My husband and I vowed that we would never be that couple who had to sift through piles of plastic toys on strings to find the couch. Oh, to be so naive. But DwellStudio, a bookmark in every modern mom’s browser, has made it possible to hold on to some parts of the fantasy in which children and adults coexist in design harmony. I asked the founder and creative engine behind the company, Christiane Lemieux, how she lives a beautiful, adventurous life with kids by her side. — SuChin Pak
You’ve said you want to live a life of adventure with your family. How do you make that happen?
I think adventure is really about experience — a lot of different experiences. I really try to do something new every day with my kids. That happens really easily when we are traveling, but there are so many things to do right at home, too. I just took my kids to see Ann Hamilton’s “The Event of a Thread” at the Armory and they are still talking about it. It can also be as easy as cooking and eating a new food and understanding everything about it. There are so many ways to be adventurous. You can find them everywhere.
How do you approach design for your kids’ collections?
We try to infuse storytelling into the kids’ and baby collections. It’s so great to have a herd of chic dinosaurs or a flock of gorgeous birds in the room — the spontaneous stories are rich and have context. It’s a great tool for parents.
The most surprising place you’ve found inspiration: I find inspiration everywhere: walking down the street, in a museum, traveling. But I have to say, I met a Weimaraner dog named Lucky that was the most perfect color of warm silver gray. I took a picture of him and he is now an essential part of our palette.
The best thing about being a parent is: Shaping these amazing little creatures. The questions and reactions are fascinating. Seeing it all again through their eyes is inspiring. And the hugs. I can’t get enough of the hugs.
The worst thing about being a parent is: The logistics. There is so much moving, shuttling, scheduling, and planning. It’s so time consuming and I wish I there was an app that did it all so I could have that time with my family instead.
Say no to: Useless commitments. I don’t say yes unless I mean it.
Say yes to: Experiencing new things as a family. To me there is nothing that brings us closer than rich shared experience.
What is something you’ve learned from watching other parents?
You don’t have to get crazy to get the message across. My son’s pre-K teacher, Diane, is a mom and an amazing teacher. She is legendary at our school. She has an ability to transition kids that is so inspiring to me. When any kids in class are misbehaving, she simply and quietly says, “I think you should considering moving on to something else. Make a good choice.” And they do! This is a skill I am trying to master.
Must-have nursery item: Fitted sheets — and lots of them, because you change them all the time.
Favorite beauty item: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer with SPF. It hides the flaws now and prevents ones in the future.
Most useful app: FreshDirect. I can grocery shop from a cab and that is a great thing.
Cure for the common cold: The steam shower. I steam everyone, followed by a thick layer of Vicks and then bed. Who knows if it works, but it smells like it does.
Photos: Niki Dankner & Stephania Stanley / DailyCandy