Monday, February 8, 2010

boy oh boys

Growing up in a family of all girls I could never have imaged the life in store for me. After twenty years of marriage, a wonderful husband and two incredible sons; 16 and 18, I feel blessed. My house on a daily basis might have two boys (young men) or twenty. As a designer and a stylist I love for things to look a certain way. BUT, and it is a big but…I’ve given up some of my interior wants for a stress free existence (I’m only talking interiors). Because, at the end of the day, or during the day, I refuse to worry about furniture or my interiors. Here are some suggestions that have worked for me.


Leather: I love linen, the lighter the better but not in this house, not with teen-agers. Distressed leather has become my old faithful; it’s practically indestructible. In the past when one of my sons carved his name in the leather with his fingernail, I was able to rub the evidence out. Spills of every beverage know to man have occurred but are long forgotten .Because my leather is dark, I’ve opted for white walls, I love the contrast…Benjamin Moore white…  hand prints on ceilings, walls and baseboards can easily be washed off (Mr. Clean miracle sponge is another of my all time favorite cleaning tools). The leather backdrop gives me the opportunity to add any color accessory for an added pop. Light blue pillows made with a sunbrella type fabric look as clean as the day I picked them up. Which brings me to another great tool…Performance Fabrics: They aren’t just for outdoors anymore. I use them for sofas, chairs, pillows, etc. There are so many options now a day. I love their durability and I love not having to worry about spills or shoes marks on pillows. They clean up so well, Patterns, florals, solids are all available and affordable.

Kid friendly furniture is another must for stress free living with boys. When I say kid friendly I mean furniture that has been around for a while that has lots of history, lot’s of character. Take for example my farmhouse kitchen table, I picked it up at the Brimfield flea market for $150.oo. It has cracks and dings and spots all over it. But, it looks great and I never, ever, ever worry about scratches, hot pans, run off crayon marks from my nieces or red wine stains.

Sometimes I look at magazines longingly , wanting that certain look and feel; quite different from what I have and then one  son walks into the room juggling fruit and the other is sprawled out on the couch eating salsa and chips and I think…I love my house…
Mitchell Gold distress leather sofa and sunbrella covered fabric pillow allow for stress free living. The small stools are from Brimfield and are my modern day tv trays ($25 each).
My Brimfield farmhouse table that has endured so much but looks so great.

24 comments:

jules @ The Diversion Project said...

Gorgeous home you have there Kelly. I think decorating with a house full of males is really tricky (experience talking here), and you've done a fab job!

jules :)

Kifus said...

I agree with Jules above. You have a lovely home. Even children proof homes can be beautiful. With 8 children you can imagine that white is quite out of the question at home. I opted for dark green faux leather for the sofa and it works just fine for me. I love white rooms but I've learned to enjoy them in pictures!

A Country Farmhouse said...

Hi Kelly, Your home is just beautiful. And I can appreciate keeping in mind the 'boy' factor while decorating. I don't have sons but I do have a husband that I believe to be accident prone. This causes some alarm when he brings red wine into the living room. ; ) Trina

Drømmeslottet said...

Hello! What a beautiful house you have!! I love your combinations of leather and kid friendly furnitures, this is something I also try to have in my house and I found a lot of inspiration in your pictures. I have a girl 3 and a boy 6 and they leave marks all over the place, and as you said it is much easier to clean a leather sofa than a linnen one. I have two big dark brown leather sofas and some years ago I dreamt of changing them, but now with two kids i am so glad i didnt! Thanks for the inspiration, you have now got a new follower from Norway. Have a good day!

Dawn-Hydrangea Home said...

Gorgeous finds! I have ALWAYS wanted to go to Brimfield. It sounds amazing - I think this will be the year I get there! Your home is beautiful.

Linda said...

Just discovered your lovely blog! I love your finds- especially the shoe rack- can't wait to read more!

Cottage Dreamers said...

What good advice! With 5 kids, I need it.

I am loving your blog!

Elizabeth (blue clear sky) said...

I so agree about the leather! I have two boys and tons of nieces, nephews and greats and the leather is a way better option for us. I love white denim slipcovers, and have a few on chairs because they can wash, but give me leather any day! I'm off to check out more of your blog. I like your style!

McCarthy Designs said...

Hi Kelly, I have just found your blog and love your house. I am looking forward to reading through all of your posts.
xx

Dreamy Whites said...

Hi Kelly
Just found your blog via Lori at frugal farmhouse design (I just love her) You have a beautiful home. I can't wait to follow your blog.
Take Care,
Maria

Dreamy Whites said...

Hi again,
I just had to tell you I have a sister who has 8 children and they are all BOYS!
Take Care,
Maria

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

...You nailed it! But I didn't listen. 4 teens and a huge dog...and I am doing the bleach the white duck slipcover shuffle. But this house was soooo dark...I said screw it, I'll bleach. There are days though....there are days...oy!

Beautiful table...beautiful everything!

Playing Sublimely said...

Oh my...I love things here :)...nice to meet you!
Amy

angela walker jewelry said...

Just found your blog and I love your house... Your farm table is to die for!

the gardeners cottage said...

Everything looks gorgeous. And boy can I relate. After having raised 3 sons I'm so loving my white slipcovers more than ever!

Jenni @ nest to keep said...

Your home is beautiful, and it was so nice to read your ideas on how to decorate with things/in ways that incorporate well with children and teenagers, because that is where I am right now! Wanting things to look a certain way, but trying to keep it real! :) (Basically trying to find a good balance between the two!) I am so excited to have found your blog!

Have a good night!

TheVirginiaHouse said...

Perfect for me with a 3 year old and 1 year old boys and more to come! I love your idea's and thoughts on this. I too love things that aren't very practical, but settle for things that I still like but sensible too. Thank you!

j u s t i m a g i n e said...

wow I love your home, I love the feeling it exudes and I am thinking I would love to live there too !! :) so glad I stumbled upon your blog !

Vanessa said...

I simply adored this room! Beautiful!! Best! Vanessa

thedomesticfringe said...

I love your house and I love that you live in it. I'm in a debate with myself now about what type of sofa to buy. I love light fabric (especially white), but with a couple of kids, a dog, and a husband, it will stay light for about three minutes and I'll have a heart attack at the first spill. I think you've talked me into leather!

Thanks for your great advice.

-FringeGirl

Anne Marie said...

I really like how simple your style is, how relaxing - and being that I have 5 kids, I'm going to look around some more for some inpsiration - such as the photos your chose for this post - and I too *love* Tricia's style......

Melissa said...

I just found your blog and am just loving it! This post especially caught my attention, as it's me, my husband and my 2 year old son. I would kill for an all white/linen-y/khaki house, but alas, it's not in the cards. I love your home though, and as I debate a new couch, I'm wondering if I shouldn't get a distressed leather couch to match my leather chair that I already have. Your pictures may have inspired me to do just that! (that way I can change up pillows all.the.time - fun!)

sanjeet said...

I opted for dark green faux leather for the sofa and it works just fine for me. I love white rooms but I've learned to enjoy them in pictures!
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sara @ it's good to be queen said...

thanks so much for this post. i have 3 boys and can't keep our couch clean to save my life.