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Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Feature, House of Fifty Blog!

Good morning friends and Happy Friday!   There is an extra pep in my step this morning because I am at the House of Fifty Blog today!  I wrote about a topic close to my heart and my interests as a mom of five, inspiring kids through design.  I loved putting it together, so stop on over and take a look, and let me know what you think!

While you're there enjoy the gorgeous current issue of House of Fifty!

Thank you House of Fifty for having me, and Janell for all of your support, I enjoyed my visit!

Here's to a beautiful weekend for you all!!


In the past few years designing kids rooms has grown immensely, and it is so good to see such an interest and some really amazing spaces being created!  I love that we seem to think much more about the spaces our children inhabit than we used to {compared to my childhood circa 1980s}.  Yet, I can't help but think that some of the design elements we infuse into these kid-friendly spaces are maybe not as much about what inspires them as much as they are about how it looks in our home or what we think kids would like.  Is the room designed with kids in mind or is it designed for our kids?  I do think we can have spaces that look beautiful and cohesive to our home, a common challenge, but we must give considerable weight to how our little ones react to the room.

When I think about how my five boys respond to design, I know it is usually how the space makes them feel.  If you ask your child how they remember a big event, they often describe a detail or two, but overall they remember it by the feeling evoked.  While 4 out of 5 of my boys cannot yet describe their feelings beyond a few words, what I can get is their emotion, which is key. As a mom with a high interest in design and how it affects us, I have realized that kids are so much more in tune with their surroundings than we give them credit for.  While they may be resilient and adaptable, their curiosity thrives in spaces where they first feel safe and secure.

Inspiring the Magic and Wonder
More than enjoying a colorful or themed room, my boys would love a room that evokes a sense of magic and wonder, one that just is special. I cannot think of a time other than now to use those as the primary design elements.  How fun would this be?

"A little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest men" - Roald Dahl

I realize we all can't live with swings hanging from the rafters of our living rooms {sharing problems here for starters}, but we can channel that whimsy into something that is extraordinary and unexpected like this little teepee nook {and not permanent}.

flickr photostream-somethingshidinginhere

or so comfy, cozy and special like this reading nook...

House Beautiful, May 2011

All children love hidden spaces.  I still recall my dentist's office having a playroom with a tiny hole to crawl through that opened into a bigger playroom, it was just so cool like this space, begging us to follow the little ladder...

If we do move our littlest guys into 2 separate rooms, we plan to connect the rooms through their closets located just on the other side of the wall.  It would be so fun for them to have a secret passage to get from room to room.


Evoking that sense of wonder and whimsy with big doses of practicality, these bedrooms would definitely make an impression on a young boy...slide, treehouse, who wouldn't love either?


I can think of all the dreams, stories, nighttime chats among sisters that would take place on these two gorgeous beds.  I am sure these little red beds would be fondly remembered forever.  

and what little fairy princess would not adore this sweet little spot?

Sharing Spaces

We will always have this dilemma in our home.  My quadruplet boys are in one room right now.  There were many constraints at the time it was created but I still wanted to reflect each one individually in the space.

Whether we keep the boys together, or move them into separate rooms (2 and 2), these following ideas gave me some inspiration.  I just love this first idea {left}, they each have a little cocoon with their favorite possessions, but they can easily get to one another. The girls room {right} is so easy and relaxed and such a fun space to hang out as sisters.    

     Eve Robinson Associates, Inc.                                                        via pinterest

Learning through Play, Lessons from Good Design
Good design can teach kids about function, organization, and making choices.  Playrooms are such a big source of inspiration for little ones.

With our home's open floor plan, the playroom for our little boys is in plain sight.  It does get tricky to keep it clean, but the space itself is so fun an inspiring.  If you see toys in my home, you know I have small children who are learning and growing.  Someday we hope to finish our basement and move the playroom there, but I truly believe my kids have benefited when super little by having a playroom so centrally located in our home.

In our playroom they can make choices and there are many opportunities for being creative, a felt board, dry erase board/easel, and chalkboard are all easily within reach along with dress-up and so many other choices.  I also believe in everything needing to have a space in a playroom and cleaning up throughout the day.  While kids need to be able to be creative it is difficult to function in chaos, so some sense of order needs to be re-established.
{the little boys current playroom}

gorgeous with so many different options, possibilities and well-organized

this one just plays to the imagination so well...

and this free-spirited and fun-loving space

finally a little inspiration for those of us literally driven up the wall by little lego pieces...

Staying Inspired as Adults
When was the last time you read a children's book?  They are full of inspiration and help us remember what it is to see the world in that wonder-filled way.  We do have an abundance in our home of books and we treasure it!  I will truly be so sad when there are no longer bedtimes full of whimsical, fantastical stories. Lucky is the child whose room is full of great reads like this one...

Every family needs some inspiration to catch their eye as they walk out the door.  To send the reminder to the brain that is on overload with everything else life encompasses that this is what matters this, I don't think design gets any more inspiring than that.

Encouraging your kids on their way out the door, 

I love these family rules too, maybe just catching the eye on the way out the door will provide that gentle reminder we all need.

I have realized that at the end of the day, we are still adults trying to create spaces for our children who tend to be much more open-minded, boundary-less, and engaged in their surroundings and in all of life than most of us adults. While we all have constraints, we can still create spaces, moments, and celebrations that are special.  We cannot give up on any of that because it the legacy we leave our children to give theirs.


  1. I completely LOVED this post!! You've collected together some completely awesome images...and I'm drooling!!! I've signed up as your newest follower. Okay, stalker. Ha!!



I so appreciate your sweet thoughts and thank you for sharing. I always try to reply whether it be to your email or on one of your blog posts! Wishing you a wonder*filled day! Michelle

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