April 24, 2012



I think perfect homes are boring.

They lack soul, they lack personality, and they never give off the feeling that happy people live in them. When I set out to create my first home, I thought it had to be all perfect and perfectly color coordinated. Boy what a fool I was! I ended up with a living room with fabrics that we were all afraid to sit on. What use was that? A room that looked beautiful, but that we couldn’t use??

Having said that —  a home that has been ignored, poorly designed, or not designed at all is worse. A great home in my mind has style to spare, shows who lives in it, and makes sure that every single room is user friendly for all family members and visitors.

Here are a few tips how to create a home you can live your life in!

The Pagoda headboard in my bedroom will withstand anything!  It’s attached to the bed frame so it won’t bang against the wall when Luke and his friends are jumping on it. It’s upholstered in a chenille velvet,which is super easy to clean and will not wear easily.

The fabric and the design is sturdy enough to withstand…

…impromptu birthday picnics, karate fights, moonlighting as a trampoline and crazy stunts!

Do you have pets, running children or lots of visitors? High traffic areas?

Surely you don’t want a wool silk carpet.

In our living room there is constant traffic. Kids and pets and visitors are here daily. To protect the floor from being ruined by dog claws and cat scratches I have an extra large thick basket weave sisal that covers most of the floor.

Here is Lola ( Jenny my former assistants dog)  happy to visit and roll on the carpet.

A wide black border keeps it elegant and not bland.

A white cowhide on top adds a bit of style.

White??

Yes, surprisingly cowhides never get dirty, and are easy to wipe and clean with any kind of spill.

Anyone can visit, run or scratch here.

Tired of the cat scratching your pieces? Or worried when your guest is swinging that wine glass just a little too much? Quietly wishing they would have sat down in another chair. Waste of energy!

Instead of making a room off limit to guests and pets, add slip covers that are easy to pull off and clean. When your lifestyle changes, remove it and you’ll have  a new chair!

Does your home have a dining room? Is it the most unused room in the entire house? Thought so.  It’s hard to drag people from the kitchen table!

This is my brother’s home in Sweden below.

His unused dining room is now his formal office.

And for celebratory occasions, it easily becomes the perfect buffet or dining table.

EVERY ROOM SHOULD BE USED!

If your home is designed right, you will use every room, every day.  No room should be off limits. Kids should be able to play on the floor, guest should be able to stay overnight last minute, pets should be able to share the space, yet your home  should still feel cozy and chic.

Even in disarray your space should feel welcoming.

Because after all we live in our homes.

None of is live like the pictures in magazines.

That would be too boring.

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9 Comments

  • Comment by Kristy Swain — April 24, 2012 @ 6:43 am

    Great post! I agree. It can be a tough balance. Right now, I have a light colored sectional in the family room and the conflict is that the kitchen is open to it, but I want no food or drinks on or near that sectional. When we have a group over, that is hard to police – especially with kids who carry food all over. Argh. Otherwise, the home is pretty liveable and every space used. Thanks for the thought provoking post!

  • Comment by livelikeyou — April 24, 2012 @ 7:07 am

    HI Kristy, how are you? Have you thought of scotch guarding your sectional? It works surprisingly well!

  • Comment by Jenny Kersting — April 24, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

    I love this! Your home is gorgeous. The headboard is killing me. Going to google it now.

  • Comment by Kathleen — April 24, 2012 @ 4:11 pm

    I tend to decorate how I think I "should" or how I think people expect me to – stylish but very tailored which is how people perceive me. The funny thing is that I really want it more feminine and whimsical (how I perceive myself) but every time I try to make a change I get talked out of it (this week I wanted to purchase a wonderful vintage pink couch!). So for me living life and decorating isn't about the having more durable or livable surfaces. It's about being true to who I really am at this stage of life even in the face of opposition. I'm single with a son away at college so I'm not sure why I give other peoples opinions so much weight over mine! So my new project is how to inject some feminine whimsy (including pink and purple) into my turquoise and green very mid century modern house while still remaining elegant and stylish all on a budget. I really am a bit of a minimalist so I just can't really add a bunch of accessories. First step – adding in two Dorothy Draper black and gold Espana chests (my best thrifting score yet!) to replace a MCM credenza in the living room. Then a black and white chevron rug and bright floral drapes.

    Sorry for writing a book. The topic really resonated with me. I'm inspired by your colorful decorating and enjoy reading your blog!

  • Comment by livelikeyou — April 24, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

    Hi Kathleen, thanks for commenting. Buy the pink couch! Your home is for you to do what you want with. Sounds like you're creating a really fun space.

  • Comment by Danielle@freshquince — April 26, 2012 @ 7:01 am

    Love your brother's pink sofa…how fun! Great post too…I try to steer clear of the slob look ;), heehee!

  • Comment by Swoon Worthy — May 7, 2012 @ 2:11 am

    Billiant post and totally agree. I just bought a white cowhide rug as well and have been a little afraid to walk on it even though I'd read before they were easy to keep clean. Nice to know they are indeed pretty resilient so I don't need to be in fear everytime someone brings a cup of tea into the room!

    Love your home and all the bright colours – looking to inject the same kind of fun into my own home! xxx

  • Comment by Charles — September 27, 2012 @ 8:31 pm

    But having the perfect home is one way to live a great life. That's easier said than done though. It's surprisingly tough getting the right combination of furnishings, colors, decor, and even carports in perth.

  • Comment by Reniel — August 8, 2013 @ 3:09 am

    Dog is such an animal on which we can belief and provides us security also. But some dogs are there who are barking and disturbs very much while Iranian dogs are not barking at all. That is a great thing about the dog that it is not barking here security purpose little bit hampers. Both the word Iran and Iranian are related to each other that provides an information about the Iranian people and the leaving animals present there.
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