Welcome to Part Two of our interview series, Mini Maison Meets. In this instalment we meet Charlotte Duckworth, renowned interiors journalist, mum to Daphne and owner/editor of kids' interiors blog, Go To Your Room. Charlotte has a huge amount of experience in the industry, writing for the likes of Ideal Home, Living etc and Wallpaper. Charlotte is on a mission with Go To Your Room to bring parents the absolute best in kids' interiors, so we are honoured that she's sharing her experiences and top tips with us here on the Mini Maison blog.
How did you get into the world of interiors?
I’ve always been very interested in homes and property, which I think stems from my parents. As a child, I used to be dragged around antiques fairs and my mum and dad were always decorating some part of the house. It rubbed off - I even decorated the house I rented at university! Then when I graduated from my journalism training, I was applying for magazine jobs and I saw one on Kitchens Bedrooms and Bathrooms mag. I think the editor could see I was passionate about the subject matter and I got the job even though I didn’t really have any relevant experience. That was 14 years ago now, and I’ve worked in interiors journalism ever since!
Describe your interiors style in three words
Calming, contemporary, imperfect.
From where do you find your inspiration?
From my peers mostly! From all the stylists, writers and experts I know and follow on social media, as well as brands. I get at least 50 press releases a day full of the latest products in the interiors world, so this gives me plenty to absorb! I also love restaurant design – I love eating out, and find restaurant interiors fascinating – they have a huge impact on my experience of the meal.
Describe your own home...
It’s a work in progress! It’s a 1970s house and we only moved in last year. We want to do loads to it, starting with an extension, so at the moment it’s a bit of a mess!
What’s the most important thing to consider when designing/styling a kids’ bedroom?
The obvious answer is to create somewhere that can grow with your child, but what that means is actually harder to pin down! Personally I think choosing quality furniture that will last is important, as well as incorporating lots of storage, because as we know, children have a lot of stuff.
When decorating a child’s bedroom where should you never cut corners?
For babies and toddlers, safety would be my number one priority, so you should always be careful that heavy furniture is attached to the wall, and that hanging mobiles can’t fall from ceilings and into cots, as the string used to hang them can be a choking hazard. I also think that choosing a good-quality bed and mattress is important – your children’s bodies are growing and deserve a comfortable night’s sleep just as much as you do.
How would you give a kids’ bedroom a new lease of life without breaking the bank?
Accessories! Just changing lighting, decorative pieces and soft furnishings such as cushions can have a huge impact. Keeping a neutral backdrop enables the room to evolve as your child grows too (so keep the nursery-themed wallpaper border out!). Wall stickers are great these days and don’t damage walls, making it very easy to dramatically change a room’s design without lots of work.
What’s your favourite current trend that translates well into children’s spaces?
Cork is one of this year’s key trends and I think it works really well in children’s rooms on stools and small tables, as it’s lovely and tactile, as well as stylish and safe.
What’s the most satisfying aspect about creating a kids’ space?
The fact that you can indulge your inner child! There are tons of things in my daughter’s room that I would love to have in my own but fear I’m a little too mature to pull off these days. Plus my partner wouldn’t be very happy to have a unicorn light on his bedside table…
What are your preferred colours & patterns to use in a kids’ bedroom?
Personally I’m a huge fan of yellow – but not insipid yellow, nothing even vaguely magnolia. Bright punchy neon yellow and mustardy yellow are my favourite colours at the moment. Plus they’re gender-neutral, of course! Pattern-wise, I love anything mid-century but in reality I prefer to keep pattern to a minimum and use accessories to add interest.
Any top tips for soon-to-be-parents designing a nursery?
Get yourself the most comfortable chair you can afford! Because you will be spending a lot of time sitting next to your baby’s cot in the middle of the night, and there’s nothing worse than dealing with backache at the same time! Other than that, think carefully about lighting – I really recommend installing a dimmer switch, a cheap and easy job that makes a big difference.
What trends do you predict being ‘big’ in the world of kids interiors in the next 12 months?
I think we’re going to be seeing a bit more colour come into play – the monochrome Scandi look (which I love) has dominated for a while now but I think there’s a growing interest in bold, but not garish colour. And gender-neutral interiors are definitely having a moment too.
What’s your favourite product that we stock at Mini Maison?
- Paint or wallpaper? Paint
- Carpet or wood floor? That’s tricky. Carpet for bedrooms, wood for downstairs
- Traditional or contemporary? Contemporary
- Pastels or brights? Pastels
- Introvert or extrovert? Introvert
- Minimal or eclectic? Minimal but not a very disciplined one
- Wood or marble? Both!
- Chrome or brass? Chrome
- Cats or dogs? Oh I love dogs but they smell and I’m too OCD to share my home with one, so cats
- One thing you couldn’t live without – well other than Daphne and my partner, a cup of tea!
Thanks for reading guys and if you missed Part One of our Mini Maison Meets series, you can find it here.