The Ultimate Children's Design Resource


Artful Living

My children have been on spring break for the past two weeks and I have been trying to keep up with the art of doing nothing. We decided not to go on a big vacation but better yet.. to stay home and enjoy small day trips, movies and other activities … like sleeping in! The whole concept of vacation, letting go and just hanging out is something that I need to practice. It has made me stop and think about my own house and how I make it a home.

I love it when I come across a book that is not only visually inviting, but also has a message that I should pay attention to. I often talk about layering of style and lifestyle in our homes.

“My home is mix of mementos, that I got in places I enjoy and want to remember” a quote from Oberto, summarizes better than I could what layering really is…

The chapters on clutter, living with memory, comfort and housekeeping are reminder that a perfectly kept house is the sign of a misspent life. I invite you all to take this book to heart.

A Perfectly Kept House is a Sign of a Misspent Life by Mary Randolph Carter

I love this idea of letting go with the “do’s and dont’s” of home decor. Why not take an old chair and let the kids color all over it. It instantly becomes a “one of a kind” statement or work of art.

Another idea that struck me as “liberating” was not only coloring on furniture, but walls. Who says that we have to live in a perfectly ordered home. What if we took more risks of self expression and just decided that “anything” goes. “Living” in our homes instead of “setting up” our homes would allow everyone the freedom of expression. Our homes could be a work in progress.. instead of “done”.

With kids and chaos.. I love this idea of instituting a “no rule” zone. There are so many other places outside of our homes where we have to “be” and “do”.. why not create spaces in our homes that are designed for creative expression? Clutter,work and art can exist harmoniously right?

This adorable “Frames” wallpaper is seen on Coochicoos.com

This is such a fun chalkboard wall. Check out chalkboard paint from Hudson Paint. Enjoy thinking about how you can incorporate more “fun” into your home. I know that during this recent spring break, slowing down and thinking about other possibilities for my home and lifestyle actually was inviting.

About the author
Santa Monica, CA based Annette is the creator of the interior decor lines, House, Little House and Annette Tatum Collections. She is also the author of The Well-Dressed Home, which features her universal style guide for translating your sense of fashion into home design.
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  • http://etsy.com/shop/preschooldoll PreschoolDoll Designs

    Well done! The painted furniture is such a new and fresh idea for me! Thanks SO much for sharing!

  • Rianne

    The frames wallpaper is just too cute! And yeah, I agree about perfectly kept homes. You say perfectly kept home and I envision an old spinster’s dwelling. My house is chaos, and there are hieroglyphics on the walls, but I love it in all its disorder and imperfections.

  • Lorraine

    I think that people living in homes that are clutter-free are lonely and do not know how to have fun. I know it’s judgmental, and it may even sound like sourgraping, but I know many people like that. When there are children in your house, never expect it to be 100% spic-and-span. One indicator that your child’s happy and is enjoying his or her life — and when you as a parent is enjoying your kid, too — is when there’s chaos, when there are toy trucks and Barbies on the floor, when there are crayon markings somewhere, or when there are bits of chips or cereal stuck in nooks and crannies.

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