These new days at home are the most heart-bursting days I have ever known. Brimming with love and raw emotion.
We have a new baby and a new home, and in ways this means as a family we have a new life. I wanted to share what these days look and feel like with you.
This is not my typical house tour, more like a tender glimpse into these fleeting days of being a brand new family, in a home which we are renovating, while juggling two businesses.
In the early months of finding out I was having a baby I started looking for a new home. Not really thinking I would find anything special. Even though our beautiful quirky tin and timber workers cottage was homely and familiar, I felt it wasn’t going to meet the needs of our ‘new life’.
One Saturday night while on my laptop in bed I found this house (because where else are you going to be on a Saturday night while pregnant.) A 1968 midcentury Brutalist home.
The home had just become available for the first time in 52 years. These sorts of homes are rare where we live and you could tell even in the real estate shots that the home had such a great atmosphere and had been really loved.
The house was very different to anything I had ever been attracted to. But most importantly I felt we could raise our baby here.
After a few nervous weeks of open houses and bank paperwork and what felt like competing against half of Brisbane for this unique home we picked up the keys.
At 6 months pregnant we were about to start a new chapter. When you find an original home like this it’s important to honour it’s age and it’s midcentury iconic nature, however some changes had to be made.
And another reason we are a long way off is because we have the most precious thing in front of us, reminding us to go slow and be in the moment. Our baby Edie.
Having a baby has really changed the relationship I have to almost everything and everyone. It’s changed because I suppose I’ve changed.
Life has become smaller, yet it feels the largest it’s ever been. The days are spent doing the simplest of things to nourish and nurture Edie – feeding, cuddling, playing and caring for her.
The mornings at home are my favourites. I love how the golden morning light comes through the windows here, especially now it’s autumn.
Timothy O and I both work from home, so we chat about the day ahead and plan when each other can have Edie for little blocks of time while the other one works, or while I dash to the studio to sign prints and send them out to our customers.
It’s what works for us right now and I just love having him so hands on with Edie too. Plus, I feel really lucky that my shop is completely online and fits so well with this transition into motherhood.
Our new morning routine feels in ways a bit traditional. It reminds me of how I grew up. Our family always had cereal at the table every morning together while talking about what the day ahead held for each of us.
I decided I needed some ‘cereal bowls’, just like my mums. Shallow bowls which only appeared in the mornings and were never seen again until breakfast the next day.
The first few weeks bringing Edie home were like a blur. As though a fog had set into my mind. The house felt very incomplete and I noticed just how much concrete there was and not much softness.
However, that’s just how life was and continues to be right now, and that’s ok. The carpet will come and so will the curtains. Things just take time and there is no point rushing, as I think when you rush that’s when you make costly mistakes. We want this home to be special, as we want to be here for a long time.
One thing I have done is hang some of my photographic work. Doing this has helped the home feel warmer and softer and definitely more homely.
Plus I love having the option to move these pieces around and have versatility.
The first thing I brought into the house when we picked up the keys was actually this extra large print.
I just knew this piece would set the mood for the entire house. That special piece you see as soon you walk through the door each day.
These sorts of pieces become incredibly sentimental to the way we live our lives and the daily memories we make.
One thing which really drew me to the house what how large the living area was. Two wide internal concrete steps take you up to the main living space which is flooded with natural light from both the east and the west.
The ceilings are much lower than what I have ever lived with. That’s the nature of a 1960s home.
It’s been a really interesting shift as I’m such a vertical fan, however introducing the horizontals really add so much dimension to the low ceiling living spaces, especially above the sofa, in nooks and over the bed.
I’m feeling built-in furniture will be the way forward with this house. I love the atmosphere that custom built pieces give a space and this approach really lends itself to the age and style of the house – built to last.
Plus adding layers of secondhand finds for originality.
Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed or a bit anxious that time is slipping away with Edie I pick up my camera.
Photography has always played a big part in my life, though now it plays an enormous role. Picking up that camera and documenting what’s in front of me is vital.
Life, right now. To record these special simple moments as a family and attempt to hold onto the time together really calms me.
Another thing which calms me is enjoying the small moments. Like a simple cup of tea.
I have been using my tea cosy lately to keep my tea warm, since it’s rare to enjoy a whole cup at once these days.
Edie is 12 weeks old now and she is feeding every 2 hours, which can be demanding at times, though I know she won’t be this little forever, so I’m savouring holding her in my arms. I could stare at her forever.
I adore the night time feeds and the just before sunrise feeds. When it feels like the whole world is sound asleep and it’s just her and I.
Our bedroom feels gentler than the rest of the house and it’s such a special place to retreat to and rest with Edie. I have added a few more layers to this room, including two favourite pieces of my work, Seaweed Pearls and Wilder.
Every piece I bring into our home sets the mood for how I want to feel here.
Two things which are helping me adjust to life with Edie that we do everyday is use a bounce ball and escape to the front yard, as her nursery is still a way off.
When Edie is being ‘fussy’ (aka, crying and needing to be settled) we bounce. It has been a life saver with her for when she just can’t be settled.
The bouncing mimics what life felt like for her inside my tummy, bouncing and jiggling around as I ran around town and this really soothes her.
The other thing we do is throw an old sheet on the front lawn of the yard and lay down together on the grass.
After giving birth it has taken time for my body to heal, as she really burst out (ouch), so laying down with Edie feels really comfortable and we can stare up at the sky and forget about the washing which is waiting to be done and just ‘be’.
Bath time is such a favourite moment of the day. The bathroom is very unique with a built in shallow bath and an original fibreglass panel window, which is layered with collected pieces of nature – very 1960s.
When the afternoon lights hits the panel it erupts in golden light.