Radiant and glowing, the former actress, now turned interior design student, Nikki Gil-Albert, spends most of her days at home focusing on what matters most: family. “I have just entered a new phase of motherhood after giving birth to our second a few months ago,” she speaks fondly of her youngest child, Maddie. “It’s been eat, (no) sleep, repeat for my baby girl and daily online classes for my preschooler, Finn.” With her hands full taking care of two little tots, it’s a wonder she has time to dedicate to her other work – singing, hosting, and interior design collabs, like her latest collection of children's furniture with Winks Furniture. Reading has been her respite and one of her favourite ways to unwind. “When I’m not doing the occasional hosting and social media work, I try to squeeze in some “me time” by reading a few pages. It has definitely kept me sane this season!” Read on to learn more about her own decorative style and what sits on her bookshelf.
How would you describe your decorating style?
“I like clean lines, neutral tones and organic textures—wood, stone, linen. In terms of design, I find that I am attracted to the modern aesthetic. I am also enjoying the biophilic design trend—big picture windows to let in natural light and landscaping you can appreciate from the inside.”
Where is this bookshelf located? Is this also where you like to read?
“This bookshelf is located in my home office. This is where I used to read but with the new baby, it has been so much easier to get a few pages in by reading from my Kindle in bed in the dark. But every once in a while, I escape to this room for a few minutes of peace and to breathe in the heavenly scent of old books.”
Tell us a little more on how you put together your shelf? Any tips for people trying to make a nice bookshelf and turn it from functional to also stylish?
“I like to think of each section as little vignettes. While most of the space will naturally be filled with random books, I have certain areas that follow themes like travel, art or family. I also made it a point to fill the shelves with books and items that I love. I used to organize my books according to genre. But I find that colour-coding also makes it easier on the eyes. So a good piece of advice would be to go through all your stuff first before filling your bookcase with new finds.”
If someone came into your home and saw your bookshelf, what do you think they would say about you?
“That I am a hoarder. Hahaha! I have this bad habit of buying books despite the high pile of unread books on my bedside - a habit I’m sure all other bibliophiles relate to.”
Kindly share 5 items from your bookshelf that are special to you and why.
“My favourite books are on my shelf. My personal favourite 2021 read was Educated by Tara Westover. I inhaled that book and finished it in two days. It’s one of the most powerful memoirs I’ve ever come across. I also have some 30+ year old storybooks in here from my childhood. The bookstore was the only place where my mom never set a limit to how much we could spend. She managed to keep some of our favourites and took them out of storage once the grandkids started coming.”
“Of course, photo books of our travels and family events. I think I am just as addicted to putting together these photo books as I am with reading. Much as I love the idea of having all of my photos in one small device in my pocket, I also enjoy the experience of looking at printed photos and volumes of family albums. I also have watercolour illustrations by my sister-in-law, Rina Albert-Llamas. My husband used these illustrations when he proposed to me! She makes the cutest family pea portraits which I had reprinted on note cards and gift tags.”
“A commissioned painting of my golden retriever, Charlie who has passed on. Up until I got married, Charlie would sleep in my room. We spent eight happy years with him. This painting was a wedding gift from cousins. There are also a few watercolour paintings by yours truly. My mom is actually an artist. But I only discovered my love for watercolour during the pandemic! The watercolour painting of Charlie was my first pet portrait.”