Sania Pell: The Homemade Home for Children
Last week we were delighted to be joined by stylist and author Sania Pell to launch her new book ‘The Homemade Home for Children’.
The book will let your child’s imagination run wild with innovative projects including easy to make toys, decorations and novel ideas for customising clothing. Plus, we’ve even made a step-by-step video to guide you through the steps to make a Liberty Print headband.
We caught up with Sania, to learn more about her and find out about her brand new book…
Tell us about you
I am an interior stylist, author and mum of two. I started out as a textile designer, working in a top London studio creating designs for furnishing and fashion fabrics which sold worldwide. After seven years in textiles I followed my love of interiors and made the move into styling editorial and commercial photographic shoots. I now use the skills I learned as a textile designer in my styling and often include objects I have made, drawn or personalised. I think this makes a difference to my work and gives me a wonderful opportunity to be creative. When I had my second child I took some time out from commercial styling but started to write my first book The Homemade Home, which contains fifty creative projects to make for all around your home. It was published two years ago and is now a best seller.
What inspired you to write this book?
The wonderful response to my first book inspired me to write another and I wanted to focus on projects to make for and with children. I do this at home with my own children and it seemed the perfect time while they are still young. My children feature in the new book, their drawings inspiring some of the projects and they also appear in some of the photos. The book is a real family affair that we all enjoyed being part of. It is about making things that you want to keep hold of and pass down to the next generation of children.
What are your favourite projects?
Almost all of the projects now sit in my home but the bookcase dollhouse is a favourite project of mine. It was inspired by one my father made me when I was little, so it has sentimental value. Choosing the wall colours and wallpaper combinations was a fun process. As a long time Liberty fan (I have been visiting Liberty since I was a teenager) I have lots of remnants of Liberty print fabric in my studio and several of the projects in the book use it, from the floral wall hanging on the cover to matchbox mice, reversible collars to a bowl of goldfish mobile. All of them require very little fabric, so are a perfect way of using up fabric pieces left over after making an article of clothing. The flower hair band and clips are a perfect example of this and is one of my daughter’s favourites. It was one of the projects that visitors could make at my book launch and it was very popular as even sewing novices were able to make it and felt inspired to sew more. The video shows how to make them.
Do you have any top tips for being creative?
Keep any off cuts of fabric after you have made something or had something made, however large or small. Liberty prints are perfect for this because the pattern is usually small so you can always see the pattern and colours whatever the size. One of the techniques I use is to cut individual flowers or shapes from the fabric and stick or sew them to other items.
Also, don’t be afraid of using fashion fabrics for soft furnishings. It is something I have always done, whether it is a making Liberty print cushion, wrapping fabric strips around a lampshade base or using pinstripe wool suit fabric as curtains.
What’s the response been?
Both my children loved being part of the book, I would gauge their reaction to the success of an idea. If they both wanted it in their bedroom I knew it was a hit. They both have bedrooms brimming with items I have made for them or we have made together.
My daughter is wearing the fairy costume on page 86 which she also wore the tiara and wings to the book launch. I trapped sequins between the layers of fabric in the wings to give them some sparkle and she loves wearing them at every opportunity. And my son is under the Play sail on page 74. He had such fun while taking the picture which his large smile shows.
I hope the book inspires and sparks children’s imaginations. As I say in the book, make the projects with love and laughter, and give or display them with pride and joy – these are the things I believe help make a happy family home.