Jennifer Hagler, the woman behind A Merry Mishap, has a magic touch. Her passion and eye for interior design, especially decor with a Scandinavian perspective, shines through her blog and right into her own lifestyle. Jennifer has created a home base that is the perfect combination of simple, sparse and modern, yet still filled with that cozy feeling. Situated in the city of Star, Idaho where she lives with her husband Jeremiah and their two kids, Jennifer is a freelance stylist, full-time mom and nightly blogger. She obviously has her hands full, but lucky for us she took some time to share her thoughts on motherhood, style and mastering the balance of imbalance.
TELL US ALL ABOUT YOU. I was born and raised in Idaho but my heart is mostly in Europe, which I think comes as no surprise to anyone who has read my blog. It’s not our favorite place but now with two kids of my own we are glad to be near family, so for the time being Idaho will be our home for a bit longer.
Besides writing for my blog I also work part time as a freelance stylist, which I usually share on the site or on my Instagram. Being a mom though is my real primary work, at least until the kids are older.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? My style has become a bit more masculine lately. I also crave simplicity so I rarely wear patterns and usually stick to a neutral palette or black and grey to beige and ivory, although I’ve found myself collecting a lot of blue and khaki green as well. Typically I’m drawn to modern things but also pieces are demure and maybe elegant. Of course I still have plenty of days when athleisure becomes my look of choice!
WHO DO YOU TURN TO FOR INTERIORS INSPIRATION? I can’t say there is any one person or one source I turn to for interior inspiration. I keep some of my favorite blogs in my blog reader as well as a healthy stack of interior design magazines and books around me. Instagram is also a great way to discover new-to-me interior designers.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER YOUR LOVE FOR INTERIORS? Probably about the time my son was born, seven years ago. I was homebound and the interior of our house became very familiar and very important to me. I was curious about what other homes looked like and my passion for interiors and design really blossomed from my desire to change my own surroundings.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ROOM IN YOUR HOME? My husband, two kids and I live in a smallish house so I change things up quite often. Sometimes I like the living room best since it opens to the kitchen and dining room, but when my bedrooms is clean and free from toy debris, I love being in my room. I love being in my room even more with my husband because it means both kids are in bed and we can talk or laugh about our day together.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR KIDS. My son is 7 and my daughter is 2. I’m really enjoying where they are now, my oldest is mature enough to have some thoughtful conversations and likes to wow me with facts about our solar system. He hopes to be an astronaut one day and discover new planets, which I think would be pretty great.
Elin, my daughter, is very kind and loving. She just loves to love, daily showering me with the some sincere compliments and she has such great manners. I’m glad she’s still small enough to hold in my arms but I wish she would stop growing up so quickly.
HAVE THEY STARTED DEVELOPING THEIR OWN SENSE OF STYLE? Other than having a strong preference for black and wanting to be comfortable, my son doesn’t care too much. He mostly lets me dress him and when he dresses himself he only cares about throwing something on fast, regardless of how pieces look together. Elin on the other hand prefers dresses, especially with pockets, to most other types of clothing. She likes very feminine details but isn’t too opinionated yet. I dress her in a lot of softer colors, creams and soft browns and occasional rose pink because she has such a strong affinity for the color.
With both of the kids but particularly my daughter, I look for clothes that are not distracting because I want them to wear the clothing, not the other way around. Children generally are beautiful all on their own so I want to dress them in a way that compliments, not distracts.
BEST THING ABOUT BEING A MOM? When your children overcome an obstacle, or learn a new ability or show kindness to others, there’s not a better feeling in the world. It’s a whole lot of work and sometimes you put yourself on the back burner for their sake, but when they succeed you succeed. For me this sort of intense joy experienced through some else’s victory has been unique to motherhood, and makes all the other moments of struggle worth it!
HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORK AND FAMILY? It’s really an imbalance act of working and raising a family because some days one needs you more than the other. As a general rule I try to give my family priority but I also have to put my foot down and carve out time for other ventures, not just because it’s work but because it’s something I personally feel good about doing. As a woman and certainly as a mom, we must have something that we love to do because it simply makes us feel good. Otherwise it’s too easy to throw yourself entirely into the needs of the family members and neglect your own ambitions.
HAS BEING A MOM CHANGED YOUR OWN SENSE OF STYLE? Definitely! Before kids I wore uncomfortable shoes, tight and at times uncomfortable clothes, things purely for their aesthetic quality that were hyper trendy. Now I think very practically about longevity, washability, how well a piece will hold up to being tugged at and wiped against all day. Not that a mom can’t also feel sexy or trendy but I have a very different purpose for dressing now, which I’m totally ok with.
WHAT STYLE ADVICE WILL YOU GIVE YOUR KIDS AS THEY GROW UP? I’m sure I will tell them firstly that it is essential their style be authentic and a reflection of who they are and not to let themselves be too pressured to look or create a specific look. Hopefully they will also be thoughtful consumers as well and will think about an item’s quality and story. I hope they fill their lives with purposeful items and think carefully about what they surround themselves with. And then also to have fun with it and experiment!
Follow Jennifer for endless minimalist inspo at @amerrymishap.