Following @housecurious on Instagram is a whirlwind of excellent interior style together with the force that is the woman behind it: UK based Aussie, Sommer Pyne shares insights into starting a business while having two young children, and how she manages to hold the ship together, but the best bits come with her honesty about actually not having it all together and being okay with letting go sometimes. It's visual inspo with a lot of heart. She has just closed House Curious to launch another business which is TBC but sounds very exciting. Here are her tips on business, health and everything in between.
I have an online lifestyle boutique
... which sells everything from beauty to home accessories. I have a love for interiors but more and more I’m finding I’m drawn to health and wellness. In fact, I’m at the very early stages of a new business venture in this area so watch this space. I was born and raised in sunny Sydney but currently live in the UK. We also do ticketed workshops in my home where people learn a skill and we have a meal together because I believe in a strong community feeling, and I also do a bit of interior styling on the side. The great thing these days is that you don’t have to stick to one thing, so I tend to have my fingers in many pies.
My workout routine is all over the place
... at the moment and I’m not where I want to be when it comes to my fitness levels, but I try to fit in what I can. I used to be really healthy and go to the gym three times a week but having a second child (Sommer’s daughter is 2 years old) and running a business with lots of sleepless nights. I’m finding it difficult to find my groove in keeping healthy! But I think it’s fine to go through rough patches with our health and I have different priorities right now. I try not to focus on what I’m not doing and be happy if I do something, because something is better than nothing. To help motivate me I try to include exercise that’s fun like roller skating, Thai boxing and dancing. I’m slowly getting my groove back and even made it to the gym this week and I now have a one on one Pilates reformer lesson every Saturday.
I’m pretty active with running a business and running after my girls but I would like to find more balance and have a regular movement routine, even if it’s just 10min in the morning.
The key is not to beat myself up for it
... I could be really down on myself but actually I just need to give myself a break - I’m running my own business and looking after two girls and running a household! What was I thinking starting this business when I was pregnant?!
I love food so much I couldn’t diet
I'm not an extremes person, I don’t cut anything out, but I try and eat healthily. We eat lots of vegies and love Mediterranean and Asian food – soups, stir fries, grilled meats and salads. I do eat carbs, but I avoid stodgy carbs, and prefer to eat brown rice instead of white, and lots of sweet potato. When I’m being really good I cut out alcohol during the week, I’ll have three meals and light snacks in between.
I try and start my day with
... a banana smoothie with berries and shot of spirulina or if I’m really organised I’ll prep overnight oats. I also take adaptogens to give me an extra boost. When I start my day like that I’m in a much better headspace. It’s not just about what you put into your body it’s your mental state as well.
I think it’s important to be kind to yourself whether it’s getting up five minutes later, having a bath or meditating. I think that’s more important.
I’ve downloaded apps Calm and Headspace
... they’re little bite size meditations, but it’s still hard to fit in! When I go to sleep at night I listen to positive podcasts which I find therapeutic. It’s like being a child being read to, and you go to sleep easier, it’s lovely.
I’ve got this Fig & Yarrow Moon Mist which I spray on to my face and take two deep breaths - it’s that small reminder to make me stop for a minute.
Music is also therapeutic for me
... and in the morning, I crank the music up and we dance around the house, and in the bath, I also listen to music. It’s so important and the girls love it.
For so long I was borrowing my husband’s moisturiser!
My beauty routine is very simple. More recently I’ve been using Grown Alchemist and have gone down a more natural route and of a night time I use their regenerating night cream, it smells really lovely. The one thing I always always use is the old-fashioned Nivea cream - my mum swore by it and somehow, here in London in winter, it’s the only thing that will moisturise my skin properly.
I don’t think it’s always about the stuff you put on your face, it’s also about having time out, sleeping, eating the right things and living your life. For me, a bath is an important part of my routine and it really calms me down and gives me space to think, especially if I’ve had a really long day.
Sustainability is so important
If I’m honest we could do more but it’s a process and takes time to get right. We try to work with suppliers that have the same values as us and who care for the environment. When we send out orders we use a lot of recycled boxes and shredded paper and avoid plastic. Although sometimes this is difficult if we receive it wrapped from some of our suppliers. In my new business venture sustainability will be at the core of our business. We now offset any business or personal travel.
I believe if everyone made small positive changes and were more conscious of their impact on the planet it would make a big difference, so that’s what we try to do. My family and I don’t use plastic straws and will say no in a restaurant if they offer them. I use a water bottle and take it everywhere. We now buy from the bulk source store in London when we can to reduce packaging and waste. I’m surprised at how much packaging and plastic is used in the UK supermarkets. I actually hate food shopping due to the level of plastic I come home with even when I’m trying my best to avoid it.
Here are some more pics of Sommer's fab house, cause I love interiors perving.