This Style Cure is the incentive I need to finally get my act together and turn our underused guest room into a spacious playroom/bedroom for my four-year old daughter, Pearl. Her bed, clothes and toys are currently crammed into a teeny tiny bedroom where even the smallest dolls are starting to feel claustrophobic. I want her to have the space to do craft projects, build LEGO, hold dollies tea parties, play dress up and of course get a good night’s sleep.
Pearl will definitely have a say on how we decorate her room — it's hers after all. But it also needs to grow with her, so I will have the last word on any new purchases. Before even glancing at the style survey, I feel I can confidently sum up my daughter’s style in two words — Disney Princess. But I am a little more hazy about myself. Time for some answers!
- actor: Amy Adams, Gillian Anderson, Dakota Fanning, the cute, chubby Danish guy in The Bridge
- artist: impossible to choose, but I love the Expressionist painters.
- writer: Jane Austen, Wally Lamb, Alice Hoffman, Barbara Pym, Liane Moriarty, I could go on and on.
- music: Dolly Parton, Julie London, Pizzicato 5 because it is insanely happy.
- restaurant: Japanese
- automobile: Honda CR-V because its reliable and comfy and I love the heated seats!
- Movie: I love film noir but I mainly watch Disney and Studio Ghibili nowadays.
- TV show: Strictly Come Dancing (UK version of Dancing with the Stars)
- clothing: Jeans, stripy top and Converse.
- furniture: Beautifully crafted wooden pieces. I am firmly in the ‘don’t paint it’ camp!
- actor: Elsa and Anna from Frozen
- artist: Matisse
- writer: Mary Howitt
- music: ballroom song from Beauty and the Beast
- restaurant: "The ice cream shop in our village."
- automobile: "Our car because it is shiny and I can listen to Winnie the Pooh and other stories."
- movie: Frozen
- TV show: Strictly Come Dancing
- clothing: "My furry (velvet) party dress with the butterfly sleeves."
- furniture: "Our sofa for jumping on."
MY PERSONAL STYLE: unfussy, casual, comfortable
PEARL’S PERSONAL STYLE: colorful, clashing, fun
MY FAVORITE CHILDHOOD ROOM: My pink and white Laura Ashley bedroom in the house I grew up in. My mum made a patchwork quilt for the bed from her old dresses and sewed the curtains herself. It overlooked the back garden and the fields beyond. I have happy memories of lying on the bed reading books and comics.
MY FAVORITE ADULT ROOM: The large open plan living space in our old house, a converted Victorian tram shed in North London. There were massive metal girders across the ceiling, wooden beams, exposed brick walls, large windows front and back and a Juliet balcony. We felt very lucky to live in such an amazing place.
PEARL’S FAVORITE ROOM: "My new room I’m moving into."
MY ROLE MODEL: I couldn’t think of a famous person who summed up the qualities I most admire, which are kindness, courage and warmth.
THREE JUST RIGHT SPOTS: Apart from the curtains which I dislike intensely, our living room is lovely relaxing place to spend time with family. My bedroom feels clean, calm and peaceful and our new en suite bathroom makes me smile every time I go in.
WHAT PEARL WOULD LIKE HER FRIENDS TO SAY: “I really like your room. It’s so beautiful! I love it!”
Pearl’s style is definitely more towards the maximalist, more-is-more end of the spectrum whereas I find beauty in things that are well crafted, pared down and functional. However, I think we have enough in common — a shared love of Strictly, Expressionism and Disney animation to reach some happy compromises.