Living With Kids: Hallie Burton

May 27, 2014

By Gabrielle.

Hallie Burton‘s energy and joy for life is completely contagious. It’s refreshing to find someone so equally enamored with her family life, professional life, and the city she calls home. (Ahhh, New York! It has that effect!)

And it’s a fabulous reminder that falling in love with your day-to-day doesn’t necessarily mean over the top gestures, jam-packed schedules, and excess. Sometimes, it means scootering to school, having a daily uniform, and simplifying the aesthetics that surround us. Yes, simplicity is a very good friend to Hallie and her sweet family. How inspiring! Friends, I hope you love this tour as much as I do.

Q: Tell us about this stylish family.

A: We are an Australian (me), a Canadian (George), one loud New Yorker (Pompie), and one Shoodle (Maxi)! I’m a working Lifestyle photographer whose clients include Target, Crate and Barrel, Jonathan Adler, Martha Stewart, Club 21 Global, and Como Hotels and resorts. George is a partner in a contracting business. Pompie is a student and a passionate ballet dancer already! Maxi is an international dog of Mystery, and we are all dedicated Roger Federer fans!

Together we ride, scoot, dance, skate, and sing through our days! We really are the “family that plays together stays together!” We are a one-child family by choice and love every minute of it…we are the three musketeers of our own destiny. As three individuals and as a family we fit, and we knew our family was complete the minute Pompie came out.

We love the idea of equally shared parenting, and the concept really drives us to be better individuals and keep our lives and careers going and, of course, being the best parents possible. Equally being in her life and not one out doing the other really is creating such a beautiful independent child. We travel a lot coming from other countries, so we try hard to keep this side of our life moving for the grandparents. We love bringing up a child in New York; it’s exciting daily and what’s on offer is amazing. We actually try and stay in town in summer so we have a better chance of discovering the city without so many crowds…

Q: New York! Please tell us all the ways you’re living well there with your daughter.

A: We are sandwiched between two heavenly parks, which are our playgrounds! On one side, we have the beautiful Riverside Park which overlooks the Hudson river, so in summer it’s like we live on water and feel the fantastic breeze. We spend evenings there with the scooter and the dog and the local park restaurant. In winter we use Central Park to learn ice skating which is beyond magical, and in summer we also use the pools there.

I always feel like we are in some kind of movie. It’s an almost eccentric way to grow up, yet it’s our neighborhood. Bikes are our main mode of transport and scooters, as well, and of course foot and subways. We rarely use cabs because we all get motion sick! It’s so easy to get anywhere and we love the all care/no responsibility lifestyle.

Pompie got into an amazing school which is a block away, so usually she rides her scooter to school and at the moment she’s heavily into her balance bike. We usually take her to school as a family – even the dog – and she loves that feeling. Plus it’s a great feeling seeing your friends on the sidewalk and riding with them and chatting to the parents.

MOMA and the Museum of Natural History are our playrooms away from home. We visit weekly. Just the feeling of being in the museums is fantastic, and Pompie never gets bored of the big blue whale! Never!

Q: What makes you love the place you live?

A: New York has the world on offer daily. It’s like nothing else. We love walking out the front door and just being in the world…moving with it and being totally anonymous in it.

For kids I find the city amazing. You have the best of everything on offer and you can learn at the best schools for prices that are insane. Our daughter was lucky enough to get into the yearly ballet course at Alvin Ailey – one of the best ballet schools ever – and I think we pay $800 for an entire year, where our local ballet studio is $900 for a term. It’s more than just fun; they’re learning properly from the start.

Things like that really fascinate me in the city. It’s all available, so you really can give kids so much opportunity.

Q: Your home recently underwent serious renovations. What were the the hardest parts – and the most fun?

A: We really loved the feel of our apt when we bought it. It was a wreck, though. So we gutted it!

It was an interesting process. Our architect was really clever and transformed the space in to something that flowed beautifully. My husband said, “You can do whatever you want, but these are my requirements: I need a king size bed with a Tempurpedic mattress, and a work space. Don’t mess it up!” (To be honest, the thing we regret most is the Tempurpedic! )

I relate renovating to child birth: everyone has something to say about it, or they have a friend of a friend who’s had a terrible experience they feel uncensored to pass on. Renovation is a beast of its own, and until you open those walls up, you have no idea what’s there! We really built a home for ourselves and how we wanted to live, and worried about our needs as a family. We didn’t get caught up in the “You have to have a bath tub for resale value and you need two sinks” and all of the so called other renovating “rules” we avoided. We were not making our apartment for someone else in maybe five or 10 years. We were making our home.

