I wouldn't say that Jason and I necessarily have the same decorating aesthetic, so our home is the kitchen sink of styles. Modern bohemian, eclectic, mid-century, call it whatever you like, but one thing is for sure, this living room is where most of our family time is spent. And since this is where we make most of our memories, the last thing I wanted was to make it so fancy or clean that Finn felt like he couldn't touch anything. At the same time, I tried to avoid the living room that was taken over by toys and turned playroom look. I think we've done a pretty good job making sure it is equally our space and Finns and I think it still manages to have a sense of cohesiveness, charm, and coziness all at the same time.
[disclaimer: Than you to Lorena Canal for sending us this rug in exchange for an honest review. As always, all views expressed here are my own.]
Here's what I thought about when decorating our favorite room in the house:
Stick to a color palette, and play with textures. One thing that I love when decorating any room is to make it more about texture, and less about color. Matchy-matchy has never been my jam. I've never been a fan of the couch with 2-4 matching pillows on each side. I like to mix a few of my favorite things in the same colors with a different texture that mesh well together. My living room happens to be white and black with pops of natural, in the form of wood or greenery. I do splash in some pops of brighter colors here and there but mainly try and keep true to black, white, tans or browns, and green.
When looking for toys for Finn, I try and stay in the same color palette or find things that have the same accent colors as the rest of the room. This way they don't stand out when scattered across the room. One thing that works well is to curate a stack of kids books in the same color palette. That way the books become part of the decor vs an eye sore.
Less is more. A home should feel lived in and not perfectly clean. But with that being said, it shouldn't feel like you have 6 kids when you only have one. Try and keep the toys in the living room to a minimum. A few balls, a handful of books, and 1-2 toys. I like to rotate his toys every couple of weeks and only keep a few favorites in the living room. Periodically, I'll go through a purge and donate some and I'll swap out the others for some toys in his room and retire some from the living room to his bedroom.
Create a defined space for him. We don't have a play pen or baby gates, Finn has access to the whole living room. The way we are able to achieve this without him getting hurt or drawing all over the furniture is to create smaller spaces within our space that are JUST for him. We use rugs, his gathre mat, and this tee pee to make the living room feel like a play area, but still like an adults live here. He's able to play independently while I fold laundry, send an email, or just enjoy my coffee. All in the same space. He loves reading his books in the morning in his tee pee and in the afternoons, I usually put down our Gathre mat with some crayons or toys on it and Finn knows that's his space to play.
Rugs can make a space feel more like home. Am I right? I love hardwoods but I love the coziness a rug brings to a large space. Nothing beats cuddling up on a cushy rug with some pillows and a fluffy blanket for family movie night or stepping barefoot on a soft cushy rug first thing in the morning. But with a toddler, let's be real...things happen (Photo evidence attached). Finding a bright white or cream rug that fit my aesthetic was purely a dream until I found Lorena Canal's machine washable rugs. You heard me, they make rugs you fit into my own at home washer and dryer- GENIUS! Skip the stress and work of spot cleaning or the million dollar rug cleaning bill and stay home while you clean your rug! Finn can eat, play or just relax on the floor with his favorite snack without a worry from this mama because I know I can fix any stain with a quick stop to our laundry room. Plus it doesn't hurt that they come in so many prints and solids, so you can add design to your living room, no matter your style. These rugs are the overachievers of home accessories and my favorite elements of my home. We fell in love with the style of the Berber Beige and I linked it for you here.
I have a basket problem. (and maybe a Target problem too) I'll admit it, I can't pass up a good basket. We use them in all of our rooms, they have tons of uses; laundry hampers, blanket holders, pillow keepers, and toy wranglers. The baskets can not only help keep things in their place and help your room feel more organized and clean, but they can also bring some style to your space. Stop hiding things in drawers + closets, and go grab yourself some baskets!
Utilize all the rooms unused space. Using your wall for organization clears up the clutter on the floors. I found this awesome wall basket with hooks at target and it's hanging right by our front door and it's perfect. It helps get Finn involved with daily tasks and when I tell him it's time to go somewhere, he goes to the basket, grabs his shoes, and hat and is ready to go!
Distract, distract, distract. This is a tactic I often use when Finn is getting into something he is not supposed to. I'm sure that most parents know this "hey look over here!" tactic all too well. I purposely put things on the fireplace ledge to deter Finn from grabbing the fireplace screen. If the screen was the only thing on the ledge, you know that would be exactly what those little hands would go straight for. All the items on the ledge are kid friendly and if he gets into the poof or the pillows, it's all safe for him to play with.
Lastly, IMHO, you can never have enough blankets pillows and throws. Since my toddler is so mobile, I find myself either chasing him or trying to stop him in his tracks by getting on his level. We spend a ton of time, actually most of our time, on the floor. That's where a soft rug, these pillows and lots of blankets come in handy cause somersaults aren't that fun on hardwood floors, trust me.
Sources and links are below.
Lorena Canal : Washable Rug Berber Beige
Caco & kai : Mexican Blanket/indigo pillows
Fireplace accessories: Similar pillows from Target: here, here and here.
T-nees T-pees: All natural Tee pee
Gathre Playmat: Medium mat in Blanc midi
Toys: Bla Bla kids knit dolls + Melissa & Doug wooden car toys
Target: Links for fireplace basket click here. Links for hanging wall basket here. Links for play area basket here.