PLAYGROUND MEETS foodie and interior designer

Founder of award winning interior design company, Kai Interiors, Michaela Reysenn established the design studio in East London, in 2010 and has been growing it ever since, whilst also, growing her family.

She has thoughtfully put together some ideas to help with lock down, called #kaisolation follow the thread on Instagram to see more. 

We met Michaela and her family before lock down and caught up again, for an online interview this week. With a 3yrs old girl, Rita Mae, a baba growing inside, due in August and two step children, she definitely has her hands full.

Family wearing Playground sweatshirts and tshirts

We find out how Michaela is coping in the current climate and are very impressed with her positive mindset. 

Tell us about you & your family 

My name is Michaela, I’m 36 years old and I have my own interior design studio, working on bars, restaurants and homes. I love food. My partner, Eddie and I have travelled the globe to enjoy the worlds best grub. So yes both foodies I guess!

We have a daughter Rita Mae, who is 3 years old. She is super cheeky and smiley for the most part, but has an independent streak and a very strong minded personality. I think she gets that from both of us.

We live in Harringay and have done for a few years now. We love the people and community in the area. I love to bake and as a family, we love to host parties and help others however we can.

We have two other children from Eddie's previous relationship, Betty (8yrs) and Felix (10yrs) who are a delight to be around and have grown so fast! I’m expecting another little baba in August. I think the saying is ‘we are going to need a bigger boat’. 

Playground kids and adults sweatshirts and t-shirts

How is Coronavirus affecting you right now?

As I am pregnant, I am taking extra care to stay at home, which means I am trying to balance work, childcare and growing a baby at the same time (not to mention the housework)  trying not to lose my mind, much like many other people I imagine.

It is certainly a stressful time for everyone and despite the awful situations I am enjoying the positive things I am seeing and the way that people are coming together to support each other.

Mother and daughter wearing Playground clothing

At a time when the world felt so divided it feels as though everyone has now come together to help each other through this and that is great to see. The NHS have played a massive role for me in the past and here they are again saving lives and doing amazing work. We cannot thank them enough for what they do. day in day out.

How are you coping with the change?

It’s difficult for sure, I think we are lucky as we have a garden so I am able to get the little one, and us bigger ones, outside for fresh air each day. I think a loose structure to the day is helping too.

It’s hard time for everyone, parents especially trying to balance everything. I believe that the home schooling is good but shouldn’t be an added pressure, just doing things you all enjoy together will help your children learn too. We are doing a lot of baking at the moment and creative painting, play doh, drawings animals we spot outside, anything to stay connected with the outdoors.

Eddie and I are splitting our days, one of us works in the morning and one in the afternoon. It's the only way we can get anything done.

Any tips to survive the few months?

I guess try to stay positive, I think we are going to be in this situation for a while and we are slowly adapting to our new way of living but we have to remember there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

This isn’t forever but right now we all need to be super careful and stay at home safe whilst the NHS do the amazing work they do every day and save as many lives as they can.

It’s great that so many people have turned to doing online dance sessions, yoga and even the royal opera house is screening ballet performances so we really have so much we can be doing even though we are indoors!

What have you learnt from the experience so far?

I always felt like I quite liked working from home and enjoyed the house but now I am really learning how much I love being outside, how much I love my independence and freedom to go to work for the day and be creative doing what I love.

I love my work team and miss them! I love having my nights out with friends and although that has gone online now, it’s not quite the same. I suppose we are all learning to appreciate everything more. This is a positive from this situation, as I think this generation is definitely guilty of wasting food and not fully appreciating the freedom to travel and the opportunities we have in life. 

What / who do you miss?

I miss my mum, my siblings, my besties, my work team, all the local mums who keep me sane. I miss going to the office, designing, going to an actual yoga class and just generally being active and out and about.

Top three things you do to lift the spirits? 

Music is key! If I need a boost I will definitely bust out some tunes and get dancing with the children.. also if I get a chance to do gardening that is great. It’s nice weather for it at the moment and I love teaching the children about how to grow our own fruit and vegetables. Although I’m no expert, I make it up as I go along.

Thirdly I would say yoga. As I’m expecting a little baba in August, I would say keeping my fitness up, is essential so trying to squeeze in a yoga class each week. It is really helping me prepare and keep my mind and body in check even if I can hear the madness of children bouncing off the walls in the background. 

What’s the best thing that’s happened since you've been in lockdown?

I think spending more time with the children is great, it’s tiring for sure but mainly because we are balancing so much other work at the same time. I am enjoying watching them grow and learn each day. Also, the children are playing together more, which they don’t get to do when they are at school all day. It is really nice for them.

First thing you’ll do when out of isolation?

Well dependent on when we get out of isolation, I will either be up to my eyeballs in newborn nappies, wishing I could get a moment to sleep or shower, or I will be outside enjoying a picnic with all my friends and family and enjoying the fresh air with my nearest and dearest, with some summer music and yummy food! 

What you wearing these days?

Currently wearing leather look maternity leggings and loose striped vest top with bright yellow cardigan( trying to stay colourful and tease the sun out) .. main focus is comfort. Enjoying some ‘TOMS’ slippers too.