Kindred Tales | Nicola and Herb | Alma + Midori
Tell us a bit about your work and how Alma + Midori started?
I spent my 20s working in various different roles, all of which I loved, but always found myself being drawn to interiors and architecture, with a particular fascination in how the smallest of details can change the way a space works or make you feel.
I bit the bullet back in 2019 and founded Alma + Midori; we offer interior design and interior styling and run a furniture consultancy service alongside. I believe good design is sometimes thought of as a privilege or something that comes at a premium, and we like to help people understand that this isn’t the case - everyone should have a space that they feel inspired by and happy to be in.
Tell us about Herb and how he came into your life?
Fox Terriers don’t seem to be that common really; our first interaction with one was in a little jazz bar where a smart older gentleman had one at his feet whilst he drank a martini, and after accosting him and his dog for about an hour we knew it was the breed for us. I’d always had terriers growing up and having moved from a flat in Central London out to West London, or ‘countryside London’ as we like to call it, the search commenced and along came Herb. He’s a gentle soul and a complete lunatic all in one package. He’s great!
How does having a dog fit into your general working day?
Herb would like to think that I fit into his daily schedule, as opposed to the other way round, but weekday mornings start pretty early with a walk down the river – I usually have to wake him up first thing as he’s not a morning guy. If I don’t have a styling job or meeting, I’ll be working from home and he’s never that far away, snoozing under the table or tucked on the sofa. When he’s awake though it’s a different story, I’ll be harassed to death to throw his ball for him, or I have to create some form of peanut butter-smothered cardboard box activity for him to destroy before he naps again. It can be a little distracting at times but he’s still young so it’s ok. Pre-lockdown, evenings would involve going to see friends with Herb in tow or having people at ours for food and drink. Herb was also becoming a bit of a regular at the pub at the end of the road, so I’m sure we’ll return when it’s possible. In the evening he likes a stroll round the block and then he’ll take himself off to bed when he’s ready.
When you're not working where do you and Herb like to hang out?
We’re lucky in that we have very dog-friendly friends and family, so if we’re visiting people Herb will always come along, he’s pretty adaptable like that. If we’re staying put, the weekend starts with a coffee in the park where we can relax, and he can go nuts with his doggy friends. When he could first go on walks, we started the tradition of ‘Adventure Sundays’ where we get up first thing and take him on an extra-long walk to explore somewhere new. We still do it now, it’s one of my favourite things to do, and means he’ll snooze pretty much all day when we get back.
What essentials do you always have with you when heading out on a dog walk?
Other than his chocolate brown Kintails collar, it’s just his poop bags and some treats. He’s partial to a Lily’s Kitchen cheddar and apple biscuit, but they still don’t distract him from trying to make friends with every living thing in the park. One day I’ll be the dog mum who has a treat pouch, but for now they’re just rattling around in the pockets of pretty much every coat I own.
What adventures do you have have planned with Herb for later this year?
We'll continue our Sunday Adventures together, but we don’t have much else planned at the moment. Saying that, there are pipe dreams of a road trip to Dordogne or up to Northern Italy, where we’ll peruse vintage furniture markets together… but for now we’re just enjoying the simple things in life. That’s what’s been so great about having Herb this last year, he reminds us to enjoy things for what they are.