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In bed with the Hutchinsons

Koala sits down with Ainslie of child wear clothing company, Daughter and talks parenting, design and finding balance in life.

Firstly we’d love if you could tell us a little bit about yourself?

Sure! I’m Ainslie, I’m 28 years old and live with my husband Brook – also 28, and my three children, Indie – 4, Elke – 2 and Atlas – 5 months in the hinterlands of Byron Bay. My husband is a chef and I run my own business from home.

What does your perfect morning look like?

A perfect morning for me would involve a sleep in! It’s been about five years since I’ve had one of those so these days I’ll settle for a smoothie and a walk in the fresh air.

What’s your number one sleep tip?

Good quality sheets!

How do you wind down in the evening?

A chai tea and a good book or podcast really helps me to relax.

How has Koala changed your sleeping habits?

We can all fit in the bed much more comfortably after upgrading to our king size koala mattress. I also love the no disturbance feature so if my restless two year old is tossing and turning right next to me I won’t even feel it!

What mattress feature appealed to you the most?

We love that the mattress doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals.

You have the most adorable family! What is your style of parenting, and how effective has it been?

We are the type of family that just goes with the flow. We have never been the type to have any strict routines and therefore the kids are pretty adaptable to many situations.

Is it easy to get your kids to bed when they are still at such a young age? Can you share a few tips to new mums on how to get little ones to sleep?

What works for us may not work for everyone but we are big on bedtime stories. Each night the girls come to us with their arms full of books and we try to get through as many as we can before they drift off to sleep.

The girls have shared a bedroom since Elke was a baby and they have always felt a sense of comfort and security by each other’s presence. We have just recently packed away their toddler beds and moved them into a shared queen bed (their idea) and they have never slept better! Atlas is still so little and although he has his own crib he prefers to co-sleep with us and we all get a better night sleep this way.

What’s the hardest thing about raising children?

Trying to keep them safe and happy and having my eye on all three at once is a real challenge at the moment!

What’s the best thing about raising children?

Watching their personalities unfold and seeing their joy in new discoveries.

Your children always dressed neutral colours, and minimalistic designed clothes. Do you handpick all the clothes yourself, and what kind of attributes do you look for in the brands you choose?

I actually have my own childrenswear label, Daughter, and design all the pieces to fit the lifestyle we live. The brand’s aim is to create classic, timeless pieces with simple silhouettes rather than passing trends, and we ensure the longevity of our clothing by using high quality, natural fabrics and manufacturing in an ethical and sustainable environment.

My own children wear little else these days as a few key pieces from Daughter are really all they need!

In a lot of the photos, your family looks very close. What’s your secret to happy house, and a happy family?

My children thrive out in nature so I’d say that really is the key to their happiness.

You moved to your current house only a few months ago. What kind of house were you looking for to make a home?

It’s actually been almost a year since we made the move from Sydney to our hinterland town outside Byron Bay! We’ve always loved the look of the original weatherboard country cottages and when one came up for sale we jumped at the chance to make it our own. Our home was built by the family who actually founded our town and is one of the oldest homes still standing! We’re looking forward to restoring and renovating it over the next few years to make it appropriate for our growing family whilst still keeping the original country charm.

How would you describe your style of interior design? 

I don’t know if I have a style really but I love white walls, neutral colours, fresh linens and wood pieces. We try to keep the clutter to a minimum and only bring pieces into our home that truly serve a purpose.

What are your favourite styled pieces in your home

At the moment our house is very much a work in progress so almost nothing is going to be staying as it is right now. We haven’t put too much thought into styling anything as we know it’s all about to change but I did have a lot of fun putting together a little nursery space for Atlas. We purchased a new crib but everything else we used in that space was already hanging around the house. I love that he has a serene space to play and sleep (not that he actually sleeps there much, he loves our bed too much!).

Your family live a very minimalistic life. What prompted this style of living?

I try to live by the words ‘buy less, choose well’. So many people think they need a lot of ‘stuff’ to be happy but for me the opposite is true. A clean and organised home with purposeful furniture and decor is a perfect for us. Finding ways of decorating with useful items is a great way of achieving a relaxed and homey aesthetic. We love to display our hats and baskets on the walls and hooks which also make for easy access when it’s time to use them. On our shelves we keep diffusers and brown bottles filled with essential oils and we like to make sure each room has at least one plant for health and aesthetic purposes.

Lastly, what advice would you like to give to anyone who wants to live minimally?

Don’t buy into trends. Invest in few but good quality pieces that will stand the test of time.

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