Darrell and Julia Gibbs, founders of design company Sukie, embrace vintage style at their cosy family home by the sea
While the sitting room serves as the children’s playroom, their bedrooms are sanctuaries of calm. The walls of Kitty’s room are painted in fresh pinks and greens, with a Habitat patchwork rug introducing a raft of different hues. On one wall hangs a framed Sukie handkerchief, on another there hangs an illustration of a teeming pond. In one corner is a reclaimed chair from Brighton boutique Love Lucy upholstered in Sukie fabrics. A quirky IQ lamp, by Danish designer Holger Strøm, hangs from the ceiling. Like her father, Kitty is an avid collector. The shelves are home to her “precious things” – a toy truck from Hungary, fossils found by her grandfather, a set of animal nesting dolls. She also has a passion for big cats – in one corner stands a model of a leopard, and on her bed lies a Sukie tiger cushion. Oscar and Jacob’s bedroom is an oasis of blue. They are proud owners of Sukie cushions, too – Jacob has a tiger and an elephant and Oscar has an octopus and a bird. Their beds have identical duvets from DwellStudio with cute hand-knitted cats by Blabla. Adding a note of nostalgia is a rug crafted by Darrell’s mother in the Sixties.
When not at home, the whole family love to go out exploring. “There are some rock pools near Rottingdene, where we love pootling about,” says Julia. And for outdoor adventures, Darrell and Julia have come up with the ideal preschooler accessory: little tote bags with animal designs. Just the right size for a few toys and treasures – and a Sukie handkerchief, of course.
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