Given mother of two Kristin Rawson began her career in fashion while she was still at school, assisting stylist Nicole Bonython-Hines, it’s no wonder she ended up in New York, working alongside fashion legend Brana Wolf and later became the fashion editor at Teen Vogue (it was here she developed a love of iconic American brands including Ralph Lauren). When her son Jackson was born, Rawson made the move back to her hometown of Sydney, to be closer to friends, family and the beach...
That was almost seven years ago now – time flies. She’s kept her foot in fashion but also moved into the world interiors (she’s currently the contributing fashion and interiors editor of Real Living and behind many of the dreamy home shoots in the magazine). How would she sum up her motherhood journey? “Forever evolving, full of surprises, no day is ever the same, routines are made and broken. But that’s not unique, any parent can relate to this. When the children are happy, I am happy. We have a beautiful bond that I hope will be forever.” We visited Rawson at her family’s beach house on the NSW Central Coast to talk motherhood, career and style and of course, practical interior tips. Photography: Alice Mahran | Hair and makeup: Jess Diez | In association with Ralph Lauren
Billie wears Polo Ralph Lauren Cable-Knit Cotton Cardigan, $79; Polo Ralph Lauren Aubrie Denim Legging, $55 and Polo Ralph Lauren Bear Sneakers, $109.95. Jackson wears Polo Ralph Lauren Cotten-Blend-Fleece Hoodie, $99; Polo Ralph Lauren Cotton Jersey Crewneck T-Shirt, $39 and Polo Ralph Lauren Seersucker Traveler Swim Trunk, $89. Shop Kristin’s look in store at David Jones
Describe those early days with a newborn...
Jackson being my first, and being a little ‘type A’ myself, things were difficult. I had to learn to let go of anything I needed to achieve, so I could deal with his needs first. That was a huge adjustment for me, like any parent. Billie came two years later, and she had horrible acid reflux. I hated to hear her cry, so self-settling never happened. She only slept through from when she started solids, around seven months old. Sleep deprivation was a killer! Thank goodness we are over that now. Mind you, I wake each morning with some extra limbs in my bed. But I know that this is a phase, and one day I’ll miss it terribly!
Almost seven years in, what would you tell yourself if you could go back in time to before you had kids?
You can’t control everything. You have to take the time to notice the small things, all the learnings from the journey that make us stronger – and better – people. I have a happiness and love with my kids that I never knew was possible.
Interior images: Maree Homer
The most challenging part of motherhood?
A household full of emotions, needs and moods. There are times when we are in perfect synchronicity, and life is pretty good. There are also days when we are all exhausted and a little grumpy. All mothers know this.
And the most wonderful part of motherhood?
The unconditional love from my children. They split their time with their dad, so their time with me is so precious. It is so hard not to spoil them with love and attention on our days together.
Billie wears Polo Ralph Lauren Cable-Knit Cotton Cardigan, $79 and Polo Ralph Lauren Aubrie Denim Legging, $55. Jackson wears Polo Ralph Lauren Cotten-Blend-Fleece Hoodie, $99; Polo Ralph Lauren Polo Shirt, $69; Polo Ralph Lauren Cotton Jersey Crewneck T-Shirt, $39 and Polo Ralph Lauren Seersucker Traveler Swim Trunk, $89. Shop Kristin’s look in store at David Jones
How do you make time for self-care?
Pilates, Dermologica facials and a few minutes here and there for my Instagram obsession! I also enjoy catching up on online magazines and Pinterest.
What's your secret weapon?
Caffeine. I’m an absolute addict, it makes me a happy mumma. Touche Éclat from YSL, Chanel bronzer, black mascara. Eye masks for nights of broken sleep. An Epson salt bath at the end of the day (thank you Soak Smith).
Billie wears Polo Ralph Lauren Pleated Stretch Polo Dress, $79. Jackson wears Polo Ralph Lauren Cotton Seersucker Fun Shirt, $89; Polo Ralph Lauren Cotton Jersey Crewneck T-Shirt, $39; Polo Ralph Lauren Slim Fit Belted Stretch Short, $79 and Polo Ralph Lauren Navy Sneakers, $79.95
Do you exercise and if so, what do you do?
Pilates is the best exercise I can do for my body. Combined with sciatic nerve compression, it is one of the only exercises light enough I can do to strengthen my body without harm.
What’s your approach to diet – what kind of foods do you fuel yourself with?
The children and I eat simply, yet well, with as many veggies and quality protein as possible. I can’t go past an acai or poke bowl either. Healthy, unprocessed and light.
Billie wears Polo Ralph Lauren Cable Cotton Peplum Cardigan, $99; Polo Ralph Lauren Aubrie Denim Legging, $55 and Polo Ralph Lauren Bear Sneakers, $109.95. Jackson wears Polo Ralph Lauren Solid Oxford Shirt, $79; Polo Ralph Lauren Slim Fit Belted Stretch Short, $79 and Ralph Lauren Quilton Sneaker, $99.95. Shop Kristin’s look in store at David Jones.
What are your time management tips?
I can’t really say that I am the best example of time management! I attempt to get all the ‘life admin’ done when I don’t have the children. This means the time we have together is set aside for them and their activities, which ensures fewer frustrations for us together as a team. I am currently reading The One Thing by Gary Keller in aid of achieving fewer distractions and more focus.
Talk us through your career and what you’re up to now?
My career has grown with experience and opportunity. Before I finished high school, I was assisting fashion stylist Nicole Bonython-Hines, which was an amazing start of my journey into the fashion world. I then moved to New York in my early twenties, working at Harper’s BAZAAR, with the best Brana Wolf. I moved to fashion editor at Teen Vogue, which was everything a girl in fashion could dream of and more. I returned to Australia after my son Jackson was born, it was important for me to be close to family. This country is such a grounding environment. Interiors evolved as a passion. I really enjoy creating warm and centred spaces that generate happiness and stability for people, no matter who you are. I furthered my studies in interior design, which has led me to my current role as fashion and interiors editor of Real Living magazine. As side projects, I work with a wonderful portfolio of clients to create their dream homes.
Billie wears Polo Ralph Lauren Cable-Knit Cotton Cardigan, $79;Polo Ralph Lauren Aubrie Denim Legging, $55 and Polo Ralph Lauren White Floral Sneakers, $79.95. Jackson wears Polo Ralph Lauren Polo Shirt, $69; Polo Ralph Lauren Slim Fit Belted Stretch Short, $79 and Polo Ralph Lauren Navy Sneakers, $79.95. Shop Kristin’s look in store at David Jones
Have you always been passionate about styling?
Absolutely. Whether it is fashion or interiors, style has always been a love of mine. I have always appreciated design, spatial relationships and colour.
Three favourite interior stores?
MCM House has casual Australian furniture mastered. Jardan for exquisite higher end pieces and limited editions. Mamapapa has a heavenly mix of fashion and soft interior items. Virgine, the owner and curator, is a very clever lady.
What interior items are you currently coveting?
Sarah Ellision for Clickon Furnitures Alva Chair in Oyster linen. Armadillio & Co’s Ghan rug for my living room. One of Caroline Walls’s beautiful art pieces.
Can you share some practical interior tips. How can we all make our homes more beautiful?
My clients all come with varying briefs, which keeps life interesting. I think a change of colour to reflect the seasons can be a great way to mix things up, especially with simple items such as cushions or bed linens. Also greenery and seasonal candles.
What’s your approach to fashion - what’s a typical look for you?
Relatively simple and practical, because I’m on my feet all day, so I can’t wear heels, which called for significant investment in flat shoes! I stick with a neutral palette, adding an accessory for a change of look, but I do love getting dressed up for a dinner date or event.
Tell us about your beach house in Copacabana – how would you describe the interiors?
Copa is our family holiday home, such a special place in my heart. It was built by my parents to be a ‘second home’ for their four children, grandchildren and friends. It represents a sanctuary for us all to escape, but it actually encourages us all to come together, relax and spend long days at the beach with the people we love the most.
How do you feel when you’re there?
We let a lot go! Our routines, our washing loads, the day to day stuff and we come together as a family. It was very difficult to convince my father to even install wifi. I am starting to understand that now!
What are your favourite things to do there as a family?
Beach walks with the dogs, long afternoons in the children’s rock pool, family meals and story time with Gi and Pa – my parents. It’s all about connection. Time is precious.
Who are your mentors/role models?
It goes without saying that my parents are mentors, role models and such unbelievable characters in my life. While raising four children as my father worked, my mother never knew of the luxuries we have now as women and mothers. We try and spoil her – and my grandmother – now in any way they will allow us to, as a sign of our gratitude. They essentially shaped the people that I, and my three siblings, have become. While our mother was raising us, our father was being and still is, a remarkable man. He has dedicated his life to be an ophthalmic surgeon, improving the lives of so many people. He also works tirelessly in a number of developing countries to help those far less fortunate than all of us reading this right now – literally. Needless to say, he doesn’t always care too much about the subtleties of white and beige linen bedspreads!
Who do you lean on when you need support?
My mother, my sister and circle of close female friends. Some people are great for the good times, some are good in the bad times – but the best friends are the ones there all the time.