Tell us a bit about White Space Home and how it all started
I started White Space Home a couple of years ago after our local council changed their bin and recycling allowance. I went on a mission to reduce as much plastic consumption in our home as possible. It was easy to swap to a relatively plastic free fruit and veg delivery or move over to glass milk bottles; but when it came to more household type items, I didn’t want to compromise on my style ethos. I found it hard to find plastic free or long-lasting reusable swaps that I wanted on display in my home! I discovered that a lot of eco-friendly and reusable brands focussed on neutral colours with fairly simple designs. I wanted to be able to inject colour and fun whilst making the move over to a more sustainable home and as such, I launched White Space Home. Our buying focuses on products that have purpose, are long lasting or reusable and bring an element of fun or colour to your home. We also have a curated vintage range as we believe that mixing vintage and modern is the ultimate way to reuse and adds to the story of your home.
Tell us about your Lupin and how she came into your life
A good friend of mine got a miniature dachshund when my children were around 3 years old and they immediately fell in love with the idea of a ‘sausage dog’. They were pretty quick to set up a savings jar and we added bits of loose change to it for a while. It was one of those things that never really felt like the right moment – and a massive step as neither my husband nor I had ever had a dog before. It took a further five years before we finally bit the bullet and went for it. I remember worrying about the decision to get a dog more than I did to have children! When we did make the decision, it turned out to be one of the best decisions we ever made. I know it’s a bit cringey, but I didn’t understand how much you could love a dog until we got her!
How does Lupin fit into your general working day?
Lupin joined the family shortly after I decided to set up White Space Home, so she has always slotted into my working day. Usually I will take Lupin on the school run and then we go for a walk somewhere locally from there (that is unless it’s raining - in which case, she refuses to leave the house!). We are lucky to have some beautiful local parks and we are relatively close to the coast so that if we fancy a more idyllic walk, we can be there in 15 minutes or so. Once Lupin has had her walk, she is super easy going and will usually nap on and off for most of the day the which means I can get on with working. She often features in my photos on social media – I can’t resist capturing her in a silly or relaxed pose - I think it gives a natural and homely feel to a styled shoot which I love. When I first launched, I nicknamed Lupin ‘Helper’, because although she is not technically very helpful, she helped me out by doing silly things and wanting to play hide and seek at regular intervals throughout the day. It can be pretty lonely working on your own and getting Lupin was definitely a game changer. Three cheers to Lupin.
When you’re not working where do you like to head out to with the dog?
Definitely the coast. West Mersea is our closest beach and I love going there especially on a cold winter’s day. Lupin will steer well clear of any water, but she loves to tear around on the sand. My son gets super anxious of when she goes off lead, so taking to her to the beach always feels like a safe place as there is not really anywhere, she can disappear to.
What essentials do you always have on you when heading out for a dog walk, and what do you carry them in?
These days I never leave the house without a roll of corn starch poo bags (these are the most sustainable type I have found) and a packet of dog treats. I remember when we first got Lupin there was this awful time when we were caught short – Lupin did her business outside a friend’s house and I had no poo bags with me! I had to resort to using the envelope of my children’s school photo! It was one of those shameful things you never think will let happen, and one that has meant I have never left the house without a roll of poo bags since! These days I have a constant supply of bags and treats which I store in a reusable silicone pouch, I keep them in my Cambridge satchel handbag. It is easy that way to grab the pouch and pop it in a coat pocket if I don’t need to take the bag with me.
What adventures do you have planned with the Lupin for later this year?
We are going away on holiday to St Leonards on Sea, we went last year and have found a lovely dog friendly house that we rent with friends. The place is one road back from the sea and Lupin gets her morning walks on the beach each day. There is no doubt that her paws will remain dry at all times as she is completely afraid of the water! There are a few dog friendly cafes and delicious cake eateries locally, so it is easy to have her fit in with us. If she is feeling brave, she may get to have a trip up river in a canoe when my husband goes out (under the safety of a doggie life vest of course)!