For example, our daughter refuses to take baths. Our bathroom is small, so why would we want the inconvenience to have to step in and out of something? A walk-in shower was perfect and suited us all! Especially living in smaller spaces in the city, you have to really make your space work for you. And that’s what I recommend: get your space working for you and love it wholly. When we walk through our door, it’s our own oasis. We love being home!

(Our contractor was so great! No scary stories at all, and my husband even went into business with him!)

Q: What was the one design element that you wanted to be sure your family home included after the renovations, as it relates to living well with your daughter?

A: I grew up in a beautiful house. My parents were very into design, and my mother drummed it into my head that “a child will learn to live around it” so we have never had anything truly child-friendly. When we designed this apartment, we felt we really wanted to live the way we wanted to at our age and Pompie would learn to live around it. And she has!

We did leave quite a big space for kid things, like her table and house, knowing once she grows out of them we will regain that space as a sitting area. Our apartment is only 1300 sq. ft., so we had to make all areas work. Essentially, the space was designed to fold up so everything is hidden – I think the bathroom is the best testament to that, as well as the kitchen, which is a fabulous Leicht system – and it’s saved me! It’s great looking into the bathroom and just seeing beauty (and no toilet!), and my actual office  lives in the floating credenza on the bedroom wall. Nothing is out and offensive; like Smokks, the house is its own uniform. The piece that works best for me though is the bed head…it’s love! That’s the thing that makes me happy and explode with joy when i see it!

Q: What’s your favorite time of day in your home? When does it work for everyone best?

A: Our apartment really lends itself to low key lighting, so the nights are beautiful and relaxing. George goes to his work nook, and Pompie and I read books on the sofa. It’s also her time when she is determined for Maxi to lie on her. She just loves the dog lying on her at story time. “Mum, put Maxi on me!”

Q: Working full-time – as well as finding a solution to your husband’s daughter-dressing skills! – gave way to an amazing company. Please explain what Smokks is all about.

A: “I just need clothes I can handle!” OH! My husband’s famous last words. Such a dramatic statement was born from me being away and receiving a video of our daughter at her ballet graduation wearing her pajamas! OMG! I almost died! I almost cried!

Mothers would do a hundred buttons daily without question if it meant their daughters looked beautiful! But dads?

Frantically I called home from Australia, not even caring about the time difference, to find out what went wrong! “She looked so cute,” he said. “How would i even know they were pajamas?”

“Because have you ever seen her in a chocolate brown outfit with a pink cat on the front?!”

That’s really how Smokks began! Little did he know then and there that our ”family” project (so to speak) would be creating a line of fun stylish and effortless girls clothing!

Soon after that can of worms was opened we set sail on our journey to launch a creative dressing system for families who, like us, need ”clothes they can handle” all year round. I do say this loosely as it’s really for fathers, grandparents, and care takers to dress these little ladies so “suddenly” they don’t look like nobody owns them when mummy is not present!

So Smokks is a dressing system of mix and match and everything you will need and everything works alone as well. You can get your basics – leggings that are adjustable, the turtleneck dress which is made to wear alone and layer, and the three Smokks for summer, dressy, and the all year round Winnie. It’s all you need and now that’s all George has to choose from! We go over two sizes, and they grow with you. So both our requests are filled: our daughter looks divine daily and loves wearing her clothes, and George is hassle-free and doesn’t need to make clothing choices!

We did a women’s version because friends keep asking, and now it’s all they wear. My husband does not like work out clothes as “fashion,” so I get dressed for my barre classes and put my Smokk on top, and I’m covered and I feel great and pretty and dressed. Perfect! The uniform!

Q: How do you try to best balance working and motherhood? What are your tricks and policies related to making sure you get enough time with your family?

A: We are a well oiled machine! Ha! With a house so simple and no room for “junk” as I love to call it, we have only what we need. It makes life simple.

And we dress that way. We all have a uniform of  sorts. Pompie and i wear Smokks daily. We have one Smokk five ways down to a fine art, and George has 10 navy t-shirts and five pairs of the same jeans, and we all switch our jackets and shoes out. We live light and travel light, and it’s really changed our lives!

Q: What has been your favorite part about living with your daughter? What has surprised you the most about being a mom? Is there a development stage that’s long gone that you miss?

A: There’s never a dull moment living with kids…a man and a dog! So far, I think four is the most challenging year we’ve had and we are still in it. Our little baby is now a girl, developing her owns ways and desires. Kids are very black and white; they say what they think and that’s it!

