Good food, fun gatherings and great style: Charlie Cameron shares her ideas and inspiration on her beautiful blog, Lottie is Loving, but what we’ve been secretly wanting is a peek into her fabulous home…
Meet Charlie Cameron: mum of Finn, seven, and Pippa, four, and the brains behind the beautiful interiors and lifestyle blog Lottie is Loving. If you haven’t already become addicted to Lottie is Loving, you’re in for a treat – from magically styled birthday parties to ideas for good food, fun gatherings and getting an inside look at some very cool homes, it’s a refreshing dose of style inspiration for real families. It’s also an excellent reminder that beautiful design and young children aren’t mutually exclusive: “I’d rather live with a few accidents then pack everything away until my kids are older,” says Charlie.
An Aussie who’s lived in Hong Kong and now Singapore, her personal style champions Australian art and design while introducing great finds from her life here in the Lion City. It’s a beautiful balance of pared-back pieces, pops of colour and bold additions that’s both inspiring and achievable. And that’s why we’re so fond of Lottie is Loving: good style should be no secret.
We spoke to Charlie about styling tips, treasure hunting in Singapore and got a sneak peek into her home – along with a serious case of interiors envy…
You’re an event producer by trade: how did you get into styling and writing?
I have always had a love for all things creative – whether it was designing my own puffy paint T-shirts when I was 13, studying interior design or creating events for the corporate world, creativity has never been far from my life in one way or another. After a break to have children, I found myself spending ever-increasing amounts of time styling our home, researching new recipes or dabbling in photography so I decided to give my creative yearnings a direction and founded Lottie is Loving.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Instagram and Pinterest are my favourite sources for visual inspiration and I still love a little old-school magazine buying as well. When it comes to blog topics, I usually start with something that I’m doing in my own life that I think others would be interested in. I also love travelling for some real-life inspiration – there is something to be said for being away from home to allow some quality creative thinking.
How would you describe your style?
It’s a bit mixed because I find it very difficult to just like one interior style, so I borrow from a few different styles and hope it all comes together! Overall the look is contemporary and includes quite a lot of Australian design. I like a combination of colour, pattern and texture but I try to keep the bigger furniture pieces simple in neutral colours like pale grey, charcoal or white.
What’s your most treasured item in your home? And favourite Singapore find?
I have quite a few sentimental treasures including books from my childhood (my mum was so organised and kept everything!) but I also treasure some of the art pieces that we have collected over the years to celebrate milestones. Each one is a reminder of a lovely moment in time.
I am always on the hunt for styling props and one of my favourite Singapore finds is the vintage milk bottles that I bought from the back section of Books Actually in Tiong Bahru – an absolute treasure trove for small Singaporean vintage items.
What are your favourite colours, textures and patterns to work with?
Right now I am loving bright neon and clashing colours for Pippa’s room. Sometimes it pays to be bold with colour and pattern – especially when it comes to items that you can easily switch or change. For Finn it’s a more sophisticated palette of charcoal, white and deep blue with just a few bursts of colour.
What’s been your favourite shoot and why?
It’s always fun to style and photograph a kid’s room. Towards the end of last year I did a photo shoot for kids’ furniture and took Pippa along with me, which was pretty fun. I also photographed a home in Johor Bahru that was spectacular. It was my first time driving over the border so it was a fun experience and the home I featured was an architecturally designed concrete stunner.
How has your style changed since moving to Singapore?
It hasn’t changed much because I try to approach style based on the things I really love rather than where I am living. Sometimes furniture or art may not be the perfect match for the home you are currently in, but if you love what you buy and have a long-term view, then it will always look stylish no matter where you live.
And since becoming a parent?
The biggest change is that I now get to decorate two additional rooms and lust over gorgeous children’s design! I have always been pretty relaxed about our home and the kids have grown up with breakable items or nice furniture. There have definitely been water marks on the vintage Hans Wegner chair, spills on the white and grey carpet and various other mishaps along the way, but that’s family life.
What do you love about styling a space for kids?
It’s so much fun because you can experiment with colour and pattern in a way that you might not be able to with the shared living areas of your home. When I was growing up there was no such thing as having a decorated room. But now, there are so many beautiful, clever and fun designs for children that it’s hard not to fall in love with it all.
What are your top three styling tips?
Think long-term and be authentic with your style (leave interior trends for small inexpensive items).
Look at your space and play around with the placement of your furniture and art. So often a space can be improved with a simple shuffle of the furniture. Have someone help you and just try every conceivable combination to find the best layout.
Mix and match. Think about items complementing rather than matching.
What neighbourhood do you live in and what do you love about it?
We live in the Holland neighbourhood on a quiet cul-de-sac. After living in a high-rise condo in Hong Kong, I love living on a street where the kids can play after school on their bikes or scooters. I also like being close to the cafes and restaurants of Dempsey, Holland and Greenwood.
My favourite area in Singapore for hanging out is Tiong Bahru. We head there most weekends for coffee and treats and to mooch around the shops. I adore the history and architecture of the area and the creative vibe of the small boutiques and businesses.
What’s your favourite thing to do in Singapore (with and without the kids!)
Like most parents, our favourite thing to do without the kids is eat dinner and talk in uninterrupted sentences! Most Fridays we kick off the weekend by meeting up in Duxton or maybe Keong Saik Road for a spot of dinner and a catch up on the week’s events.
On a Sunday afternoon we like to take the kids to West Coast Park. Our Miniature Schnauzer, Jet, has a free run in the dog park and the kids scooter or ride their bikes and play in the enormous playground– and best of all, there is always a breeze.
Singapore’s best-kept secret?
Pomelo in Tan Boon Liat Building. It was the first shop I visited when we arrived and I bought two of my favourite pieces from there – a black marble Bethan Grey side table and a bright orange chair by Bend. A close second would be the fabric markets in People’s Park Complex – it is the place to go for all manner of fabrics, trims and accessories (they even have an extensive range of Liberty of London cottons).
Singapore’s worst-kept secret?
Club Street! But it’s still fun on a Friday night even if everyone knows about it.
Tell us which place in Singapore gives you home envy…
The beautiful black and white bungalows. One day…*sigh*
When Charlie Cameron isn’t blogging or drooling over homewares, she creates beautifully styled and photographed brand, product and lifestyle images for clients. Follow her work and get inspired at www.lottieisloving.com.