Free-range family: a countryside home for a big family
This big-city crew traded the concrete jungle for a calmer, fresher life in the countryside. With nature as their next-door neighbour, their safe and welcoming country home is where their three small children have the freedom to learn, play and thrive. And just be kids!
Why did you move to the countryside?
“We loved our life in the city, but fitting a big family into a small apartment was a tight squeeze. We dreamed of moving somewhere with a little more space, and lower rent, where our three little ones could grow up a little bit closer to nature. When we were both able to work remotely, we decided to just go for it!”
What was important to you while furnishing this house?
“When you come into our home, we want you to get the feeling right away that family comes first. We chose bigger pieces of furniture so everyone can be together (like our family-size sofa for Friday nights!) and added in activity zones and storage just for the kids. We also went for a more traditional style to enhance the countryside feeling.”
How did you make your home functional for a big family?
“Storage, storage and more storage. A lot of stuff goes along with three children and all the adventures of countryside living, so we had to find good places to pack it all away. The things that the little ones use often are kept in low, easy-to-reach spots, so they can find what they need and pack it away on their own.”
Fun and creativity feels like a big part of this home
“Yes! We really believe in learning by doing, so we’ve tried to make every area of the house a place where the whole family can create or play. The dining area isn’t just where we sit down for meals together, it’s also where we do crafts with the children, look after plants, read together and work from home.”
Is there anything you miss about the city?
“The internet out here is a lot slower... and there also aren’t so many options for eating out! But that’s made us appreciate good home-cooked food even more. Now that we have a garden, we grow our own fruit and veggies, which we love turning into delicious meals or sweet treats in the kitchen.”
What’s your favourite part of the house?
“Tough question. We love every room, but – as busy parents – our bedroom is such a calm and cosy reward at the end of a long day. It has a super comfy bed, generous wardrobes, and even an extra workspace for when one of us needs some peace and quiet to send a few emails.”
Any tips for children sharing a room?
“They’re all still small, so one room for our three little ones has worked out well. Since they play so much outside and elsewhere in the house, we didn’t have to fit in everything here. There’s enough space for their beds, clothes and a few of their favourite toys. To make sure it’s safe for all of them, we’ve secured their furniture and cables to the wall and have chosen toys and bed linen that are suitable for all ages and free of toxic chemicals.”
What’s the best part of the day?
“Bath time in the evenings is always special. Even when the children are covered in mud and sleepy (which is most days!), hearing the stories about their adventures and what they’re looking forward to tomorrow, makes us realise moving here was so worth it.”
Which part of the house makes your life easier?
“The current record for an empty laundry basket in our house is around fifteen minutes, so our laundry room has been a life changer. From sorting, scrubbing and soaking, to washing, drying and ironing – this room takes care of it all. We even dip-dyed our curtains in here last weekend!”