I never knew I would feel so much rejection as a mother…in many ways parenting is about resolving. I think mothers are so sensitive to their children they they take the rejections to heart, and not enough mothers really talk about this. They think they need to keep be strong and keep going, when sometimes you need to sit, have a cup of tea, resolve and breathe, and keep the dialogue really honest and open.

I miss the size when they just sleep on your chest and make little peeping noises. We are at the why stage! So I say “Pompie…would you like a cup of tea with mummy and we can discuss big feelings?” It’s important that her dialogue is always open as well.

Q: Please finish the sentence: I wish someone had told me…

A: My honest response is…I never thought parenting would be so painful emotionally. And I never thought I would feel so judged, especially about only having one child. People have a lot to say about that. I think my parents and my husband are just so honest about one child families and it’s so refreshing…so refreshing. It’s a choice that people really judge you on and it’s something that should be beautifully celebrated, because as my dear friend Teymara has said, “Sometimes children come in to this world just needing to be one.” And we have that child.

I really feel it’s such a great time for women as well; having a child at 40, having a career, a great home life, fitness, and just feeling excited and alive. There’s many of us, and I salute you all! We really can have everything!

–-

Oh, Hallie! Your aesthetic is enviable. I love how you’ve hidden the necessities, giving yourself a visual treat no matter where your eyes land. Genius. And your uniforms are so brilliant, and have got me thinking of paring back even more! Thank you for sharing your family with us.

I can imagine how infuriating it must be to hear comments about having one child. (It also happens to those of us with a few more kids!) Friends, how do you feel when others offer opinions about your personal choices, whether it’s the amount of kids you have or renovation woes? Your stories are always pretty wonderful!

Oh! One more thing. Hallie is generously offering Design Mom readers 30% off a Smokks purchase! Simply enter the code designmom30 in the discount box when checking out. You’re going to look so cute! Thanks, Hallie.

P.S. – Are you interested in sharing your own home with us? Just send me a note! It’s a lot of fun…I promise! Take a peek at all the homes in my Living With Kids series here.

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{ 78 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ajbc May 27, 2014 at 11:05 am

I love the serenity of minimalist design–you manage to capture that while still maintaing livability. It’s also really inspiring to hear stories about women who balance their lives so well; thank you!

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2 amelia May 27, 2014 at 11:20 am

I love that floral headboard.

In response to people questioning my choices, I mostly respond with a “but” and something positive. Like the comment on having 5 kids is insane, yes but it is always an adventure. There is often truth in their opinion and I try to remember that. I also try to remember that I’ve had to eat my own words/thoughts about parenting as I’ve had more kids and adjusted to new personalities. And not just about parenting, we all learn sometimes the opinions we’ve had were too narrow minded. We don’t have to be the ones to teach it.

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3 Wendy May 27, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Thank you for putting my thoughts into words! Perfectly said!

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4 kate May 27, 2014 at 11:37 am

[ Note: This comment and conversation was moved to private email at Kate's request. ]

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5 cal May 27, 2014 at 1:12 pm

yeah no big deal…we didn’t like the apartment so we gutted it, as if money is no issue. But to be fair there have been several “living with kids” that have been more economically conscience, they almost always mention it as part of their decision making process.

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6 Sally May 27, 2014 at 2:31 pm

The home tour of Lonnalee Anderson from this series is one of my all-time favorites. She mentions how she enjoys the challenge of living within a budget and being raised by a mother who taught her how to decorate on a shoestring budget . I know you will appereciate this one!

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7 kate May 27, 2014 at 5:01 pm

What a gracious reply, Sally! Thanks for the rec.

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8 Marlena May 27, 2014 at 11:45 am

What a beautiful home! We are parents to one child, too. We tried for more than two years to have another, and it didn’t happen despite medical interventions, and now, after a mourning period, we *love* it. I completely understand her discussion of the rhythm of three people in a family, and because of managing one child, my husband and I are able to have full careers with minimal juggling, and even if I only see my daughter for three hours on some nights, it’s complete quality time. All types of families work!

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9 Summer May 27, 2014 at 12:09 pm

Wait, did I miss the picture of the bathroom with a hidden toilet! I want to seeeeee! (Who knew bathrooms could be such a draw? ;) )

Beautiful house and family!

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10 Tina May 27, 2014 at 12:41 pm

I was just about the scroll back through the pictures to make sure I didn’t miss the bathroom. I want to see the hidden toilet too!

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11 Deidra May 27, 2014 at 3:37 pm

I agree! I was so excited for a picture when it was mentioned and bummed not to see it.

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12 Design Mom May 28, 2014 at 9:33 am

Oh man! My bad. The picture has been added in. I’m not sure how it slipped past me. Oops! Sorry about that.

