Earlier in the week, we were gathered around our dining room table to celebrate our daughter’s third birthday. It was a casual family affair. Minutes after we cut the cake I looked around. “Where’s mum?” I asked my step-dad. We looked out to the garden and there she was, hose in hand, watering our plants...
It’s typical of mum. She’s incredibly creative and she doesn’t stop. Her energy is often contagious too. My husband will often walk in to find mum and I moving furniture around a room. I guess you could say a passion for interiors runs in the family.
Mum has this extraordinary ability to make everything around her beautiful (she worked as an interior decorator for most of her career – in fact, she’s still trying to retire but creative people like her often find it hard to call it a day). Growing up, she always made our home a sanctuary and every space always felt warm and welcoming. There was always fresh flowers in the house. She’d throw big dinner parties and spend the day prepping. She’d light scented candles. She’d set the table elegantly with classic pieces that complemented the home.
Mum always created a fragrance backdrop in our home too. I still remember the smell of lavender in our front garden. I remember heavenly bunches of handpicked gardenias. The smell of jasmine in our backyard. Looking back, I guess I learned to love fragrance from a young age. Even now, mum and I still make weekly trips to the flower markets, only now we have two very excited little girls with us.
So what will I teach my girls about making a home beautiful? Don’t throw bolognese on the wall. Don’t draw on the wallpaper. Don’t pour juice on the carpet. Sigh. And don’t get me started on the dogs. Keeping our home clean and tidy is a daily battle. On the other hand, I could write a book on how to destroy your home in under 60 seconds. Make that 30.
Luckily, mum constantly reminds me that it’s the little details that make a big difference. Read on for the things I’ll be teaching my girls and a few of my favourite small touches that make the world of difference to your home. Also for some great gifting ideas for Mother’s Day.
SHOP: Circa Home 1998 Mango & Papaya Nourishing Hand Wash, $19.95. Circa Home 1998 Mango & Papaya Fragrance Diffuser, $39.95. Circa Home 1998 Mango & Papaya Classic Candle, $29.95. Arabella and Lottie wear printebebe. Georgie wears Mango blouse
Indulge in fresh flowers
I love flowers. Anyone who has come to our home can attest to that. My husband has patiently watched as over the years, florals have taken over our house. Bloom by bloom. With three girls in the house, he’s fighting a losing battle. Fresh flowers, floral artworks, floral textiles, books about blooms… shall I go on? It doesn’t matter if your inbox is exploding or if there’s a seemingly endless pile of washing to do, somehow flowers make everything better.
“ Mum always created a fragrance backdrop in our home too. I still remember the smell of lavender in our front garden. I remember bunches of handpicked gardenias. The smell of jasmine in our backyard ”
SHOP: Circa Home 1979 Oceanique Classic Candle, $29.95. Circa Home 1979 Oceanique Mini Candle, $14.95
Every bathroom needs scented hand wash
Listen up kids, this is important: scented hand wash is as essential as toilet paper. Really mummy?! Ok, not really, but it’s still important. Our girls seem to think the hand wash is a toy (in fact, everything that isn’t in their toy box seems to be a toy). The only plus side to their excessive use of hand wash is that the bathroom usually smells wonderful! My favourite? Circa Home’s 1998 Mango & Papaya Nourishing Hand Wash, which is a heavenly blend of mango, orange and passionfruit laced with jasmine and a touch of vanilla. Lucky for my girls, as well as smelling lovely, it contains moisturising olive leaf extract and antioxidant-rich vitamin E.
Light a candle – just because
There’s nothing lovelier than walking into someone’s home to be greeted with the scent of a beautiful candle. If people are coming over, I’ll always light a couple of candles (out of reach of certain little hands, of course). After a big week, I’ll light a candle and have a bath (on a side note: my favourite is the new Circa Home Forest Berries & Fig candle, which will make you feel like you’re relaxing under a fig tree surrounded by the aroma of blossoms and wild berries). Circa Home soy wax candles are handmade in Australia using natural soy wax, high-quality fragrant oils and lead-free cotton wicks (read: I’m addicted to them). So girls, here’s what I’ll tell you when you’re much, much older: fragrance is the simplest way to relax and unwind. And for my fellow mamas, just make sure your kids are asleep before you create your bath-and-candle sanctuary.
Editor Georgie Abay keeps a diffuser by the front door of her home to create an inviting entrance
SHOP: Circa Home 2017 Forest Berries & Fig Classic Candle, $32.95. Circa Home 2017 Forest Berries & Fig Fragrance Diffuser, $42.95. Arabella wears Daughter dress. Lottie wears printebebe dress
Diffuse in style
The quickest way to fragrance your home? Add a couple of diffusers. This is a super family-friendly way of fragrancing your home. I always have a diffuser in the entrance hall and in all of the bathrooms. Circa Home makes their fragrance diffusers in Australia using high-quality fragrant oils and natural ingredients. Their glass bottles and packaging are also 100% recyclable, so will appeal to the eco-minded mama. While we’re talking about kid-friendly options, I should probably mention Circa Home’s Electric Warmer & Soy Wax Melts, which are a brilliant flameless way to enjoy beautiful fragrance in every room in your home with the flick of a switch. A dear friend of mine actually brought this Warmer to me with Fresh Linen scented melts when I was in labour with Arabella (she’s a keeper).
SHOP: Circa Home 2017 Forest Berries & Fig Classic Candle, $32.95. Georgie wears ATELIER X GRACE ‘Mama’ sweater (coming soon). Arabella wears Daughter dress. Lottie wears printebebe dress
Photography: Grace Alyssa Kyo | In assocation with Circa Home