There's a trend going around these days that moms can't have glamorous homes. Family-friendly home decor brings upon images of oatmeal microfiber couches with faux brown leather trim. Well most of my online interior design clients are moms, and we don't go anywhere near that look. I want to bust the myth that a glamorously family-friendly living room is unattainable.
But being that I'm not a mom, I needed to bring in an expert in this area. I'm so excited to bring you a collab blog post this week with one of my favorite mommy fashionistas, Autumn Krause.
Autumn and I were chatting about finding her a great pink sofa, and then I had a thought. So I said, "Hey Autumn! Your a blogger. I'm a blogger. Let's get together!"
So without further ado, here's Autumn.
She's going to fill you in a bit on some mommy myths she sees out there, as well as give you some details on her needs for her living room. Then you'll see how I designed her living room concept and hear her thoughts! And don't forget to follow her here on Instagram!
Hello! My name is Autumn and I live in Orange County, California with my husband and daughter, Juliet, who was born last year. I’m a full-time writer—which means my office is wherever there’s good internet and an outlet for my laptop (and, preferably, a strong cup of coffee! Black, please). I also care for Juliet, so my days are filled with a mixture of spit-up, editorial deadlines, baby coos, and LOTS of typing. While I often write in a coffee shop, I also write at home, especially when Juliet needs a little extra TLC.
When I was expecting Juliet, I felt like I was facing a great unknown. I also knew that there were things I loved about my life: putting together cute outfits, styling my home, and finding joy in simple, soul-filling pleasures like bubble baths with lots of candles and lingering over a good book. As my due date drew near, plenty of people tried to fill in that unknown for me—and it wasn’t pretty. They presented a grim vision of motherhood, one with mom jeans, a
sterile, baby-proofed home, and messy buns all day, every day. It appeared it wasn’t just my life that would change, but I would change and be replaced by a makeup-less woman in gym shorts and tennis shoes.
My little girl is growing like a weed and I can honestly say that things aren’t as dark as I worried they might be. Here are the top five myths I encountered.
Mommy Myth #1: You’ll get a mom haircut, stop wearing makeup, and never put on heels again. In fact, you might not even shower ever again, too.
Of course, it's hard to shower with a newborn and sometimes you just have those days where you don’t shower at all or even change out of your sweatpants. But, overall, you settle into a rhythm that becomes a secret dance between you and your baby, one that only the two of you understand and you get back to not only showering, but putting on makeup, and heels! Yes, it takes effort, but I’ve found that the things that bring me the most pleasure always do.
Side note: You may have to adjust your makeup routine a bit—for example, I’ve been needing some major under-eye concealer because of those long nights.
Mommy Myth #2: All those cute clothes you’ve been buying for your baby—you won’t ever put them on her. Or if you do, she’ll ruin them with spit-up, sticky hands, etc.
I love curating my closet and coming up with different outfits so, naturally, when I found I was expecting a girl, I applied the same attention to her wardrobe. I often posted outfits to Instagram and, as I did, I got a lot of push back from well-meaning people who said I was wasting my time and money because Juliet would ruin her clothes, or I’d be too tired to put her in them. And I totally get it. Onesies are the uniform of babyhood for a reason. But everyone
prioritizes things differently (and, honestly, there isn’t any right or wrong way for dressing your baby—as long as they are warm and comfy) and attiring Juliet in cute outfits gives me great fun and lets me be creative in an easy way. I stay flexible and have lost plenty of adorable tiny dresses to diaper blow-outs but it’s worth it to me. Fingers crossed that when she’s older she loves clothes as much as I do, and we can go shopping together!
Mommy Myth #3: You won’t have time for anything other than caring for the baby.
There is a general sense that, once you have a baby, you are in survival mode. And it makes sense. Sometimes, especially earlier on, I slept in until noon and it took me hours to get out of the house. After having a baby, your mind is sluggish and simple things suddenly take a lot of effort. But I think the thing that makes survival mode bearable is doing things that make you feel like you. For me, this is writing, taking baths, and cooking. I discovered that I could
incorporate Juliet into those different things. When I write, she loves to lay next to me and watch. When I take baths, I bring her in with me and we enjoy ourselves until we are both prunes. When I cook, I turn on music and sing (very badly) for her while I satuee dinner on the stovetop. Sometimes, she is too fussy and needs my attention but other times, she and I are in harmony and her presence makes these things all the more pleasurable.
