I recently met Jane d’Haene and her beautiful family randomly on a beach in Mexico. We were both in Mayakoba for winter break with our families when I first spotted her adorable 4-year-old daughter, Anais, who was wearing a fantastic liberty print romper. ( I also clocked mom’s effortlessly chic style.) I asked Jane where she got her daughter’s outfit and she told me it was from her own children’s line, Anais & I, which she started a couple of years ago. As our older boys boogie-boarded in the ocean for what seemed like the entire afternoon, we got to talking. In short order, we realized the grownups were all reading the same four books and by the next day we had a dinner date–the kids all got room service together while grownups went out.
In addition to wanting to see more of the line, which is available online as well as at Sweet William and Barney’s in NYC, and Eggy and Wonderland in LA, to name a few, I knew they would have a great living space. Jane was an interior designer/architect in a former life, and her husband Francis is the principal of D’Apostrophe, a high-end architectural design firm based in New York City. Yolanda and I went over for a visit to their loft in Tribeca and we fell in love with it and them—their taste is impeccable and their home was both whimsical and felt truly lived-in. Every object has a story—and it’s clear that there is a lot of love in this home.
What do you use the chalk board for? Messages or art or both? Is it paint or a board?
We—me, my husband, Nicholas (11), Anais (5) and Lucas (22 months) all drew this together. For us, it’s a welcome home image. We use it to show who we are and how we are feeling. I think when you enter our house you get the idea of how we live and who we are. We change the wall from time to time.
What do you do at this table? Is this the work and eat and homework table?
This table is for everything. This table is designed by Ann Demeulemeester (Belgian fashion designer). She uses a table of the same design as her work table. Its wrapped in canvas and painted in white. I can always paint over it if it gets very dirty. We eat dinner there. I do my design work there. My kids build their Lego there. It’s our favorite place. We love this table.
Tell us about this photo?
This was our wedding invitation. My son Nicholas was from my first marriage.
We are in love with your kitchen. Essentially you created a giant frame around an IKEA kitchen, which is so genius.
We believe you don’t always need fancy everywhere. You can still create an amazing place with really unfancy items.
Are these random polaroids or do you do these on special occasions?
It’s random but those particular photos were used for our Christmas card.
We love that there is kid and adult mixed together all over the loft. What are some of your organizational systems? How do you keep it so organized?
In our house, we have a strict rule about cleaning up after each place. They can make mess but they all need to clean up afterwards. We’ve been teaching our children about respecting everything in our house. I guess this is how we do it.
Tell us the story of how you made this amazing chair and how you came up with the idea?
This is a funny story!! I saw a chair at my husbands client’s house. It was completely covered by stuffed animal designed by the Campana brothers. I wanted it but it’s way, way out of my budget. I decided to make one for Nicholas’ 8th birthday. It took me so long, but when I finished it Nicholas loved it. I hand sewed every piece. Worked night and day. I hope Nicholas can keep it for a long time. My daughter asked me to make one for her using pink pigs but I don’t think I will. It was so hard to make the first time around!
Do you just tack right into the wall or is this painted board?
We just tack it right to the wall. It’s such small push pin.
Tell us the story of how these flowers came to be?
These flowers came to me from my husband on Mother’s Day after Anais was born. He is always good at creative gifts but this one for me was absolute best. The artist’s name is Zoe Bradley.
How did you think to do this project in Nicholas’s room?
The artist’s name is Lee Seungwook. He was a art student I found by accident. I saw his little hand sketch and thought about doing this project with him. At that time Nicholas was 7 years old and was very into Pokemon and other cartoons. Nicholas picked every image. He even helped the artist color some areas.
Tell us about Nicholas’s collections:
About 5 years ago we had a little visit to our friend’s house in Belgium. Our friend had these items through out the house. Nicholas spent hours in front of it asking questions and taking pictures. My husband gives one every Christmas to Nicholas as one of Christmas present. The excitement when he opens the box is priceless!!!
Who designed the furniture in Lucas’s room?
All the furniture except for the crib is designed by my husband. All our kids furniture is basically designed by him with love. We bought the tree wall decal from Moderntots.