If you haven’t stumbled across @catja_em on the Gram, it’s about time you did! That’s where we started following Cat a few years ago and much to our excitement, she reached out to us for styling advice on rugs for her bedroom.

Fast forward to today, we are proud to see that Cat has a Miss Amara rug in all of her rooms. We love her sophisticated style and her use of neutral hues to create warm inviting home - and we’re thrilled to be featuring this gorgeous friend as our June #stylecrush!

Cat also happens to be the QUEEN of styling kid’s spaces. Don’t take our word for it - did we mention she was featured in none other than THE New York Times?! 

Cat has a special knack of balancing her own style with more fun and playful kid’s styling in a way that us adults can drool over - and we’re about to find out just how she does it.

But first, that New York Times feature..

Q: I don’t think we can kick off this interview without bragging about your feature in the New York Times?! Tell us about the space featured and how it all happened…

A: I still can’t quite believe how it all happened! The editor of the “Fix” column came across my children’s shared bedroom on Instagram while doing research for an article. She sent me an email asking if she could interview me and feature their bedroom.

I thought it was a hoax but my hubby did some quick Google research and found that she was real! A few weeks later, the room – which belongs to my daughter Alice and son Ted – appeared in the Sunday Real Estate section of the New York Times and will be featured in a NYT book about homeownership! 

Shared bedrooms can be tricky, especially when you’ve got a boy and a girl sharing, or children with a large age gap. We tick both these boxes! Our Miss Amara rug is one of the main elements that brings the room together!

Q: Tell us more about the rug and your thought process when selecting it for that amazing space.... 

A: Keeping the larger pieces – like a rug – neutral is one of the best ways to bring a shared bedroom look together. You also get longevity out of neutral pieces (rather than choosing colours the kids will grow out of). So I wanted a neutral rug, but also wanted to bring in interest and texture. So I went with the rug design that had subtle pattern.

The Hamden rug was the perfect choice with its beautiful natural tones and honeycomb textured pattern. The rug, which stretches across from Alice's bed on one side to Ted's bed on the other side, brings the two sides of the room together, creating a play area in the middle and making the room seem larger at the same time. The right size is crucial – it’s always better to go bigger than smaller!

Q: You are so brave to create a shared space for your kids, let alone a bedroom! Are there any tips you can give us for creating a harmonious space for two very different personalities and how you make that work? It must come with challenges?

Some say brave, others say crazy, but the kids have loved it so far. One of the biggest challenges when designing a shared bedroom is to cater to each child’s needs while still creating a cohesive space.

To achieve this, I would start with a neutral palette for wall colour and flooring, then bringing in pops of colour to each child's taste with decor pieces like artwork, cushions, throw rugs and toys.

To introduce a sense of each child’s personality, I suggest choosing artwork for each (or letting each child choose one) from the same artist and even the same collection. The same can be done with toys and decorative items, e.g. choosing different soft toys from the same range or different colour ways of the same cushion.

From there I would select one or two colours from the artwork to use as accent colours throughout the room. Finally, and most importantly, bring it all together with a beautiful rug that spans across both sides of the room.

On her style..

Q:We have to talk about your incredible style – how do you describe your interior style to someone?

A: I’d describe my style is modern Scandinavian. All about natural light and creating common area spaces that are relatively clutter – free, which is why the Scandi aesthetic really appeals to me. Think pared back colours, natural materials, lots of different textures, and plenty of storage to hide away all the bits and pieces!

October 12, 2022 by Danielle Punzalan