Vogue contributing editor Kathryn Neale is just as comfortable styling fashion shows for brands like Rebecca Minkoff and Peter Som as she is knee-deep in dirt in her beloved Brooklyn garden. When the New Zealand native first laid eyes on her current home, it was actually the slice of grass out back that sold her on the place. Since moving in, Neale has created a country-like oasis right in the heart of New York City—complete with wide-plank floors, exposed rustic beams, and a now-lush garden bursting with everything from roses to kale. Her two young children, brimming with polite charm (Neale takes manners very seriously), love to help their mom in the garden and even have their own veggies to tend to. And that’s exactly how she likes it.
"I am always trying to keep our house empty, and now there are two more opponents in my battle. I’m losing the battle against stuff, and I’m kind of OK with it. I tend to buy them books as opposed to toys, and chuck out the noisy toys whenever they aren’t looking."
Antique table which Kathryn had refitted in mottled metal
"Reject the guilt. Enjoy what you are able to give as a wife and mother, and don’t beat yourself up about the stuff you never actually get to (like the laundry)."
Mirror from the Brooklyn Flea
FAVORITE PART ABOUT MOTHERHOOD: "Being the most important person to somebody you adore, and being able to watch them develop with such intimacy."
West Elm tree stump stool
"I wish I was better at keeping their socks as pairs, so I recently started buying only black socks. This has been very effective."
FAVORITE PART OF THE DAY: "Waking up: The kids come into our bed first thing and snuggle, then they get bored and start opening our eyelids or sticking fingers up our noses. It sounds annoying, but it’s the best alarm clock."
"All you have to do with toddlers at least is invite them to work with you and keep them interested. Most toddlers love being involved in work with their parents, they are just waiting to be asked."
GREATEST NEW-MOM LESSON: "Babies don't break."
Eddie in the family's backyard
"I don't fit in exercise but I run around after my kids all day, and I'm running to meetings and then tidying up. All of these things are plenty of physical activity for me."
"I love my husband’s old couch—it’s been with him longer than I have (at least fifteen years). He really wants to get it reupholstered, but I love its faded glory."
Restoration Hardware pendant light
On Frankie: Target t-shirt and leggings
Kathryn with daughter Frankie, on her favorite, worn-in couch
"I wanted the kitchen to be the heart of the home, and the focus to be on the garden. My kids love to help me in the garden, and each have their own veggies that they’re growing."
Teepee from Acorn in Brooklyn