Home Truths with Jenni Falconer - why she loves her kitchen (and her not-so-secret cushion obsession)

TV and radio presenter Jenni Falconer reveals how even her own bad home habits manage to annoy her...

jenni falconer smiling at the camera
(Image credit: Getty Images)

TV and radio presenter Jenni Falconer lives in south west London with her husband James Midgley, and their 12 year old daughter Ella.

What is the first thing you do the second you walk through your door?

I take my shoes off, hang my coat up and head straight to the kitchen...a cup of tea is often on the agenda, but like most people one of the first things I do - often for no reason - is open the cupboard and wonder what I might eat!

Where’s your happy place at home?

Ironically, I love my kitchen. I am the world’s worst cook but I love the social element - I love how whenever friends come over they all gather in the kitchen and congregate around the island. 

It’s the most social room in the house, where Ella practises her dance moves, and where the music is - so this is the room where everyone sings their hearts out when we have a party!!

What is your favourite time of day at home?

I love the evenings, we are all at home, we all have dinner together and catch up on the day. 

Summer evenings are my favourite too when we can have all the windows open, the sun is still in the sky - it’s just perfect.

Jenni falconer smiling at camera

(Image credit: Getty Images)

What’s your homeware addiction?

My husband and daughter would say I am obsessed with cushions - I actually just like to dress a sofa and a bed with nice things! 

I am also obsessed with tidiness, however my bedroom tells a different story... I know I need to clear things out but eternally put it off… there’s too much stuff that I don’t need - too many tote bags, too many boxes and yes, possibly too much sports kit!

What's on your bedside table?

I have a lamp, lip balm, a candle (that never gets lit!) ,a mobile phone charger and usually always have a glass of water.

What's your favourite shop to buy homeware from?

I like different places - a splurge purchase from Soho Home is lovely, but then also I love H&M Home. I could spend hours walking around Barker & Stonehouse or West Elm.

What smell says home to you?

I love fresh, citrus and ginger scents. I am candle obsessed and have them in every room.

Do you have a bad home habit you’d like to quit?

Yes - leaving rubbish by the back door instead of actually taking it out to the bin - in the hope that James might do it instead! It annoys me and I'm the one who does it! 

What chore do you love doing?

I love tidying and cleaning, vacuuming, and decluttering - I love how everything looks afterwards and have never regretted spending time to make sure the house looks refreshed. It’s just tricky finding the time to do it.

jenni falconer smiling at the camera

(Image credit: Alamy)

…and what chore do you hate?

I hate gardening. I love a nice clean, spic and span garden but don’t want to do the actual work. I think it’s due to my irrational fear of creepy crawlies - it’s a reason why I also spent years building up the courage to go into the loft! 

Ridiculous as it sounds, I feared it was full of spiders and wouldn't go near it... I have been up since and as it turns out, it’s absolutely fine, I don’t know why I was so terrified!

What’s your home pet peeve?

Things being dumped and not put away, whether that’s a coffee mug on the floor next to the sofa, plates in the sink instead of the dishwasher, the ever-growing collection of shoes by the front door or leaving a pile of stuff on the stairs for days on end…

Do you think you're a good host?

I would like to think that where I lack in cooking skills, I make up as a hostess. I get stressed when I invite people over for dinner as the making the meal part sends me into a panic. 

However, I like to make sure people feel at home, nobody has an empty glass and everyone has a good time.

Do you try your hand at DIY?

When I lived alone in my 20s, I was great at DIY but even better at finding someone else to do it! I am great at delegating! 

One of the perks of being married to James is that he loves DIY - any excuse to get his tool kit out, use a power drill and hammer the wall... 

I mean, the results aren’t always as good as we would like, but he enjoys the process, which is a plus as I am not bothered.

What do you do if you have time at home on your own?

If I have time at home on my own - which I don’t very often - I usually have a to do list - washing, tidying, changing bedding, emptying the dishwasher.... all the things that you can easily put off. 

I rarely get a chance at home on my own to sit down and watch a film and if I did have that time, I would probably use it to go for a run or get to the golf course or chat on the phone to friends... sitting still isn’t really ever an option for me.

What do you miss most about your home when you're away?

Sleeping in my bed - I have been on holiday a few times in recent years and the bed is nowhere near as comfy as mine is!! 

Having all my beauty products on hand, as opposed to living off a condensed collection. And also stretching out on a gorgeous sofa to watch a movie with the family... and trying not to fall asleep!

Quick fire questions with Jenni Falconer

Jenni falconer smiling at camera

(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • Shoes on or off? Off.
  • Eat at table or laps? At the table.
  • Lighting - bright or moody? Moodily lit.
  • Quick shower or long bath? A quick shower.
  • Colourful or neutral? We’re trying to move away from boring neutrals and be braver and more colourful!
  • Neat or creative chaos? Neat freak! I would love showhouse clean, but it's never going to happen.
  • Music, radio, tv or quiet? Smooth Radio playing, or the TV!

Jenni presents Smooth Breakfast on Smooth Radio in London, Monday to Saturday from 10am to 1pm. 

She also hosts her own podcast about her love for running called Run Pod, available to download now.

Freelance contributor