At home with London Mums’ newest lifestyle agony aunt
- Mums Tips
- Published on Thursday, 24 October 2013 10:00
- Last Updated on 04 November 2013
- Monica Costa
- 2 Comments
Here is the first article of our new lifestyle column with London Mums Magazine’s very own lifestyle agony aunt, Aneliese from Landmark Lofts. Do you have interior design dilemmas you would like to get FREE advice for? Simply let us know and Aneliese will reply.
London mum Aneliese, who’s already juggling three kids, a successful design career with Landmark Lofts and a passion for design, has just landed another gig as our resident lifestyle agony aunt.
Every month, she’ll answer your questions about design, renovations and about being a mum that positively oozes style – she’s even got us convinced that it’s as easy as teaching your little ones their 1, 2, 3s! Here’s a sneak peek into Aneliese’s stylish world…
It’s funny how we end up where we do. I started out in fashion, first making clothes for myself and then for my friends at school. Friday night discos became mini fashion shows – you couldn’t take a step in any direction without coming up against an Aneliese original that I’d sold to its wearer in the toilet block a few hours earlier.
After school I dabbled in fashion styling for shoots and ad campaigns and after a while I realised that I actually preferred this to styling people. There’s something immensely satisfying about designing an environment from scratch that speaks volumes and ticks every box of a complex brief. People are often surprised when I tell them how easy it was to make the switch from people to spaces, but I believe that if you’re that way inclined you can do anything design-related.
When I set about looking for my first home, I knew that I wanted an absolute wreck so that I could renovate it and create a space that was uniquely me. And, after a while it became like Friday night discos again with close friends asking me to style their own homes for them, which ended up leading to a full-time position as a design consultant for a fabulous integrated loft conversion company, Landmark Lofts.
My personal home style has always been eclectic, but it evolved and became even more so with the arrival and growth of my three little ones. When they were really little, for example, my home was all about large, open, playful spaces that had high visibility. When they got a bit older, however, I started putting the walls back up and creating teenage-friendly spaces that afforded them a bit of privacy and me some peace and quiet!
Although changes in our personal lives affect how we decorate and furnish our homes, it doesn’t mean that our style should suffer. I’ve always had a stylish home and have worked hard to maintain a sense of style by learning how to compromise and adapt styles to better suit my needs. Ten years ago I had this fantastic turquoise silk damask in my living room that I loved to death and couldn’t imagine ever parting with. Now in its place is an oversized antique chesterfield that’s in the same style as its predecessor but has already been bashed around a bit and is 100% kid and pet-friendly, so my heart doesn’t sink every time it gets… well, used!
One of the things I get asked on a regular basis is how parents juggle home renovations with kids, work and other responsibilities. The advice I always give is that, like with most things, it’s all in the preparation. People employ professionals to do the building and design and we can get on with that so long as they’ve done the necessary preparation. The main thing homeowners can do is to declutter, and what better time is there to do all of those odd jobs that have been right down the bottom of your to-do list for years now, like sorting odd cutlery and going a bit crazy with Ikea storage units, than in the lead-up to renovations?
What I do is just one small component of the loft conversion or home extension process. There are a range of professionals like myself – from architects to colour and decluttering experts – who all work together to create a space or spaces that fit or exceed peoples’ wildest expectations. We’re used to working in homes with small families and we make it our duty to comply with strict health and safety regulations so that not only will you hardly notice that we’re there, you won’t have to worry about little Jane finding a power tool and adding it to her toy collection.
What I love most about my job is the opportunity to meet so many great people who inspire me to experiment with design in order to find solutions to different families’ complex and varied aesthetic and spacial needs. Every project represents a learning experience, which means that I’m constantly changing on a personal and professional level, which is perfect because the world of design is constantly changing and design professionals need to be adaptable and able to keep up.
Aneliese Deane is a design consultant for Landmark Lofts. For more information or to book a design consultation, visit www.landmark-lofts.com or call 020 3150 0505.
Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums