Interiorssneak peeks

Decorating with the Whole Family in Mind

by Amy Azzarito

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When Kate Paillat, founder of Maurice and King, and husband Guillaume were looking for a London neighborhood to settle into with their two small boys – Etienne (4) and Jacques (2) – they knew they wanted to be in Notting Hill. They had always loved the neighborhood and wanted to be near parks for their boys and Notting Hill is literally sandwiched between two of the best – Hyde Park and Holland Park. They’ve only been in this rental for six months and even though there are plenty of design elements that they can’t change like the carpet and wallpaper, they still wanted to create a clean, modern space that was child friendly. Luckily, the couple has a love for mid-century design and minimal interiors. Kate tries to live by the William Morris maxim, “Have nothing in your home that you don’t know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” Which sometimes means that she has to wait a while for the right piece at the right price to come along. But once she finds a piece she loves (like the dining room table), it’s there to stay. –Amy

Image above: “The boys’ room is probably my favorite room in the house,” says Kate. “It’s full of light and color, with plenty of room for them to play. This Australian aboriginal painting, by Lady Dixon Nemara, is my absolute favourite artwork, and one of several aboriginal pieces we collected during our time in Sydney. I love it here in the boys’ room, with all its colours, shapes and vibrancy. Guaranteed to lift the mood on a grey London day!”

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Image above: “My husband and I love mid-century design and this Danish teak tall boy was one of our very first furniture purchases. I love that the wood grain on the front matches perfectly on each drawer – it’s the finer details!”

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See more of this London home after the jump!

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Image above: “I found this 1950s saucer chair at auction in perfect, original condition. The world map, unusually centered on the Pacific, is a beauty we bought for the nursery when our first son was born. I hope they will one day plan their own travel adventures from it!”

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Image above: “This rug is actually crafted from recycled plastic and is so soft, durable and child-friendly. They’re sold as outdoor mats, but we found it perfect for the boys’ room. It hides all manner of sins!”



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Image above: “My sister hand knitted these beautiful soft toys and my mother knitted the fair isle cushion. I love to look around my home and see items that I would never imagine throwing away, each with their own story or precious sentiment. The vintage poster is a gem we found in a thrift shop in the Blue Mountains in Australia – paid for with the change in my pocket!”

Image above: “There is nothing in our house that is out of bounds for our kids. When choosing (and culling!) furniture and housewares, we always make sure to keep items that suit everyday life with children.”

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Image above: “This incredible aboriginal artwork, by Central Australian artist Maureen Hudson Nanpijinpa, is called ‘Water Dreaming’ and is made up of hundreds of tiny painted dots. It’s even more sublime in real life!”

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Image above: “This chair is my most recent eBay acquisition. Another 50s gem, still in its original velvet. It’s true love. The painting is by Australian aboriginal artist Mitjilli Napparula, titled ‘My Father’s Country’.”

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Image above: “I found this original Ercol table and set of stacking chairs on eBay. It was a labour of love, with many a lost bidding war (and meals standing up in the kitchen!), but there isn’t a day that goes by now that I don’t love and admire them! My kids love to sit at the foot of this huge window and watch the goings-on on the street below. When they were smaller, they used to wave at passers-by!”

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Image above: “We are lucky to have a bright, open kitchen – they can be few and far between in London. It’s unusual for me to get excited about kitchen appliances, but this toaster had me at hello.”

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Image above: “Our bedroom is the smaller of the two bedrooms in our home, but it’s perfectly serene. The artwork on the wall is another Australian aboriginal beauty, titled ‘Bird Dreaming’ by Utopian artist Janelle Eggley Napaltjarri.”

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Image above: “I found this little Danish teak chair at auction and had it reupholstered in a wool tweed. It’s one of my very favourite items. Small and perfectly formed!”

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  • Just beautiful. I love the simplicity and the well curated feel. Also the tranquility of the master bedroom. Well done!

  • You would never guess this is a rental–they did a wonderful job of making it their own! I love all the Aboriginal art and the mid century furniture, but I think their dining room looks a little empty without a rug under the table. I know some people don’t like to put rugs over carpeting, but I think it would add something here.

  • I would love to know the source for the rug… I didn’t miss it in the post somewhere did I?

