Introducing Tiny and the House
Hi, I’m Jac I’m originally from Northern Ireland I now live in London with my husband, daughter and tabby cat. I am a freelance shoe designer, designing shoes for the UK highstreet for the past 16 years . I started my instagram account @tinyandthehouse
to share a blend of my home, garden, fashion and lifestyle with other like minded people and to encourage/inspire others to embrace their own sense of style and push outside the box. I love all things design and love to find inspiration when I travel, where I eat, where I shop and I try to bring it into my everyday life. My favourite past time pottering around markets and vintage shops, I could do this all day everyday.
Is tea in the garden in the winter sun providing solstice for you at the moment? A quiet moment by myself with a cup of tea in the garden is priceless. Just taking in the fresh air and the winter sun really helps me to regroup and settle my mind. Inside the house I’m busy with work, my toddler, household chores and my instagram account. Outside I can get a bit of "me time", forget everything else and destress.
Tell us how you ventured into gardening and share any tips for total novices…I have always been into gardens and flowers, beautiful cottage style in particular. My twenties were spent working hard, travelling a lot with work while maintaining a very full and busy social life. I finally got my first garden at the age of 30, I really enjoyed the fact the garden made me slow down, be present and focus on what was in front of me. My garden which was tiny in size and heavily paved. I started off with a potted plants and when I grew more confident and ambitious I redesigned the garden, lifted the patio to make raised beds. The garden I have now was a complete blank canvas - completely overgrown however so bad infact when we bought the house we didn’t know how big it was. But I love a challenge and a project. To new gardeners I would say think of the garden in many layers, start with the background, the plants that will always be there and layer the fun flowers on top, this might take you a few years but each year is really exciting to see how it changes.. When I started I raced ahead to flowers I loved but would only be in bloom for a month or a few weeks. A garden is a long term project so allow yourself the time to develop it.
You've created a perfect outdoor relaxation space to enjoy in the summer, with cushions, candles and soft lighting. Is this where we can find you on a warm summers evening? Most definitely. A key part of my designing the garden was comfort and really thinking about how we would use it as a family, I hate to waste space. I think of my garden not just as something to look at but also like a another room to the house, a second living room. The garden sofa was one of the best things we could have bought. I have built the garden around the sofa so it blends in, feels cosy somewhere we can retreat to. It's our “secret garden”. When its a warm summer night, the festoon lights, candles and music are on there's not many places I’d rather be.
Keeping busy with your hands and being outside is a perfect way to relax, do you find gardening a form of relaxation and meditation? Gardening is a great way to ground yourself, the mix of the fresh air the physical labour and the focus on what you are doing is a great way to distance yourself from the world, very much like mediation. I often garden with some music, a cup of tea, a gin & tonic if I want a treat. I feel very removed from the world when I garden and over the past 12 months especially this has really helped my wellbeing. I don’t always feel like gardening but after a few minutes it feels great. We need an escape from screen time whether that’s the TV or endless scolling on phones, digging, planting and nurturing plants is just the tonic.
Which scent from the garden do you love the most? It's so tough to decide on a favourite scent, I would have to say in my garden Sweet Pea, Jasmine or my Rambling Rose…. Not sure I can pick one….. they are all my babies.