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13 Summer May 27, 2014 at 12:15 pm

…and…It’s interesting to hear about the comments people make about having one child. I am a 0 or 2 girl myself, but that’s because I am an only child of older parents. I was always an “old soul” and honestly I always preferred hanging with adults rather than children, so I was always VERY happy being an only child. However, as I grew older, it became SO. MUCH. PRESSURE. that I just can’t imagine putting that on one kid. Anyway, I hope you don’t take that as criticism, because that’s not at all how I mean it, I just think it’s really interesting seeing other people’s view points. Thank you again for sharing your story!

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14 Jennifer May 27, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Hi Summer… I have One girl as well and she is 11. I’m interested in hearing more about when you say ‘as you grew older it became SO MUCH PRESSure. ‘
Can you say a bit more about that? Ar0und what age? why kind of pressure, accomplishments, etc?
Just really interested in your perspective as an only child ; )
Best,
Jennifer

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15 Lendy May 27, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Summer I’d also like to hear more about the pressure you felt as an only child.

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16 Summer May 27, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Hey there! Oy, I feel like anyway I answer this, it’s going to sound like a shrink session where I blame my parents, and I truly don’t – I know everyone does what they think is best for their child.

In my personal experience, I just felt the need for perfection (I’d say around high school years). Sometimes love can feel like suffocation, if that makes sense. Like, all their happiness and/or self worth depended on me. While I do think they would have eventually supported me with whatever I chose to do, it was up to me to not make the mistakes they did when they were young. Basically, I heard “you’re our only hope” mentioned more than once. While I’m sure that kept me out of trouble, it kept me from taking risks/finding my own path as well.

Now as they get older, I know it will be me who is solely responsible for making sure they’re comfortable in their older years. It will be me and a nurse taking turns at some point, and then….I’ll be alone. I’ll have to go through all their belongings alone. There won’t be anyone to reflect back with, and that’s what makes me the saddest. That being said, I know I could have been stuck with a sibling that didn’t live up to the fairytale and it would still be just me, so you know – Grass is always greener. ;)

I guess my whole point is – and I have mentioned this to my mom – recognize that a child is a totally different human being, not a clone or a lap dog.

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17 Heidi May 27, 2014 at 4:15 pm

I’m not an only child-I have one brother-but both of us were raised with parents who did this same thing. I completely get what you say about the pressure-but just so you know, it’s not just “onlies” who have this experience.

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18 Nellabean May 27, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Thanks for sharing your story, Summer. I’m an only child too and I feel like you summed it up so nicely – it was great as a child *and* was (and continues to be) a lot of pressure.

My parents divorced when I was in junior high and my mother is handicapped. She moved in with me and my husband after our second year of marriage so we could take care of her, but the pressure really started at age 6 when my dad began to tell me to “take care of your mother”. It impacted my education, career, and child choices – but again, as you point out – in many ways keeping me out of trouble.

I know no other life and was very happy as an only child, but I do look at my husband’s larger family and the happiness of my two sons with their supportive bonds and wonder what it would have been like to share the emotional, financial, and physical burdens with an *adult* sibling?

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19 CeeBee May 27, 2014 at 3:50 pm

As an only child myself I’ll give you my own perspective on the pressure thing. When mom & dad are angry, you have no one to be on your side or comfort you. That might sound silly but depending on your parents that can be excruciatingly lonely. It always was for me. You have no comrad day to day. Yes I had friends and a cousin I was close with but it’s not the same as a sibling. And now as an adult only child who married another only child, there is no one to share in the responsibility of my parents as they age. No one to shoulder the emotional burden in those last year’s of decline in health or help out financially. We can’t have more than two kids of our own because we’ll probably need to support our parents in old age at some point. This is not to say having a family of four or more is the only way, but it’s my perspective.

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20 Heidi May 27, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Again chiming in-I have one brother who is in no position to help emotionally or financially with our parents as they age. And from what I can see from my friends with age-ing parents, unfortunately a lot of time siblings provide NO support-and actually can cause a lot of stress when people are not in agreement on how to care for their parents. I think it’s one of those things that seem like it would be automatic, a “team” effort. But it just doesn’t work that way.

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21 Melissa@Julia's Bookbag May 27, 2014 at 9:15 pm

I’d like to echo Heidi’s comment — having siblings is next to NO guarantee of having help with aging parents. I have seen it time and again. In my experience, more often than not, there is often one sibling that the responsibility will fall upon.

