A French connection and A Little French Heart, we share the Bonne Mere story with Kim Cotton
Australian mother and creator, Nicole Mair began Bonne Mere in 2014, about five years after her daughter was born. And like many women, the all-compassing love of becoming a mother inspired her to seek out a better way to manage her dual role of raising a child and pursuing a career with passion.
With her textile and pattern-making experience honed in the lacy design studios of celebrated fashion designer Collette Dinnigan for 16 years, it’s little wonder that Nicole’s skills are expressed in the gentle folds of fabric that create poetic sleeping spaces for babies and children; you could describe her work including luxury quilts sets, play mats and nursery accessories, as lullabies for children’s bedrooms.
As a mother Nicole’s raison d’etre is to inspire her daughter to follow her dreams. It’s this deep desire to pursue with integrity those qualities important to her that has laid the ground work for Bonne Mere.
“I just love the creative process of making timeless beautiful things, especially for children,” Nicole says. “When Chloe was born in 2009, I made her a little scalloped playmat that my friends and family adored. I loved the practicality of it and took it absolutely everywhere to keep her off the floor. I didn’t realise it at the time but five years later this became the signature quilt design for the Bonne Mere bedding collection.”
In 2014 Nicole reached a pivotal point in her life when her daughter was starting school. Like so many mothers that knew there was a more thoughtful way to be productive and nurture her children, Nicole sought to combine her demands of time and necessity with the gentle rhythms of motherhood.
“Bonne Mere has enabled me to continue my passion to create, given me flexibility, the opportunity to spend more time with my daughter and to watch her grow for which I am very grateful,” she says.
When considering bedding for children, Nicole says the depth of mattress and drop and the harmonious colours that can blend with the layers of bedding are important. Knowing, or seeking out, what will create a haven for your child to feel safe and comfortable when they go to sleep is the key. For older children, it’s about thinking what colours they like to spend time in, along with quality fabrics that promote air and circulation during the sleeping cycle and are gentle on young skin.
Bonne Mere designs have a timeless style combining classic European tradition with contemporary design. The soft neutral colours Nicole has selected as her signature hues help to create a relaxing and soothing sleep environment. The Bonne Mere colour palette is separated into two colour tones:
Cool colour tones: white, powder, dove, elephant
Warm colour tones: chalk, mist, shell pink, rose
“I love warm neutral tones and beautiful layers of colour and texture, to create timeless style and versatility in any child’s special space,” she says. “Creating a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of calm and contentment is a really important aspect of designing your child’s bedroom. I also believe less is more – less clutter-more consideration, less stuff – more meaning. It’s also important both ecologically and value-wise for products to withstand the test of time and still be stylish long after the season is over.”
Bonne Mere’s heirloom products can be handed down and appreciated for generations to come. The quilt blankets have a classic, vintage style with a signature scalloped edge. The popular baby cot quilt is handy because it can be used as a play mat from birth and as a blanket on a little girls and boys cot or crib. The quilt sets are are made of soft, natural cotton Oek-Tex® Standard 100, which is certified free of chemicals.
“All of our designs – bedding, nursery and accessories – are available in the matching colour to other collections, to complement each other and to help create a calming and harmonious environment throughout in the children’s or babies nursery room,” Nicole says.
Bonne Mere, which translates to ‘Good Mother’ is everything the brand stands for. In France, La Bonne Mere is a beautiful statue of a mother holding a baby located on the bell tower of the famous basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde in Marseille.
“This name resonated with me and the beautiful statue inspired Bonne Mere to cultivate the values of a ‘Good Mother’, to celebrate becoming a mother and to create a feeling of fun, love, beauty and grace in all products we design,” Nicole says.
As for tucking little ones in bed for the sweetest time of day, Nicole says her baby’s bedtime routine included a calming bedtime ritual of playing the same soft mellow music for a calming sleep cue and a good night’s sleep. And no doubt, eveloping her daughter in the lovely soft cotton fibres of her very own Bonne Mere range, also brings a great sense of Mother’s love and comfort.
Bonne Mere, Bonne Nuit!
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