Has living in the house changed your lives in terms of the family’s wellbeing?
The house is incredibly calm and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that it’s a home where you can find space either to be alone or with other people. We have two roof terraces which are quiet, contemplative spaces at the top of the house, and we also have large communal areas such as the kitchen, living room and the swimming pool courtyard, which are always hives of activity and fun.
Was the whole family involved in making design decisions?
Thankfully not! With seven children, there would have been no decisions made at all. However, the house was designed with them fully in mind, making sure that fun elements such as a fireman’s pole, a slide and a cinema room would be key parts of the house, while also ensuring they each had individual bedrooms for privacy.
Do you think family houses need to have more playful elements and how do these change family culture?
I firmly believe that homes are for children as much as they are for adults.
Having playful elements incorporated into the family home helps children to be creative and physical, which is important in today’s iPad-centric world. Communal spaces encourage interactions and conversation, which is so important to family culture.
How much do you use the pool?
The pool is used most days, especially by the younger children. It’s super insulated and heated to 30 degrees, so that even in the depths of winter we still come out and swim lengths – the only problem is keeping our labrador, Seal, out!
Has having the pool led to you being fitter?
I hope so. I look forward to swimming in the mornings – it helps both body and mind. I spend a lot of time on planes, so I try and take the opportunity whenever I can to be as active as possible.
How have the children responded to the house?
The children love the house, it’s great to see them being active and using the swimming pool and the slide, and climbing up the stairs and then sliding down the pole. It’s great exercise. Even the grown-ups can’t resist a go....