Category Archives: Advice

How I pick paint colors and why you should never get paint color matched

pick the perfect color

Will you pick paint colors for me? It’s the most common question I get from friends and family. I honestly love picking out paint colors but I’ve come to realize that many people are paralyzed by fear of picking the wrong color. There is no fool proof way of picking the perfect color. Even I’ve been known to be a shade off a time or two (I’m looking at you laundry room), but for the most part I love the very first color I pick.

So I’m going to let you in on my process for picking the perfect color: Pinterest!

I know it’s not exactly a secret, but I’m going to walk you through how you can use Pinterest to narrow down the perfect wall color for you room.

Pick a color:

If you haven’t zeroed in on exact color yet, then spend a little time using Pinterest’s search function to help you out here. Below is a screen shot of what I got when I searched “best paint colors”:

how to pick a paint color

Research your color:

You wouldn’t buy a new car without doing a little research first would you? Same goes with paint colors. After all painting your walls is a huge commitment. Maybe not monetarily, but time wise and aesthetically it is going to make a huge impact. Do yourself a favor and don’t skip this step. After playing around on Pinterest for a while I knew I wanted a really natural griege for the family room, so I inserted that into the search function:

picking greige paint

As you can see I found literally thousands of pictures of rooms painted in a griege color including many links to blogger’s and designer’s favorite griege colors.  This is where you let other people’s experience work for you. Look over the pictures, see how the colors actually look in the rooms, and narrow it down to your favorite colors.  The color that I found myself pinning over and over again was Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter, so that is where I started.

Pick out paint chips:

Hopefully by now you have a least one inspiration color to start with. Now go to that paint retailer and find the right paint chip. After you have found your inspiration color, grab a couple more that are in the same shade range (think above, below, left, and right of your inspiration). Since my inspiration was Benjamin Moore, I also headed over to Lowe’s and picked up some Valspar and Olympic paint chips that were in the same range. It’s better at this point to have too many choices than not enough.

Just a sample of the chips we picked up for our foyer makeover:

how to pick a paint color

 

Hold up paint chips in the room:

Just because a color looked great online doesn’t actually mean it will work in your room. Now is the time to put your room to the test. Hold up the chips in the room you wish to paint. I like to hold it up against the trim color to get an idea of how it will all look together. Also consider holding them up against anything else permanent such as the flooring or brick. I like to start with my inspiration color and work out from there.  Also consider all the different lighting in the room. Try looking at the sample with lights on and off, in natural light and in the darkest area of the room.

Revere Pewter actually made it to our short list, but in the end we decided on Olympic’s Grey Ghost. I couldn’t exactly pin point why we choose this color. This is where you just go with your gut.

family room makeover

Choose lighter and muddier:

You’ll probably be able to narrow down you color choices pretty quickly, but what do you do when you find yourself stuck between two or three choices? My recommendation is go for the lighter choice because the color will always look more saturated once it’s on the wall. Also go for the one with more brown, grey, or beige in it. These tones tend to be softer on the eyes and more flattering over all. If you’re still stuck, ask for a second opinion. I will sometimes agonize over a color choice for days and when I finally ask my husband he picks one in 2 seconds.

tv console makeover

Confidently buy your paint:

Go yon, ye paint color expert and buy your paint confidently knowing that it’s going to look great in your room.

Wait! Can I save money by getting an expensive brand color matched?

Yes, but don’t do it. Having a paint color mixed is an exact science. The paint chip tells the paint mixer exactly how much of each pigment to put in for each type of paint. When you have a color paint matched the computer is just making a best guess, and I promise you won’t be happy with the result. Besides, after going through all the trouble of picking the perfect color, why tempt fate with a knock off. I always buy the same brand of paint that the paint chip goes with. Sometimes I win and pick a cheaper paint and sometimes I have to chalk up the extra money for premium paint. Also, down the road if you need more paint mixed there is a greater likelihood of the colors not matching if you had it color matched the first time.

whole house paint pallet

 

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Save time and paint over wallpaper

It’s been two weeks since my last post on our porch makeover. Would you believe me if I said my silence is because I’ve been extremely busy with house projects? Well it’s true! In the last two weeks we’ve been working on projects in the backyard, laundry room, and nautical half bath. Everything is looking amazing but because we’ve been splitting out time on multiple projects, nothing is quite done enough to show off to you yet. Bummer….