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22 CeeBee May 29, 2014 at 10:42 pm

My mother is the youngest of four and she was the primary caretaker for her own mother, even though she had a sister who lived just as close to my grandmother as she did (walking distance to boot!). Even though my mother has three siblings, it seems that with the turn of each new decade two siblings make amends while another set has an epic falling out. So I know that a sibling is not a guarantee but is a chance that you might have for those times that I will never have. I’m not complaining. I’m not advocating one over the other here. It is just my perspective on being an only.

23 Summer May 28, 2014 at 12:39 pm

I’ve really enjoyed everyone’s responses – thank you! I often afraid of it coming across as whining for being “too loved” or “too spoiled,” so it means a lot that others understand.

And Heidi – my mother’s sister sounds a lot like your brother, which is why I mentioned I know a sibling isn’t a guarantee of anything (which also makes me wonder about the nature vs. nurture thing – how can one kid go sooooo far off?!). However, my dad is one of 12, and they’re all amazing. It’s like luck of the draw!

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24 Sheila@Chinaberry May 27, 2014 at 12:20 pm

As one of 5 children, I was always shocked when people commented that our family was big enough for a baseball team or something equally insensitive. I wish people could just keep their biased opinions to themselves. There are often personal reasons that folks don’t want to share about why they have one child. Such a good reminder to think before speaking!

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25 Melissa May 27, 2014 at 1:11 pm

I love Tuesdays because I always find these home tours such fun! I love seeing how other people live and a snippet of their life journey. I often look at the links provided, as I did today. I had to chuckle, though: my family lives a very comfortable life, above the average income, I suppose you could say, and yet with three children, we would be unable to afford $140 per dress for our daughter, even in the interest of simplifying and creating a “uniform”. You can still live minimally and spend less! $200 on a cotton dress for myself would also be out of our budget norm, as well! I’d love to know if people discover they DO save money with shopping this way!

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26 Design Mom May 27, 2014 at 2:05 pm

I’ve never tried shopping this way but it sounds so appealing to me. A couple of outfits per kid that last through 2 size changes? Sounds dreamy!

You know, now that I think about it, during my last pregnancy, I did try a 3-piece “kit” that was supposed to dress you everyday through the whole pregnancy. It wasn’t cheap, but I did wear the heck out of it. And at the end of the pregnancy, the clothes barely showed signs of aging and I passed them on to a friend. So I definitely thought they were worth the price. Then again, they weren’t the only clothes I wore. I suppose I like variety too much. : )

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27 Sally May 27, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Sorry, but how could you *ever* have a couple of outfits per kid without doing laundry constantly? I buy keeping sizing in mind, and thus love dresses from Hanna Andersson and Tea for my girls because I can use them as tunics paired with leggings after my kids grow, and thus can get two years out of each outfit. But I agree w. the previous poster – we are upper middle class and I would *never* spend that much on myself, let alone my kids, even though my younger daughter wears all the hand me downs! My kids dress very very well, but I am very frugal and only shop sales.

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28 Design Mom May 27, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Maybe it’s one of those things that differs by family and habit. We wash underwear and socks after every wear (obviously), but most of our school outfits don’t need a wash until they’ve been worn a few times. I know in France, it was normal for a child to wear the same outfit all week, just changing underthings.

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29 Jenny also May 27, 2014 at 3:55 pm

What I like about this series, even more than the design ideas, is getting to glimpse of the inner-workings of other families. Even small, seemingly insignificant things. i certainly don’t wash my jeans after every wear. (although I do wash my kids’ clothes every time; they are rough and tumble boys who come home filthy!)

I also really like Gabby modeling for me how to respond to challenging comments. This approach works IRL too!

30 Melissa May 27, 2014 at 7:49 pm

Thanks for the insight, Gabby. Reflecting on your comment, I suppose the motive is less about cost and more about ease and simplicity. I totally get that and can appreciate that mindset, but I’ll just have to personally achieve it on a more modest budget (I know that means different things for different people). Perhaps I should take up sewing?! Humph. Let’s not talk crazy!! ;)

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31 Lendy May 27, 2014 at 2:07 pm

I absolutely love Hallie’s home, and especially loved her words! I may be from a suburb in Northern California, but I still connected to her idea of what a home is and her thoughts on being a mom of one. I am working on keeping our home a place that still defines my husband and I without having to childproof the whole house! It’s so easy to get sucked in, especially with a toddler!! As an almost 36 yr old mom of one…I get it!! I find myself constantly justifying our decision to be one and done to anyone who asks–which is nuts! And the smokks are brilliant! My husband recently took our daughter to his office in funky jammies and her gold shoes! I asked why and he said I grabbed the easiest stuff!! Thank you for sharing your beautiful home with us!

