The Tale Of Kate, Helena And Harry Pascoe Squires
Walking into the home of Kate Pascoe Squires, it's clear she could have easily been an interior designer. The beautifully decorated home in Sydney's east, which she shares with her husband media personality Tony Squires and their two children, is filled with gorgeous things: a graphic navy and white striped Basil Bangs umbrella, lime-washed French Oak floors, throws from her new label, Kate & Kate, among other things. The children, Harry, four, and Helena, 20 months, live in the top two rooms of the house. "The kids rooms are both quite eclectic. They definitely have a modern feel, but there are some lovely recycled pieces and old toys to balance things out. The rooms continue to evolve as the kids get older and their needs change but they always seem to retain a sense of calm, which is important," says Pascoe Squires. The clean, modern style of her home reflects her personal style: Scanlan & Theodore, Bassike, Current Elliott, Ellery and Zimmerman are among Pascoe Squire's favourite labels.
"It's such a cliché, but I'm most proud of my family. I think when you've had to work really hard to get something, it makes it all the more sweet," she says. And as for achieving balance, "It's a daily struggle but I find that multi-tasking helps! Time for myself is generally my work time, but starting Kate & Kate has made me so happy there really isnt anything Id rather be doing."
Kate's little list of loves:
Helena in a bandana and bloomers.
The Cook & Bakers chocolate chip cookies.
Long sunny afternoons with the kids.
The EQ Village Markets.
Shopping for anything and everything.
Harry and Helena as a little team.
Harrys new haircut short back and sides.
Photography: Julie Adams Makeup: Sarina Zoe Words: Georgie Abay
Kido store is the best...
Or else I search for the brands I want online. Stars in a Jar are doing some very cute things now and Mini Bots always have good stuff on sale. We were given so many beautiful gifts such as an oversized letter H when Harry was born. It was from an interior designer friend in Melbourne. I have no idea where she got it, but it was hands down my favourite gift. Another friend put Harry down on the waitlist for the Melbourne Cricket Club, which was quite a cool idea. Blankets were much appreciated for both my kids (something that inspired the birth of Kate & Kate). When Helena was born, I was obsessed with the hand knitted goods given to her by my grandmother and her friends – the little hats and cardigans were just divine.
My ‘mum’ is style very pared back and quite minimalist...
I like high quality clothes that don’t take a lot of effort to wear. My wardrobe is based around jeans, T-shirts and maxi dresses (hot weather only). I’m pretty big on shoes too. It used to be all about the heel, but I’ve come to appreciate the flat and now we are having a bit of a love affair. Lanvin ballerinas, Bensimon runners, Fiorentini & Baker biker boots. Easy. Our home is also clean and modern – it’s quite pared back, but that’s just because I have a young family. I’d like to think our house was inviting and warm too. The kids’ rooms are both quite eclectic. They definitely have a modern feel, but there are some lovely recycled pieces and old toys to balance things out. The rooms continue to evolve as the kids get older and their needs change – but they always seem to retain a sense of calm, which is important. Our bedroom is my favourite room. We’ve just had lime-washed French Oak floors put in and they make me oh so very happy. Floaty window dressings, lots of light, reindeer pelts and fresh air. It’s the business.
I am big on routines, but that’s just the way I do things...
I’m very structured in my approach to pretty much everything, so flying by the seat of my pants was never going to work for me. It took a while to get into a routine with Harry – first child, so I didn’t really know what was going on. But with Helena, I was onto it within a couple of weeks – just so I could start getting a bit of order back into our lives. I loved knowing when the kids would be feeding, sleeping, playing – but again, that’s just the way I chose to do things. It’s not for everyone.
I want to teach my children to get excited about things...
Be brave. Don’t hold back. Listen. Be kind. Love. Harry takes everything in. He really thinks about things. He has a love of language. Helena just goes for it. She is excited about life. Both of them love big. The humour and the love. It’s enough to make your heart burst.
The first few months are tough...
You have to be kind to yourself. Let yourself heal. Bond with your baby. I’m a big believer in battening down the hatches during this period. Stay quiet, let people come to you – make it all about your house and your family. Have freshly cut flowers, burn candles – make it beautiful to be at home. Then you won’t have to focus too much on how tired you really are! Being patient is really, really difficult. Losing control of your life is tough. But the hardest part is definitely sleep deprivation. I thought that would get better once the kids got older, but it doesn’t.
I swear by the Mountain Buggy prams...
We have the Urban Jungle and the Duet. A Baby Bjorn is a must, although I also used the Ergo Baby, which was really great when the kids got a bit heavier. A nice padded play mat or bouncer chair that has all the bells and whistles, so you can get a few minutes to yourself. Don’t worry if it looks ugly, just hide it when people come over.
I have things in place so that I can spend about half of my days during the week working...
Childcare is always a juggle and a bit of a moving feast. We currently use a mix of pre-school, daycare and a nanny. I like having options, as we need a back up if things go pear shaped (kids getting sick always makes things interesting!) Getting that balance is a daily struggle. I find multi-tasking helps! Time for myself is generally my work time, but starting this business has made me so happy – there really isn’t anything I’d rather be doing
I did a lot of rocking and shhh’ing with Harry
It drove me up the wall. Helena was easier in the sleep department, but she was more settled from the start. I did sleep training with both of the kids and it worked well. Nothing too hard core – I just found a method I was comfortable with and went for it. That said, I found the wheels fell off when Harry got a bit older. When he could ask for specific things and reason with us, it got tough. It’s so hard to stay strong. Harry gets quite scared at night, but now they both sleep in the same room (in bunks), things are much better. They are happy – most of the time – but it’s not often we get a totally uninterrupted night of sleep! Toilet visits, water, nightlights running out of batteries, scary dreams… you name it, it’s going on in our house after dark!”