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Posts Tagged ‘Childrens rooms’

wallpaper

When my daughter was little, I was constantly cleaning the walls (okay, well not really, but I should have been). I know lots of mothers who had an entire arsenal of cleaning equipment, and spent a lot of time chasing down the messes, and researching the best way to get colored marker off the refrigerator door.

My (lazy?) solution was always to give my daughter places where she could paint or color, without me worrying, and without stifling her creativity. If it was sunny outside, I would put her in a bathing suit, and let her paint anywhere she wanted to. It didn’t matter if paint spilled, or if she went off the paper; she could add dirt and worms to her art, or paint the grass all day long if she wanted to.

Inside my house, I would use masking tape to outline several large shapes on the wall. She would color inside the tape, and when we peeled it off, she had drawn on the walls, and I had new artwork. Every few weeks I would paint over them, and give her new ones to fill in.

After a while, I wanted her to have more space, so, I used chalkboard paint on my walls. Admittedly, this may not be for the neatnik, or a clutter-free home (it will smudge, and can look quite messy) but it is still definitely one of my favorite options for children of all ages.

As life went on, the chalkboard wall was constantly used, but my daughter still needed actual paper to draw on. Most children want to draw or paint with messy abandon, and a small, neat piece of paper is not their preferred canvas. So, I decided to buy one of those giant rolls of newsprint paper that attach to the wall. She could tear off as much as she wanted (by herself, any time) draw anything at all (any size), and having unlimited sheets of paper gave her an immense feeling of freedom. (We would pin it across the wall afterwards, and she would marvel at the sheer size of what she had created).

Of course, I realize that not every home can be covered in chalkboard paint, and some parents may object to painted worms in the backyard, but there are other ways to keep your walls clean, and your child creative:

  • Consider using a bold, darker color in every room; it will look clean for a lot longer, won’t be as tempting as white, and unwanted drawings will just seem like abstract patterns on the wall.
  • Compromise, with a decorative and creative statement that you all can enjoy. This Picture Frame Wallpaper (above) by Graham & Brown is perfect for any room of the house (use a lot, or a little).
Honestly, no matter how much you try, children will always want to draw on walls; so why not give in, make up your own rules, and just let them…..

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daybed best

All the parenting books in the world, can’t prepare you for being a Mom. It is indefinable, confusing, simple, difficult and beyond wonderful. They say it goes quickly, and it does; before we know it, they are suddenly their own little beings, trying to decide what to do, then running off to throw themselves head first into a new adventure. In between the chaos, we try to remember what it was like, and we adjust to our new normal – we feel almost redundant, but secretly know that we are needed even more.

And, as emotional as the roller-coaster can be, one of the frivolous benefits to having a child is giving myself another excuse to decorate. Not very deep and insightful, I know, but it gives me pleasure, and it gives my daughter a “new” room every couple of years.

Our recent endeavor was to make it a little more of a teen room, instead of a girls room. A bigger bed meant less room for “stuff”, and more room for negotiation. Being a child who keeps everything, I knew it would never be a House Beautiful photo-op, but I knew I could make it perfect for what she needed right now. With a lot of patience (and some extra-strong glue), her room was re-done, re-designed and creatively organized.

I won’t pretend that it didn’t take a lot of time, but the time it took was worth it. We didn’t spend a lot of money (just new bedding, and the bed, of course) everything else was sourced from her room, or other rooms around the house.

One of the items we re-used, was her old day bed. After eliciting a promise to not throw it away, I decided to indulge my romantic side, antique it, and use it in the Living Room. Who doesn’t want a bed in the Living Room? As it turned out, re-doing her room was a gift; it gave me this wonderful bed to play with. I used all sorts of leftover paint to distress it – copper spray paint, brown house paint, craft paint, and a few speckles of blue-something paint. I then sprayed it with vinegar (not sure why, but it seemed like a good idea at the time) and left it outside in the rain for a few days.

When I put it in the Living Room, unfortunately, it looked like a “Bed in the Living Room”, not a romantic thing at all. It was the sheets that were its downfall. So, I went on-line, and found a place that specialized in custom made Slipcovers for Daybeds. For less than $50, I found an elasticated, durable, patterned fabric in all sorts of warm tones. When it arrived, it was perfect! That, and the distressed copper, reminded me of one of my favorite childhood movies – Bedknobs and Broomsticks. (We even have the knobs that turn, on each corner – if you remove them, I wouldn’t even mind if you decided to drop secret notes inside …)

What this bed taught me, was that changing with your children, is a damn sight easier than digging your heels in and complaining; part of the fun is creating your own new adventure, indulging your own childhood dreams (and discovering that you really always wanted a bed in the Living Room……).

PicMonkey Collage Em

Wendy E. Wrzos http://wendyandthebluegiraffe.blogspot.com/

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