Meet Renata Bueno, a photographer and mother of three, whose chic treasure-filled home in Winnetka, North Shore Chicago, proves that passion and personality are the very definition of true style. She has such a wonderful eye! Bueno recently collaborated with designer Fiona Kowalski of Printebebe, capturing the Australian label's divine new collection on daughters Carolina, 8, Manuela, 6, and Gabriela, 4, and the results are heavenly
The Art Of Living: main picture top, Renata Bueno at her home in Winnetka; above, the photographer's daughters Manuela and Gabriela take afternoon tea on the terrace; below, Gabriela in the kitchen. Bueno's daughters wear Printebebe throughout.
hat makes your home so special to you? I love our neighborhood since we are only 25 minutes from Chicago downtown, a few blocks from the lake Michigan and also close to all the wildlife. What I like about it is that we are able to live a slower life and still enjoy all the fun that a big city offers, like shows, museums, shops … We moved here two and a half years ago. I always dreamed about living in an old house, so when I found this home it was love at first sight. Our house was built in 1909 and it has the most unique details, gorgeous doors and windows that give the feeling that we live in another century.
What are your thoughts on motherhood – what values do you hope to instill in your daughters? Motherhood is my biggest challenge and for sure the most fulfilling thing that has ever happened to me. My girls have added another dimension to my life and I’m so thankful for it. I want them to grow up to be confident, happy and always remember they are loved. I want them to know what is right and wrong and always be ethical, tolerant with others, to understand that we all have our differences and that we have to respect that. I want them to believe in themselves and to find their passions and just go for it. I also want them to love and to feel loved; to learn from their mistakes and to not give up in difficult times. I want them to dream but not forget to live and I want them to understand that every moment matters.
The girls look so divine in Printebebe’s new collection. What do you love about the label's aesthetic? I love that Printebebe has that timeless feeling. Its past collections will never be out of fashion as they are such beautiful classics. The Liberty prints are always my favourites, however I love the new voile pieces, everything is so elegant, romantic, simple and of the finest quality.
Aside from motherhood and photography, what are your other great passions? I am inspired by time. I would do anything to slow it down. I think my pictures are my fight against it, a chance to do my best to soak it all up. I see the poetry in life; sometimes the strangest moments can be beautiful and I always try to be really aware of that. Besides photography I also love to illustrate, create handmade things and decorate my house, but I have not found time for much of that lately.
How do you encourage your children to have an appreciation of the arts? I love arts and crafts and we have a great collection of paints, crayons, pencils, glitter, paper, fabrics … it's everywhere in the house and they love it. They are always cutting, glueing, creating. I don't know if this is a regular process for children at this age, or if it just happens a lot with my kids, but I feel amazed by their creativity. Sometimes we will work together on an art project, usually on Fridays, we dream it up and it’s very fun. The projects vary – sometimes they might include things we find on our nature walks like painting a pine or a rock, or maybe recycling newspaper and making paper mache and creating a collage with old scraps from magazines. No matter what it is, this is a time we all enjoy together.
Can you share your typical Sunday routine: When we are home the girls play, wear their costumes, dance and then we might go out for lunch, sometimes to the city, to a museum or the zoo. We often take a day trip to a new place we haven't explored, it all depends on the season. Our nature walks are for sure one of my favourite things. I enjoy watching them fossicking around the lake where they love to search for sea glass. During Summer we usually spend many Sundays going for picnics and having fun at the lake, riding bikes, we try not to follow a pattern.
And lastly, it's always such a thrill to find in one person a great sense of style in everything. Please share your current inspirations:
Your signature fragrance: It's a mix of two: my favourite Almond Milk Concentrate from L’Occitane that smells so good and makes my skin feel fresh and smooth, combined with Burberry Brit perfume. I always wear the two.
Currently reading: I love to take online classes, usually related to photography. One of my favourite times of the day is when I get to lay down on my bed after a shower and read the weekly lessons.
In your fridge right now: Usually, it's yoghurt, milk, cheese, eggs, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, humus, orange juice and tons of sparkling water. I usually shop for meat, fish or chicken on the day I cook it, so I go everyday to the grocer but I never end up buying much.
Pick-me-up: I have a thing for chocolate, it’s hard to control. I always have a block hidden somewhere and it's the perfect remedy on blue days.
Can you tell me about the label's growth – how have you managed the journey ? Printebebe began very organically, when I started the label my daughter was almost two and I had trouble finding things that I loved. What started out as a few smocks and bloomers, in not overly bright prints that mixed and matched, has slowly grown into a full collection. Our success and growth has always comes from our customers and word of mouth, generally when people have worn the product and see how there kids feel and look in it, they want more.
What do you attribute to the label's success? I think what really attracts people is the pretty prints and subtle palettes, but I believe at the very core of Printebebe is a mum making really practical decisions on how to dress their child with minimal fuss. I always think about sun factor, ease for playing and sleeping, getting dressed, things that are really important to me.
And what has inspired your collections more recently? We’ve never worked with trends but always around a colour palette and classic shapes that are timeless for children. For a long time Printebebe was very focused on my daughter and it was great that it started that way. I left my long career as a magazine fashion editor to be more flexible with her and so it was wonderful to be able to hang out and road-test Printebebe pieces together. One of the things I’ve missed from being in a creative office was the collaboration process and I’m finding bringing that back and finding it in new sources has been really inspiring for me. I’ve loved Renata’s images since I first discovered her on Instagram, the pictures she takes of her three daughters are magical. These beautiful images she created are just a dream, I love the details, the moments, I think they capture the freedom of childhood, and that’s pretty special.