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32 hallie May 27, 2014 at 4:36 pm

Lendy,
I loved reading this from you..
You totally get it.
x

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33 Laura May 27, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Hallie, I absolutely ADORE your home’s style! Forgive me if this sounds obnoxious, but would you be willing to share your sources for your dining table and chairs? They’re exactly what I’ve been looking for, but haven’t been able to find.

Also, I loved reading about how your family has simplified your lives–very inspiring! It’s been something I’ve been mulling over myself lately, and reading this makes me think our family’s shift is approaching. Thank you for sharing!

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34 hallie May 27, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Hi Laura
Of course..the table is from Blu Dot (The strut table), we’ve had it almost 9 years and it still looks amazing. We bought the table and the chairs with a family in mind so we could just wipe them both down, and the chairs are super comfortable – The chairs are by Verner Panton, i think you can buy them now a design within reach.
Hope this helps x

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35 Laura May 28, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Hallie, thanks so much! Your generosity of spirit is evident throughout your home and the description of your family life. Your daughter is one lucky girl to learn how to live life so fully from such great examples!

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36 Meg May 27, 2014 at 3:02 pm

I always intended to have an only child. But 6 years after the first one, I ended up with a surprise second. I often tell my husband that I miss being a mom of one, but I like both of my kids too much to give one up!

I have a friend with 6, and she would always tell me that she didn’t know how I did it because she would go crazy if she had to take on the playmate role- I used to tell her that I’d rather be the playmate than the referee!

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37 hallie May 27, 2014 at 4:35 pm

i love it! x

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38 jen May 27, 2014 at 3:22 pm

beautiful home! it’s funny, i have two kids and i still get asked if we’re planning for a third! personally, i think people are just curious. wether it’s one or 5 or more, everyone wants to know if you’re going to have more kids!

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39 Heidi May 27, 2014 at 4:25 pm

I agree. We have 4-and I still got asked that when they were younger!

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40 Sarah May 27, 2014 at 3:47 pm

That was a lovely place, but the artwork stole the show for me. Truly beautiful pieces, all of them! I would love to know where the watercolors that appear to be of her daughter and dog came from, beautiful.

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41 hallie May 27, 2014 at 4:34 pm

Hi Sarah,
I love the water colors!! they were done by a very dear friend of mine in Australia Heidi Moore Gill, her kids and dog portraits are amazing and very reasonably priced.
You can find her at http://www.bespokeballoonery.com.au
I’m always trying to find a reason to get more from her!
Contact her, you won’t regret it..tell her i sent you.
x

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42 emma May 27, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Hi Hallie,

I love your home and especially these watercolors too! I’m also an Aussie living in NY, and excited to hear that they are by an Aussie artist also. Thanks for the reco, definitely looking her up!

Emma x

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43 Beatriz May 27, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Love the prints in Pompie’s room. could you share where to get them?

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44 hallie May 27, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Hi Beatriz,
we love them to!
the water colors are by my friend in Australia Heidi Moore Gill. http://www.bespokeballoonery.com.au, Heidi is amazing and will do private commissions and is very reasonably priced.
http://www.castleandthings.com.au is the divine “loving you is easy cause your beautiful”..her work is so much fun and perfect for a kids room.
does this help?
x

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45 Kim May 27, 2014 at 10:28 pm

Hallie, beautiful home! I was thinking the same thing when I saw those water colors.. I definitely need to check that out!

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46 Beatriz May 28, 2014 at 9:54 am

Thanks so much, cheers!

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47 Nellabean May 27, 2014 at 4:41 pm

Oh and also chiming in to say, I love all the moments of whimsy against such a peaceful neutral backdrop in this home! The tiny, white, baby grand piano and the pink cuckoo clock are my favorites!

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48 tanya May 27, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Beautiful home; I love the less is more! Being a parent is hard work; regardless of how many children you have! Congrats on finding a balance in life; some people strive and never do! Thanks for opening your life to us; it’s always encouraging to see how others live :)

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49 Margaret Burton May 27, 2014 at 5:44 pm

I am the Mother of this beautiful person, and I just had to tell you that my daughter’s home and family are exactly as she says – it’s all true!

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50 Melissa May 27, 2014 at 7:45 pm

What an amazing support you are. How blessed!

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51 Karen May 27, 2014 at 6:21 pm

It seems that no matter how many kids you have you get questions! I think I agree with a previous poster who said it was people just making conversation a lot of the time. We have two girls and don’t plan to have any more but as soon as the second was born people were asking if we were going to try for a boy.

