We catch up with long-time friend of Minty, Elise Grossman, in her beautiful 100 year-old-cottage in the Perth Hills, Western Australia. Elise is a single mother of Peyton 7, Xander 5 and Willa who is 3 and she has just given birth to a surrogate baby boy, Archie (the photos she has shared on her Instagram are nothing short of incredible). Today on the blog, we are delighted to take you inside her eclectic home, full of vintage and modern pieces that are sure to inspire.
Let’s chat surrogacy. Minty Issue 14 is all about ‘It’s Good to Give’ – I can’t think of a more selfless gift to another family than carrying their baby. How did you come to find yourself on this journey?
“I first heard about surrogacy when I was in my teens, watching a reality TV show with a celebrity couple that had a baby via surrogate and it really stuck with me as something I wanted to do some day if I could! Fast forward a few years and I struggled in my own way while trying to conceive. After a miscarriage, misdiagnosed PCOS and nearly a year of trying to fall pregnant I became very familiar with that “desperately wanting a baby” feeling so many women have! When I finally fell pregnant and then very easily with my second and third I knew I wanted help a couple to fulfil that ache of wanting a baby!”
How did you approach the idea with your family? Has it been well received?
“I’d spoken about wanting to be a surrogate in the past and my family know how much of a birth advocate I am! They were all very supportive, as were my friends and my online community! The kids were super excited about mummy having a baby for someone else who couldn’t.”
What did you do to prepare yourself, mentally and physically for this epic adventure?
“As a surrogate, you go through a lot of counselling and psychological assessments to make sure everyone is mentally prepared to take on this huge journey! There’s a lot of conversation about potential things that might not go to plan, some of these conversations are quite confronting but it’s important to be aware of the risks and have plans in place for if they ever did occur. I found this part of the process to be really reassuring that we were all on the same page and wanting the same things out of surrogacy.”
Where can we all find more information about surrogacy?
“Finding information in Australia was pretty difficult as it is still such a new thing here! For anyone looking into surrogacy in Australia they should look at the SASS page! Stay away from American information as their surrogacy process is very different to ours!”
Now, it wouldn’t be Minty if we didn’t have a peek into the kids rooms!
What was the brief for the kids rooms?
“We live in a beautiful 100 year-old-cottage and for that reason, I really wanted to work with the same vintage charm that the house has. It was really important to use the existing furniture we had to keep costs down and focus the budget on decorative pieces. I wanted their rooms to be inviting and keep that homely feeling that’s throughout the rest of the home. Making sure that the spaces were both practical and aesthetically pleasing was one of my main focuses.”
Tell us about the inspiration for the design style?
“I follow many European pages on Instagram and I just adore how they mix vintage pieces in with new modern decor! I’ve always had a soft spot for vintage pieces!”
How did you select the colour palette for Peyton & Willa’s room?
“I wanted to keep the tones quite pastel throughout, ensuring not to over-power the wallpaper as that was the focal point in the room. Adding a few small pops of pink to draw out the warmth in the wallpaper and lots of greys to create some mood. Originally, I had chosen a grey rug but one popped up on Facebook Marketplace and I fell in love. The yellow Numero 74 flags and canopy are also a similar tone which ties into the rug.”
What is your favourite feature in the kids’ rooms?
“Definitely the wallpaper! Every time I walk into their room it’s the first thing I’m drawn to because it brings such a lovely, soft feminine feel to the space.”
Any challenges throughout the process?
“I found it really difficult to get the right layout in the girls’ room because it’s a square shape. Firstly, I had the girls’ beds side by side but now with them both up against walls they’ve got a huge amount of floor space to play on, which is so important in a small home like ours.“
What is your overall favourite thing about the kids’ rooms?
“I love that they have rooms that they can grow with. I can imagine the girls still loving this space as young teens with just a few minor changes.”
Top 3 Instagram accounts?
@annakubel – interiors
@gisellebergstrm – interiors
@ohheytess – surrogacy
Wallpaper: Sandberg – Faded Passion in Grey, Paint: Dulux – light rice half strength, Canopy – Numero 74, Wall Mounted Swan – Tamar Mogendorff, Wall Art Prints – Mrs Mighetto, Apple Basket – Ferm Living, Quilt – Garbo & Friends Muslin Bluebell Muslin Bed Set, Grey Heart Cushion – Nana Huchy, Stuffed Octopus – BigStuffed, Moon and Star Wall Hanging – Iron and Cub, Dolly Cot – Ooh Noo, Bedding – Garbo & Friends Floral Vine Bed Set, Quilt – Camomile London Quilted Blanket, Tassel Chandelier (discontinued) – Justina Blakeney.
This article originally featured in Minty Magazine Issue 14
WORDS: Nicole Ray
STYLING: Elise Grossman @raisingyoungloves
PHOTOGRAPHY: Melissa Tonkin