Frankie-Rose is becoming accustomed to some odd mother behaviour. Her understanding is that I "work a lot in London", "do the internet" and "make things pretty". About right. She also regularly witnesses me styling and shooting at home, and is non-plussed to arrive home from kindergarten to a decadently laid table, or pile of boxes, or some sort of incongruous styled scene. As a result she has developed quite the stylists eye, and is often found at my side helping me to arrange flowers for one of my dinner parties. Occasionally I'll walk into the dining room and she has "laid a special table" for no apparent reason; which involves dragging plates and cutlery from the cupboards and choosing napkins from the drawer. She then hurries around the garden and wrestles with stems of eucalyptus or rosemary with a pair of kids craft scissors (I know because sometimes I sneak a peak at her industry through the bathroom window) , which she then solemnly lays on each plate. She knows where I keep my candle sticks and fetches them out of the cupboard, placing them just so on the table (which is often near the edges as that's where she can reach). The result is amazing. One of each colour napkin, petals and garden debris on the floor/chairs/plates, cutlery strewn around the table top, candles placed in the corners.....
So when DFS asked if I might be interested in a mother/daughter style challenge it couldn't have been a more perfect request. I excitedly (/stupidly) told Frankie about it as soon as I got the email, and she of course wanted to start IMMEDIATELY, because, 4 years old. So she had to be a little bit patient as we choose a sofa and waited for it to arrive.
She took her task very seriously. Look at her serious stylist face (this photo cracks me up) .
I put a big pile of stuff on the floor for her to choose from. Rather perplexingly, the first thing she did was turn on her heel and scurry upstairs with glee, shouting "STAY THERE". I did as I was told. She emerged a short while later wearing her favourite party dress, necklaces, hair clips and a hairband.
Then, and only then, did she begin.
I gave absolutely no guidance during the entire process. It was a fascinating experiment.
And the finished sofa. She was totally confident and chill about the whole thing. She said she wanted it to be colourful and super comfy so added "lots and LOTS of pillows". And all of her babies, obvs. I have learnt a lot from her. Outfit. Confidence. Chill.
I LOVE IT. Look at her proud face.
Frankie's attempt was so brilliant that I became nervous about my own, putting it off for days. I eventually took some photo's with Dave over the weekend and here is what I came up with....
I style for the seasons, always, so sheepskins were a must. As was the log fire and twinkly candles. I then placed on the sofa some of my new cushions from Happy and Co. I adore their unique patterns and subtle colour palette and they work really ethically too. YES. The Moroccan wedding blanket cushion that I picked up in Marakesh earlier in the year fit really nicely too. I searched high and low for the perfect tealy (a word, for sure) jade colour throw and eventually found it from Ines Cole. Frankie has adopted this as her own, and approves of it's softness. The kilim rug was from one of my favourite local vintage shops in Faversham, and how amazing is the footstool?! It was a case of love at first sight. It serves as an extra seat for guests too. I hung some eucalyptus on the wall, because I like having it in the house at this time of year, and cleared much of the tat from our mantle piece.
Frankie's verdict? "Mine was better". You're probably right, baby girl.
This isn't the full lounge reveal- the mirror needs to actually go up on the wall (a beauty, also from Ines Cole), and we want to paint the fireplace milky white too. We might move the sofa to the other side of the room so the Christmas tree can go by the log pile....etc etc, so consider this a sneak peak, a half way there post.
A note about the sofa: This is the Coast sofa from the French Connection range by DFS. All their frames are made in the UK which gets a big ethical tick from me. We were relatively constrained in our choices as we needed a 3 seater sofa that was also a really comfortable bed for our guests. I would have loved one that has space underneath for light to flow (top tip for small spaces) but we are making it work! It is really comfortable, we both love the quality and texture of the fabric, and crucially it comes with removable, washable covers. So it is infinitely practical and stylish too, but in truth this sofa would sit better in our future, bigger (ahem) lounge, rather than the little one we have now. But I'm comfortable. Sooooo comfy. And I am loving the changes we've made to the lounge so far.
Anyway. I hope you enjoyed our challenge! Frankie keeps challenging me to more, and now gives me advice on my styling too, always much appreciated.
- Crochet footstool c/o Cox & Cox
- Coast Sofa- c/o DFS
- Kilim rug- Barrows Antiques, Faversham
- Jade throw and mirror c/o Ines Cole
- Sheepskins- from MB Farms in Faversham (best and cheapest around- £60 for TWO!)
- Patterend cushions- c/o Happy & Co
- Moroccan Wedding blanket cushion from my trip to Marakesh
This blog post was written in collaboration with DFS, but, as usual all opinions are my own, and I loved having an excuse to do this challenge with Frankie-Rose!