Meet the Judges | Natasha Kaplinsky

Drum roll, please. The Smallish Design Awards 2018 are back. We quiz #SDA18 judge Natasha Kaplinsky on childhood keepsakes, secrets, and what she’ll be looking for in an award-winning brand.

ALL ABOUT YOU: Natasha Kaplinsky – journalist, presenter, co-founder of Mum & You, happy farmer
LIVES: Sussex
CHILDREN: Arlo, nine, and Angelica, eight

How do you start the day?
Once I’ve given the children their morning snuggle, I go down to the kitchen to be greeted by our six dogs and two cats, and make the tea.

What was your favourite childhood toy?
Two dollies called Susie and Tessa. They went everywhere with me and I still have them packed away, dressed in a replica school uniform my mother had made for them.

What childhood keepsakes can’t you bear to part with?
My husband and I are extremely sentimental so we keep everything. I still have the pregnancy test that told us we were going to be parents!

Your children have friends over for tea… what’s on the menu?
Arlo absolutely loves lasagne and eats far more than you would think a nine-year-old could. Sadly, this is Kika’s worst meal and she is much more about the dessert. She follows faithfully in my footsteps.

The best gift you received as a new mother?
A night’s sleep. There is a very small gap between our children, so once Kika had arrived, I was already on my knees with exhaustion. She was an even worse sleeper than her brother, so our family clubbed together to help with a sleep nanny. Just a few nights of rest helped to restore my sanity.

Who are your parenting inspirations?
Most of our friends had babies before us and so I was able to look to them for inspiration. I have a friend called Ruth, who has three boys. Seeing her unending patience and calm is still a resource for me when I am challenged as a mother.

Favourite family travel destination?
Corfu. The view over to Albania is breathtaking.

What’s the best thing about being a parent?
The chance to experience a love you can never explain.

What do you wish you could tell all first-time expectant mothers?
Each stage feels endless but they pass in a flash so try to enjoy every moment.

Tell us a secret about you
I can’t bear surprises so if I find a present I’ll unwrap and rewrap it so I know what’s coming. My husband is an expert in subterfuge.

What are you looking for in a Smallish Design Awards product/brand?
Innovation, insight and style.

Thanks to the extended deadline, there’s still time to enter the Smallish Design Awards 2018! Click here to enter one of our 52 categories – the winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony in London later this year. Good Luck!