Real Life On Our Couch

September 5, 2015 • Home DecorKidsLifeStyle

a while ago a belgian journalist contacted me because she was preparing an article about mamas on instagram. as i have been sharing a lot of #julietrabaey on there, it didn’t surprise me she considered me ‘an instamom.’ i shared some of my favorite pics with her to be published in the magazine she writes for, and didn’t really think about it again until the article came out. i shared a picture of it on ig (BUT OF COURSE) and i wanted to repeat here what i mentioned there.

my life is far from perfect. it’s complicated, it’s messy and it can be exhausting. sometimes i feel like sharing how this makes me feel – like when juliet had such a difficult time those first three months of her life. i posted a few pictures on instagram to share how hard it was on me and our family, and got so much comfort and encouragement from the comments that followed. i’ll forever be grateful to everyone who shared their own stories with me or offered me some words of sympathy. i don’t think i’m exaggerating when i say they really helped me get through a tough few months.

luckily, juliet is doing much, much better now. she’s as happy and healthy as a baby can be. it took me a little longer to adapt to my new life (and it’s probably still an ongoing process), but i can honestly say i am feeling happy much more often than not. i choose not to dwell on things, and to move forward, so that is why on ig i’m back to sharing happy moments and memories. i don’t think that means i’m being dishonest. it just means that whenever possible, i like to spread joy and optimism.

what does all this have to do with that article, i hear you think. the instamoms that were represented in the article, were all examples of perfectionists and aesthetes. they like to think about the photos they post, perhaps even style them a little bit before they take them. i plead guilty, but as the article said – it’s not so much about trying to ‘fake’ something, than about wanting to remember the best of everything. just like back in the day when moms used to book a professional photographer to take their family portrait. so even though the article never accused me of anything, it did make me think about how i’m presenting myself online and what i’m feeling and thinking in reality. and it made me want to share a little more than i usually do.

like the story behind the pictures you see above. because juliet had such a difficult time those first three months, there was barely a moment she was awake and not crying. we were exhausted and on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and the last thing on our minds was organizing a photoshoot to commemorate the start of our little family. i pushed back thoughts of regretting that later on, but of course time passed, juliet’s troubles went away and i regretted having lived on fast-forward for three months without taking the time to letting it all sink in.

so when we finally set up the tripod and took the time for a family picture, we sat down on the couch on which we had cried, laughed, rocked juliet to sleep, watched netflix endlessly through the sleepless nights and nursed ourselves and juliet back to health. it was an emotional moment yet at the same time there was absolutely nothing ceremonial about it. juliet only liked sitting still for about five minutes, my husband felt silly having to pose, and it took about a million shots to finally find the pose where we all didn’t look like complete morons.

so actually, nothing about the pictures above is perfect, but they are pretty perfect to me. when the journalist described the setting as carefully thought through and composed, she was only partially right. yes, we’re all wearing EMOI EMOI because their sweaters look great and have cute messages on them. yes, we’re sitting on the absolutely perfect moroso couch which we carefully selected for our home at MASTER MEUBEL. and yes, we look like a happy family because that’s what we are, in the end. but what you don’t see is the conflicted emotions, the happy tears, the sad tears and everything else going on behind the scenes, and perhaps that is a shame, because sometimes it can be a beautiful thing to share, too.

Our New Living Room

June 9, 2015 • Home Decor

Our New Living Room From Master Meubel Our New Living Room From Master Meubel Our New Living Room From Master Meubel Our New Living Room From Master Meubel Our New Living Room From Master Meubel Our New Living Room From Master Meubel Our New Living Room From Master Meubel

i’ve been wanting to share some snapshots of our new living room ever since the sofa we picked out at MASTER MEUBEL was delivered. but it so happened that the delivery guys arrived the night before juliet’s birth, and well, things got a little crazy after that. but now that everything is settling down a bit, and we’ve started to create new routines as a family, i’m so happy to finally share how our living room looks right now.

as you may remember, i teamed up with my favorite design store to finally create the perfect living room fit for an adult life and a little family. everything revolved around the sofa. you can see the moodboard i created HERE and the process of choosing the right one for us with an interior architect of master meubel HERE. i can’t even put into words how happy i was when the sofa made its way to switzerland. i had to leave for the hospital later that night, and i was so disappointed to leave it behind. all the time i spent in the hospital, i thought about curling up on that sofa with my tiny newborn girl in my arms.

when that finally happened a few days later, it was everything i had imagined. the MOROSO GENTRY is so spacious, there was more than enough room for the three of us to hang and lounge for days on end. i spent many nightly hours on that couch, rocking little juliet to sleep while zapping through netflix (and racing through entire seasons of white collar, bloodline and unbreakable kimmy schmidt). already, this sofa is so much more than the gorgeous design object i fell head over heels for. it’s the beating heart of our home.

perhaps one day i’ll regret choosing this light grey color (premonitions of a four year old juliet’s sticky hands and messy snacks), but right now i couldn’t love it more. it ensures the sofa doesn’t look too heavy, like it might have in the cable knit fabric. in the end we just added some pillows in that fabric because we loved it so much, but we’re happy we went for a slightly safer and more timeless fabric for the sofa. we also chose two black ABOUT A CHAIR models from hay, to add more seating for when we entertain guests. one of them is in JULIET’S NURSERY for now, and both of them are our preferred spots to feed her, as the arm rest is just the right height to support us holding her.

i was pleasantly surprised to see what a great match the moroso couch is with our FOSCARINI TWIGGY lamp, which we also bought at master meubel years ago, when first moving in with each other. it really feels like we’re building our ideal interior, carefully and slowly putting together the different pieces of the puzzle. i like the idea of working towards the perfect home gradually, adding different layers as the years go by and you evolve as a couple and as a family.

photos by stephanie duval


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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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