Monday, September 20, 2010

Design Solutions For Children

I don't understand how people make cute rooms for their kids. Once in our last house I set up a little closet with bins and a shelf for bookbags, like you see in magazines. I started to detect an odor after a while. It was kind of a rotten egg smell. Eventually I found the origin of the smell. It was a rotten egg. Sam brought an egg home from school and put it in his little cubby.  I need a design solution for that. I also need a design solution for boxes of rocks and also for boxes of boxes. My daughter has a nylon pouch that her camping hammock came in. She stores dog food in it for a training session she had with the dog about a year ago. It's under the sink in her bathroom (of course). Ben uses his nylon hammock pouch to store his buttons. I'm not sure where Maggie's hammock is, but Ben's is wadded up on the back porch with some mildew on it. It cost $50. I paid extra for the "slapstraps" which allow you to hang the hammock anywhere. Last time I saw the straps they were lowering a nude Indiana Jones doll wrapped in blue painter's tape off the balcony.

We have this little room upstairs with built-in shelves which I hoped would serve as a playroom, but the kids never went in it so I moved all their junk out and put my treadmill in it. I say that like it didn't almost kill me to move the treadmill through 2 doorways and an L-shaped hallway. A few days after I set up my home gym I discovered that a white board, school supplies, and several scarves had been moved in there. Today I went in to use my treadmill and found that Sam had raised the incline as high as it would go, set a wooden chair on it, and plugged his iPod into the treadmill speakers. There was also an empty mug and a plate with chocolate cake crumbs on it. He excitedly told me he had set up his own home theater. I'm sure in his mind it was like this:

Once I saw a really cute pink Radio Flyer wagon on a blog so I bought one for Christmas. Ellen stuffs it with couch cushions and makes the kids push her around in it while she bellows "I'm a granneh. This is mah wheel cheh," in what she thinks is a grandma voice. It does not hold crocheted elephants or wooden blocks.

There is an orange extension cord coming out of my crawl space. It powers a TV, DVD player, and lamps throughout my unfinished basement which is decorated with everything from rugs to #10 cans which I have stored down there. There is even a glass vase filled with fake cherry blossoms in the middle of a coffee table along with a tent and a cot. I don't know what to say. I don't think my kids and I are particularly slovenly or that I am particularly permissive with them, but our aesthetic is off.

21 comments:

  1. My decorating style is "Repurposed Grandma." Almost all of our furniture is from Craigslist or the DI (yes, THE DI, I am Utahn to the core), even though we are grownups with children.

    Anything cute would get ruined anyway, so why bother? This is why we can't have nice things.

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  2. Design solution for boxes of boxes. Here here.

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  3. Ellen needs her own show. She slays me.

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  4. A friend came over to see how I organize my toys last night and I left Margaret's room for last and just said "Well, there's no 'plan' for this room because she just plays with all of this all day so why would I bother to put it away?' "

    The naked Indiana Jones handing over the balcony (and it's not even Halloween!) will always be my favorite addition to your house. Blue duct tape!? Now THAT'S style!

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  5. I loved this post Kacy! I can so relate to this esthetic! I don't think you are looking at it the right way though. Your kids have obviously inherited your creativity. They think outside the box. I laughed so hard at the wheelchair story.

    This reminded me of a blog I recently discovered that you may like. Look it up it's called 'Catalog Living'

    http://catalogliving.net/post/1156254710/pay-attention-next-time

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  6. I am constantly torn. I want to let my kids be themselves and have their stuff the way they want it. I also want to go in their room daily and throw away all their "treasures" and make it perfect. Once I went into someone's home and saw their child's room which was perfect. I had to make a decision that day whether I wanted other people to admire my kids' rooms or whether I wanted my kids to be happy in their rooms. I chose the latter.

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  8. I think your design asthetic is called "creative children." We've tried organizing and decorating kids rooms and they never end up looking like a magazine. They look like my kids--creative, messy, funny, conflicted and charming.

    I won't win any awards, but we're going to stick with it. I think you should, too.

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  9. This is hilarious -- you should write a book; "Designs for the real world."

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  10. I ordered some pricey curtains and inherited some fantastic bergere chairs. My house still looks like it was decorated in Early Lego. But I'm jealous of your naked Indie. That's the kind of style you just can't buy.

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  11. I love your writing! I met you at the Honda event (I was from Mom in the City) and have been following some of the blogs I didn't know, and I really love yours! Kudos!

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  12. I would think in a crawl space as posh as yours that you wouldn't need to extend power down to it.

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  13. your kids are hilarious.

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  14. I bought some of those cute wall stickers for my kids room, but my 4 year old had a crazy furious reaction of hate to them. Back to boring walls.

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  15. Shannon8:02 AM

    Thank you for this post! (After I made a list this morning a mile long of all the things I need to "organize."

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  16. I'm crying this is so funny!

    Naked Indiana Jones...see him all the time, a Grandma Wheelchair...hilarious! (My 5 year old asked if he could have an electric wheelchair with a gps for his birthday so he could go wherever he wanted...I think it stems from the time we had a Thanksgiving Day obstacle course using my grandmother's scooter.)

    Anyway, it sounds like your family has fun, and most of the time that is way more important than having a magazine worthy home...unless the prophet is coming over for dinner or something, and even then I bet he'd understand.

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  17. I think designed rooms are overrated. I've never had one - used to wish for them - tried it a few times, but it really never worked.

    But something worked because all of my kids love to come home and cringe when I mention selling the house and moving somewhere else!!

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  18. yay for granny babs!

    there is a certain level of design in my house, but there is almost nothing for decoration. also there is almost nothing new. i simply refuse to be someone to gets unstitched when her kids act like kids...it's their house, too. actually, it's their house MOSTLY right now. design for kids is gay.

    [don't tell wand sykes i said that]

    if i have one tip for moms, it's giant rubbermaid bins. one for books, one for soft toys, one for hard toys, one for dolls and their accessories. toys and games with pieces go in small boxes on a high shelf and only come out one at a time, when the room is clean [needles to say, legos, polly pocket, and calico critters rarely see the light of day, and i am so down with that.] we have to give away some of our toys before santa or the birthday fairy come. they know they have to give to get, and that keeps the accumulation under control.

    also, did i tell you i took away their dressers? no dressers in their rooms. three dressers and a hanging bar in my big laundry room. more control over laundry for me, more room to play in small bedrooms.

    this is turning into tips for not-very-good housekeepers. i'll stop now.

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  19. BLUE PAINTER'S TAPE?

    I have never wanted Robert Plant for a father nor even a slow-dance partner, but your kids and mine must have a mystic connection, because blue painter's tape is THE craft supply of choice in my house. I find it everywhere.

    If you ask why I don't just get them regular masking tape, the answer is I've tried that, and they used it up at a rate of one roll per day. But the blue painter's tape seems to have been blessed by Elijah.

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  20. Haha its true... no matter how cute a childs room look it probably wont stay that way for long!
    -Jackie @ Unfinished doll furniture

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