Monday, March 3, 2014

Making a Creative Family Home

I am always a little dismayed when I walk into a house that I know children live in, but there is no sign of them.  Everyone deserves their space in their own home, but I found that I loved the little touches that my daughter's bits and bobs added to mine.  I have eclectic tastes and I love bursts of color.  In Creative Family Home by Ashlyn Gibson she

explores the heart and soul of twelve homes that capture the zeitgeist in family living. Whether your family consists of a single bouncing baby or a tribe of pre-teens, Creative Family Home tackles both the practical and the decorative issues and paves the way for a fun, hard-working and creative home that grows and adapts with your kids. The book starts by focusing on the varying demands of family living, with suggestions for using space imaginatively, colour and pattern, hardworking storage. homework and creative zones, and displaying kids? artworks and other family treasures. Next, in Creative Family Homes, Ashlyn visits real-life homes that are notable for their fresh, irreverent take on modern family living and takes inspiration from their varying approaches to the many demands that characterize modern life. Creative Family Home celebrates modern family life, where children are given the freedom to express themselves and to develop their individuality within the context of an imaginative family home.

This book came at the perfect time for me as we were rearranging our daughter's room and paring down our household.  I live in a house from the early 1900's and it definitely has character.  I love finding pieces at antique stores, and from our travels to add to our home.  With Creative Family Home, I was able to design spaces that worked for the family.  They were fun to create and they are intrinsically us.  My daughter's room was numero uno on the list.  I wanted a haven for my little pack rat.

These house-shaped shelves above her bed are a home for her little collected toys that she likes to display.  One home is the little "dog house" for a favorite stuffed animal.  A memo board with precious pictures of her beloved cousins hangs between.  The fairy garland is a keepsake from her fifth birthday party.  
My sister gave her the little storage unit where we keep all of her headbands, jewelry and scarves (I live with Liberace).  

These little touches make her room her own special cavern of treasures.  Our living room is large enough to have an art table and this little antique school desk.  Whenever the mood hits to draw and create, my daughter has the space.  Her wooden dollhouse and wooden kitchen set (made by my father) are a great way to keep her busy while I cook dinner (and she is nearby so I can easily check on her).  

 These touches make my life easier and little more colorful and fun.  This fairy house is something we created together after seeing one on Pinterest.  The wooden dolls were purchased from Etsy, and because I liked them so much, we leave them on the built in shelves in our eating area.  I end up framing pieces my daughter makes that I really love and others go through a time of hanging in the kitchen come art gallery and changed in rotation.

Creative Family Home gave me so many ideas and fostered a creative approach to us working together as a family to make our space.  I loved the views into other homes, and have to say, author Ashlyn Gibson had my favorite home of all.  This book is a must for a family, because a home with children should be a place where that creativeness shines.

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