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One of my most favourite people on the internet, and perhaps the world, is Vickie of INPO Life. She’s everything that makes me smile: warm, caring, funny and not afraid to have a good time. Oh yes, Vickie is one of those women who makes you think, hell yeah, I could drink a whole lot of Prosecco with you.
I’ve long admired Vickie’s aesthetic as the inceptor of gorgeous art brand Just A Line. Her prints and cards have adorned some of the loveliest homes around (including mine, natch) and are as heartwarming as she is.
Vickie’s is a family of 6, and I’m always intrigued how she remains so stylish with all those kids (and 2 dogs!). Read on to find out…
First off, who lives in your lovely home and how long have you been there?
I live here with husband Chris. Liberty, 16, Millicent, 13, Tommy, 12 and Oscar aged 7. We moved here as a couple in 2000 thinking it was just for a couple of years.
17 years, four children, three extensions later we call this house a home.
What’s the situation in your house?
The house was built in the 60s and we now have four bedrooms, five if you include Tommy’s who we gave up the study for. He had the choice of that or the under stairs cupboard. Obviously we would prefer he had a room upstairs but the house has to be adaptable if you have four children.
I grew up in Bengeo, Hertford and I love the fact if you turn left you are in rolling fields. Turn right and Hertford is a few minutes walk away. But shhhhhh do not tell anyone. Bengeo is our secret ok?
I won’t tell ;) What about your home works well for your family life?
We have space. You need to have space when you are a large family. Not only space so you can have time out – time to yourself, time to breathe. For homework, work or just some me time. The house also has to have space for us to be together. We eat together every night when possible but the kitchen also adapts as a great party space. We have two lounge areas. One is for playstation it would seem. The other is for family relaxing time. These little cute kids turn into adult beings, some bigger than us. So gone are the days where we all fit on one sofa!
How would you describe your interiors aesthetic?
I love clean crisp simple design but that is not necessarily what we have all over the house. My Pinterest boards do not reflect the home we actually live in and learning to be ok with that is something I have to constantly have a word with myself over.
You have to work with furniture you have and ten years on it may not be something you would purchase but you need to make it work. I tend to move furniture around the house lots to keep it fresh.
Storage is massively key with a large family because these kids come with a tonne of crap!!! When designing their bedrooms we did a little Ikea Hack with their Malm beds and gave them as much storage as possible. These have been a complete winner for us and so many of our friends have done the same.
What’s your favourite thing about your home?
Without sounding too corny it would be us – the family that fills it. We make the home. It is filled with laughter and smiles. Together we fill the house with light, love and laughter a colourful Neave rainbow. Otherwise it is just bricks and mortar.
What are you most proud of in your home?
Anyone I know or follows me on Instagram is more than aware that I LOVE my new hallway!
I am most proud of how we try to make the house a beautiful happy place. There was a time I could not stand the fact I could not just redecorate or buy new furniture whenever I wanted. I have learnt to take on a room at a time. Corner, by corner. Trying to make beautiful spaces within the rooms. It is amazing what you create when you put your mind to it. The small gallery wall areas in the lounge cost nothing. All the prints and frames and pictures are my own. We have all the furniture. Sometimes you cannot see for looking! So once I stopped throwing my toys out the pram about what I could not have or afford such as a beautiful velvet sofa or ercol sideboard and focused on what I could do with what I already the rooms started to come together.
If you could change one thing about your home, what would it be?
I would make it a five bedroom house so Tommy could be upstairs, though he is more than happy to have a room downstairs especially when we forget to take his iPad upstairs at night. I love our house but if we won the lottery I would dump it in a heartbeat. Bigger house, bigger garden. Think Footballers Wives. Electric gates, columns, endless bedrooms. Oh and an Aston Martin. Or a Ferrari and a Range Rover out front.
Or all of the above.