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52 Jenna May 27, 2014 at 7:15 pm

I love this apartment! Hallie’s aesthetic is gorgeous, so light and airy and minimalistic, but still incredibly warm. I lived on the other side of Uptown during my NYC days, sandwiched between Carl Shurz and Central Park and it was lovely.

I have a question for Hallie. I love Pompie’s name, but have never heard it before! Is it her given name, or is it a nickname? More common in Australia? It’s so spunky and pretty, without being too precious.

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53 hallie May 28, 2014 at 5:07 am

Hi Jenna..
Thanks of your comments..
Pompie’s name is a sweet story, it’s a actually a french name, a real name and 5 generations old on my fathers side, it was the family’s magic fairy’s name so we gave it life. It was like asking my dad if we call could call her “Arthur” after him. A lovely moment for all AND, OMG she’s such a Pompie!

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54 Melissa@Julia's Bookbag May 27, 2014 at 9:17 pm

This home is AMAZING! One of the coolest I’ve seen on any blog, or in any magazine. Just fabulous.

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55 chris May 28, 2014 at 12:02 am

Hi, could you tell me where the modern dollhouse(?) is from. So cool!

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56 hallie May 28, 2014 at 4:57 am

Chris, its land of Nod..best purchase ever. x
http://www.landofnod.com

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57 Kitty May 28, 2014 at 1:07 am

Gabrielle, thank you for yet another amazing episode of the ‘LwK’ series! I love each and every one of them! This time, however, I’m most thankful for more than just the pics and the story itself: Hallie’s project feels like my thoughts and dreams came to life as I was thinking of developing something really similar to take the burden of ‘dressing up’ my girl and turn it into a stress-free, fun-filled moment for both her mother (aka moi) and my sweet daughter (who’s constantly struggling with her 3 brothers like Brave’s Merida).

Congrats and please keep up the amazing work, I’m so curious how it will grow with Pompie <3 !

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58 Niamh May 28, 2014 at 3:57 am

I absolutely loved this peek into Hallie and her family’s life!! Your house is so beautiful, Hallie, and your lifestyle really inspirational and food for thought.

I too have just one child – a daughter. She has been so much more work than I expected and my health is not amazing, so my heart is telling me to stick with just one child. It can be very hard to feel good about this decision with all the questioning, assumptions and pressure from outside.

It would be good to hear from only children who enjoyed the experience!

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59 hallie May 28, 2014 at 5:17 am

Niamh
Thanks for commenting. For me being older when i had Pompie i was just thrilled to get her, and having her has changed us. 1 is so much work and my career was breaking through here in NYC after and i took her everywhere and we are just so tight that we decided early on this was our path and for us it was a great decision. We just love our closeness so Cherish it and love it..it’s an beautiful experience. Here and now. Thankyou x

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60 Niamh May 28, 2014 at 8:41 am

Thanks, Hallie. That’s really good to hear! :-)

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61 Sarah May 28, 2014 at 4:10 am

Beautiful apartment.
Lonely and only. Spoilt. Oh I used to hear them all.
Now as a mother of two I laugh in hindsight. We give our kids so much more than my parents gave me just to negotiate peace. They love one another but the antagonism can do your head in!
It is a tight unit the three person family but with fulling careers held by parents it’s a lovely bond. Enjoy it.

Oh yes, and after getting a dog last year, I soon discovered other dog owners love to share their opinions…aahhhh.

I love a good floaty dress….will check them out.

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62 Laura May 28, 2014 at 7:19 am

I had to laugh at the husband dressing the daughter in pajamas story. Just yesterday my husband sent me a picture of our 3 year old playing at the library. And I replied back to inform him that he had actually dressed him in a pajama shirt that day. To him, it was a cotton shirt. And nobody really could ever tell. I just know because I bought the pajama set :)

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63 hallie May 28, 2014 at 10:22 am

Laura..it’s funny!! and so true!! xx

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64 Tracie May 28, 2014 at 8:12 am

Your home is beautiful, Hallie. Can you tell me about your floors? They are such a nice medium tone. What are they? Thanks!

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65 hallie May 28, 2014 at 10:21 am

Hi Tracie,
We love them!
They are white oak with a white Monocot finish, in reality they look a pale grey. I will warn you as they are not sealed a little more effort goes in to looking after them. They feel so amazing – like silk- to walk on..because they are un ealed, so they are no sticky.
Hope this helps.
x

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66 Debbie May 28, 2014 at 8:49 am

your home is beautiful! I need to learn to live a bit lighter. I especially love your bed frame.

Could you tell me where you found your barstools?

