Hello! I am Lisa a Swedish designer and mum. I work with my own brand FABRiKO, a new deco brand for kids with a print driven collection including wallpaper and textile products. I have also just started to work as a freelance pattern designer. I have a son Vilmer, who is 4 years old and a new baby on the way in July. Since both me and my husband work on a freelance basis and have our own companies we are not so tied to a certain place and have therefore decided to divide our life between to cities; Paris and Stockholm. Stockholm is our hometown and Paris just because we love it so much! I think it is a perfect way of living your life, you never get tired of a place and its fun and inspiring to change. We can simply pic the best from two worlds. This interview with pictures is from our apartment and life in Paris. Bienvenue!
What kind of house do you live in - are you and your child happy here, or is there anything you find lacking, or would like to change?
We live in a 3 room apartment in an old building in the 11th arr. in Paris. We searched a long time to find an apartment with as many original details left, like old parquet floor, cheminées and original doors etc. The one we finally found was in a very bad shape but with almost everything kept. And after some work it's just like we want it and we love it here! As in most Paris apartments the rooms are quite small, I would love a bigger kitchen with room for a dining table.
What do you like best about living there?
In the apartment I love all the original details that I mentioned before. I also just love Paris and everything about it. I used to come here a lot as child with my parents and I always dreamt about living here some day. The city is beautiful and it gives me so much inspiration in life and for work.
Do you like to spend time decorating your home and your child's room?
Yes of course! Since I am working with design for kids, I especially like to decorate children's rooms, you can be more creative with colors and patterns. I also love vintage furniture for kids and here in France there are so many cool objects to buy.
Do you keep your child's play area separate, or do you believe he should have a space in every part of the house?
It's nice if they have their own bedroom but Vilmer always tend to play with his things in the living room. I don't mind having his things around in the apartment and I think it´s fun to mix in toys and kids design with the rest of the interiors.
Where do you look for interior inspiration, favorite magazines, websites, or blogs?
From shops and flea markets, magazines like Milk decoration and Apartamento magazine, Pinterest, I also read many blogs, both Swedish and foreign about decoration and kids design, Fine little day, Kickcan and Conkers, Pirouette and Bloesem kids to mention a few.
Does your child tidy up after himself? Some tidying tips?
Not by himself, we have to remind him. We try to tidy and pic up all the toys from the floor every night before bedtime. One thing Vilmer really likes is to listen to music while tidying. We have a game that´s very popular, we put on some music and then everything should be finished and put in the right place before the song stops. He also helps cleaning the rest of the apartment sometimes. He his still in that age when it is fun to help and he feels proud when he manage certain tasks. He likes for example to rinse the dishes, put in clothes in the washing machine or wipe of dust from furniture.
What places in your neighborhood do you like to shop at?
We are lucky to have some great shops in our neighborhood like Bonton and WoWo for kids fashion and design, Merci, IE for original kids clothes and beautiful fabrics. We also have some local vintage markets on the streets from time to time, I always find a lot of great things there.
If you are living in a foreign country, how do you feel about it? What is it that you miss most about home?
Since we live in two countries there is always something you miss in the other city. I miss Paris all the time when I am in Stockholm but not the other way around so much, the only thing I really miss from Stockholm is Vilmers play school. I think Sweden might be the best country in the world to have kids in, there are many benefits and daycare for children works fantastic.
How has your child adapted to the language, food, and cultural differences?
Vilmer loves Paris and has adapted well. However I think he really misses his play school in Stockholm and especially the friends he would see there every day. He can be really shy with other kids in the park since he can't speak french.
What is a normal day with your child like?
In Paris our life is not so structured since we dont have an office to go to or play school hours to follow, but we try to keep a schedule anyways. We work a few hours at home after breakfast while Vilmer is watching film or playing. Then him and I go to our closest park for playing and after a while my husband joins us for lunch out. We are usually out for a while walking and then have dinner at home. When Vilmer is in bed we work a few hours more. I tend to work best at nights.
What are some nice activities you can do with children in your area, and what would you recommend when people are visiting?
I think our closest park Square du Temple in the 3 arr. is great! But the bigger parks in Paris are amazing as well, I especially like Parc du Luxembourg and Parc de la Vilette is fun. The merry go rounds that you can find everywhere in Paris in squares and parks are very popular with Vilmer and our Swedish friends that are visiting with kids. In Stockholm you can only find them in theme parks.
Do you cook with your child?
I try to make Vilmer help as much as possible in the kitchen and I think he enjoys it. I like to show him that it is important with good and home cooked food, preparing it well and eat together. I also take him to our local market here in Paris where you can buy all types of food. It´s fun and colorful and there´s a lot of exciting things to watch, like crabs and funny, big fishes, chickens and rabbits. And the people working there always let him taste fruits, cheese and even seafood sometimes.
Where would you like to go on vacation - with or without your child?
We are definitely city travelers with or without kids. We just came back from two weeks in California, we did a road trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles, which was something we wanted to do for a long time. It was also a fun and great trip to do with a kid. I have never been to Berlin so that's the next city I would like to visit!
How do you prepare for a trip?
We usually collect magazine articles and blog posts about restaurants, shops and exhibitions in other cities we want to visit. We also talk to friends who know the place well to get good recommendations.
What are your tips for traveling in a plane or on a long road trip with your child?
The iPad stuffed with film and different programs are working well in our family!
What a lovely Mom Story Lisa, thank you for sharing it with us!