So, I decided that instead of maintaining radio silence, I’d give you a quick update on one of the projects: the half bath makeover! Here’s what we started with:

paint over wallpaper The wonderful 80’s wallpaper was one of the selling features of this house…..said no one ever! About a month ago, I decided to start ripping the wallpaper down. About 30 mins into it I had about 1 sq inch cleared. That’s when I decided that the wallpaper would stay up, and I would paint over it. You may remember that when were adding the wainscoting to our foyer we found put that the previous owners had actually just painted over the existing wallpaper. We were shocked because we had no idea the foyer had ever even been wallpapered, but it look great and was holding up well.

So, if you have a full room of wallpaper and you don’t feel like scraping it off then here are some tips for painting over the wallpaper.

Tip 1: Make sure your wallpaper is a contender

Before you start slopping paint all over the walls check to make sure the wallpaper you have is a good candidate for painting.  Peeling paper and noticeable seams are immediate red flags.  Find an edge of the paper and try pulling it off the wall. If you get a small rip you are in good shape. If you can easily pull off large sheets then your going to need to strip off all the wallpaper. Painting over wallpaper that will easily come off the walls may lead to the wallpaper bubbling or peeling after the paint dries.

Tip 2: Patch up holes and seams.

Using joint compound or spackle, fill in any holes or noticeable rips or seams in the paper just like would would do on dry wall.  If you tried to rip some paper off make sure to use joint compound to smooth out the spot.

Tip 3: Prime

Priming the wallpaper is going to do two things for you: hide the pattern and create a grippable surface for the paint to adhere to.  Because wallpaper is so smooth painting on it without priming first may cause the paint to run or peel.

how to paint over wallpaper Even with a dark color and pattern, I only needed one coat of primer before I started painting the wallpaper.

Tip 4: Paint that wallpaper

Once your primer is dry you can start painting over your wallpaper. I applied two coats of Behr Vermont Cream in semi gloss using a foam roller.

can you paint over wallpaper The difference is pretty amazing isn’t it? And no wallpaper stripping involved. As you can see the bathroom is still completely torn apart. I am currently stenciling the walls with Cutting Edge’s Perfect Catch (one of my affiliates) in metallic gold. In the bottom right of the picture you can also see a sneak peak of the bathroom vanity getting a green paint job.

Hopefully, I’ll be back soon with some more pictures of the bathroom. It’s coming together so well that I am giddy to show you!

6 budget friendly ways to improve your front door’s curb appeal

improve your front doors curb appeal We spent the last couple of weekends working on some small and budget friendly ways to improve out front door’s curb appeal. Ideally, I would love to rip the door out and replace it with something  more modern and why not throw up a portico while we’re at it. Those plans are actually in the works but with a cost of about $2500 they are in the 2-3 year maybe we’ll win the lottery plan.  Meanwhile I didn’t want to sit around with a door I hate think could use some improvements. So, if you are also stuck with a door you despise and no money to replace it here are 6 budget friendly ways to improve your front door’s curb appeal.   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 1. Upgrade the lighting Our house came with these mediocre carriage style lights flanking the front door. Ideally they would be a little larger, but they actually fit the colonial style of the house nicely. They were; however, a little faded, but no fear it winds up painting an exterior light is super easy.  After disconnecting the lights the glass simply slid out and I spray painted them in a semi-gloss black. I also upgraded the lights bulbs to LED bulbs which have a softer light and better shape than our older CFLs. Not to mention they are even more energy efficient.

Total I spent $6 painting the lights and $20 on the two new LED bulbs.

2. Add planters I actually already owned these planters but they had seen better days, so I gave them a quick paint job with left over paint from the lights. As for adding plants I recommend going with one color to  make a bigger impact from the street.

2 pots refills were $14

3. Paint Everything! This is by far the biggest impact you can make.  The door was originally a dated burgundy that was faded from the sun. I painted it Glidden Roasted Red Pepper (the color was a little bright for the house so I wound up darkening the paint by adding black acrylic to it). The new color feels so much more fresh and instantly draws the eye to the entrance. I also painted all of the trim around the door a bright white. Even if you already have a color you love, freshening up the paint can really make the front door shine.

