Final Words of Wisdom

This post and series is brought to you by one of my favorite places to shop for Kids, Land of Nod

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway on instagram if you want to win a chance to have a kids room designed by me! I’ll be picking the winner tonight! 

I hope that you have all enjoyed this series as much as I have. I feel like I’ve been sitting down over lunch and having a conversation with my closest friends about parenting, design and much more. I love getting a peak into the minds and homes of other mothers and bloggers and designers. We all have so much to learn from each other. I asked my panel of experts to give us their final words of wisdom on good design with kids in mind. 

Don’t give up your style because you have kids.  Having kids should
enhance your style.  It’s a time when you can let your imagination run
wild and insert creativity into your design.  My favorite homes are ones
that have grown up taste with fun elements incorporated. So make your
home fun and stylish.  But most of all make your house yours and let
your home be lived in.  That is what makes a house a home, after all.

– Trina, La La Lovely

I have always had a place in my heart for a pretty home and have had a long time love affair with design, however, I have a deeper love for kids and family.  It is important to me to integrate the two, and I try to do that by keeping our home family friendly and not take the decor too seriously.  By selecting the right fabrics, finishes, colors and playful accessories, we have been able to live in a place that keeps us grinning cheek to cheek, in more ways than one.  I try to select accessories that are brilliant yet won’t break, bold patterns and colors that hide finger prints and durable textiles that clean up with ease.  And heck, there are a bajillion and one ways to remove stains and sharpie pens from furniture, just ask Google.

I have lived by the philosophy that you don’t have to keep all of your “nice” things out of sight, up high, or hidden for fear of the little ones getting into them.  Maybe I’m lucky, but early on, I taught my son “don’t touch” or “mama’s only” and he’s pretty much obeyed ever since.  For instance, my cookbook collection in the kitchen island.  He steers clear of them even though they are really at his height.And as much as I like a super-tidy, organized, and beautiful home, there’s something really endearing and sweet about finding random toys in the laundry, tiny fingerprints on the glass doors and mirrors, and seeing tiny socks laying around.  I’m so thankful to share a home with my son! 🙂 
– Megan, Honey We’re Home
My main piece of advice would be to go forward and get to work on your
space. There is no reason why you can’t have a finished home. Kids
should learn to appreciate the beauty of things and learn boundaries.
Spills and breaks may happen, but at the end of the day they are just
things and your kids will learn a lesson from what happened. I don’t
know about you, but I want my child to have memories of the home he grew
up and remember his orange ceiling, my elephant collection, or a hand
me down trinket from his grandparents,etc. I don’t want him to have
memories of an empty space that was never truly homey. 
– Camila Pavone, Effortless Style 

My last bit of advice is to make your house livable for everyone.  You dont’ have to sacrifice nice things to make it beautiful. DIY and upcycled projects are a great way to get the look you want without having to drop a ton to get it. Then if something gets ruined it’s not the end of the world! 

Keep as little “stuff” in your house as possible.  Things tend to take over and start to rule the roost so try to only keep what you absolutely need or love.  There are so many baby & kid gadgets out there but so much of it is unnecessary (& ugly!!) so keep it out if possible.  Make your house as easy to live in as you possibly can.  Don’t fight how you live in your home.  Figure out how & you and your family live and make your house work for you.  (For example, if your kids always bring their crayons into the kitchen & leave them on the counter- LIKE MINE DO!!- make a spot in the kitchen for the crayons & paper so they can clean up on their own.) Get the kids involved in taking care of the house; it makes your life SOOOO much easier & makes them more responsible.  My boys love to help me pick flowers to put around the house and they’re great with the dustbuster!!  Someone (a very funny someone) said that when you first have a baby you should tell them sweetly how much you love them and then say “Welcome to my world.” As funny as it is, I do think it holds some truth.  It’s sort of the philosophy we’ve taken with regards to our house.  “Boys, we love you, but we make the rules here.”  We’ve tried to figure out what makes us all happy and created a home around that.
– Lauren  Liess, Pure Style Home

Honey-and-Fitz-accessorize-with-toys

Find the right balance for your family. I don’t think you should let your kid’s stuff take over the house but I also don’t think you should try to erase all signs that they live there either. After all, it’s their house too! A home with young children has an energy all its own and with thoughtful planning and careful editing I think you create a beautiful, functional and safe environment for all to enjoy. Take the opportunity to play with colors and see things a little differently. Yes, your all glass coffee table might have to go into storage for a while, but rather than bemoan its loss, have fun with this season of your life.
– Dina, Honey & Fitz

I know it has become a fad to say it but you truly do have to embrace IMPERFECTION. Don’t be afraid to throw things away.  Decluttering often and ruthlessly is imperative, especially in a small home. Simple simple.  Buy wooden toys that look cute laying on your floor.  Choose things you both like so you don’t mind seeing them out.  Teach respect for things and people but just remember kids are kids and nothing is worth wounding their little hearts. The glass lamps I mentioned in the last time I did this series… I said we moved it the bedroom so the kids wouldn’t break it.  My husband broke it in the bedroom. So we all make mistakes and have accidents.. Luckily it was just a Target lamp.  

– Holly Mathis, Holly Mathis Interiors

Thank you so much to all the woman who made this series a success! 
And stay tuned next week for my Land of Nod Playroom reveal and a giveaway! 
It’s going to be good!! 

9 Responses to Final Words of Wisdom

  1. Beth of designPOST Interiors Friday, May 31, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    Such great advice, all of it! I am inspired today to tackle some projects I have put off due to the fear of my kids wrecking it. Now if someone could just tell me how to get things accomplished without being interrupted by said kids, that would be awesome 🙂

  2. Jennifer Flores Friday, May 31, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    Fantastic series Kirsten! I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm inspired by these beautiful and thoughtful interiors – our kids and our furnishings can live in harmony.

  3. Elizabeth @ The Little Black Door Friday, May 31, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    A truly great series Kirsten! Thanks to all the ladies for their great advice!!

  4. Mrs. B Friday, May 31, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    I just found your blog yesterday (from a friend who entered the Insta contest, which I promptly entered too) and I am obsessed. So happy to have found such great inspiration. Our home is such a barren wasteland, and one of the main reasons I've never invested any time/money into decorating is I'm scared that my little 1 year old will ruin everything. He just went down for his nap and I fully intend to spend the next hour or so perusing your blog and getting some ideas! ~Noelle

  5. Erica {let why lead} Friday, May 31, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    My favorite advice, which Lauren spelled out beautifully, is to resist the temptation to buy more with kids. It may take some trial and error to figure out what they really will play with over and over, but once you get a feel for it, donate what they don't use ASAP! This has been essential for my family, especially because we live in a small place. It allows them to play but without their stuff taking over the house.

    Thanks for a fantastic and totally relavent series, Kirstin!

  6. Melissa from the Blue House Friday, May 31, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

    Such great advice, and I loved all the pictures!

  7. marshallhousematters.com Friday, May 31, 2013 at 11:58 pm #

    So much good advice. Thank you all!

  8. Natalie Saturday, June 1, 2013 at 2:01 am #

    Excellent Series! Loved all it! Can't wait to redo my daughters shared room for our new home soon.

  9. Areli Hernandez Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at 5:01 am #

    wow! I am impressed,everything looks great! I honestly enjoyed it. I hope one day i can do projects like this one for my own children. Thanks for sharing!