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Photography: Anthea Nicoll of Red Rabbit Photography Makeup: Nicola Snell from Napoleon Perdis Hair: Courtney Bodger from Oscar Oscar Salons Words: Georgie Abay

It’s reassuring to know that the women we profile on The Grace Tales generally do a spot of decluttering before we arrive to shoot, but I’m often amazed and inspired by how neat many of the homes we visit are. I’ve got a toddler and a newborn and let’s just say there’s far too much primary coloured plastic on display in our home. The vibrant home of the colourful and creative Melbourne based interior designer Sophie Gunnersen from Stamp Interiors is case in point that with a few clever storage solutions, it’s possible to have a tidy house with a toddler. She’s also proved that when used well, bright, primary colours actually look fabulous in an interior.

“To keep my home child friendly, I have had to make sure I use very easy to clean fabrics and timber flooring that is easy to wash. Anything too precious is out of the way of greasy toddler mitts. I also have larger bold pieces, there’s nothing too fiddly and I think this has worked well for us,” says Gunnersen. It’s also helps that she’s a self-confessed neat freak. “I manage to stay on top of the mess. If there is mess and clutter, I can’t think straight.”

Mother to the adorable two-year-old Kip, Gunnersen worked in fashion public relations and fashion and interior styling for over a decade before launching Stamp Interiors, an interior design and styling practice, with an old friend. “I love work and being your own boss is fabulous when you are juggling whipper snappers. It’s not always easier though. There’s always so much to think about, but I am loving where I am at in my life at the moment,” she says. “Career wise, your priorities definitely shift after you become a mother, but you really do need to keep you alive, keep your passion ticking and keep your sense of self in tact. It’s vital to your happiness.”

Naturally, she’s full of tips on how to decorate a children’s room, starting with good lighting. “Gorgeous lighting in a child’s room is key,” she says. In her son’s room, there’s a charming wooden dog lamp made by a friend. “The idea is to enjoy your child and make the space inviting, warm and cosy. Don’t make anything too precious and gradually collect things as you go, you will always add features as time goes by so don’t stress that it’s not perfect at the start let it evolve as you and your bub do.”

Gunnersen also happens to be a personal trainer (her enviably toned legs give it away), so she also knows a thing or two about staying in shape pre and post pregnancy. “When Kip was really young, I would put him to bed and often just put a DVD like Jillian Michaels Extreme Shed & Shred or a yoga one and do that on a mat in my living room. It saved me. My PT business is going to focus on mums. I will be mobile so be able to go to them at home and train them while their bub sleeps. I wished I had that when Kip was little!”

Sophie’s little list of loves:
My Aga cooker
Slow cooking
Pisco sours
Eve Lom
My hubbie (he made me add that).
My farm, the crisp fresh country air.

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