Random musings: Thanks!

I've just spent too much time looking through the archives of new-to-me blog Thx Thx Thx. The premise for the blog is a daily thank you note to random objects, people and emotions the author encounters. Don't think I'll pop in everyday, but I did enjoy my visit. Here are my favourites:

And the most apt of all...

Here's one of my own...


Love Your Work! Swedish family home

Spotted this chic family home for sale by Swedish real estate photographers se360 and had to share...


While the living room is a lot of brown I love the layout, the light fixtures, the fireplace and especially the barcelona chair.

The bedrooms are simple and tasteful. I would love to have parquetry floors in our home.


On my mind... the boy child.

Last week Monica announced she is having a baby boy! This is awesome news for her family, but came as a bit of a shock at first because she was certain she would be having a daughter.

I have to admit that while pregnant with the little person I too was utterly convinced I would be having a girl. The timing of ovulation, the chinese calendar, the healthy skin and hair, the cravings ... pretty much all the old wives tales ... all indicated a girl. So when the radiographer announced it was a boy I was hit for six! The Man often reminds me that the first words out of my mouth were "A boy? What am I going to do with a boy?"

Of course I now know how awesome boys can be - especially my boy. These are some of the pretty ridiculous concerns I had about life with a boy child...
  1. Would he still want to bake cakes with me? (Yes, boys like to cook too. And they love cake!)
  2. Would he still want to draw and do craft with me? (Yes, but they must be drawings of planes and Lightning McQueen... occassionally a horse might be acceptable.)
  3. Would I still be able to buy him cute outfits? (Yes, boys clothes are pretty cool these days too.)
  4. Would he still play dress ups with me? (Yes, we just dress up as builders and fire fighters not ballerinas and fairies.)
  5. Would everything have to be blue? (No, his favourite colour is currently pink - he always picks the pink cup, the pink crayon and when we're out for coffee he prefers pink milk.)
I'd still love to have a daughter, but another one like the little person would be just super too!

 Gratuitous room shot via Decorpad



Mum's Corner: reading nook

Sometimes Mum's just need a few minutes to themselves. A little corner to slip into and regain your calm after the latest debate over "what is an appropriate breakfast food?" or "does bathtime really need to be a daily occurence?" This seems like a good place to take those few minutes.

On Sunday the little person napped for a whole 2.5 hours! I spent the entire time lazing on the couch reading and listening to the rain outside. Such an indulgence for me these days!


On my mind... fill in the blanks

I'm a little late, but I wanted to join in the "fill in the blanks Friday" linky party at The Little Things We Do.

1. I am excited that we got to use our new pool for the first time yesterday! Hooray!

2. I wish the sunshine had stuck around for the whole weekend - its back to jumper weather today.

3. I like seeing the delight the little person takes in new experiences.

4. I can see his confidence and water skills growing.

5. I hope summer starts for real soon so we can have more fun together in the pool.

6. I think summer is the best time of year - warm hugs from the sun, swimming, daylight savings, yummy fruit in season, bbqs, all the best bands come to Australia, open air cinema ... and of course Christmas!!!

7. I was too busy playing with the little person to take any pictures yesterday, so these photos are from swimming lessons last August (age 16 months.)


On my mind ... black in kids rooms

I remember when I was a kid it was a show of rebellion to even ask your parents for a black bedroom.

Well, now all the cool kids and their parents are using black. 

I imagine these are far more stylish and pared back interpretations then my generation hoped for back in the day. (Or was it just me?)

Still, the use of black makes the space feel somewhat less "childish" which I think was the point of my desire for it.

A child's room with black walls continues to be quite rare, but there are examples out there of how to do it well.

Did you go through this phase? How did your parents respond to this clash in decorating styles?


Great advice on living with little people (not from me)

This week Kirsten Krason of 6th Street Design School has been featuring a series called "Good Design, Kids in Mind." Kirsten has asked a selection of designers with kids to comment on important questions such as:

  1. Can kids and nice things coexist?
  2. How do you kid-proof your house?
  3. What are the best fabrics and finishes to use with kids?
  4. How do you incorporate kids "tacky" stuff in your home?
Its been great reading, with lots of useful tips and reassurance that you aren't the only one facing these dilemmas.

It has also introduced me to a new blog that I'm looking forward to following...

All Courtney's contributions to the discussions this week have been thought provoking and helpful, but it was the following quote that made me click through to find out more about her.

Relax and accept the fact that your idea of great design may have to be altered a bit. Not given up. Just altered. I still believe that every space can be beautiful and have incredible design. But I also have accepted that some spaces need to be kid zones. And that is the new beautiful. I had to change the way I looked at the mess! Once I began to see that it represents a beautiful life, I was able to let go of some things.

Such a perfect summation of my own feelings.

Courtney's gorgeous little people 

One of her great ideas in action

Love Your Work! Homework station

I was super impressed with this homework station submitted for the Workspace of the Week at Unclutterer Daily - a blog with advice to help you organise pretty much every aspect of your life.