1 qt of paint was $9

4. Change up the door hardware Ok, I must confess that this was not cheap. We saved so much money on the rest of the project that we splurged on the Schlage Century Keyless Entry System in Antique bronze from Build.com We justified this purchase in part because the handset can be moved to a new door eventually. Did I mention this system can be connected to your smart phone and be unlocked remotely? Ya, it’s pretty awesome and by far the nicest handset we’ve ever bought.

New handset= $321 with free shipping If a new door set is not in your budget than consider spray painting your current one. This will completely change the look for the handset for about $6!

5.  Add large house numbers This is an easy way to add a big impact for little time and money.  This is also a great way to cement the style of your house as numbers come in everything from modern and traditional to craftsmen, cottage, and Spanish style. Larger numbers will also make it easier for friends to find your house. Consider the placement of your numbers carefully. They don’t have to go back where they were. Find a place where they will make the biggest impact.

$4 a number from Home Depot (P.S. you could also spray paint your old ones 🙂

6. Add in a whimsical door mat For me the door mat is a place to have fun and further cement your design style. They are cheap and easy to change out, so go a little crazy. Mine is bright green with a bicycle print on it from Target.

Door mat= $7

Well there you have it. 6 budget friendly ideas to improve your front door’s curb appeal that you could easily tackle this weekend. And just for fun here is a bonus:

7. Remove stuff Too many things around the door will just make it feel cluttered so remove shoes, hoses, toys, or watering cans that may be lying around. Those of you who follow my blog regularly may also notice that we removed the glass storm door. Not only did this dramatically increase the visual appeal of the door from the street but it also improved the functionality of the steps. Narrow top steps and storm doors that open out don’t work well together. Finally, remove all the dirt. Wash the windows and power wash the steps and concrete.

Here’s a quick reminder of what the front door used to look like (this is after we replaced the pediment but before we did anything else). front door curp apeal before and after Linked up with:

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The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Painting Cabinets

Guide to painting cabinets

Last week I shared with you our plans for our Master Bathroom renovation and if you remember, I mentioned that phase 1 of the plan (code name: Make it look nice with no money) was already in action. I had already painted the walls and trim in our vanity area, so the next logical step was to get rid of the 1980’s era brown cabinets.

bathroom before and after Since the goal was to not spend any money, I decided to use the leftover paint from the foyer and french door (Glidden Seal) to paint the vanities. Not only was I feeling cheap this week, but I was also feeling lazy and really wanted to knock out this project in an hour or so.  So here’s my guide on how to be lazy and still get a great paint job!

The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Painting Cabinets

Total working time on this project was 1 hour, although I did it over 3 days to let the paint adequately dry before handling.

First up, remove all the doors and hardware from the cabinets.

easy way to paint a vanity Next, give the doors and cabinet a quick one over with a sanding block. I mean literally just graze all of the surfaces with it. This should only take a minute. Seriously, don’t obsess over this.  Then get ready for my secret weapon for being super lazy when painting cabinets: All surface Prep (also known as TSP substitute). Spray this product on all of your surfaces, wait a minute, then wipe off. Not only will this clean your surfaces, but it will also help de-glaze them thereby helping the paint stick (and voila you get to skip priming).

tsp By now you should have spent about 5 minutes prepping your surfaces and it’s finally time to paint. In order to fully maximize on being lazy I recommend you use the best paint possible (for instance paint and primer in one). I used a combination of a foam roller and high quality paint brush to get this finish.

quick painting cabinets Total it took two coats with about an hour dry time in between to get these cabinets looking perfect. For the doors I always paint the backs first let them dry for a day then flip them and paint the fronts. I gave the fronts a full day to dry before re-hanging them.

dark gray vanity And with just an hour of work time and no money spent, my bathroom vanity looks a million times better.

cabinet makeover

And here’s looking into the actual bathroom where the other vanity also got a paint job:

bathroom cabinet makeover

Key Points:

  • Prep surface with a quick sanding and TSP substitute
  • Use a high quality paint
  • Foam rollers and high quality brushes will give you the best finish. I recommend this brush.
  • Don’t rush the drying process.

What’s next?

bathroomvanity plans This makeover is just getting started, so there is still plenty to do. We plan on framing out the mirror with some old door moldings, refinishing the counter top with a concrete product, and making a small curtain to block the view of the trashcan.  Stay tuned for those updates and more…….

