Welcome to 'At-Home With'...our new feature series where we (virtually) get up close and personal with some of Ireland's most interesting and creative women. They each give us an honest peek into what their "new normal" looks like–from life lessons they've learned in lockdown to the beauty and health products they've been using to self-soothe.
Marianne Smyth, or better known by her Instagram moniker @smythsisters is a Northern Irish fashion influencer who has completely taken the picture platform by storm.
Reviving the mirror selfie, Marianne’s signature outfit shots showcase her effortlessly chic and feminine style that has us constantly shopping her wardrobe and even leaning towards pieces we mightn’t have ever considered before - looking at you Birkenstocks, you’re in the cart!
Fashion isn’t Marianne’s only interest though, the talented photographer also shares her love for interiors via her @smythsistershome account which documents the renovation of her new house, and oh my goodness is it the poster child for aesthetically pleasing.
Dreamy content aside, we wanted to catch up with Marianne to see how lockdown has been treating her, what she has learned from this crazy journey and her love of fashion.
How are you and how have you been finding life in lockdown?
"Surprisingly not too bad, my routine hasn’t changed too much. I usually work from home, and having my fiancé about has definitely helped!"
What is one fashion staple you cannot live without?
"At the moment, my Birkenstocks. I was that girl who would run out to grab something from the car in my slippers. My Birkenstocks are my go-to shoe to throw on now."
You have two gorgeous young children, how have you been keeping them entertained at this time?
"We actually just moved into a new home, there’s plenty to explore when you’re only 2 and 3 years old. The garden is very mature so they’re kept busy helping daddy there! They also sit in the trailer on the ride-on lawnmower - happy as ever!"
Have you always been a lover of fashion, it seems to come so naturally to you?
"I’ve always loved fashion, as a teenager I would save up any money I earned from my part-time jobs to buy myself new clothes. That hasn’t really changed!"
What is your top-secret for having healthy and glowing skin?
"I’m using Zo Skin health products at the minute. I’ve found a really good routine with them, they’re medical grade so they really work!"
How did you develop such an incredible social media presence?
"When I started there were very few just doing the mirror selfies, I think it allows the viewer to see the outfit without any distractions. Just simple outfit ideas that anyone can recreate has definitely been the key to my platform growing."
You are renovating your new home - which looks so dreamy - how do you approach interior design?
"My fiancé is in the hospitality industry so he is forever looking up interior designs. It’s something we have in common, we could sit for hours sifting through magazines, websites and Pinterest. There is loads of inspiration out there if you look in the right places."
What has been your go-to mood booster during quarantine?
"I look forward to a drink (a Cuba Libre, rum, coke and lots of fresh lime) whilst I’m cooking dinner, it’s the time I get to relax and get some headspace."
How have you been staying creative at home?
"I’m a professional photographer and only just recently set down the camera to focus on Instagram full time. We’ve had so many beautiful sunny days so I’ve picked up the camera again to document my kids. In years to come, I want to be able to show them the memories we made during this unsettling time. A time when they had both their parents with them 24/7!"
What was your first memory of fashion?
"Taking my brothers hand-me-down Levi’s and making them into shorts. I was maybe 7 or 8 years old at the time."
Which destination is number one on your travel bucket list?
"We plan to get married next year so we’ve both said we would love to travel America for a few
weeks. We love exploring new places, there’s only so much laying on the beach I could do!"
What has life in lockdown taught you?
"Oooh, a few things. This is a very first world problem but I would have usually made separate dinners for my children, which meant a lot of cooking and cleaning. I now make one dinner for all of us. They’ve gone from being picky to eating everything! Dinner time is now an enjoyable experience. And also to never take family for granted. Honestly, my children have been so happy having us about, just today we had my parents to the garden for the first time in 9 weeks - the joy on their faces...and mine."
Main image by @smythsisters on Instagram