I recently had a discussion with a client with that all too familiar request; “we have children and we want it child friendly…”
Now while that is a valid comment and decorative choices do need to meet the real needs of a household it got me musing on the state of the modern child and the expectations of people in relation to how things last.
When I worked with textiles, I would hear designers constantly complain about the need for fabrics that were virtually Kryptonite.
Furnishings expected to withstand the wildest of behavior and the filthiest of habits…
Now while we understand that children WILL do what they please, push the boundaries and experiment with all manner of things that MAY in the process accidentally destroy your home (…who doesn’t remember being a childhood Picasso with crayon on the wall… “Oops! Sorry Mum and Dad!”)..
it does raise the question as to whether furnishings really do need to be indestructible…or do we just train our children with manners?
Does a sofa REALLY need to withstand Bolognese sauce and Vegemite fingers… accidents happen but aren’t we meant to be eating at the table….???
What are we training our children to be?
Most truly stain resistant fabrics are an incarnation of petrochemical something (read glorified plastic bag)… WILL kill the environment in some capacity (and probably damage a few of your child’s precious braincells with the VOC’s alone…)…
Yes I know there are fantastic new technology options out there… often outside the budget of most parents unwilling to invest in items doomed for destruction…
“Sticky Fingers Don’t Touch!”
I think we need more of those Nannas who teach little ones the mantra: “Sticky Fingers Don’t touch”…. I learnt that from a grandmother I once met who refused her home decoration to be dictated to by miniature monsters tearing about the home.
Grandchildren as young as 2 were taught to respect the porcelain and her home was happier for it as they would each reprimand one another “Sticky Fingers don’t touch!”. Clearly some boundaries worked!
It was as I mused upon this problem they I stumbled upon the refreshing approach of Tamzin Greenhill, featured in a recent edition of Elle Decor.
“Greenhill—now the mother of a three-year-old, Clementine—is that rare modern parent who is willing to admit that she designed her living room to be off-limits to her toddler.
“It’s an adult zone where my precious furniture goes, and I don’t want sticky fingers around or feet on the sofa,” she says of the space, with its Belgian-linen-covered George Smith sofa and collectible pieces, ….. “Kids rule these days. My kid doesn’t. I rule.”"
I couldn’t agree more…. Tamzin does however provide a perfectly chic interpretation of what a child friendly space CAN look like without compromising style… and a perfect solution for those without the luxury or space of having an “adults only zone” (although clearly she is not the mother of hyperactive boys… those coffee table corners!)
…and spare a parting thought of a former colleague of mine; owner of a beautifully furnished home and well behaved children…children so sweet that one day, in a desire to “help mummy with the house cleaning” washed down her prized fashionably dark velvet sofas…with Bleach!
Just completed an installation with Melbourne’s newest Styling Collaboration; “The Styling Group”
I LOVED working with the team as we furiously turned a house into a home in half a day!
The highlight for me? The squeals of creative delight and banter as we each issued firm opinions on design direction, cushion colours and all the glorious elements that maketh a scheme at Warehouse Iaccino!
Insiders Tip: Lets just say theres ALOT of coffee involved in pulling it all together!
So before the property sells and the scheme disappears, heres a few snaps from day!
“Australia Loses talent”… Glen Proebstel decamps to New York!
Iconic Australian stylist, Glen Proebstel, long time Style Director of Inside Out Magazine, is finally heading to the ultimate urban island!
By the end of September, “Voosh”, he’ll have vanished, gobbled up by the giant fruit salad bowl that is The Big Apple!… Our loss, their gain…
Best known for his beautifully composed interior styling shoot, most famously for Inside Out Magazine, his is the eye of a true artist. A Proebstel vignette is so beautifully composed that it is reminiscent of a Renaissance Still Life.
Objets angled just so, artfully disarranged and ever so slightly disheveled, bathed in palettes of squid inky blue and indigo haze.
His best work often exquisitely photographed by favoured collaborator Sharyn Cairns. Together creating highly detailed masterpieces of evocative shadows playing with mood and light, and evoking the emotionally charged sensuality of The Dutch Masters; Rembrandt, Vermeer, Kalf and Vanitas.
He will be sorely missed on local shores, and though living a rich legacy behind him, no doubt legend awaits.
For a wonderful insight into the mind of the man, read this fabulous interview via The Daily Imprint here.
Mean whilst I leave you with a small selection of his stunning vignettes…
we need more of those Nannas who teach little ones the mantra: “Sticky Fingers Don’t touch”
Just completed an installation with Melbourne’s newest Styling Collaboration; “The Styling Group” Concept by Roberto Iaccino and Edwinda Harris for the freshly renovated classic single fronted Richmond Terrace….
“Australia Loses talent”… Glen Proebstel decamps to New York! Iconic Australian stylist, Glen Proebstel, long time Style Director of Inside Out Magazine, is finally heading to the ultimate…
Ever notice… that although a perfectly made bed is so often judged to be a sign of orderly housekeeping… Magazines and catalogues alike continue to tantalize us with…