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Glitter, Glue & Paint

How to Renovate and not go into debt

renovating on a budget

Well here we are renovating our second house and it’s hard to believe how much we have already got done. Apparently, it’s hard for many of you to believe too. Two recent comments I received on Facebook were

“You guys never slow down! I am jealous and in awe of your work ethic, creativity, and skills to do all that you do!”

and

“I wish we could afford to do that kind of renovation right now!”

So, I thought it was finally time to address exactly how we stay on top of all the renovations we do and how we afford to do it all with out going into debt.

Prioritize

When it comes to our money and time we all have our priorities; and ours is our house. We funnel almost all of our extra time and money into it. If you are serious about taking on a renovation or remodel than you need to get in this mind frame too (well at least until the remodel is done).

Make a plan

Remember when I shared our 2014 goals with you? Our plan consists of projects all over our house, but even a small project like our foyer makeover started with a solid plan. Having a plan helps us stay on schedule, reduce costs and mistakes, as well as take advantage of sales and promotions.

Take advantage of sales and promotions

Pretty much everything goes on sale eventually. If you’ve taken the time to make a plan then you’ll already know what materials you need. This will allow you to do some research and find out when the best time to buy them will be.  We were able to score our kitchen cabinets and countertops during the Ikea Kitchen Sale which netted us a $950 discount!

kitchen progress

Shop Around

Find what you like, check all the local stores, then shop online. I originally found our door knobs on Amazon through Build.com, but when I checked Build’s website I found out they were offering 7% off plus free shipping, something they weren’t offering on Amazon.

Ooil rubbed bronze egg door knob

Shop Outlets and Second hand

We scored our kitchen chandelier for $20 on Craigslist, our Greek key console for $20 from the Habitat for Humanity Re-store, and our fridge for 1/2 price at the Sears Outlet.

How to paint a brass chandelier

Do it yourself

This is a no brainer and where we net our biggest savings. Take on anything you feel comfortable doing yourself.  You may not be up for installing new kitchen cabinets but removing the old ones yourself could save you a bundle with the contractor.

caulking wainscoting

Enlist friends

When doing it yourself fails then phone a friend. When we started our first kitchen renovation we knew nothing about plumping and electrical work so we called in some friends who did and whose time could be purchased with a case of beer. Now Cody is the most skilled DIYer of our friends, so he will often trade his skilled labor (like laying floors) for unskilled labor (helping us move). It’s a little of “I’ll rub your back, if you rub mine.”

Set a budget and pay in cash

I create an excel spreadsheet for each of our projects before we start. We estimate how much everything will cost then keep track of all of our expenses. If I know I am already over budget I am much less likely to splurge, where as if I’m under budget I know I can afford the upgrade.  I also pretty much always pay in cash. Not only is this a good negotiating tool, but it will always keep you out of debt.

Break it down by paycheck

This is the tip that has helped us the most. Some people will save until they have enough for the whole project, but I would get bored waiting and probably splurge on something instead. What we do is set aside $100 a paycheck that is specifically for the house. When the money is gone, we wait until next paycheck before buying more material. This allows me to always pay in cash and makes me feel like I am always making progress on the house.

Use a windfall

When it comes to larger purchases (like our new windows and stove) we tend to take advantage of windfalls such as tax returns and company bonuses.  These are far and few between, but help us knock out higher financial obligations.

And that is how we manage to get it all done without breaking the bank.  So, how do you do it? What are your best tips for taking on a renovation?

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Wood or white quarter round?

This is a blissfully short post, but I wanted to share a tip that we found out the hard way. When it comes to picking quarter round for hardwood or laminate floors you should match the molding to your baseboards and not to your floor! The reason for this is two-fold: 1) primed quarter round is cheaper than stain grade or laminate and 2)stained quarter round will make your baseboards looks smaller while painted quarter round will make them look larger. Just to belabor the point some more I made the following infographic:

type of quarter round

As you can see when we first laid our floors we installed the quarter round that matched the floors. Not only did it shorten the look of the baseboards, but it didn’t hold up well. One spilled glass of water and the whole thing warped. We replaced it with primed white quarter round for a fraction of the cost of the wood tone kind then painted it to match our baseboards. Voila! Our baseboards look larger.

