Welcome to Caroline Foster, our new contributor and friend of School Notices. Caroline is also Associate Director of the Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour.
Each month Caroline will be sharing an insight into her home life. This will cover details of things she is passionate about – tablescapes, lifestyle, design, travel, flowers, food, craftsmanship, books, wellbeing, her rituals, nature, home – just a few of her favourite things!
We catch up with Caroline about what makes her tick and how in these testing times we can bring some much needed joy and beauty into our lives.
Has design always played a big part in your life?
I have always appreciated design and details. I was lucky enough to grow up in a home full of beautiful things so my eyes were opened very early. I am naturally a very curious person so loved hearing the stories behind each piece from my parents.
How would you describe your style?
Understated and very personal to me. I pretty much wear jeans all year long, in the summer with a white shirt and flats and in the winter with a cashmere sweater and boots or trainers. I have never brought anything because something is in fashion, everything I buy comes straight from my soul, makes me smile and what I love.
Do you have any favourite fashion designers?
Yes, I have always been an investment buyer, many of my pieces have been in my wardrobe for 20 years. I am not an impulse shopper, I shop very rarely but know exactly what I like. I have been loyal to my very favourite brands for many years – Bamford, Ralph Lauren, Chloe, Peserico, Fabiano Filippi and more recently Alex Gore Browne for her incredible knitwear.
What is your best-loved colour palette?
Inspired by nature, it makes me feel centred and calm. I am constantly drawn to the same palette of stone, sage green and sky blue. For my clothes my entire wardrobe is colour co-ordinated in winter whites, taupe, navy and black.
Any simple ideas to make our lives more beautiful?
To be thoughtful and mindful about what you do, if you look hard enough you can see beauty in everything. My instinct is to create a life filled with love and purpose. In the end it’s the little things that matter, the things that make you smile.
I try to make everyday a gift, after all it is. I am a bit of a dreamer and follow my passions and what brings me joy. It just comes naturally to me to want to make everything feel lovely, creating a welcoming place for family and friends to gather and create wonderful memories. Little simple ideas but thoughtfully executed which elevate our day.
A daily moment of still is essential, as without a healthy head space, nothing feels beautiful. Wellness is a journey, it’s important to create space to be more thoughtful in life. I wake up naturally very early every morning and start my rituals before the rest of the house wakes. It’s my favourite time of the day. I call it my 3 M’s – Meditation, Movement and Me – which basically means meditate, exercise and read or listen to a podcast. At the end of the day, I stop and reflect on my day, quietening my mind and a chance to remember all I have to be thankful for.
What lessons have you learnt through lockdown?
To stay positive and creative. It is a time of sadness and anxiety but also gratitude. Positivity is a precious commodity now.
Re-setting my compass, I am the one to control my own narrative and my happiness. It has deepened my soulful appreciation of what is beauty, what is good and what feeds my spirit.
“Positivity is a precious commodity now.”
Do you have one style rule that encompasses all aspects of your life?
I only buy what I really really love which tends to be quite timeless design
Favourite go-to design shops?
I have lots! For interiors Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, the very very best brands all under one roof. RVH Home, Daylesford, Summerill & Bishop, Petersham Nurseries, Native & Co and Pantechnicon for accessories.
Most loved treasure in your house
Our large stone family Ganesh who lives in our little garden, every morning rain or shine I pop out after breakfast to have a little chat!
Where do you visit or go to for ideas?
Living in London I am super lucky, V&A and Japan House are my two favourites
What do you do to relax?
Walking our dog, Bear in Hyde Park every morning. It’s my quiet reflective time, I find it calming and reassuring, afterwards I am ready for my day.
Where would you most like to go in the world?
Japan and Bali are at the top of my list to return to when we are able to travel again plus a weekend city break to Paris and New York
What can’t you live without?
My family oh and chocolate!
Dreams for the future?
To wake up each morning, feel happy and to continue to do what I love
Motto for life?
“Make Life Beautiful”