Motherhood comes with many changes and adjustments to your lifestyle and perspective on life, and those usually go hand-in-hand with some necessary practical changes. As a designer and decorator, I am heavily influenced by my instinctive maternal side. However, I always try to strike a balance between the needs of children, and a particular style. Here are a few ways that motherhood has influenced my designs, and style choices I’ll never budge on.
Consider the Practicality of a Design
When designing a new layout of a kitchen or family room, I am always thinking about what a family needs. This might be something simple like keeping the garbage near the sink so it’s easy to scrape of plates after a big family dinner, to installing convenient closets and cabinets to give toys and other debris a place to live. There are several ways to make a home more efficient and I am continually adapting this.
Safety Should Always Come First
Being a mother opened my eyes to possible dangers in the home. So when I am designing a new space, I am always conscious of the possible safety issues for children. This may mean the heights of surfaces or the concealment of wires, but safety is always a big concern of mine.
Selection of Materials
Choosing materials that are durable and easily cleaned are a priority when working on a family home. It is always important to be cognizant of the amount of traffic a space will have and whether certain materials are better suited for high traffic areas or not. I also try to use materials that will stand the test of time and will hold up to spills and stains.
Neutral Wall Colours Are Key
When decorating children’s rooms I often side with neutral colours. This way the room can grow with the child and can be transformed into different spaces as the child gets older.
My Approach to Accessorizing
I always think that making small changes in a home can completely change the aesthetic. As your child gets older, their personality and style will change. Instead of painting the walls a different colour or replacing the floors, simply swap out the accessories to suit their new style.
Organization is Essential
An organized home makes for a happier home, in my opinion. This doesn’t necessarily mean a clean and tidy home, but a house that has a place for everything. This way you and your family can work together to keep things in place and looked after. This also helps when your rushing out of the door, if you know where things are it can make for an easier life.
Creating Less Clutter
Having four children means we have a lot of clutter (it’s impossible to avoid). But my suggestion to people undergoing a renovation is to try and keep the clutter at a minimum. This has also influenced me when it comes to styling, less is more.
Embracing Wabi Sabi
Sometimes you have to admit defeat and embrace the fact that things will be succumb to wear and tear. But instead of just dealing with it, try to embrace it and appreciate the beauty of a material changing over time and use. It can help reduce your stress levels and make your home more welcoming.
Making Wise Investments
When buying the larger items in your home it is always best to go with the best you can afford. Choosing well made furnishings and finishes can make your home more durable and kid friendly. These items should also last longer and therefore be economical in the long run.
Whenever I am decorating a room for a child or young adult, I ensure that they are part of the process. It is amazing what children will come up with, some ideas are fantastical but most are very interesting. Trying to incorporate the personality of those who will inhabit the space is key to any design.
Motherhood does change the process of designing a space, but it doesn’t have to be the only driving force. Remember, it can be beautiful and kid-friendly at the same time.