  • My jaw dropped when I saw that black and white 1950s saucer chair that you bought at auction, because we had that exact style chair in our house when I was growing up on Long Island, NY in the sixties! For all I know it could BE the exact chair! I’m curious, did that auction take place in NY? It looks great in your living room. It makes such a unique statement!

  • It’s wonderful to see a child friendly home where every component is so well thought out and the house isn’t cluttered with plastic toys! Certainly gives me some inspiration to get culling!

  • I love that first painting so much! May I ask where you bought her work or if you know where I could find any? Google came up with naught!

  • I’d love a similar hardwearing rug for my childrens’ room. Would you share the source?

  • Hi SKJ, the rug is from Australian store Fab Habitat, but there is another lovely Swedish label called Brita Sweden that do some gorgeous woven plastic rugs also. Kate x

  • Wish my London home looked like this! Unfortunately am renting (like most people) so going to do a post on hapinesswherever on sprucing up rentals soon :)

  • Hi Kate, I’m so inspired by your simple, beautiful home! I’m wondering if you could share where you bought the map in your sons’ room? Many thanks!

  • What an inspiring and beautiful space! I always thought that having kids meant clutter, clutter, everywhere! But this house is inspiring me to declutter and simplify! Thank you for sharing!

    The Mama Gazette

  • Hi Stephanie, thank you! We bought the world map from Paper2 in Surry Hills, Sydney. I’m pretty sure they have it on their website? Kate x

  • Beautifully done! Simple yet lovely and comfortable. The art really brings the colors into the rooms. Thanks for sharing.

  • I love all the aboriginal art in your home. As another commenter mentioned, google doesn’t bring much up. Can you direct us to a source for the artists you feature in your home or others like them? Thanks in advance. Your home is lovely and, quite unbelievably, a rental!

  • I’ve been going to this site religiously for years and I don’t recall ever commenting, but I had to this time, as this must be the most perfect home I’ve ever seen here. My gush-metre has gone off the scale. Being Australian, I recognise the artists, and they are so beautifully honoured in this setting. You have a very Australian aesthetic, with your mid-century and indigenous finds, hard to believe you’re in London. Bravo!

    PS: for those commenters who want to find similar art, I think the best and most ethical gallery is Papunya Tula Artists Co. in Alice Springs. I have bought pieces from there: they are a very impressive outfit.

  • Hi Elysiaarenee and Melissa Y, thanks for your lovely comments! The aboriginal artworks we all found from galleries and private dealers in Sydney. One particular gallery that’s very good is Gallery Tjukurrpa in Manly. You can often contact reputable aboriginal art dealers (by email/phone), if you’re not local, and ask them to try to source artworks by a particular artist for you. Unfortunately, there’s not much available on the internet and artists are often not self-represented, but prefer to work remotely, often by commission only – so it can take some time and research! I hope this helps! Kate x

  • You’d never guess this was a rental! It just goes to show that attention to detail and quality furniture goes a long way when you can’t alter other parts of your home. I’m stealing a couple of ideas for my flat for sure!

  • Kath W, thank you for your very kind comment!! It’s great to hear from a fellow lover of Aboriginal Art! Thank you also for your recommendation of the Papunya Tula Artists Co. I have heard of them before and am now keen to investigate further! I like that you’ve also mentioned them being ethical art dealers – an important thing to remember and research properly when buying Aboriginal art. Thanks again! Kate x

  • It looks as though the pic of the lounge is slightly distorted? Is this a technical glitch? Or just on my phone! ;) x

  • What a gorgeous, gorgeous home – but I wouldn’t expect anything else from the very beautiful and talented Kate Paillat. Everywhere you live you crate beautiful spaces…..

  • Hello! What an amazing post! Your space is beautiful! I really love it! The woven ottoman/stacked side tables are also fabulous! Do You mind me asking where you purchased these?

  • Hi Nichole, thank you! The stacked ottomans are IKEA – get in! The red check basket is Oxfam and the large Bolga Basket I found on eBay. x

  • Hi Kate … I love every room, especially the boy’s, the space is calm for children and I your ability to keep clutter at bay is wonderful. Do you know of place(s) in Australia that have beds like the ones that you have in the boy’s room, we are looking to move from a bunk and these your beds look both simple and practical.

  • Where in the world is the bedding from the kids’ room from?? It is incredible!!