6 tips for creating a beautiful house and how to keep your children from destroying it

6 tips to creating a beautiful house and how to keep your kids from destroying it

I’m always amazed when we have people over to our house, especially other parents, how much they ooh and awe over how nice everything looks. At first I’m flattered. After all I do put a lot of time and effort into making our house look nice and reflect our family’s values, but as I follow them from room to room listening to their appreciative sighs I always wonder “there is nothing really special about our house is there?” I mean we do all the work ourselves on a tiny budget. Honestly anyone could replicate our look. Then I started going to other people’s homes for play dates, and I started to realize what all the fuss is about. I have many friends (all of whom will remain nameless) who have two children but judging by their homes you would think they run a daycare. It’s not that their homes are messy, they’re not. It’s that there are entire rooms dedicated to toys. The only artwork is done by the kids or is pictures of the kids. It’s as if the children decorated the house instead of the parents. In fact it’s almost impossible to even find the parents style in the house. So for those of you who think you can’t have a beautiful house until the kids grow up I’m here to tell you to TAKE BACK YOUR HOUSE! Below I’ve compiled a list of my best tips for reclaiming your house from the “daycare look” and how to keep your kids from destroying your hard work.

Rethink your kids role in the house

I’ll be honest with you. We do not have a child centered house. We have a family centered house. Do you know the difference? The way I look at it the kids only make up 50% of the household, so why should every decision we make be based on what is best for the kids or what the kids would want?  I’ll tell you what the kids want: My Little Pony wall decals and an indoor tree fort. Now I know there are parents out there who would gladly give their kids those things, but I’m not one of them. Why? Because it’s MY house; I just let them live in it. One day my girls will grow up and have their own homes and they can gladly plaster My Little Pony pictures wherever they want, but for now I am the parent, I pay the bills, and I clean the house which means I get to make the decisions about decorating the parts of the house that the family shares. Now I’m willing to compromise. I gave each child their own room, decorated especially for them (when they are old enough I will gladly let them express themselves by decorating their own rooms), and I even let them make a mess in them. Just to prove I’m not a decorating Nazi, here’s what Sophie’s room looked like after she “cleaned” it this morning. As you can see she is exhausted from all her hard work.

messy room

I want you to let go of the idea that your house has to be set up to accommodate the children at all times. I want you to imagine what your dream home would look like if you didn’t have to worry about your kids destroying all your hard work. The tips below can be utilized in any room and with any decor and will allow you to create a beautiful home around your family instead of in spite of them.

1. Baskets, Baskets, Baskets

The joy of baskets ( or containers, storage ottomans, ect) is that not only do they look nice in a room but they allow you to hide clutter in a matter of minutes. Even better they allow your kids to hide their own clutter in minutes.  I find it’s much more productive to tell my 3 year old to put all the toys in the basket than to just tell her to clean them all up. We have baskets in just about every room of our house. They allow you to keep the kids stuff out of sight yet still close at hand.

Below you can see 3 baskets under our TV which hold all our DVDs. The basket on the right is entirely dedicated to children’s movies.

baskets for dvds

We also have a large toy basket in the corner of our living room next to the chair that hold any toys that I find laying around on the floor.

toy basket with chalkboard

In Sophie’s room there are 3 baskets under her bed that hold a variety of different toys that are labeled with small chalkboards.

baskets for toys

Baskets on shelves in our hall bath keep kids towels, band aids, medicines, and other bath accessories wrangled and out of sight.

baskets in bathroom

2. Move priceless objects up and move replaceable objects down

I feel like most parents got the first part of this statement. You go into their house and everything is placed 4 feet or higher. The bottom shelves of book cases are empty while the top ones are over flowing. I probably don’t have to point out that this doesn’t create a very balanced look. The solution is to place your most treasured and breakable objects on the upper shelves while moving unbreakable or less important objects lower. Check out how I styled our living room book selves below:

shelf styling 3 shelf styling2

The two bottom shelves are the only ones our kids can reach. To start with I placed books on these shelves that they were the least likely to mess up or that I cared the least for. This included art books, photo albums, garden books, and children’s books, almost all of which are hard back. You’ll also noticed that while the books on the upper shelves are styled in different ways these bottom shelves are all styled vertically across. This is because my kids are constantly taking the books off the shelves and placing them vertically is the quickest way to put them back. The accessories on these shelves are also more durable than the ones of the upper shelves.

