Does a current design dilemma have you disgruntled? You’re not alone! Featured in our August Family Homes issue, mom blogger Lela Davidson of After the Bubbly shares her own struggles with finishing out her children’s spaces–and shows that, for busy moms with growing kids, happiness and comfort can be found in a work-in-progress too. Take a moment to read her witty story below.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I scoffed at friendsâ designer nurseriesâtheir carefully coordinated bedding, crib bumpers and diaper caddies. I deemed them commercial, expensive and unnecessary. All I remembered about my own childhood bed was putting my pillow to the head or foot of it on alternating nights. Plus, my mental capacity was tapped with studying the shelf full of books promising to teach me the magic formulas to get my baby to sleep through the night and cause him to nurse only during my non-working hours. It was on a quest for the ideal stroller that I caved to the pastoral charm of Peter Rabbit and his palsâthe kittens, the badgersâ¦ I left the Big Box Baby Mart with two hundred dollars worth of cotton and batting and a whimsical borderâremember those?
Decorating is not my âthing.â When I found out my blog, After the Bubbly,Â would be featured in the August issue of At Home in Arkansas, I thought it must be a mistake. Not only do I not blog about decorating, Iâm also pretty sure there are a few posts out there about my marked lack of talent in this area. Itâs not that I donât want my spaces to be homey and invitingâwho doesnât? I like to buy flowers and accessories, but matching solids and patterns makes me dizzy. I can choose the right color throw, but âthrowingâ it seems to require a doctorate in physics. Give me the infinite combinations of furniture, fabric, and the indecipherable subtleties of paint chips and I am paralyzed. Every time I try to tackle an entire room at once, I feel my head threatening to explode into a zillion pieces. If that happens weâll have to repaint and then weâre back to those cursed paint samples.
In addition to being home dÃ©cor-challenged, Iâm also a bit of a control freak. Designers with their books and swatches make me squirrelly. And Iâm frugal, thrifty even. (Why does fabric trim cost more than actual fabric?) However, what truly dooms my decorating endeavors is my fear of commitment. Oh sure, Iâve been married for sixteen years, but I rarely wear the same shirt for an entire day. (Incidentally this is the same reason Iâll probably never get a tattoo.) Furniture is a big deal. A sofa is not just a place to watch Real Housewives marathons; itâs a ten-year commitment. Tastes change, fabrics change, and what if itâs not really that comfortable once Iâve settled in with my feet up and my laptop on my lap?
Which brings me to the kidsâ rooms. That seems like a project I can handle. Never mind that kids spaces are the most difficult to decorate. All those moving variablesâ¦ Whatâs the perfect color to take a girl from age six through sixteen? Is it pink? Is it lilac? Is itâchocolate? My children live upstairs in what I call the Childrenâs Suiteâtheir own floor complete with private bathrooms and a playroom. Except itâs not really a âplayâ room anymore with dollhouses and coloring books. Now they use it to master Guitar Hero, watch iCarly, and plot my demise and subsequent disposition of assets.
Still, I delude myself with the fantasy: if I could just get the upstairs doneâ¦
My daughter turned ten this summer. I havenât finished decorating her room yet. Itâs mostly done, but I canât seem to tie it in a bow. There is a mirror on the wall that has holes where youâre supposed to weave some lovely-hued grosgrain in an artful way. Or you can do what I did and put some remnant ribbon you had lying around and then just leave it.
Donât get me wrong. Iâm at peace with my somewhat-put-together house overall and the itâll-probably-never-be-FINISHED-finished Childrenâs Suite. Home dÃ©cor is really about comfort and warmth. Nothing makes me feel fuzzier than seeing my daughter asleep in her almost decorated room, cuddled up in the bedding that cost more than my first car, head on a polka dotted pillowâat the foot of her bed.
Lela Davidsonâs award winning essays appear in magazines throughout the country. She is the Editor of ParentingSquad.com and the parenting columnist on http://www.hubpages.com. Read more at AfterTheBubbly.com.
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