Our mama search continues! We partnered with our friends at Wonderful Mama mag to chat to some inspiring Aussie mums. Today, we visit the beautiful home of Bec Douros - interior stylist, The Block winner, all round Bonds lover and mama to little Archie.
-- Q&A --
Tell us a little about yourself..
My husband and I were on The Block Sky High and then returned for Triplet Threat and since then we’ve opened up a business called Empire Style where I do interior design full time which is great. My old profession was in beauty but I’ve always be interested and loved interior design so I’m really happy I can now do it as a career. At the moment though, I’m a full time mum to Archie which I’m really enjoying.
The first time we saw you was on The block, how did you find those experiences the first and second time?
The first time was really hard with my mum passing away while we were filming but it was still a great experience and we really loved doing it. It was an amazing thing that changed our lives for the better. With the money we won, we built a beautiful house. We feel very blessed to have had the opportunity. The second time around was a different experience with the elimination but we still enjoyed our time there. We were there for a short time, then came home to continue on with our lives and our company. Straight after that I fell pregnant with Archie. I think everything happens for a reason.
Since then you’ve been very busy studying, running Bec Marks the Spot, launching Empire of Style and of course becoming a mum. How do you manage to find that balance?
I don’t know whether I’d call it balance. I think I’d just call it juggling. The blog is great because I do that on my own accord, there’s no pressure. I do it as and when I want to. I have a really loyal following that understand I have a life. It’s very personal. It’s all about my life and they don’t mind. Empire of Style grew from the blog because I had so many people asking about design consults. It started off quite small and then grew, and now I have a business partner and a warehouse. It’s pretty much full time now. It’s great.
It must be lovely being able to share your journey of becoming a mum through your blog Bec Marks the Spot. Have you had some nice responses?
Yeh, I’ve found sharing my personal life through the blog was really good because I found that I got a different following. It wasn’t just people who were interested in my styling or me and George as a couple from The Block. They followed the pregnancy journey and now, when I return from leave, it’ll be all about Archie so I think that its nice that we’ve stepped away from just the renovating fans and we’ve got a different fan base in young mums just like us.
Has becoming a mum changed you? If so, how?
I don’t know if its changed me as a person. I’ve definitely had to learn how to adjust. It is quite overwhelming and demanding but in saying that, with every hard day, there’s really really good moments within that. You just have to learn how to deal with it.
I’ve probably become a little bit more patient even though I’ve had my patience tested more. I’ve found that I’ve had to let go a bit more. I’m a bit of a control freak, and I’ve had to just learn to cut back on some things. I think juggling motherhood is the hardest but being on maternity leave, its been great to be able to focus on just one thing as opposed to everything else.
It’s so true what they say about it being the hardest thing you’ll ever do but it’s also the best. Sometimes I’m like, I just want him to go to sleep so I can have a few hours to myself but then I find myself in his nursery watching him sleep! I sit there watching him cause I want to make sure he’s okay. It’s crazy but I guess its just all a part of being a mum. I love it.
Tell us about Empire of Style and how it came about..
Like I said, I started getting all these emails from people wanting me to help them with their homes. I did a ‘inside my home’ series on my own house so as we were building I did a reveal on each room with how I did it, detailing what materials I used and why I did what. I found from that I got lots of interest from people asking me to help them with styling. Asking about artwork, couches, not knowing where to go so from that I thought well maybe I should make this into a business. Some people who didn’t even see The Block were booking me for consultations which was great. We got a business partner now and George has come in on a few jobs which has been great. Its ever evolving. We’re now opening an online store which is really exciting. We found people would always ask on photos we’d post on instagram where they could find things so this year we’re launching a shop.
If you had no budget, what would your ultimate dream home look like and where would it be?
I think George and I really love Williamstown in Melbourne. You’d think if we had endless amounts of money I’d just buy something but I’d still love to renovate an old Californian bungalow style home. I’d love to keep it old at the front but a new renovation at the back with a pool, outdoor area etc. I think I’d make it amazing inside but I’d love a really grand outside area. I’ve always wanted a really grand pool.
What does a ‘normal’ day look like for you with Archie?
At the moment we kind of wing our days. We just get up, I change him, we have a little play, a feed. It sounds very routine but its not. We play a little more, I put him to sleep, have a feed. This morning I took him for a walk. It sounds quite repetitive. We’ve started to venture out to more places that I wasn’t confident in doing at the start. It’s Bec and Archie time which is nice.
Do you have many other friends who have kids?
Its crazy cause George and I got married when we were young and it took us 6 years to get pregnant. It’s only in the last few years all our friends got married and fell pregnant straight away. My best friend had a little boy a few days after Archie, my other best friend is pregnant and another friend has a 6 month old. And they’re all boys so we all joke that they’re going to be a full on gang.. or a boy band. One or the other.
If you could describe him in one word, what would that be?
I think it would be adorable. Even when he’s not going to sleep when he should, he’s just smiling at me and I’m thinking, ‘how can I be mad at you? Lets just go downstairs, have a play and we’ll try this again in an hour.’
What are your go-to baby bag essentials?
Nappies.. obviously. I always keep a toy in there for him. Wipes, his favourite blanket and I’ve got a really nice change mat that someone made for me. Oh and snacks.. but that’s our little secret.
What’s your favourite Wondersuit from the new Bonds range?
I don’t know if its from their new range but I really love the glitter ones with circles and little specks of gold and silver on them. I really love those. It’s the summer one with short sleeves.
Do you have any styling tips for mums entering in the baby to the Bonds Baby Search?
You can place them on a really nice blanket so there’s a nice backdrop. And lighting, good lighting.
Finally, what’s your favourite thing about Bonds?
I think it would have to be their little Wondersuits, they are perfect as pyjamas. They are so easy with the double zips to change through the night. I pop Archie in them on hot days because they’re not super skin tight. And I like that they change it up with the patterns. There’s always something new, its never the same.
Shop the latest in Bonds baby range here.
For more about Bec, head here.
For more from Wonderful Mama Magazine, head here.