It takes our photographer a moment to recover when she walks into the Sydney home of stylist and mother of two Romi Weinberg...
We photograph beautiful homes all the time, but there’s something special about this light flooded home. Every object is thoughtfully curated, artistically styled and perfectly placed. There’s a beautiful white French vintage bed sourced off eBay, piles of Astier de Villatte ceramic plates, sweet timber toys and more. We spent the afternoon with the talented Weinberg and her adorable four-year-old daughter Tatum (her eldest daughter was at school) to get her top tips for decorating kids’ spaces, talk more about how motherhood has changed her life and get a tour of her spectacular abode…
What has motherhood taught you so far?
I think overall I would say I am far more selfless. Being a single mum (their dad lives overseas) means that I am constantly thinking about what’s in the girls’ best interests and putting their needs above my own. I’ve also definitely learnt not to sweat the small stuff. Life is busy and the kids will only be small for such a short time, I don’t want to waste a precious moment!
Can you tell us about your background and how you came to be a stylist?
I studied fashion design and then went on to work in all different aspects of the fashion industry for 10 years covering retail, design, sales and fashion PR. Once I got married I left the fashion industry and took a break for a while to start a family. It was after my wedding that I realised an enormous passion of mine in styling events/interior spaces and food. I have always been creative so this seemed like a natural path from the world of fashion.
How do you juggle your work commitments with being a mother?
Both my girls are at school so during school hours is when I get the most done. I’m also very much a night owl so after I’ve put them to sleep I usually manage to get a few hours in if need be. I also live a two minute drive from my parents. They are incredible with my kids and are an amazing support to me. If I need their help in picking up/dropping off or sleeping over or if I’ve got an early morning shoot they are always there for us.
Did your career change at all after the birth of your children?
Yes, as it opened up my styling realm to that of kids! From decorating nurseries, sourcing unique and stylish kids clothing to creating detailed birthday parties, my focus has certainly switched gears to this brand new world! It quickly became clear that I had a huge love for all things kids.
Would you describe yourself as an organised person?
When styling an event – absolutely! I plan things as far in advance as possible and like to have creative ideas sitting in my head to develop. I create a folder for every event I do with copious lists, ideas and sketches. I’ve usually got a plan of attack as to how I’m going to style everything on the day. I need to create a visual sketch of every element so that I have roughly mapped out the look and feel of the set up. I feel much calmer and in control that way!
Have you always been creative?
Yes I remember creating dolls outfits out of paper and stapling them together when I was about eight. I also used to dress up my friends and do their hair and makeup for pretend photoshoots! There was never a question that a creative life and career was the direction I’d go in. My happy place is when I’m making or creating.
How do you procrastinate?
Social media… the biggest time killer! I’ve recently started a work instagram account (@romistyles____ ) and I’m finding that fairly addictive! I have always loved Pinterest which is my life in boards. It’s literally how I begin every creative project or concept that’s in my head.
“ A string of fairy lights or a gorgeous light is a beautiful way to add sparkle and magic ”
How do you focus?
I’m a very visual person… it doesn’t take much to entice me to create pretty pictures or style little scenarios. Leading up to an event my dining room table is usually filled to the brim with all the elements I’ve collected over the weeks/days. I love playing with all my bits and pieces. Seeing a vision come to fruition and styling is what I love doing. I don’t need much encouragement on that front.
How would you describe your children’s rooms?
My girls’ rooms are ethereal, dreamy and feminine.
What are your tips for decorating kids’ spaces?
I like to start with a fabulous bed. Something that is a standout. From there I add areas of decor. I love contrasting new with old. I’m forever collecting vintage bits and pieces to add to their rooms. A rickety old pram or a distressed timber wheelbarrow. They are perfect for displaying dolls and fluffy toys. Some type of shelving is always great and allows you to create little stories. A string of fairy lights or a gorgeous light is a beautiful way to add sparkle and magic. I prefer keeping the main furniture pieces neutral with the use of timber/enamel/muslin etc and add the colour through décor – that way you can change the look and feel as often as you like. My girls’ rooms are forever evolving depending on what little treasures I pick up on my travels.
SHOP: Pottery Barn Kids Simply White Retro Kitchen Collection, $399. Pottery Barn Kids Wooden Milk Container Set & Wooden Egg Set, $29. Pottery Barn Kids Soft Pasta Set, $39. Pottery Barn Kids Metal Shopping Trolley, $69.
Can you tell us about the playroom?
The girls definitely spend a lot of time in here! Especially my four-year-old who’s favourite thing to do at the moment is close the door as she “needs private”! This is definitely the most colourful room in the house. I’ve tried to keep it as playful as possible whilst still retaining a sense of style. I found a fabulous old vintage cupboard on eBay which is perfect to house all the craft and plastic junk they love to collect! I adore timber toys and keep those on display but there’s no way avoiding all the ones that perhaps aren’t as aesthetically pleasing. They go in the cupboard or in the old wooden crates I use for storage. I’ve put a big fluffy sheepskin rug on the floor so they can play, lie, roll around on it… they love it! This is also where they do their craft. There’s chairs and a table here and so long as there’s a sheet of plastic down I’m happy for them to do as they wish.
What are some standout pieces in your children’s rooms?
As mentioned, I love a beautiful bed! My oldest has a white vintage French bed I found on eBay. I’ve added a sheer linen canopy above so it’s her princess bed! She also has a gorgeous timber stand which I’ve hung a few of their beautiful dress up pieces on. I love having these on display. They’re too gorgeous to keep in the cupboard. My youngest has a distressed timber four-poster bed, which I’ve added sheer muslin and tiny lights to. It’s the prettiest fairy bed. She absolutely loves lying in it at night. In their playroom they have a fabulous teepee which I had custom made years ago. It’s constructed out of old boating canvas and aged branches so has a very rustic, organic feel to it. I’ve added soft, feminine Liberty style cushions. I think the contrast works really well.
“ Shelving is always great and allows you to create little stories ”
You style the most fantastical children's parties. What makes a great party?
Detail. To me it’s all the little things that come together to create impact. A great theme is always a good start and from there it’s about incorporating ideas that fit the theme. A thoughtful invite sets the tone and lets everybody know that they’re coming to a special party. Decorating the space is essential in creating that wow factor and transports the little guests into a world of make believe. I like to think of fun and engaging activities or entertainment that tie in with the theme to ensure a memorable time is had by all.
Do you involve your children in their party planning?
Absolutely! They have grown up in a party household whereby celebrations are a big deal. We come up with a theme months before and I love hearing their ideas and creativity. They love getting involved and I love that they do!
What are your current favourite themes for kids' parties?
For girls, I’m loving anything very girly and sparkly. I still adore doing fairy parties. They obviously have my own aesthetic so lots of muslin/linen/timber and glitter. For boys, anything nautical or tribal is what I’m loving right now! Think, anchors and bows and arrows.