They say that home is where your heart is and I believe this is completely true. For me, that means comfort, playfulness, support, love and moments of happiness when you need them most. Home is mainly the people you love, but creating a house that aligns with these feelings and qualities is something I have always loved doing. Last week, I shared Xavier’s big boy room and today, I’m so excited to share a glimpse into our family friendly living room!

Vancouver Interior Designer and Blogger Melissa Barling jumping on couch in living room
A family friendly living room design with round coffee table by Winter Daisy Interiors

This is a space that gets used by everyone. Forts are built, games are played and at the end of the day it’s a quick and easy room to clean up and look presentable.

The sectional is perfect for family movie nights and pillow fights too. It took a few years before we decided to buy a coffee table again and when we did, we chose a round one so that there weren’t any sharp corners for the kids (or us!) to run into.

The gallery wall is a random selection of both frames and art. Most are paintings that either I or the kids have done and there are also random materials from past travels. I always thought it would be a temporary display, but reality is that art doesn’t get changed in our house too often so it’s been up there for years!

Mom and minis cuddling in living room

While we don’t have fresh blooms on the table all the time, it sure is lovely when we do!

hydrangeas in vase on coffee table
A soft and neutral living room in the home of Vancouver Interior Designer Melissa Barling of Winter Daisy Interiors



Melissa Barling and her three kids

After seven years abroad, my sister is home! This is cause for celebration on SOOO many levels (hello real life visits and wine chats on the couch!), and I am very very lucky to have her back here to beautifully photograph my growing family! She mainly photographs newborns over at Amanda Haddow Photography in Victoria but on this occasion she agreed that I needed some mama and babe shots, so we headed to the park with the kids, took a picnic and the kids ran around, picked flowers, made daisy chains and played. 

Melissa kissing Xavier's tummy
Melissa holding Noelle
Melissa with kids
Kaia holding flowers

It is unbelievable how few photos moms take WITH their children and our family is really just the same. I would love to change this but since I am typically the one behind the lens, it may take some time to get used to being in the frame with the kiddies. I had the cutest shirt picked out for Xavier but he absolutely refused to wear it (or any shirt for that matter!) so we just went with it and thankfully that bare belly turned out to be the most adorable thing. Capturing his personality at this stage is really so much more important anyway, right?! Although we rarely get a 'perfect' picture, I look back at all of our photos together with so much love. Seeing how little the kids look in past photos is the best incentive to get out there and take more!

Melissa and Xavier
Melissa kissing Noelle

Just look at my gorgeous little ones! Nothing makes me happier than seeing their beautiful faces and delicious giggles captured to keep for years to come. 

bouquet of small white flowers
Kaia picking flowers
Family photo outdoors

We haven't been particularly great at taking photos all together (even these ones are missing my number one sidekick, my husband) but I have taken lots and lots of the kids over the years and have learned a few tips along the way. Here are my top tips for getting the best success when shooting with kids.

top tips for taking photos with kids
hand on xavier's head
daisy chain headband

At the end of the day, it's the unexpected moments of pure joy or love or surprise that shine. Or in this case, pure goofiness. The outtakes are always so funny. C'est la vie when you have a three year old along for the ride!

family photo out-take

All photos taken by my uber-talented sister Amanda (thank you! thank you! thank you!) from Amanda Haddow Photography. Visit her in Victoria for newborn photography or to book a mama and me session of your own!

Kaia's dress: Zara kids
Noelle's dress: vintage fabric, made by Nana
My dress: Lucky Brand
Blanket: Amazing find from Salvation Army
Basket: Majorel Design
Girls' shoes: Saltwater Sandals
Hat: Hat Attack, similar


A couple of weeks ago, we celebrated Xavier's 2nd birthday at home with food, friends and fun decorations. Xavier is in LOVE with animals so we decided on a forest animal theme with the little Holztiger wooden animals from his room as well as felt animal masks for the kids.


Xavier looking so sweet waiting for his friends...


This flower wall was so simple…my amazing husband did a great job randomly putting the flowers up with washi tape.

party table

If you are in Vancouver, Butter Baked Goods makes the most delicious cake. It has become our go-to bakery for birthday cakes because the flavour never disappoints. If you aren't nearby, they share all of their amazing recipes in the cookbook, Butter.


It was a such a fun morning of friends, play and yummy treats celebrating our favourite little guy, Xavier. Happy Birthday sweet boy!

Photos and Styling by WINTER DAISY
Location | Vancouver, Canada
Cake |  Butter Baked Goods - Coconut Cake
Macarons | Thomas Haas
Cupcakes | DIY
Cake Number Sparkler | Tops Malibu 
Felt Masks | DIY
Giant Balloons | Bargain Balloons