Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Family Home Project : Libby and Derek

photographed by Kristoffer Paulsen

Welcome to the home of Libby Moore, the creator and founder of Woolf & Cotton, mumma to two darling boys and wife to Derek, Professional animator, story board artist, Canadian and grower of extraordinary beards. These guys live in a compact 2 bedroom apartment in a sleepy seaside suburb of NSW Australia. Libby is the queen of hidden storage and master of making things fit. Its with colour and fun that they create a practical family home. 


         Who lives here? 
I live here with my husband Derek and our two boys, Logan (4) and Hugo (16mths). I am a stay-at-home mum/part-time uni student/part-time crafter. Derek works as an animator and storyboard artist and our boys are little balls of silliness, sweetness and energy that make our home so much fun!

What is your style ethos?    
Our home is made up of some vintage finds mixed with a bit of Ikea and handmade items. Since our home here is so small, we are always searching for items that have an element of practicality with their style and beauty and of course, are easy on the wallet. 

Who/what inspires your style?      
The online world and social media play a part in my inspiration sources. I love stealing a few minutes with a cup of tea in hand to catch up on blogs like this one, have a browse on Apartment Therapy or Design Sponge and pin a few items to look back on later.

Where is your favourite place to sit?    
On the left hand side of the couch, usually with a cup of tea and a crochet hook and yarn close by.

How does the layout of your home affect the way you live/function within it?    
Our little flat is unique in that each room lead into the next. You can literally walk in a continuous circle through the rooms if you want to. While it's small, it is quite open plan and I really love that it means we are always close to each other. Because our home is so small, it forces us to simplify and minimize the things that we put in our home. It means that most of our belongings needed to tick both boxes of being aesthetically pleasing as well as functional. It was actually a fun challenge to brainstorm ways in which we could make the most out of our tiny space.

What are your future plans/dreams for your house?      
We have actually just moved into a new home. We are officially first time home owners! Our new house requires a fair bit of fixing up and making over, as all as clearing out the jungle of the backyard. However, we are excited for this next journey and having the chance to make our own decisions on how our house will look. We've upsized our space but we still hope to maintain the same practice of making the most of our space with functional pieces that suit our style and way of living.

Any tips for someone who might like to emulate your style (places to shop, key items colours etc)?      

If you're the creative type, DIY when you can. Look through magazines and online for inspiration and consider what you might be able to make yourself that fits within your budget. I love that I can look around my home and see my own woolf&cotton baskets set to good use, filled with toys and other treasures. There is a certain sense of pride and accomplishment knowing that I was able to create something beautiful and practical for our home. eBay and thrift stores are great places to score a unique treasure for your home. Some of my favourite items in my home were sourced that way: my sewing table from Gumtree (that came complete with draws full of vintage buttons, threads and notions), our toy box which was originally an old army ammo box from eBay (I put Derek to work sanding back the paint a previous owner had covered it in. Now it looks wonderfully distressed and has been one of the most perfect additions to our home), a 70's wood veneer desk with a world map for the table top that I picked up from a local thrift shop for $20 (I bought this one when Logan was a baby, knowing someday it would go in his bedroom. It sat in storage for a few years, but we've got it out now that we have moved into our new home).

What makes a house a home?      

Love, laughter, the sounds of my children, the memories that are made, the morning ritual of a cup of tea (often before the sun rises) followed by a cup of coffee with breakfast, story time and family dance parties. 


  1. What a lovely quirky home! Libby has a lot of style and I would love to see how she tackles their new home - Em please do revisit!

  2. Libby seems lovely and a great find, Em. I am noticing that everyone's house looks the same... x

    1. the same? really? I think it's totally unique filled with Libby's hand crafted treasures!

    2. What a gorgoeus home, and she is very clever with her space saving! I need to take some tips. I wonder if Bron is referring to the colour 'pop' that seems to be 'in' of late? The minimal white furniture and pompoms, and pillows for colour?

  3. I wish our flat looked like this when I crammed our family of four in, I'm afraid it was a lot more cluttered! Thankfully in our house now we have a lot more storage! The white walls make all the colour pop! I'm so coveting a custom cross-stich family portrait!

  4. I love when people manage to live so gracefully in small spaces. I have tiny-house dreams (not that I live in a mansion:)
    I love getting to look into other people's places, too much.

  5. Yes we indeed should go and visit them in their new home ,Libby and Derek there is so much loveliness in your sweet little home filled with colour and things you love,well done Emily i love a peep into peoples homes and lives xx

  6. Oh boy! I love love love this place! So much colour!! :) I love it!

  7. I love the quirky little vintage pieces. I'm trying to liven up my drab little space so it's given me a few things to consider. Jo ××

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Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em