DECORATING CHILDREN’S ROOMS – 10 LESSONS LEARNED

SPEARMINT BABY

I ADORE THIS IMAGINATIVE NURSERY FROM SPEARMINT BABY

I Have three kids, Three TEENS to be exact. Ages 15, 17 and 19. They have grown up entirely too fast…their childhoods now tucked into photographs, videos and memories and their young adulthood beckoning…My oldest son is a Freshman in college at UVA and his sister heading to William and Mary this fall. :(

my three wishes came true!!!!

my three wishes came true!!!!

LIVING WITH ME, my children  had no choice but to live in a continually decorated / evolving home. In fact, my daughter’s college essay began with …

…”Coming home to the smell of a newly painted room…was my version of coming home to freshly baked cookies…comforting and familiar. “

What can I say? I LOVE decorating, I love color and once I figured out how (relatively) easy it is to paint a room..there has been no stopping me.

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Leslie

MONDAY MAKEOVER – MASTER BEDROOM – BLUSH AND MINT

MASTER BEDROOM newly PAINTED STEAMED MILK

MASTER BEDROOM newly PAINTED STEAMED MILK

I LOVE TARGET

FOR A MYRIAD OF REASONS…

One of which is that when I am in the mood for a spruce – up or a new SPLASH of color….I can grab a few things at TARGET , inject a new color into my decor and still have money for Groceries!

THE ROOM – THE BEDROOM

THE ANCHOR – MY ANTHROPOLOGIE QUILT

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Leslie

BUILT-IN BOOKSHELVES – TO DO OR NOT TO DO – BUILT-IN BOOKSHELVES ?

OLD HOUSES ARE WONDERFUL

FABULOUS even… and for all of my complaining,(mostly to my husband), and saying that I want to live in a brand spanking new house….it remains that if I am just driving around, the houses that catch my eye are ALWAYS old oneS. With big front porches and maybe some columns and tin roofs…painted white…I guess it is in my blood.

That being said, OLD houses come with a whole myriad of issues….and it takes a very brave AND CREATIVE Soul ( Money doesn’t hurt either! )to undertake the updating and renovation of one. In my old country house we  have pretty much kept the basic structure of our house intact. We were lucky in that only one other family and ever lived in this house, EVER, in its’ 170 year life the property has always been in one family (the Shirley family) , that is ….until the DeVitos came to Country! The Shirley family had updated the kitchen in the 1960,s and by update my guess it that prior to that it was not a built i kitchen but more free-standing stove and countertops. When we updated the kitchen we kept the original floor plan because one thing you will learn very fast is that CHANGING plumbing and electrical is where your big money goes and the SECOND you start to tinker with moving walls and sinks…all those wonderful surprises pop up. You know the old saying..”If it ain’t  broke…don’t fix it!”???

Well,  they were most assuredly talking about OLD HOUSES.

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Leslie

PINK WALLS ARE EVERYWHERE !!!

7 YEARS AGO

When I painted my dining room  which then became my LIVING ROOM

P I N K 

MY LIVING ROOM WHEN IT WAS PINK

MY LIVING ROOM WHEN IT WAS PINK

PINK CLOUD LIVING ROOM

PINK CLOUD LIVING ROOM

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Leslie

COLOR COMBINATIONS – YELLOW AND BLUE

Yellow is my husbands favorite color…

BENJAMIN MOORE - HAWTHORNE YELLOW

BENJAMIN MOORE – HAWTHORNE YELLOW

and Blue is one of mine..

WOODLAWN BLUE

WOODLAWN BLUE

YELLOW AND BLUE
A MARRIAGE MADE IN COLOR HEAVEN

…ADD A LITTLE BLACK AND OR WHITE..A SPRINKLING OF GREY AND WOOD…PERFECTION!

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Leslie

BEANS BIG SCARY ADVENTURE and HYPOTHERMIA IN DOGS

BEAN gave us a big scare today.

