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To say Madeleine Burke is a woman of many talents is an understatement.
A website developer and designer by trade (she developed the entire back end of Pretty Fluffy!), she’s also the editor of her own blog ‘The Daily Mark’ and puppy mama to her one year old pug, Wilma.
Stepping into her inner city Sydney townhouse you can see Madeleine has an eye for design, her home bursting with colours and on trend accents.
The best part? It’s 100% puppy friendly. That’s right – behind the gorgeous furnishings is a fully functional home fit for her favourite pooch.
Tell us about your home…
We’re living in a 2 bedroom, split-level townhouse in Marrickville. We moved here Easter 2013. We try and keep it fresh, fun and usable. We love having friends and family over so having room and accessories available to entertain is a big plus.
My partner Eivind and I and Wilma the pug live here. Eivind and I are both currently 26 (almost 27) and Wilma is celebrated her first birthday on March 22!
Wilma has over 2500 followers on Instagram (Woot! Woot!) – what makes her so popular?
It’s funny because it all started out with us creating an account for her so that we wouldn’t flood our own personal feeds with Wilma (although I still do!). That way our friends that were interested could follow her, and those that are less dog-obsessed (I really don’t know why I’m still friends with them actually) could choose not to.
Then it just started growing and now it’s a really great part of my day. We get requests for messages and photos from all around the world and we’ll be out and people will actually come and say ‘Hi’ because they recognise me as ‘Wilma’s Mum’. It’s pretty funny and a fantastic ice-breaker.
I think people just like seeing everything she get’s up to. She has a pretty good life! Plus who could resist that face?
You’re a website developer and designer that works from home. How do you balance work, life and puppy time?
I’m really lucky working from home. I have ever since we brought Wilma home and now Eivind does also. We tend to work around each other. Wilma usually wakes up and wants heaps of attention (and breakfast) in the mornings. Then she sleeps and we work, she has free reign of the house so she just comes and goes as she pleases. Then we all go out for a lunch walk and then more sleeping and work in the afternoon.
The nights are reserved for another walk down to the local park and Wilma’s pick of the TV.
You recently launched your own beauty, tech and lifestyle blog The Daily Mark. What was your inspiration behind starting your own blog?
I just found that I’d gotten to a point where everyone knew me as just a designer and developer with no other hobbies or interests. I have loved beauty and food since I was little so it was just time to be able to use my day-job skills to launch something for myself. I’ve met so many great people already through the blog and it’s a great outlet away from my normal 9-5.
As a website designer and developer, what were your MUST-DOs when starting a new blog from scratch?
From my experience of blogging so far, and that is very little, I think the most important aspects to keep in mind is the usability. Make the experience super easy for your end user. Wether that’s big photos that immediately draw attention, search bars, extra navigation in the forms of ‘related posts’ or ‘popular posts’ anything to keep them there and keep them interested. Depending on your audience and target market having a mobile or tablet version can be great too for keeping people browsing on smaller devices.
I also think making sure your posts are all set up to be easily shared is super important. I learn about most things via Social Media nowadays and being able to easily share something great with my friends and family is amazing.
How would you describe your style at home?
We’re loving developing our own style now that we’re out of university and starting up our careers. With Eivind being from Norway, we do have a lot of Scandinavian style pieces, some from IKEA, some from Freedom, but we also like to freshen it up with some brighter additions. I love yellow so it features a bit in the house.
How do you balance your living space with a home office?
We’re lucky to now have a second room that we use as an office. It’s great because come finish time we just close the door and completely forget that its there. We’re getting really good at distinguishing between work us and home us which is great.
How have you made your home pet friendly?
Being in a smaller town-house we rely heavily on the PetLoo. We bought one as soon as we brought Wilma home and although it was an initial investment it has been worth it’s weight in gold. We now have one for upstairs too.
We try and keep as much of her stuff kept away as possible. She tends to have 2 or 3 toys out at any one time, that’s all she tends to have attention for anyway and when they’re rotated its like her getting a new toy every day!
For her treats (and boy does she go through them!) we have a sturdy, air-tight container in our storage cupboard. We just fill our glass treat jar from Treats a la Bark with a selection and use that. That way there’s not countless bags lying around the kitchen.
She also has her own ‘shoe-box’ to house her harnesses and leads, although she insists on having her bow-tie collection on show. They’re her pride and joy.
What’s your #1 piece of advice for dog owners who want to keep their homes looking good?
If you have a dog that will shed, get a robovac! We have the Samsung nanobot and it’s amazing. We’ve set it to run everyday when we’re mostly upstairs and it keeps everything under control.
Your go-to stores for home wares and décor?
We love Freedom and HuntingForGeorge.com.
The one thing that you or Wilma just can’t live without?
I’m sure Wilma could think of something more fun to mention but ultimately it would probably be the ZoomGroom. She sheds a lot so a daily brush with this is like a massage for her and a lifesaver for me.
Describe your personal style in three words… Fun, bright, comfortable.
If you weren’t in your current job, you’d be a… Flight attendant! How amazing would that be. I used to work for my Mum at her Hunter Valley restaurant Leaves & Fishes for years and I loved meeting new people everyday. I think matching that with my love of travel would be a definite winner.
Describe Wilma in one word… Cheeky
Wilma’s Favourite Snack… Chicken!
Dogs sleeping on the bed – YES or NO? She was trained to sleep downstairs in her own bed but now that she’s older we let her in the bed 1 or 2 nights a week, usually on the weekend. She loves it on the bed, especially if she can claim my spot.
Studio Sofa – Freedom
Cushions – The Print Society
Chevron Floor Rug – Freedom
Kitchen Bar Stools – Glicks
Pistachio Reversible Dog Bed – FuzzYard
Carnival Dog Bowl – FuzzYard
Quilt Cover – Kip & Co
Pet Loo – The Original Pet Loo
Aesop Animal Dog Shampoo – Aesop
Zoom Groom Dog Brush – Kong
Chalkboard Dog Treat Jar – Treats a la Bark
Dog Bow Tie Collar – Dharf
Dog Bow Tie Collar – Little Blue Feather