over the years, i’ve come to realize that a big part of creating a warm, cozy home, comes down to adding texture. literally, by mixing fabrics and materials, but also by collecting little objects and accessories that each add a layer of depth to your home’s story. it’s not something you can just decide to do one day – it’s something that develops over time, as you find pretty little things and take them home with you.

i used to get insecure whenever i considered bringing home a new accessory or object – i started wondering whether it would ‘fit in’. now i know that – because i love the object enough to want to buy it, that’s enough to make it fit in. even if the color is not an exact match, even if it’s a slightly different style than anything you’ve bought before. your style will change, the objects will, too, and that’s completely fine. it’s much nicer to create your personal style in this way, than to follow some kind of guidebook or buy everything at once in one store, because you feel like that is the only way to control the outcome. which is not to say that an ‘eclectic’ style is the only truly personal one – i just like things to be 70 percent pure. on the surface, it might seem like it’s one style or flavor, but if you look more closely, you’ll see there’s other ingredients mixed in there. and that’s what makes anything really interesting – at least in my opinion.

i really love moving things around in our home. small items i may have bought for one of the kids’ rooms end up in the living room, and the other way around. a vase moves from one shelf to another side table, and frames first hold photos and then art work from the girls. i recently added this SINGLE CANDLE HOLDER from FRITZ HANSEN to the mix. JAIME HAYON is one of my favorite designers of the moment – he has an uncanny ability to combine warm materials with a sleek and timeless design. because even though i love to add and change things in our home occasionally, i don’t like to get rid of things entirely, so i try to avoid buying things that i know i will get sick of quickly.

my first instinct was to buy the two different versions of this candle holder at once, because they obviously go so well together. but then i realized that i would be trying to reproduce the images on the website and in the catalogue, instead of creating my own story with it. i really love how the item matches with some of the things we already owned, and frankly i look forward to creating a collection of completely different CANDLE HOLDERS that all share one red thread – because i love their design, they become a piece of the puzzle that is our home.

photos by stephanie duval • post in collaboration with MISTERDESIGN.BE

Happy 4th Birthday Juliet

May 6, 2019 • KidsLife

please tell me – HOW is this girl four years old? i know every mother and their mothers are full of clichés, but every day that i’m a mom myself, i understand them a little better. it’s all true. every new thing they learn, you celebrate and you mourn at the same time. you celebrate their kindness, their wittiness or cleverness, their self-confidence. ironically, at exactly the same time you mourn their growing independence. the looming reality that one day they won’t wake you up in the middle of the night anymore to sleep next to you. they won’t need you as much anymore. they won’t believe every word you say, they won’t want to copy every little thing you do. it’s a constant struggle between being proud of the humans they are becoming, and sad for the little babies they are leaving behind in their past.

so, i get it now – why parents make such a big deal out of the birthdays of their kids. if you put enough energy and concentration into the decorations, the cake, the gifts, the songs, the surprises, the cards and the balloons, you might just be able to make it through the day without an emotional breakdown. the more you concentrate on creating the magic that will cement that smile on your kid’s face, the less time you have to wax on nostalgic about the day they were born, their tiny fists that disappeared into your hand, their tiny toes that wiggled free from their baby blankets, their tiny cheeks that turned red with frustration when they got hungry.

kids, if you are old enough to read this and you feel embarrassed about the big deal your mother still makes out of your birthday when you turn 14, 24 or 44 – imagine the embarrassment if i wouldn’t have a party to plan. every time you let your mother bake you a cake, you’re saving yourself from much, much worse.

anyhow, turning four is huge for juliet. she definitively crossed the line from tiny toddling toddler into a real kid. suddenly she wants to ride bikes, sleep in a big bed, and go to school. i’m so grateful for the swiss school system, which starts in september the year you turn four. i feel like she is more ready for that big change than i will ever be – if i could have it my way she’d go to daycare forever. instead, i am watching her learn how to count in three languages, and draw ever more elaborate pictures. i listen to her complicated stories that weave fantasy and reality together in fantastic fables. i learn from her about unicorns and farm animals like they are part of the same universe. she tells me she wants to be a mom when she grows up, as well as an ‘educatrice’ and a doctor. she’s simply listing all the female role models in her surroundings – that in itself makes me proud.

for her birthday, she really wanted a shop. and a unicorn. and nail polish. she’s a girl’s girl, what can i say. and i love nothing more than to see that absolute joy in her eyes when she sees her deepest wishes fulfilled. if only i could do that for the rest of her life. that’s not probable, so i’ll have to soak in every minute of every year while i am still a godlike creature in her world, able to make any fantasy come true.

photos by stephanie duval • flexa shop, register and groceries via MYLITTLEROOM.CH • juliet’s skirt and cardigan from SOFT GALLERY and tee from EMILE ET IDAmeri meri balloons, veja sneakers, nailmatic fizzy ball and soap via HET LAND VAN OOIT • tableware from POMAX • if you have any other questions, leave them in the comments


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my name is stephanie duval, and i am a storyteller. this blog is where i share my favorite stories about design, travel, fashion and the nice things in life.


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