He could barely leap over the snow which was deeper than he is tall.

So I (stupidly) let him off leash. He took off and ran through 18 inch deep snow deep into the woods . We could barely get back to get him and almost an hour went by. In preparation for the storm I had read about dogs and hyperthermia and I was so scared he would just stop being able to leap and freeze to death.

(FROM PET MD) TREATMENT FOR HYPOTHERMIA:

Hypothermia can occur in any of the following situations:

  1. Exposure to cold for a long time
  2. Wet fur and skin
  3. Submersion in cold water for long time
  4. Shock
  5. Anesthesia given for a long duration

Immediate Care

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Leslie

SNOWMAGEDDON 2016

HAVING GROWN UP IN NEBRASKA,

where I literally DID walk 10 blocks to school in the snow…

I don’t usually get too worked up about winter weather. But somehow, this year feels different, we have had nearly Spring like temperatures for much of November and December, that I was beginning to wonder if we would segue right into ACTUAL SPRING with no sign of Old Man Winter.

Then the buzz started, the lines at the grocery store, people stocking up and watching the weather channel to see IF we would get  hit and once that was established as a definitive YES…then HOW MUCH. School was cancelled for today late yesterday as they were so certain it would be a biggie. I woke up and went to the gym which was more crowded than I had ever seen it, people thinking like me that they would be getting cosy with comfort foods all weekend, better burn some calories NOW. The first flake fell as I entered the gym and by the time I was finished, our street was no longer visible. It is 11 pm and Cooper is outside on his skis. Maybe this will get old, but right now…this is a BLAST!!!!!

MY OLD COUNTRY HOUSE IN THE SNOW

MY OLD COUNTRY HOUSE IN THE SNOW

BEAN AND CHARLIE SHARE THE LEASH

BEAN AND CHARLIE SHARE THE LEASH

WAIT UP CHARLIE!!!

WAIT UP CHARLIE!!!

WE ARE SUPPOSED TO GET A FOOT OR MORE OVER NIGHT!!!

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WATCH MY INSTAGRAM FEED FOR UPDATES AND IF YOU ARE IN THIS STORM

Untitled

STAY WARM AND STAY SAFE!

Leslie

RECLAIMING THE TIME AND TIDYING UP THE MESS

MY ADVICE OF THE DAY – LIFE IS TOO SHORT

In the old days of decorating…

….defined by me as “before the INTERNET  revolutionized, transformed, demolished…

changed the way we decorate”…

I loved to decorate and could talk, read, learn  about it for hours …but I was not in the majority and was often (affectionately) teased and called “Martha Stewart”.

JENNA LYONS - DOMINO MAGAZINE

JENNA LYONS – DOMINO MAGAZINE



 

In the EARLY 2000’s , I stuck with my beloved magazines for decorating inspiration and advice, I was raising very young children and really did not have time to indulge my passion. More often than not, I would have to wait for a stomach flu to give me time to look at all the beautiful rooms and dream about what I might do…some day..when I have time.

Somewhere, around 2006-2007 that all started to change. It is weird the way it all happened. It is kind of like the first ones who got to the store, got to BUY the store. Some were GREAT and had talent and some, not so much.  Some were genius at marketing themselves while others kept it small and followed the “if you build it” they will come path. And in the early days, which did not last long, it was considered “selling out” to monetize your blog…but like I said, that did not last long. Because right about then….the economy tanked and some of my favorite magazines disappeared…including my beloved newcomer DOMINO, and we all turned more to the internet than ever for guidance.

DOMINO BEST FRIENDS

DOMINO – BEST FRIENDS

Then, seemingly overnight,  the internet exploded with design blogs and stores, and blogs became Stores and Stores started blogs…New babies named Pinterest and Houzz AND INSTAGRAM  were born, You-tube grabbed a hold of the visual learners and we won’t even talk about HGTV and all of it’s relatives. LITERALLY –  You can spend all day, everyday, reading and  watching all the possible things you could do….make, fix, paint, design, ditch, change, love and hate.  I KNOW THIS…BECAUSE I HAVE!

