“Motherhood has taught me that being solely a mother isn’t enough for me…
As much as I love being a mum and doting on my gorgeous kids, I need another outlet in life – a passion – and that’s in my work. I’m the founder of Little Liberty, an interior decorating business specialising in designing childrens spaces including nurseries, bedrooms and playrooms. I’m also proud to teach my children that you can have three kids and build your own business. Ive learnt that having kids shouldn’t limit what you want to achieve in life – you can have and do it all!
My children’s rooms reflect their different, quirky and funny personalities
They are all complete individuals. I have wallpaper in all three kids rooms, which they helped choose and still love. The wallpaper gave a real direction of what the kids wanted for their rooms and they evolved after that with different colours and accessories. My kids rooms change on a weekly basis – fortunately for them I’m exposed to a lot of fabulous products, which more often than not are incorporated into their spaces. They have also been exploring their inner ‘interior decorator’ and often add in their own special items as well (Taylor Swift posters GASP, Carlton Football poster HELP, American Girl Dolls CAN’T BREATHE). In terms of must haves for kids rooms I would say a bedside table WITH STORAGE (to hide knick knacks that kids collect), a good reading lamp, good quality bedding, a desk or somewhere they can sit and create (Millie uses her vanity table for this, so it doesn’t always have to be a desk).
SHOP: Rowena Martinich artwork, Leopard print cushion from Into The Fold, Ikea rug.
I studied as an occupational therapist for four years after university and never really felt that I was connected to what I was doing
I was always very creative and arty at school, but didn’t know how to relate that to a career. After having kids, I became completely obsessed with decorating their rooms and friends started asking me to do their childrens rooms and the rest is Little Liberty history! I’ve been following my passion and creating my dream ever since! It sounds so corny but the saying ‘follow your passion and success will follow’ is very true for me!
I think having a balance between what the child wants and what is functional and practical is really important
I always listen to both my client and their mum’s and blend everyone’s wants and needs and then put the Little Liberty spin on it! I love to use greys and white as the neutral colour in lots of my rooms and add in bold splashes of colour after that. It’s a good idea to keep permanent pieces neutrals and then add in colour with seasonal and on-trend items that can be easily changed such as throws and cushions.
Jardan is a favourite of mine for furniture
I also love Norsu Interiors for accessories, Armadillo & Co for rugs, Crate Expectations for accessories, Talo Interiors, Family Love Tree, Abode Living for bedding, Elliot Clarke for fabrics, Kikki-K for desk items, IKEA and Freedom!
My go to brands for childrens interiors are
Cots – Oeuf
Beds – Sealy for mattresses and I get my bedheads custom made. Also Family Love Tree has great bedheads and I look to Incy Interiors and West Elm for bed frames.
Decor – Bloomingville, Bride and Wolfe, Milk and Sugar
Bedding – Kip and Co, Goose Bumps Bedding, Abode Living, Jamie Kay Store, Castle and Things
Lights – Tom Dixon, Jardan, Muuto, Family Love Tree
Rugs – Olli Ella, Mushkane, Armadillo & Co
Artwork – Katie McKinnon, Anya Brock, Britt Bass, Norsu Interiors Prints.
I think I handle it ok…
I have to try really hard to mentally switch off as much as possible when I pick the kids up from school and click into mum mode – I try and have a no phone policy until at least 7pm! Then I’m straight back in front of the computer and replying to client emails. Sometimes it’s quite stressful, but more often than not I think I handle the balancing act pretty well. My husband is also a fabulous help and support with the kids and we juggle our little team together as a united front!
Sometimes I think I’m too tidy…
My kids will definitely vouch for that. I’m a virgo so I can’t help it. I think having a spot where things are supposed to go back is really important – I’ve always had storage boxes under my kids beds where they can put away all their little ‘special items’ (one lacker band, a toilet paper roll, a lipstick without its lid, a headless ninja turtle the list goes on). I also think de-cluttering every six months works wonders. I often do this without the kids even knowing and no one even asks where the things I threw out were! They keep so much junk!
My favourite time of day is dinner time…
I stand on one side of my island bench and watch my three kids eat and enjoy their dinner. This is where we talk about the days events and all the juicy gossip from school.
I think I’m enjoying being a mum even more so now than when the kids were younger
We have such funny conversations now and my eldest is almost like a friend to me sometimes when I’m talking to her – I love watching how their personalities are evolving and getting a glimpse into what they will be like as teenagers!
I definitely think navigating social media is really challenging
I’m very weary about how accessible inappropriate information is and terrified that with one click on the mouse their innocence can be taken away.
Nicoles little list of loves:
Rose gold and copper.
Ceramic pendant lights.
Dark chocolate covered licorice.
Pinching my kids bums and making them squeal.
My new car.
Peach/light pink colours.
SHOP: Ninnho towels, ladder from Bisque Interiors.
Photography: Jeremy Blode Photography