Common areas have neutral colors with splashes of color in pillows, accessories and family photos.
I’ve always believed that “home” is the foundation of the family. It’s the place where each of us can kick off our shoes and be real — where we can let down our guard and get comfortable. And that’s exactly what I want my home to be —welcoming and comfortable for my family and our friends. That’s where it gets complicated. What’s welcoming to me is neutral colors and no clutter — everything in its place. My children prefer loud colors and the ability to see all of their “stuff.” My son asks, “Why do I have to hide things in drawers and then spend time looking for them? I can always find it right here on the floor!” The daily battle to keep the home welcoming and comfortable.
So, here’s the compromise. Loud colors and messy floors are confined to private spaces, where each family member can be comfortable in their own skin, surrounded by their own personality. Common areas have neutral colors with splashes of color in pillows, accessories, and family photos. I also like my home to be inspiring to my family, so I’ve stenciled motivational words and phrases in nearly every room. Even though my family loves to create comedy at the expense of my quotations, they are repeating them, and educators tell me repetition is learning!
My advice for making your house a home is to make sure it’s truly your style. If you’re not sure what your style is, start by doing some research. Search through magazines and catalogs and rip out the pages that appeal to you. My favorite place for internet research is Pinterest.com, a website devoted to all things home and entertaining. Create a board (page) and when you see something you like – anything at all – “pin” it on your page. You will begin to see patterns in your choices, and your style will emerge. These are the colors, style of furnishings — traditional or modern, and accessories you should look for, to add to your home.
Once you’ve determined your style, look at the function of each room. If your family room also holds the Wii game system, don’t invest in a large coffee table to showcase your candles and accessories – no one will be happy moving that table for the family bowling tournament. The kitchen is usually the heart of communication in a home because everyone visits it, and often together. It’s the best place for the family calendar, a necessity for busy families in planning and communication. We don’t have a desk in our kitchen, so our family calendar is on the inside of the pantry cabinet door – easily accessible and constantly opened and shut, with the clutter hidden inside.
Finally, expect to compromise. You’ll never have enough time, or money or space, to do everything you want in your home. Make a short wish list and pick one thing that will truly make you happy in your home this year– if it’s dramatic paint in a bathroom, solid surface countertops in the kitchen, or a room facelift with bright new pillows and accessories, focus your energy and efforts on that one aspect, and make it your own.
Page Selby and Pennie Wisnasky are interior designers, authors and partners in “Creative Living with Pennie and Page.” Visit their blog at www.creativelivingchicks.blogspot.com for ideas on décor, done in a day projects and entertaining. They love to hear from you! Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call them at 618-781-3033 to schedule a consultation for your home.