Mom Story: Mar Gomez from Kalma and Violeta
My name is Mar Gomez, I am a Spanish designer. I live with my Dutch husband, my twins, a girl and a boy. We live most of the year in Madrid but travel often to Amsterdam. I studied interior design and work as a designer of furniture together with my husband, also a designer at Studio Martell. What I really like best is to design items for children. A few years ago I started designing a collection of children’s beds. Last year I created the line Kalma & Violeta.
What kind of house do you live in – are you and the kids happy there or is there anything you find lacking or would like to change?
I live in Madrid with my twins, a boy and a girl 11 years old, my husband Pierre and three cats. We live in an apartment on the 7th floor. We love our neighborhood, it is perfect for kids. My children have grown very happy here.
What do you like best about living there?
Our neighborhood is designed for families with children. It is quiet but there are all kinds of facilities such as schools, swimming pool, ice skating rink , cinema, library, shops, beautiful parks and only 10 minutes by car from downtown Madrid.
Do you like to spend time decorating your home and the children’s room?
I love the decorate, but my house is not very big and there isn´t much space. I prefer to have just the essentials and live in a comfortable space.
Where do you look for interior inspiration, favorite magazines, websites, blogs?
I love interior magazines, my favorite is the Dutch VT Wonen, but every day I visit blogs like Emma design blog, Decor8, April & May, the Style files…
What are your children’s favorite items in your house?
Now they are older, they like to play on the computer, watch movies and read on the terrace where the sun always shines.
If you are living in a foreign country, how do you like it? How do you meet new people, make new friends? What is it that you miss most about ‘home’?
My husband comes from Amsterdam. Part of the summer and Christmas we spend there, where we have friends and family. When we are in Amsterdam, we feel like at home and we don´t miss Madrid at all.
What is it like to raise a child in your town?
In Madrid we have very good weather, almost every day of the year the sun shines. So the children spend a lot of time playing outside. Summer is hard because it’s too hot, but in the Spring and Autumn they enjoy doing outdoor activities. This is great for kids.
Who do you consider a good example for your children?
We don’t have an example but we always try to teach our children the most important, be tolerant, respect for others, solidarity and learn to enjoy and be happy with simple things that life offers us.
What is your idea of a perfect day with your children?
Sundays are my favorite days. We usually go to the Retiro, a beautiful park, the oldest in Madrid.We walk, we make picnic, children skate, play ball, climb the trees. The park is very large and there are theater performances, music and a fantastic atmosphere.
What is a normal day with your children? What do you do on the weekends?
Children go to school at 9 and leave at 4. After homework, they play volleyball, guitar lessons, swimming. Each day of the week they have different activities. They have very busy days and about 10.30 they go to bed. On weekends they get up late, we let them relax and play at home.
Any books you can recommend for parent’s on how to raise children? Can you mention some of your ‘how-to-raise-your-kid’ values?
When my twins were born, I read many books about how to educate children, I had no experience, I knew nothing about it and I thought the books could help me. I read “Twins, triplets and more by Elisabeth Bryan” and “The 10 Most common mistakes good parents make” by Dr. Kevin Steed. I guess it helped me in some way but over time I learned that the most important is to give love and have a little patience, especially in the case of twins.
What kind of DIY projects do you like to do with your children?
One of our favorite activities is to make a paste with water, salt and flour. We mold figures, put them in the oven and then paint them. We do lovely little sheep, cats, pigs, birds…
Are you a crafter or DIY person?
I am a crafter person. Books, websites, local shops you can recommend to get tips and ideas for kids crafting? Actually there are so many fantastic blogs where you can find hundreds of ideas for creative things with the kids.
How do you like to celebrate birthday’s and other special days in your house?
When the children were younger, we celebrated their birthday at home. Now they are older and they want to do a party with 30 children. As their birthday is in Spring and the weather is good we do a party in the park with all sorts of games and the parents of the children also participate. This is really fun. We have great times.
What are some of the favorite games in your home?
Daniela loves games. She plays a lot with her father at chess and backgammon. Samuel tries but he has no patience, he prefers outdoor games.
What kind of sports do your children like to do and are you involved?
Daniela does ice skating and plays in a soccer team. Samuel plays volleyball. They also swim since they were 3 years old. We are very involved as we go to the training and competitions. It is very exciting and the kids have really fun.
What are your all time favorite books for children?
My kids love to read. Daniela reads Harry potter and Chronicles of Narnia . Samuel loves literature, he is now reading One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. He says it’s the best book that he have read!! I think that he is very advanced for his age. He might be a future writer.
What are some nice activities you can do with children where you live, and what could you recommend when people are visiting?
I have already spoken of the beautiful Retiro Park, where you can also take a boat trip, see outdoor theater, music and many more activities.Winter is cold but almost every day the sun shines. We are not skiers but one of the attractions of Madrid is to go skiing in the winter season.We also have a beautiful natural park, la Pedriza, where the river Manzanares, that flows through Madrid, has its source, in a wonderful landscape of rocks with fantastic shapes.
Where do you like to go to on vacation with or without your children?
Kids love the beach, we try to go there at least once a year. This year we have been in Greece, a small island Skiathos. We enjoyed it a lot. Turquoise water, sandy beaches, pine forests and delicious food. When my husband and I can we escape, we love to go to Paris, London or Copenhagen.
Thank you Mar Gomez for sharing your lovely story with us!