Mommy Myth #4: Your house will be given over to baby toys.
Okay, so there is now a swing in our living room, a perpetual stack of board books on our coffee table, and burp cloths strewn about for bouts of explosive spit-up. There is a baby in our house and I don’t want it to seem like there isn’t. This is her home as much as it is ours. Also, at the same time, I love interior design and want a space that reflects my style. There is a balancing that goes on—you must be mindful of things that are too low to the ground, fabrics that stain too easily, and pretty objects that can become hazards in the hands of a little one. But with some extra effort, you can find ways around this (especially if you have Stephanie’s genius to rely on!). You can also discover baby-oriented items that appeal to you. I made it a point to get Juliet board books with lovely illustrations, a swing in soft colors, and a chic black and gold car seat so, even when her things are all over, they aren’t eyesores.
Mommy Myth #5: You won’t sleep again, and you’ll be obsessed with your baby.
Haha, who am I fooling? This one isn’t a myth at all.
At the end of the day, we approach motherhood the best way we can—sometimes we do great and win the day, other times we barely get ourselves together. Whatever the case, I think the most important thing to remember (and know, if you are expecting), is that motherhood isn’t about losing yourself. It’s about finding yourself in the bright eyes of a tiny soul and even if there are hard and frustrating times, there is so much beauty, truth, and grace that comes with this new life.
So Autumn, what's your style?
I would describe my personal style as glam with a bit of a dark twist. I love romantic pieces articulated in blushes and champagnes with some black accents to add drama. Things with a slight baroque, Victorian Gothic, or French Rococo vibe speak to my soul.
What are your requirements for a sofa? Other seating?
My living room is my nursery, workplace, and where I end my days cuddling with my husband on the couch. For seating, I want one high maintenance piece that is completely me—a blush velvet sofa. Yes, I know this isn’t the best for diaper changing/spit-up/baby food stains but I can commit to keeping one item nice.
In regards to the other seating, I’d be interested in fashionable yet child-friendly pieces. We entertain a lot and frequently have family and friends over so copious seating is a must. Seating that is easy to wipe down would be great.
What about tables and storage?
I’d love a stylish way to quickly store toys out of view for when we are expecting company or when I just want to clean up the living room.
Do you have any particular lighting needs?
Since I work a lot in the living room, multiple and bright light sources would be wonderful to help both Juliet and I feel energized and engaged in the day.
When it comes to accessorizing, how should I proceed, given that you have a little lady in the house?
I’d love accessories that can grow with Juliet—ones that are perhaps placed higher up and can’t easily be pulled down.
Any particular requirements for area rugs?
Yes! Something sizeable and not too stiff on little baby hands and feet. Also, a pattern to hide stains would be wonderful.
And finally, the walls- artwork? wallpaper? mirrors?
I definitely would like to prioritize the walls because those are a great way to add style and they are well above Juliet’s orbit. I’m obsessed with dark moody floral wallpaper (maybe on one wall?), romantic mirrors, and fashion related artwork.
So here's the glamorous, family-friendly seating area concept!
I knew from already speaking with Autumn that she really wanted a tufted blush velvet sofa, and that is was going to be the one piece she wanted for herself. This sofa is a slub velvet, which is super easy to clean! (I know this because I have the same fabric and dirty little pups).
I then focused on the walls and lighting, since that is the least "family friendly" of the items I needed to choose for this area. Autumn wanted a dark floral wallpaper and plenty of light, so she got it!
On the floral accent wall I added two brass hand sconces and a gilded mirror to add in that old world feel she was going for, but then I modernized it a bit with a glass bauble flush mount light fixture. The added lighting and mirror will downplay the darkness of the wallpaper while providing light for work and play.
I chose a rather inexpensive plush gray patterned rug, perfect for spills and play, but also not something so precious that Autumn couldn't easily replace it in a few years.
