Tuesday, 3 March 2015

10 QUESTIONS WITH... KATE MIDDA


“Our bedroom is the calmest room in the house. Often when the afternoons start
 to drag and the kids are getting crazy we all jump into my bed with a pile of books
 and suddenly peace and harmony are restored. Maybe it’s the light
 or the muted colours but best of all it’s the view of the London skyline. 
Oh that view! It still takes my breath away even after a year.”


“Our house now is exactly how I remember mine growing up,” says Kate Midda of Little Big House Tales. “Sandpaper and paint pots everywhere, half plastered walls. It’s chaos but I love it and I love that our kids see us getting our hands dirty and get to witness our home slowly evolving into something beautiful.” 

Prior to motherhood, Kate worked long hours and spent a great deal of time travelling for her job in the pharmaceuticals industry. She had studied science at university and moved from Hampshire to London 11 years ago for work. Eventually the job took a toll on her health and she decided on a different career, interior design. After taking a course at the Chelsea Design School she set up an interior business with a friend, but since the arrival of her second child she has been more focussed on remotely managed projects rather than ones that require her to be at a building site.

Kate writes a monthly craft column for Mr Fox and has just launched the craft and interiors blog, Little Big House Tales, to document the refurbishment of her home in North London. “The older the children get the more I can see space for my career to flourish, but for now I’m focused on soaking up as much of these precious early childhood years as I can and staying healthy,” she says.

1 As a child I used to wear... OshKosh B’gosh dungarees, Breton tops and the most beautiful cardigans knitted by my grandma. I remember she always picked the cutest buttons. My daughter still wears one of my favourites today.

2 My bedroom was... always changing. My first house growing up was a crumbling old cottage in the Essex countryside. My dad more or less rebuilt it himself, armed only with a couple of DIY manuals and plenty of nerve. Dad was always drilling, sanding or fixing something at the weekends and as soon as I could handle a paintbrush I was encouraged to decorate my own room too. 

3 When I was a teenager I used to... sneak a pair of platform shoes out of the house in the morning and I’d switch my school tie around onto the thin side. The Breakfast Club was my favourite movie and I thought I was such a rebel but in reality I always did my homework on time.

4 After high school I wanted to be... an immunologist and find a cure for Crohn’s disease. I have suffered from the disease my whole life, it controlled so much of my childhood. I did go on to study immunology at university but sadly didn’t discover a cure. I did stumble across my future husband though. Not a bad result!

5 A seminal moment was... finding out I was pregnant with my first child. I’d always been warned that my chances of conceiving naturally would be slim due to the aggressive treatments and radiation that I had received throughout my childhood. For a long time I managed to convince myself that I wasn’t the mothering type anyway. Falling pregnant just before our wedding in 2009 was such a wonderful surprise and opened up a whole perspective on motherhood that I’d previously suppressed. Apart from feeling totally unprepared I also remember feeling that nothing else in the world mattered. And then along came my beautiful, hilarious little girl, and just like that motherhood became my everything.

6 I never thought I would... be asked to do an interview. I’m just a very normal mum with a love for crafts and a decent-ish eye for photography. I still think its crazy that anyone else would be even slightly interested to read about my life.

7 I’ve learnt to... be more patient. It’s something that doesn’t come naturally to me. In fact, I am impulsive, demanding, stubborn and a bit of a perfectionist. But having children has taught me to relax more and be less of a control freak. 

8 I know... I take too many photographs. It drives my husband crazy when I stop the car to photograph a pink Nissan Figaro but I just love taking pictures, I always have. And living in London there is always something inspiring around every corner.

9 I share because... I enjoy the connection it brings with others. I’ve been so inspired by many other women I’ve encountered on Instagram. And whilst I wish I could spend all my days out and about, socialising with real-life friends, it just doesn’t work like that. Time is never on your side and although I wouldn’t swap it for the world, motherhood can be exhausting and at times lonely. Seeing little snippets of other people’s lives throughout the day is a really comforting reminder that there are women all over the world on the same journey. I love being part of a community that shares ideas and thoughts so freely and with such honesty. I think it has actually made me a more open person, however, I have recently decided to make my personal Instagram account private. I had been thinking about it for some time because on a number of occasions my photos were being viewed by people outside of my usual audience and it was beginning to make me uncomfortable. The boundaries of my online bubble were becoming blurred and it just felt like the right thing to do for me. I now share my craft and design projects on a new open account but my family account will remain private for the forseeable future.

10 If I had an unexpected morning to myself I would... throw the kids car seats into the garage and drive around some of my favourite vintage furniture stores to pick up some bargains.

image courtesy of kate midda

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