I recently (a few months ago already) came across a book ” Creative family home” as I was looking for inspiration to spruce up our space a bit, knowing that these days I have to be very realistic about the fact that I can’t have (and in fact I don’t want) a spotless perfectly groomed house. I suppose I have learned how to surrender to the idea that this is our home but also our children’s home and therefore it’s important to respect everyone’s right to live comfortably in a space that takes into account everybody’s needs. When it comes to think about how to decorate your home if you have kids, I like (as I usually do) a middle way approach. This means that I don’t want our house to turn into a kindergarten just because little kids live in it, but at the same time I can’t have the unrealistic expectation of everything to be in the right place at any moment of the day. Having said that I am far from having achieved the task but I am slowly working towards it.
If I have to choose among the various brainless activities you could devote your time to when you are online, interiors browsing it’s absolutely my favorite one. You see I lost interest in fashion, I am not particularly into celebrity gossips (except for due exceptions) , and I even lost that addiction to beauty products that dominated my twenties. But when it comes to homes, although I have been flipping through interiors magazines since age 8, I can honestly say this is something I haven’t grown tired of. Internet it’s a golden mine of pretty spaces, and the more I dive into millions of house tours the more I define my style and I know what I like and what I don’t in a home which leads to the next question: what makes a family home?
To me a family home should be:
Practical without being boring. Once somebody told me, I don’t understand why you make so much fuss for a rental house, these are just four walls after all, it’s not even your own house. Well, I could not disagree more with that point. Even as a student with no much money at my disposal, I have always done my best to personalize every space I lived in. Be it hanging or sticking things to the wall, moving furniture around, no place I have ever lived in has stayed dull and boring like the day I rented it out, this is just not me. The same applies to homes with children. Who says that just because kids live in it, the furniture should be the lowest possible quality or generally we don’t need to surround ourself with pretty stuff because there is the constant risk of them making a mess out of it? First of all it is precisely because you have kids that you need to create a beautiful space for you and for them, to teach them how to appreciate and respect the beauty around them . Secondly, I am not talking expensive furniture here, I am just saying that a family home requires a balance between beautiful (that does NOT mean expensive) and practical, but no it definitely doesn’t mean boring. There should always be a place for both useful and beautiful thing in a balance that is both harmonious and achievable.
Neutral, with splashes of colours and textures: people who know me personally know I love white. I love the airy feeling white walls and white furniture give to a space. But white is The enemy of little hands as we all know and besides that I have grown fond of colors because their are an instant mood lifter and also are very much in tune with the spirit of a house inhabited by little kids. I also tend to prefer the natural color of wood for furniture this days because somehow it makes me feel more grounded and makes the rooms warmer.In addition to that, every house should make room for some plants to improve indoor air and create a connection to nature especially if you don’t have the luxury of an outdoor space.
Art, pictures, and music filled: kids love to see themselves in pictures and it is lovely to remind them of the nice moments you have shared with them. I believe for a child seeing himself in a picture is a way to reinforce his sense of identity and always always makes them smile. I have to do a better job of this because although I have millions of pictures they are all not very safely stored on my hard drive…As far as art and books What can be better for a child than be surrounded by creativity and being encouraged to knowledge? And about music and laughter, do I really need to say more? I try to make a point of playing some music everyday for the children to enjoy and dance as they please.
A family home MUST have a big table and an open kitchen The big table is essential for all the activities that revolve around it: eating, drawing, crafting, talking. And I love it when the kitchen is open and blends seamlessly into the rest of the living area. Makes everybody feel invited to join what’s happening in there.
Mostly, though, a family home needs to be respectful of everybody space and right to live comfortably in it and it needs to have a big heart because above anything else a house, for me, must be open
When I was younger a friend of mine asked what the life I envisioned for myself looked like. And I remembered replying I saw myself living by the sea, in a house full of light and children. All the children it could contain. Mind you, they don’t have to be all mine! I always had this dream of having my children and my children’s friends playing , walking around, opening the fridge, taking whatever they fancied from there and just feeling like they were generally happy to hang out at my house. A home must be warm, open and generous.Inclusive and not exclusive and when I say it I cannot help by thinking about this song.
Of course, this is only my personal vision , now I would really love to hear what do you think? What makes a family home?
First picture by Mariella Amitai the other two are via desire to inspire, ,
desire to inspire, ,