3. Give kids their own space

This could be their own room, but also carve out small niches for them in other rooms. Any child psychologist will tell you that rather than just tell your children “no” you should try to  redirect them. This is much easier when they have their own items to play with. When children have their own objects to touch they are much less likely to touch yours.

book case beefed up with moulding

In our living room the kids have their own book shelf for their books and their own basket for DVDs.

black kicthen buffet with Ikea wall unit

The black buffet in our kitchen houses all the kids cups, bowels, and utensils. They love to throw them all over the floor, but they almost never touch the other cabinets.

children's art board

I also hung a cork board in Sophie’s room to hang up all her art work.  She loves to hang up all her special pieces on this board and for the most part it keeps them off of my fridge. We put only the most special pieces on the fridge and if she wants to put a different one of the fridge then we move the previous one to her board.

4. Use durable materials

Furniture is expensive, so don’t buy something that your kids are going to destroy in under a week. This does not; however, mean you a have to buy cheap or unstylish items for your home. I have found that the 3 best kid resistant materials are leather, wood, and microfiber.

leather sofa Our living room furniture is all brown leather which was not at all cheap but has stood up the test of time to two kids and two dogs. This furniture had been jumped on, peed on, puked on, and spilled on more times than I can count. The thing I love about leather is that all you have to do is wipe it down. After 7 years we have couple of minor scratches from the dogs but absolutely no stains. I’m a leather convert for life!

wood dining table

The thing I like most about wood is that it can be refinished. You’d be hard pressed to find something your kids could do to wood that can be buffed, sanded, or painted away. Low gloss or waxed finishes are ideal with children. Even crayon and markers can be erased with a good sanding or coat of paint. Remember when I refinished Sophie’s art table to clean it up?

Laminate floors

Mid-grade laminate floors and carpet cost about the same. Pick the laminate floors! I can’t tell you how many times a day my kids drop and spill stuff on our laminate floors, but I never bat an eye because these bad boys are practically indestructible. 7 years later they look as good as the day we installed them.

coffee table made from palletss

The coffee table Cody built be out of pallet wood is sealed with marine grade varnish making it impervious to liquids. It’s even playdough proof!

mirco suede dining chairs

Wood dining chairs are super easy to keep clean but I wanted something a little more comfortable for our dining room, so I choose cushioned chairs covered in a textured micro fiber. You can see by the chair on the left that Sophie has no problem spilling and staining these puppies; however, the benefit of them is that the look brand new again after a quick steam cleaning making them great for the long haul!

5. Cover everything

The key to decorating successfully with kids is understanding that they are going to try to destroy everything. With that in mind I make sure that all readily available fabrics are washable. For pillows that means pillow covers versus solid pillows. For the yellow pillows below I made the covers myself, but similar ones are also widely available at places like Pottery Barn. The benefit of pillow covers is that they can be repeatedly washed without destroying the integrity of the pillow itself. Especially important of you have down pillows.

pillow covers

I feel like our whole master bedroom is one giant cover. The shams, euro shams, and decorative pillows are all covers. I also urgently recommend that you use duvet covers instead of comforters. They are easier to wash and dry and protect the comforter underneath.  Recently Sophie puked all over our bed including the pillows and boy was I glad that everything was covers then.

duvet and pillow covers

You may also want to consider slip covering furniture. This is actually my favorite way to have white furniture as you can simply throw the cover in the wash when it gets dirty. Ikea has a great selection of slip covered sofas and chairs.

6. Use Patterns

Use patterned fabric for heavily trafficked areas (such as area rugs) and highly touched surfaces (like towels and pillows) as they help hide stains and dirt.  Below is a sampling of patterns found throughout our house. All of them have stains on them now, but for the most part you don’t notice them unless I point them out to you. Our living room rug (middle of first row) in particular has held up really well. Between the subtle pattern and the taupe tinge is hides just about everything!

pattern fabric

To sum up:

  1.  You do not have to wait until your kids grow up to have a beautiful house.
  2. Invest in pieces that are easy to maintain and clean. Assume your kids will get them dirty.
  3. Decorate in a way that infuses the kids into your home without allowing them to take it over.

So, there are my tips. What are your best tips for decorating with children? How do you make room for your children’s stuff without letting them take over the whole house?