Here's the low down in the words of the Mum/genius who created it...
"We converted a toy room that my children were quickly outgrowing into a homework and craft room. The large table seats three and allows me to pull up a small stool to work with each child."

"All components were sold separately at Ikea and allowed us to customize the desk for three boys. We added a glass tabletop from a local shop for $200. Lots of space to spread out and work on homework. We keep a laptop on a separate corner desk and it is often brought over to the large table when a computer is needed."

"I found that my children often needed to be in my craft room for school projects. Therefore, I combined both rooms and it's working out great."

Such a fantastic family space! If you want to see more views of it click here.


Mum's Corner

Sometimes Mum's just need a few minutes to themselves. A little corner to slip into and regain your calm after the latest debate over "what is an appropriate breakfast food?" or "does bathtime really need to be a daily occurence?" This seems like a good place to take those few minutes.


On my mind... selling on your own

I've noticed a mini-trend in blog land to skip the realtor and sell your own home. First I read that Sherry and John from Young House Love were doing it and now the lovely Leah from House Obsession has put hers on the market.  I guess it makes sense when you've put so much of yourself physically, emotionally and creatively into renovating, decorating and blogging to want to control the sales process too.

When we were searching for our house we visited three homes that were "for sale by owner". As a buyer it was a very different experience to be shown around the home by the current owner. I'd have to say it was a positive one.

While none of them ended up being "the one" for us, we really enjoyed hearing how loved the homes were. How well they functioned for the families that lived there and their own unfulfilled dreams of how it could be improved upon. It made the homes more personal and easier to imagine ourselves in. In one case it almost convinced us to buy despite the home missing a feature on our "must-have" list.

Yet despite the fact we liked the idea of buying without an agent and had a positive experience at viewings, these homes were always less visited than others we saw either by appointment or at open homes. In two out of three cases we saw them re-listed a month later with agents. I hope these two bloggers have greater success with their sales because they've both created stunning homes.

I suppose I can't personally recommend buying or selling without an agent as we didn't end up doing it ourselves, but I really think its worth considering.

All photos of Leah's house in Atlanta... you know in case you want to relocate and give it some love.


On my mind... suburban snobbery

I found this post by Thrifty Decor Chick via Style-ing with Children and it resonated with me so much I had to share it here too.

To paraphrase Sarah, there is a word many television decorators/designers use as something of an insult when critiqueing a space. That word is suburban. They use it to imply that a design is average…just like the next one...normal.

She responds "What’s wrong with normal?" and "to me, more than anything... suburban means A FAMILY LIVES HERE. Why is that so horrible?"

Well I whole heartedly agree with her. Embrace who you are - what you are. I am a suburban mother. My style has changed - evolved - since becoming a mother. It is now more confident, focused, comfortable ... authentic.

I still want my home to be beautiful, but I am not concerned with a lot of the BS that I once was.

FACT - We have stuff. The little person has alot of stuff. He doesn't always put it away. I can do my best with attractive storage solutions, but in the end minimalism is not for our family.

FACT - The little persons toys are not all hand carved wooden beauties. Some are, but he loves anything with a Pixar character on it. They're his toys he's the one who needs to be happy with them.

FACT - We have a television. A big one. We watch it everyday. So what? In all honesty who doesn't??? I used to have a small one in an armoire that I could close the doors and hide, but I never really bothered to anyway. Now it is large, loud and proud in the family room.

I could go on, but the point is this: To me the most important thing about our home is that our whole family can feel relaxed and comfortable here. That it is a place we can truly be ourselves.

That is the sentiment I took from Sarah's post and it made me feel good to know that I am not the only one who thinks authenticity outshines trendy.

All the pictures today are from Sarah's beautiful, suburban home.


Love Your Work! The perfect home?

Well actually no. The following pictures are all from the portfolio of designer Lee Ann Thornton. If you put every room together in the one home it would be as close as possible to my idea of perfection.

The perfect light fixture, flower arrangement and stairs.

Down the hall to the perfect bedroom.

Which uses the perfect colour combination of turquoise, blush and gold.

A perfectly feminine bathroom. (The ensuite is the one room in our home I'm going all out girly decor).

The perfect mix of formality and comfort.

The perfect kitchen cabinets stretching all the way to the stamped metal ceiling and perfect island bench.

The perfect proportions.

A perfectly fun ladder accompanying a perfectly displayed collection. (I have two of those candelabras in my dining room!)

Definitely check out her portfolio and ofcourse she has a blog too - all the best people do ;o)


Love Your Work! Pretty Princess Room

How is this for pretty princess decor? I would have died to have this bedroom growing up. Died!

Love the use of the cot as a daybed and the fabulous armoire. But, lets face it the true fantasy element is the canopy and fairy lights. Nothing says princess like a bed canopy.