The seating is in black leather, easy for clean up and I know Autumn likes to add a bit of leather into her feminine wardrobe. Instead of a coffee table, I wanted to make the room more usable, so I added a large leather bench, perfect for Juliet to crawl on or for guests to sit on when Autumn is having a larger get-together.
The side tables are round, without any sharp edges, but still super glam, with a pink onyx top.
And I didn't forget about baby storage! Cute gray and cream baskets are a chic way to store Juliet's toys while also adding texture to the space. Add a few pillows to soften up the look, and the seating area is good to go!
I love Stephanie's vision for my living room! The moody floral wallpaper is completely me. I feel like I'm immersed in a dark, secret garden. And, with its dramatic color palette, I don't have to worry about little fingerprints. I wanted one furniture piece that was exactly what I wanted without having to compromise or worry about making it child-friendly--hence, the blush velvet sofa that Stephanie found for me. The wallpaper with the blush sofa is an extension of my personal style: feminine with an edgy, darker twist.
Since I'm obsessed with mirrors and baroque details, Stephanie curated the most gorgeous gilded mirror and light fixtures for the walls. And, since they hang above Juliet's orbit, I don't have to worry about her grabbing them!
I asked for a rug that would be gentle on tiny hands and knees and patterned to hide stains. Stephanie found the most gorgeous yet affordable patterned rug that's perfect for hiding stains. And, due to the great price point, I can upgrade later on when Juliet is older. Her vision also extended beyond mine and she suggested rounded gold side tables so I don't have to worry about Juliet running into sharp corners. I hadn't even thought of this and its genius! And her idea of using a black leather ottoman in lieu of a coffee table was also so inspired! The ottoman can double as extra seating for when we entertain and Juliet can play under and on it. It's truly my style, with its delicate legs and tufted top. Stephanie also included baskets that I can quickly (and stylishly) stash Juliet's toys out of view yet still have them easily accessible for when she wants them.
And here's the glamorous, family-friendly entertaining and work concept:
I wanted to give Autumn a little area dedicated to work and productivity, so I found a great little secretary desk that closes up when she's not using it. I also love that the mint on the inside plays off of the green in the accent wallpaper. And for safety, we'll attach the desk to the wall since Autumn lives in earthquake country. And the simple desk chair coordinates with the sofa to add some unity to the space.
For added functionality for gatherings, I added a cream lacquer credenza, great for storage and serving food during parties which is also tall enough to keep any breakable accessories out of baby hands. But actually, the black bust is plastic- baby proof!
I added some additional table lights to brighten up the space, and we'll paint the remaining walls a light, warm pink to keep things bright without going overboard on the feminine.
And Autumn specifically requested some fashion art. I didn't want to give her just anything, so I found some vintage reproductions of Edith Head sketches for Hitchcock films. So unique and fun!
Since I work from home, a chic work space is motivating! Stephanie sourced this stunning secretary desk that's white and gold. I can see myself spending hours typing away here while sitting in the comfy, plush blush chair. And, since she knows my love for fashion, she included framed fashion sketches to give that dose of glam inspiration (and I love that these have a history to them. They are costume sketches for Hitchcock films! How cool is that?).
The credenza is a beautiful home for the TV and I was so delighted to learn that the beautiful black bust is plastic--so there's no way Juliet can break it! I see myself using this credenza for entertaining. It would make a lovely dessert or cocktail station.
I've always known Stephanie has a magical touch when it comes to interior design and she completely captured my soul with this living room. Somehow, she turned my fantasies for a glam, feminine, old world, and edgy (AND kid-friendly) living room into a reality.
I'm so happy that I was able to collaborate with Autumn on this little project- and it literally took us about two weeks to complete the design process. But I hope more than anything that Autumn's experience with Juliet can show all of you mom's out there that if you want a glamorously family-friendly living room, it can absolutely happen. You do not need to settle for the mainstream- just look at Autumn and little miss Juliet!
Need some help adding some glam into your home? I can do exactly what I did for Autumn with your home, no matter where you live!