Journey Home 1: Cath Ciarleglio
Step inside Cath's family home. Not just called so because of the size of her brood but the way that every decision in her home is lovingly taken with her family in mind - husband, children, extended family and friends. There is a clean, crisp style that holds each room of the house together with little accents of geometry and feminine touches. Its all about her house being a home for her family. And although that seems an obvious remark, its clearly embedded in every detail and decision in how she's designed her home.
What colours are you drawn to and why do you think that is?
I love grey, blush (peachy pink) and copper or rose gold and I actually love wearing these colours too. I think grey is a great wall colour as it's a perfect backdrop for everything else and pale blush is so soft, feminine and fresh. Four of our rooms have grey walls of varying shades and the pink shades feature in my bedroom and in my daughter's room. The other girls room is grey and coral. The rooms definitely all tie in together.
What motivates you to decorate your home and how do you find the creative process?
I love designing how each room in our house should look and feel. I am full of inspiration and ideas! If money were no object I would probably keep adjusting our house. I love the creative process. When we bought our house I got a note book where I draw ideas, stick in pictures and re-arrange floor plans. Our home is not finished yet but I'm enjoying the process of selecting items for each room.
Do you have any favourite items?
My favourite items... I could go on for ages and if you ask me on a different day I might give a different answer! I love cushions, especially the geometric ones in my lounge.
I also adore my mirror over the fireplace. It's made by Angel and Boho from a mould cast of an antique mirror and a limited number of mirrors were made from that mould. Ours was the last before the mould broke so no more were made like ours after that. Each mirror would be slightly different as the mould was used. Ours has a very faint pattern on it. I imagine earlier mirrors would have had a more noticeable pattern so I Iove that this is so unique.
The blue cup and saucers are very special too as they were my great great grandmothers. So that's five generations! You can tell that they've been used but I'm too frightened to use them now and they reside in my dresser.
How have you personalised your home with unique Furniture?
I've hand-painted a few items in our house. Our bedroom needed an injection of colour so I made my own chalk paint with a tester pot and calcium carbonate. I'm very happy with the result.
I painted a chest of drawers for my daughter too. One of the things I like about painting furniture is that you can have the exact colour you want. You can reinvent a piece. The drawers I painted originally had a finish which more suited a grand house in France that they came from but to fit into our house they needed a new look.
I can see some decorating with fashion in your bedroom! Tell me about that.
My wedding dress is my favourite dress so we wanted to see it rather than stuff it in a box in the loft. It tells a story and is a daily reminder of the day we got married and the promises we made to each other.
What does home mean to you?
Our home reflects us. Everything in our home is exactly how we want it. It's the place where we are all safe and in complete control.
I love having photos of our children around everywhere. Having four kids makes life feel like precious moments pass too fast. It's so hard to remember all the early days when they were so small. I love the baby stage and the photos help me relive those days. I have scan pictures up in frames too. I have B's in our room because she was the last baby to live in my tummy! I love surprises and she has been my best surprise ever. Her middle name means gift of God and these pictures remind me of that.
So your family at the heart of your decisions?
Yes I was just thinking that. Our house is all about being a home for my family. Each room and even the extension were all planned around our family. The guest room was added so that extended family could feel at home when they visit and each child's bedroom is designed around them. I'm really proud of our tiny ensuite guest room. We want visitors to feel welcome, at home and have their own space. I feel we achieved this in a very small space.
Have you experimented or taken risks with any rooms and how did that turn out?
I guess we had the family in mind when we decorated our house but our bedroom is our space. It's like a haven and has a really peaceful, calm feel. I love the white shutters and the way they reflect the light during the day. Because no-one else really sees your bedroom I feel you can have even more freedom decorating it. It can be dramatic or you can just use lots of your favourite things together and not worry what anyone else will think. We definitely have items I'm sure other people wouldn't put together in our room, like the blush and gold chevron lamps and the cushions on the bed. But it all made sense to me and I LOVE the result!
We put a fake fireplace in because I felt that the chimney breast made no sense without it. The thing I love about the armoire is it's big mirrors that reflect the wallpaper so you can see it when you walk in the room and I can see it when I'm in bed. I've always wanted bare floorboards so we stripped them and put a white lacquer on them.
Cath is a dear friend and I loved helping her reflect and discover more about her and her home. This begins a series where I am going to replicate the process of visiting homes and asking the inhabitants to tell stories about objects, their design process and life stories. What is emerging so far is that each one in fact has an overarching theme that draws everything together. It's fascinating! The 'journey home' series is our journey to their home, their own journey through their home everyday as well as their creative design journey. I'm hoping that this will allow us to evaluate our own homes and inspire us what to do next.
DISCLAIMER: All photography is my own unless otherwise stated.