A passion for all things playful shines through in Florence Rolando’s stylish and colourful London home. Step inside here…
As well as being effortlessly modern, adorned with design classics and interesting detail, this white cube of a house is very family-orientated, which is testament to Florence Rolando’s expert eye for style and practicalities. An arbiter of cool on all things children – journalist, fashion consultant and mother of three, Florence is the mastermind behind the captivating children’s design blog Pirouette. A tour de force when it comes to collating great kids design, her inspiration extends into her beautifully curated and playful North London family home, which she shares with her husband Romas and her children.
Moving into the two-bedroom apartment in London, Florence was looking for an empty shell which she could fill with bright colour and graphic elements. A lover of good design, she wanted a clean, neutral box that would let her show off her favourite pieces, such as the Hans Wegner chair in the living room and her Vitsoe shelving in the office, which has travelled now with her between four properties. “My priorities with the interior was to stop it from becoming too overcrowded,” she explains. “My only regret is not having more wall space for our photo collection; there’s no room to hang more and we constantly come across things that we love!”
Creating a space that is centred around a large eat-in kitchen, the dining table provides the axis to where the family get together: “It is the place where we gather to eat, to draw, to play; sometimes I migrate there to work because I love it.” She describes her style as a bit French (things should never be too perfect), a bit Swiss (the good old basics and the Alpine elements) but also with a heritage gathered in the places where she has lived (New York, Milan and London). “My main criteria when I’m choosing something for the home is, will it last? How will it evolve with time and how can it be recycled?” she says.
For Florence, this idea of continuity and buying furniture that can be passed down through the generations is key to creating a modern family home. She believes a home should tell a story. A few well-chosen objects and furniture are key, not to mention a fabulously cosy sofa. Allowing the girls to express themselves throughout the house with their toys so lovingly arranged, Florence explains: “I love it when they expand their games into every corner of the house; They create little installations of Playmobile and Sylvanians. Sometimes we find a bear family sleeping on our pillows, or a procession of Schleicht animals in the bath tub; it’s a wonderful thing to discover these little vignettes around the house.”
“Children’s design puts me in a good mood because it speaks to the child in me, and in all of us,” she says. “It’s playful and I like things in miniature; children’s design can give me the feeling of living in a doll’s house. Over the years my style has become a lot more playful, colourful and whimsical. I no longer think Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiparelli, but more about Alice in Wonderland, elves and garden gnomes.”
Words adapted from: Claire Bingham, Photos: Chris Tubbs
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Emily Peck, Editor
View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor