Monica has created a balanced home using a simple, calming colour scheme of black and white. ‘I find it hard to reach such equilibrium with colour.’
meet monica

Meet Monica

‘“A beautiful mess inside” – that’s how my daughter describes me, because my mind is always busy,’ says Monica. After spending the first years of her marriage following her footballer husband around Italy, she wanted to create a base where she and her daughters could lead a more settled life. ‘Harmony at home is important to me.’
Meet her family

And her family

‘My husband enzo and I met when we were really young and we’re still together! He’s very tall, and is always hitting his head on my hanging creations. Erika is my elder daughter, she’s 18. She attends a theatre and music school in the afternoons – I always encourage the girls to pursue their passions. My younger daughter Ilenia is 13. She’s a talented ballet dancer. I would like her to succeed, of course, but a dancer’s life is so hard. I help her as much as possible, but I don’t push her.’
My home, room by room
Kitchen/dining room

Kitchen/dining room

‘I like the feeling of space in our open-plan living area. When there aren’t any walls you can really feel how the different spaces connect with one another.’
Home office

Home office

‘I don’t like chunky desks, they take up too much room. for a more streamlined solution I used a white wall-mounted shelf, which provides extra storage and a place for the computer.’
living area

The living Area

‘You can easily mix materials and styles when you use just one colour. I have chosen to decorate with white because it’s neutral and doesn’t create stress. I wanted to disguise the TV, so I chose one with a white frame that blends into the wall. in the evenings I watch films with the girls. it’s one of the few things i enjoy more in colour! ’
living room


My bedroom

‘My dream bedroom would be filled wall-to- wall with a huge bed, piled high with cushions. We don’t have the space here so instead I’ve dressed my bed with layers of white blankets and throws in different textures and lots of cushions.’
the girls room

The girls’ room

‘Erika and Ilenia share a room. it used to be all white, but they are starting to want more colour so we compromised with purple accents. I personalised their separate sleeping areas by hanging ilenia’s ballet shoes above her bed and Erika’s sheet music over hers.’
Try these ideas
organised cupboards

Organised cupboards

‘I like everything to look orderly... even if it’s an ordered mess! I like to take things like pasta, rice, cereals and baking ingredients out of their packets and store them in glass jars so I can easily see what they are. I also pinned cards and notes to boxes in my cupboards.’
personalised art

Personalised art

‘I like things that look like they float. This installation began life as a Christmas tree. When we first moved in here we didn’t have any furniture, never mind a tree, so I hung wire and fairy lights between the ceiling beams and decorated them with photos of my girls, graphic prints and notes torn from books. The installation has stayed here ever since.’
easy display

Easy display

‘A wire ‘washing line’ and some mini clothes pegs create a hanging solution for an ever-changing selection of pictures, notes and to-do lists above our work desk.’
table cover

Creative table cover

‘I like to encourage the girls’ creativity. I wrapped their desk in tracing paper so they can doodle on it. When it’s full, they just rip the paper off and start again!’

Be inspired by nature

‘Even the most simple objects can become works of art. I feel a very strong connection to the sea and like to walk on the beach every day. I collect stones with the girls. We like to draw and write notes on them and display them around the house.’