Dusty Deco founder, blogger and vintage expert Lina Kjellvertz on children’s rooms, leopard patterns and living life “extra everything”
In this chapter of ”Friends of Babyshop”, we meet with the inspiring Mallorca-based mother of two, Lina Kjellvertz. She is allergic to being bored and works hard to achieve the opposite in life. We love her style and how she creates magic in both clothing choices and interior design. We spoke to her about this and more.
HELLO LINA! WHO ARE YOU?
- Hello, hello! Wow - creative, mixed-up, rather funny, but messy toddler mom? I usually want to do more than I have time for and I’m a person who doesn’t keep my feelings inside!
WHICH OF YOUR CHARACTERISTICS DO YOU HOPE YOUR CHILDREN WILL HAVE?
- I hope that they will see the beauty of life in the small things, and enjoy things in everyday life. Music, something beautiful you pass on the way to school or just an extra cozy day as well. That they should be grateful and happy with what life offers and understand that things not only come easily but you sometimes have to fight a little. And that there is something nice about that.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY’S SENSE OF STYLE.
- Our ambition is to keep some kind of style, but most often it is a circus. We are kind of allergic to being bored so there are always too many plans and spontaneity which is fun but also slightly hectic, so the style tends to mirror our way of life. A little messy, but fun - bags overflowing and a little too much of everything. Usually with elements of leopard… So even if we have cashmere or designer clothes and maybe even iron a garment sometimes, it kind of disappears when one has a flea market find under one arm and under the other, a barking poodle on a leash - and the little ones enjoy an ice cream but it ends up in their hair. But we are happy!
HOW DO YOU THINK ABOUT CHILDREN'S CLOTHING?
- I love to style my children, especially in recent years. I have to stand down during school days due to the fact that they have a uniform at school. I have to say that I'm still lucky, I still can choose quite freely; they do not care so much about what they wear. I like frills / ruffles, color and pattern on girls and a little more street on guys. Maybe a shirt and a pair of sun-bleached shorts.
Some days it's Mini Rodini and some days more Ralph Lauren mixed with leopard. I love when it looks like adult clothes in kid size - maybe a wool coat in a nice cut on a little girl in the winter? And a pair of mini Air Jordans or Vans on a boy? The kind you wanted to have yourself! Brands such as How to Kiss a Frog, Bobo Choses and Mini Rodini are favorites that also have a resale value in a different way.
HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE TO SHOP SUSTAINABLE?
We are vintage fans, so often a blouse or shirt comes home to the children from second-hand shops. In my experience it is easier to find woven garments and a little harder with jersey. We exchange and inherit a lot among our friends and family, it's cute to see small garments that my kids passed on to nephews. My little godson walks around in both Lola's leopard Dr. Martens and Max's little bomber jackets. Of course, it happens that we shop at the chains, but then preferably cotton or wool or something that is not plastic / environmentally unfriendly, and is easier to recycle. The basic idea is that as long as what the children grow up with is either inherited or ends up in charity / recycling bins, we have made a small difference.
WHAT ARE YOU INVESTING IN?
- They wear out their shoes in a brutally short time, so the next investment is stylish leather sandals. I am looking at Kavat, it feels like an honest brand with comfortable products. Then we live by the sea so swimwear is also worn quickly. I love swimsuits with ruffles and for Max, shorts with large prints.
NO DECORATOR LIKE YOU! WHAT 3 TIPS DO YOU WANT TO GIVE US WHEN DECORATING CHILDREN'S ROOMS?
1. Do not forget the walls just because it is a children's room. Hang paintings, framed posters (I love Babyshop’s tiger poster), animal heads in plush or rattan. If you are as kitschy as us, use photos, a mirror, bulletin board, wall lamps or cute light strings. Maybe your child can be involved and decide on something that should go up. As long as it is nicely mixed and hung by an adult and a little structured, most things usually work. There are great tips on how to put together a nice gallery wall or hang uniformly on Pinterest.
2. Soft materials on the floor are important, especially when the children are small. A fluffy rug does wonders for both the look and coziness of the room, but also feels nicer if you fall out of bed, and is more playful. Children sit on the floor, that’s the reality, so invest in rugs.
3. Let there be light! Use many light sources - desk lamp, reading lamp, ceiling lamp. Bring it on! Several light sources in a children's room give a cozy feel and it becomes more comfortable to read a bedtime story in a soft reading lamp light. There are so many cute children's lamps on the market and also nice to mix in adult lamps or flea market finds for the bookshelf or bedside table.
4. If you have space - buy some vintage furniture. The auction houses have so many nice cabinets that are easily turned into wardrobes or toy storage. They are lovely to repaint or keep as is for that soft natural element that you often miss in Lego-colored children's rooms. A small desk or dresser can give more coziness factor than the shiny, hard variants from the high street.
CHILDREN CLOTHES IN SPAIN VS SWEDEN? ARE THERE ANY DIFFERENCE?
- Yes, the style is very clear and the kids are very clean here. I don’t understand how Spanish children play and stay so clean! I can hardly wear a pair of white jeans for a whole day without looking unclean after lunch, but Spanish children smell clean and fresh and have weekend outfits ready and pressed. When do the parents iron? There is much more difference between girls and boys in the style here too.
AS BEACH PROFESSIONALS, WHICH 5 THINGS DO YOU PACK IN YOUR BAG?
- An unread book, water (that gets lukewarm), sunscreen (that gets sandy) and somewhere in the bottom of the basket a couple of euros for ice cream. Well, now I sound too uninspiring! I also pack thin kimonos to pull over both the children's and my shoulders as sun protection, after a bath, or as a lunch outfit. I bring a bunch of nice thin bath towels, you know such striped thin ones with fringe - I love them! They work for everything - a tablecloth, a towel, a skirt and it’s also nice that they take up little space. Malaika Cotton has nice models of both kimonos and hammam towels.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO RECOMMEND?
- My sister has an Instagram store @fridasfinds where I shop thick coffee cups and marble bowls for the olives. She is absolutely crazy good at finding fun vintage details and also charges very little for what she sells so it is a very nice combination. This summer she has a pop-up in a space on Mariatorget in Stockholm. I will definitely be there a lot.
And get a dog. If you have no sensible explanation for why you do not already have one, just get one. Our dog is a classic corona dog that came to us when we were locked up at the beginning of last year. He gives us so much love and laughter and makes me unwind and gives the children a relationship with animals and a little extra sense of responsibility and care for a living being.
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