down to watch Strictly or films together in there. When the kitchen/living area is done, that will become more of our family space.
EM: What would you change about your home décor if you didn’t have kids?
ED: I’d go for more expensive textiles. Velvet everything!
EM: Do you and your other half agree when it comes to home décor decisions?
ED: He's hands-off when it comes to decor - I am VERY lucky! He just wants me to run the costs and a general idea of what it’ll look like past him, but he’s happy to leave the ideas to me as he knows it’s my passion.
EM: What’s your favourite home décor item/piece of furniture? Least favourite?
ED: I have lots of favourite pieces including bargain eBay chairs that I reupholstered in a banana print fabric I sourced from the US, and several amazing Moroccan rugs that the clever Lisa at edit58 sourced for me. And I love my leopard print Ercol chair - I’d spotted it in the window of a closed Crystal Palace junk shop two days before we left London, but managed to track down the owner via Instagram and bought it at a discounted price. My least favourites are the pieces we’ve ‘made do' with - those bits you buy because you need them right now. I want to get rid of a lot of tatty pieces in the playroom too - they will be on the hit-list when we tackle that room.
EM: Who tidies up in your household, and how often?
ED: Me, mainly; our amazing cleaner, once a week; and the kids when I throw a playroom meltdown hissy fit!
EM: What’s the worst thing your kids have done to your home?
ED: In our old house I once came into the living room to discover that a then-two-year-old Charlie had crayoned all over the white walls. When I say all over, I mean ALL OVER. A lot of elbow grease and baking soda was required to get rid of it.
EM: Can you give us a tip or two on how to stop kids destroying your home?
ED: Try to instil in them a level of respect for ‘stuff,’; remind them that things do cost money and don’t miraculously appear. And unfortunately it is a case of nagging to tidy up so that maybe, occasionally, sometimes, they might remember and do it without being told. Hmmmm. Maybe!
EM: Thanks so much for sharing your home life and advice with The Pink House, Erica - see you on Instagram!