We have been seeing a lot of Kate Pascoe Squires of late as she champions a movement of the Slow Down. Empowering women to take the pressure off themselves and enjoy a little bit of the good life when and where we can. It’s a refreshing approach to motherhood, and trend that, let’s face it, really had to happen!
You can read Kate’s take on motherhood in Minty Issue 12.
In the meantime, we were pretty excited to have the chance to peek inside the kids rooms of our Queen of Slow Down and share it with you all here.
Situated in Sydney’s leafy Eastern suburbs, the Pascoe Squires abode is home to Kate, husband Tony Squires, and their children, Harry and Helena.
It’s no surprise that it is home filled with impeccable design, and her children’s rooms are no exception. Modern and eclectic, the bedrooms include lovely recycled pieces along with high quality multi-functional furniture that has easily transitioned from nursery to bedroom.
“Both rooms have really developed organically,” says Kate. “I didn’t ever really have a clear ‘concept’ for either… it was more about collecting pieces and then building a look around them over time.”
A key element to her design approach is using more mature artwork than those typically found in children’s spaces; “I’ve been able to anchor everything around them from day dot”. Kate says that investment pieces can create strong bones to any kids’ room, and bringing in texture will add warmth and depth. She is also quick to point out it is crucial to incorporate your child’s personality. “Include items they love and let them have some say in their space.” Says Kate.
“I generally just move a few bits and pieces around a couple of times a year,” she says. “The kids love their rooms and get a lot of joy out of displaying their treasures, so I try not to interfere too much. I am constantly changing the linen and bedding situation though – I can’t help myself!”
The space that hosts the children’s bedrooms was originally one large, dark attic. Kate admits dividing the space into two rooms was a challenge. Especially as they wanted to include dormer windows to allow as much natural light as possible. Even after the DA was obtained for the renovation, the angles and long nature of the rooms proved tricky from a decorating viewpoint, dictating the size and type of furniture that could be used.
“As my kids grow, it’s important that they can retreat to their rooms with their friends. It’s their little piece of our home and I love that they feel some ownership over their spaces,” says Kate, who believes it is important to allow ‘space’ for play. “Their rooms are not huge, but just leaving a little bit of unfurnished, un-styled space means they can use their imaginations to play whatever they choose.”
Playtime for Harry and Helena certainly became more fun after the renovation, with the inclusion of a ‘secret tunnel’ between the rooms. “This was a stroke of genius from our builders! The kids’ rooms are in the attic of our house, so when we cut off the roofline to insert dormer windows, it left a nice little cavity between the rooms. We put doors in each room so the kids can ‘secretly’ travel between the two spaces. Recently, they’ve been inviting our neighbours over to watch movies in there. It’s dark, quiet and away from adults – the perfect kids’ retreat.”
And while the tunnel may be the children’s favourite aspect of the space, Kate loves the natural light that fills the rooms. “The light in the rooms is just gorgeous – it dances on the angles created by the roofline and makes them feel incredibly welcoming. The other thing is the tin roof – they are certainly the best rooms in the house for enjoying a rain storm!”
Kate’s Top Five
- Stripy artwork with wooden animal from Ici Et Lá – I purchased this before Harry was born and I love it now as much as I did when I found it.
- Oeuf Bunk Beds from Kido Store – the best purchase, super high quality and never seem to age. I can see Harry sleeping on the top bunk with a desk underneath when he gets older.
- Pin Board – Harry loves pinning all of his bits and pieces from school on here.
- Mexican puppets – I bought the wolf and Mini Mouse back from Mexico years before I had children. I love that they have found a home in Harry’s room.
- Postcard collection – Harry loves collecting these as much as I do and we continue to add to this wall as things catch our eye.
- Framed posters: I purchased these online around the time Helena was born and was looking for an excuse to frame and display them. They’re a bit left of field and I love that, although quite fun and colourful, they are not traditional children’s artwork.
- You’re A Good Egg Postcard – I couldn’t believe my luck when I found this. Helena has always been called Egg, so it was a match made in heaven. This one is a keeper.
- Shadow Box – I was obsessed with organising my miniatures when I was young. It gives me so much joy to see Helena doing the same thing. Lots of the things in there are from my childhood, so it’s extra cool.
- Mini Suitcases – Helena has a thing for mini suitcases and I find it totally adorable. Her favourite game is to pack them up and pretend to go on a holiday, a game she calls ‘trips’. I love them more for their functionality, as they hide all those tiny bits and pieces away so easily!
- Kate & Kate: Carnival collection pieces – I had to put these in, as they look so good in her room! I love a more mature look in kids’ rooms. You can mix up textures and colours to give it some ‘oomph’ while still keeping it mini friendly.