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67 hallie May 28, 2014 at 10:16 am

Hi Debbie,
I think they are by Mater -Cophenhagen…we’ve had them a while now so my memory is proving a little rusty..maybe try a google image search rand they should come up.
x

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68 Tanya May 28, 2014 at 9:25 am

Wow, as someone who grew up in a culture where giving and receiving advice is an absolute norm, it always amazes me how much Americans (or maybe all Westerners, considering the nationalities in today’s feater?) take advice or opinions as judgements, rather than, well, opinions.

For me, it’s just the other people’s views on the subject. They don’t reflect on me or my choices, because those choices are my own.
I grew up in a fairly traditional, “blend in” kind of culture, and my weird-ass choices, such as becoming an artist or adopting instead of having “my own” did elicit a ton of comments/opinions, but I always took them as – you know – opinions, not criticisms. And I’m not saying this in any superior way – I’m not an exception in my culture.

Ever since I moved to US, I had to learn that people here do NOT welcome others’ opinions, and there’s a concept of “unsolicited” advice. People get so offended, and feel that they are judged, when – in my experience – people mostly like to share their own views on just about anything. A lot of times, people feel like they are doing something helpful. So why take it so personally? I mean, I accept that it’s how it is here, and reading through this comment thread definitely highlighted this concept.

Sibling-wise, I am TOTALLY agreeing that it’s usually one of the siblings that ends up taking care of the parents. Sometimes it’s geographical reasons, and sometimes it’s political, I feel. My mom’s taking care of her parents, even though my uncle lives close by, and I am pretty sure I’ll be the one taking care of mine. Though I do know that my brother will be there if I ask, and we do share a bond to the point where people used to think that we’re twins (we’re 3 years apart), but I’ll be the one handling doctors and living arrangements. I don’t view it as a burden, though. Plus, just like I’m helping with my grandparents, I hope my 2 (very Westernized) boys will be helping me when the time comes. The oldest one is already making plans for this eventuality ^_^

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69 Heidi May 30, 2014 at 8:07 am

I totally agree about how offended people get when others make comments/suggestions/observations. I’ve been a SAHM, I’ve homeschooled, I have a larger family-all things which supposedly people get negative reactions to. I am either oblivious or have a totally thick skin-because I’ve never felt “criticized” or “judged.” If people make comments that seem “weird” I just think that’s about them, and how they’d choose to live their life-and not about me. I really think that if you’re taking offense all the time you’re not very confident in your life choices.

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70 Petris May 28, 2014 at 10:08 am

Love the whole house and ambience…thx for sharing!
Do you mind to share the source of the cuckoo clock…it’s SO fun!
thanks

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71 Beatriz May 28, 2014 at 10:11 am

There are many things that I love about this house but the bedframe, it is just too beautiful! Did you make it? If so, where did you get the fabric? I completerly love it.

Thanks for sharing all this info with us!

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72 hallie May 29, 2014 at 9:37 am

Hi Beatriz,
The bed head is my favorite thing ever!
It was custom made by our architect, and the fabric was from B and J NYC.
x

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73 Nasula May 28, 2014 at 10:14 am

Love the space and so lucky to live in NYC! It’s refreshing to see a family with one child! Most blogs are composed by women with a brood. We also have chosen to have one child because we figured we could still afford and manage to live our lives to the fullest (travel/eat out/schools, etc) and share these experiences and education with our daughter without having to contemplate or budget too much. It’s been great and I love the fact that with one child I’m not exhausted at the end of the day!

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74 hallie May 29, 2014 at 4:54 am

I’ll drink to that Nasula x

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75 sarah May 28, 2014 at 10:17 am

Beautiful home, and the art is so so lovely! I really enjoyed hearing about your home and family, Hallie, so thanks for your willingness to share! I’m mom of one (9 year old daughter), and on the rare occasions when someone has questioned me about that, I tend to just say “I’ve never felt like anyone was missing,” which is exactly how I’ve felt since the moment my girl was born, just as you describe. I love that I can choose my little family and others can choose their big families and that variety is just another thing that makes the world more interesting. Kids are a blessing, whether it’s one or two or ten of them. Oh, and the smokks are adorable. :)

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76 Heidi May 28, 2014 at 6:36 pm

Oh dear Hallie! I love your house and your parenting sentiments! esp… on discussing “Big Feelings” I am going to use that one.
Im also incredibly delighted that you showed the portrait of P, which is still my favourite work…
With love and laughter

Sparkles x

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77 hallie May 29, 2014 at 4:55 am

Love you Sparkles xx

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78 Monique May 29, 2014 at 11:42 am

My turn to chime in! I loved the aesthetic of this apartment. A really distinct home tour!

Any chance you could share the source of your couch? I love linen and it looks simply divine.

Thanks!

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