IS IT NOT KIND OF FUNNY THAT THE COLOR OF THE YEAR IS NAMED SERENITY...NOT EVEN JUST A LITTLE BIT???

the colors of 2016…

Colors are now IN or very OUT.…LIKE poor old Marsala… and if they are really really lucky they get to be “the COLOR OF THE YEAR!” !! Lots and lots of money is being spent and made helping people have the perfect house and everybody has the tools they need to become their own decorator – even if they don’t have the time or really – deep deep down don’t really care.

ALL OF THIS HAPPENED IN A RELATIVELY VERY VERY SHORT SPAN OF TIME….

 – AND oh, one more thing …. NOW –  EVERYONE has a book…and I OWN MANY of them…

DOMINO

DOMINO

I categorize my books.THERE ARE the 1. ART BOOKS (My personal Faves), 2. the “HOW TO” books, 3. THE DESIGNER PORTFOLIO BOOKS,  4. The “KEEP IT SIMPLE ” books, and the 5. “COLLECTION of GREAT rooms/EYE CANDY” books. I like many of them…some I even would go so far as to say, I LOVE and have given as gifts….but I do find it pleasantly ironic ….and …..

IT IS NO WONDER THAT THIS  IS THE BOOK WE ARE ALL RUNNING FOR NOW!!!

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing - MARIE KONDO

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing – MARIE KONDO

WHERE AM I GOING WITH ALL OF THIS? WHAT IS MY POINT?

MY POINT IS THIS – In a very very short span of time we have gone from a culture of people who lived and were quite content in our “undecorated” and “un-styled” homes.. And while “keeping up with the Jone’s” is not a new phenomenon…MOST people did not judge themselves as unsuccessful because they did not have an up to trend kitchen or the right color Gray walls. You decorated more for yourself…because for the most part…you would be the only one who saw your home.

Now everyone sees everything.

SHERLOCK

SHERLOCK

You home is where you live. YOU. Not me. It is YOUR home. Fill YOUR home with what makes YOU happy. If you need guidance, look for it, or hire it, but don’t get lost in the looking.GET A FEW GOOD BOOKS…but again, try not to overwhelm yourself.  This, I know is NOT easily accomplished. Sometimes you just need to turn it off.

I spent hours online last night and was frightened to see how homogenous home decor is becoming. And even if they don’t say it, and believe me, some do…there is being touted a RIGHT and a WRONG way…and that, my friend , is the number one killer of creativity.

My goal…my NEW PLEDGE with this blog is to help you find  the YOU in your home. If you have a favorite color…USE IT. FIND YOUR STYLE. It does not matter if it is not “THE COLOR OF THE YEAR”  – Go crazy! IT IS YOUR HOUSE. If you like plaid with stripes and florals with shabby chic faux aged furniture…that is YOUR right. LIKE what YOU LIKE not what your THINK you SHOULD like  or what you think or what they tell you …would make you more HIP to like…like… like… like…we cannot “like” everything!.

Take a break from all of it and find YOUR style and YOUR taste. KEEP IT IN PERSPECTIVE.

LIFE IS JUST TOO SHORT.

This is me and tate. In his nursery that I am sure would now be called "dated and tacky" but you know what - who cares...I don't. In the end, it all went too fast I would love to have back some of that time to go back and not care so much about how it all looked.

This is me and my baby tate. Circa 1996. In his nursery that I am sure would now be called “dated and tacky” but you know what – who cares.!!!!..I don’t. In the end, it all went too fast I would love to have back some of that time to go back . I would give anything to hold him like that again.

XO

Leslie

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.

there is always work to be done. keep moving forward…and when in doubt

love one another. please.

martin_luther_king_jr_by_edwinartwork-d6k52r5

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