Tuesday 27 October 2015


“This is my favourite space in my house because this is where my family live. We talk, we laugh, we cry, we dance, we jump, we rest, we get dizzy, we play, we learn and we love. This is the absolute heart of my home; this is where all the magic happens.”

Karolina Carr’s story can be divided into three distinct chapters - with a detour to the UK. She lived most of her childhood in Adelaide, South Australia, after her parents arrived in Australia from Poland 32 years ago as refugees. Karolina’s mother was seven months pregnant when she landed on foreign soil. At five-months-old Karolina’s parents separated and her mother raised her alone while working full time. “We are very close, and I love her dearly,” Karolina says. When she was 15, her mother decided to take the two of them to the UK for a two-year adventure. “The move was one of my most treasured experiences,” Karolina says. “I travelled, experienced a different life and made beautiful and strong friendships. I was intentionally taken out of my comfort zone and given the chance to live something new and I made the most of it.” When she returned to Australia, she completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication, Media and Culture at the University of South Australia.
Afterwards she travelled around Europe on her own and then moved to Perth with her boyfriend Josh, who was her highschool sweetheart and is now her husband. During her time in Western Australia, Karolina enrolled in a music industry course at TAFE and worked at a wallpaper and home styling shop. “I loved that job,” she says. “I was in my element - styling and being creative.” After their time in Perth, Karolina and Josh explored as much of the world as time would allow. They stayed in a range of places from Marrakech to Tuscany and Champagne, where he proposed. “My time in Perth was where I found complete freedom, I explored many of my interests such as writing, drawing, music and sewing. I took a lot of classes - I still do - most recently I worked on my pottery skills,” she says. “I did so much on my own; I learnt a lot about myself this way.
Four years after arriving in Perth, the couple moved back to Karolina’s hometown of Adelaide. She is now the mother of daughter Violet, aged two, and Jude, eight weeks old, and documents their lives together on Between Blue and Purple. “They are my heart, my life and my treasures,” she says. “I adore them both beyond measure.” Recently they moved into a beautiful old house with their very own “secret garden” in the Adelaide Hills and are slowly renovating it, being as hands-on as possible. 
Karolina is on maternity leave from working as a case manager for a not-for-profit organisation, helping to create opportunities for children through positive role models and enriching experiences. “I work with children who experience social isolation, economic and other complex forms of disadvantage, and match them with volunteer respite carers who willingly give their time, care and support,” she says. “My role is extremely fulfilling, yet also emotionally draining. Before I had children I was able to better cope with my work, but since returning I have been challenged, because now, my heart beats differently and my eyes see differently.”
Karolina says, “I care wholeheartedly and always want to help everyone. I am creative and love beautiful things. I am also an extremely organised person, who likes things a certain way, everything has a place, and I love a list. I am a free, but grounded. I am social, but am also comfortable in my own company. But most importantly I am happy.”

1 As a child I used to wear… dresses, overalls, knee-high socks and anything the 80s had to offer. My mum handmade a lot of beautiful clothes for me; they were always my favourites. She does the same for my daughter; they are always my favourites.

2 My bedroom was… my special space, a space which I always shared with friends, which I decorated with enthusiasm. I put a serious amount of energy into it to make it mine, and reflect who I was at that particular time. I was always decorating, styling and... cleaning it - yes, I was that teenager. It was always a work in progress and would change as I did. I cherished my bedroom, I feel the same about my home now, as I did my bedroom then.

3 When I was a teenager I used to… spend every single waking hour with my friends. I was a mischief maker of the lightest degree.

4 After high school I wanted to be… well, I wasn’t exactly sure. All I knew was that I was excited to start my journey wherever that was going. I knew I wanted to go to university - so picked something - and knew I wanted to travel, so… well, that’s what I did; anything beyond that was unknown.

5 A seminal moment was…  a six-month period a few years ago where I learnt, first-hand, about life and death. I watched my mother-in-law, a devoted mum and Nanna pass away and then six months later I had my first child, my daughter, sweet Violet. Both experiences changed me, they opened my eyes and my heart and altered my perspective. New life helped heal the heartbreaking loss, while loss gave me appreciation for the sweet new miraculous life. 

6 I never thought I would… run a marathon. Yes, in 2011 I ran - and finished - the New York City Marathon. I am not an incredibly sporty girl - yoga and walks are more my thing, but suddenly I got the idea into my head, so my husband and I just did it. I still find it hard to believe what I’m saying. Often when I tell people, I go into a state of disbelief and then I realise I’m actually being serious. So let me just shout it from the roof top - because, again, I’m finding it hard to believe - I ran the New York City Marathon! Wait! What?

7 I’ve learnt to… I’m learning to let things go and trust that doing my best is actually enough. I’ve learnt that my children are here to teach me - that, and about 784 other lessons I have yet to learn. They are my life, my adorable beloved teachers. I trust them and I want to be sure to follow their lead.

8 I know… I am exactly where I need to be right now. I’m doing absolutely what I should be.

9 I share because… that’s what I do, I always have and always will, it’s my nature. I share because I want to be generous always and with everything - except my food, unless I’ve made enough. That is something I’m working on, it’s an only child thing. I share to connect. I share because there is no point, for me not to, and it makes me happy.

10 If I had an unexpected morning to myself I would… if I was feeling particularly energetic - like I could get out of my PJs, I would start the day with a yoga class, otherwise I would start the day by getting something tasty from the local patisserie, maybe while still in my PJs - I have been known to do this, when necessary. I would then probably relax with a cup of tea, and said yummy pastry, in my garden weather-permitting or by the fire - if I ever learn to light it - but I’d at least light a candle in lieu of fire. And finally I would catch up on all the magazine subscriptions I never find time to read, but continue to buy in the hope that one day I will have a “morning to myself” - hallelujah!

image courtesy of karolina carr

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