A lot of changes occur when you become a parent – From the physical changes within your body, to your almost non-existent social life and depleting bank balance too. Before you know it, dishes are piling up, you can’t move for all of the toys scattered across the floor and up the stairs (just me?) and mount washmore seems to be taking over the house and life! In all of this, and what I can only describe some days as chaos, it can often feel like your house will never look the same again. 

I have a really distinct and bold/funky home style, and there sat day in day out in our neutral lounge, I reached a point where I felt I needed a bit more style to it. Our bedroom is just about done now (post coming soon), and the kitchen too, once I add some prints, but the place where we spend most of our family time just doesn’t have the exciting homely vibe I want from it. As a result, this weekend we cracked out the paint and have begun working on sprucing it up. Whilst we can’t yet afford to fit the much desired wood burner and flooring, painting and a new rug, curtains and accessories mean that it already is feeling a brighter and happier space for us all to enjoy. 

With DIY and home style on my mind right now, here are some simple ideas to keep your home stylish when you have kids trying to undo everything.

Choose a dark colour scheme

When you have a house full of little people, choosing the right colour scheme becomes extremely important! Whether you’re raising a nutty, sticky-fingered toddler, or a careless six-year old (not referring to our kids at all there!), it can be hard to protect your furniture and flooring against the constant mess and spillages they somehow manage to create. I find that no matter how many times we say don’t eat in the lounge, or “take your shoes off” muddy prints and sticky fingers appear in those places.

However one thing I have discovered to help with this is a darker colour scheme  – it can help you to disguise those accidental spills and stains and it is also very on trend and daring (win win)! 

Darker colours such as navy, dark greens or darker patterned wallpapers and dark floral-patterned sofas and chairs, will expertly hide the daily mess kids can create. We recently did this in our kitchen, and I love the navy blue with dark tropical feature wall we went for. It not only brings style and personality to a plain country style kitchen, but it is easy to keep fresh with a young family! 

Invest in clever storage

When raising kids, spills are not the only thing you need to worry about. If you are not careful then clutter also becomes a major obstacle in keeping a home looking stylish, whether this is from all of those toys strewn all over the floor, crafty bits and puzzle pieces everywhere, or just the usual clothing scattered around the house. I find that keeping it tidy can prove extremely difficult if things don’t have a place, and that’s where clever storage comes in useful.

In our old house we had a huge basket hamper in the lounge for all of the toys and it was so useful. Now however they have the Killax storage from Ikea in their rooms with toys themed in various boxes inside. Looking out for stylish decorative storage baskets in thrift shops, homesense or at car boots, are also a great idea to keep toys and books organised, or fold in tights and socks on a shelf.

For the porch or bedrooms then you can also invest in stylish clothes rails and stands from a company such as Cox & Cox , and we find our wooden chest really useful to lob in all the shoes in the porch!

Whatever your home style though, you are sure to find lots of stylish storage options out there which can help keep the home looking neat and whilst bringing a piece of style to the room too.

Pay attention to materials

Fabrics are a quick and easy way to bring style and personality to a home! I currently have a few metres of dalmation looking fabric in my sewing box, awaiting to be made into new cushion covers for the lounge. Its is thrifty and effective and I love how personal it feels to make things for my home!

More recently I dyed the kitchen blind navy and added pink pom-poms. These small and cheap things really bring style to a family home on a budget!

If you are not that crafty, then I would advise that when choosing decorative fabrics and materials, it’s best to stick to things that more resilient and easier to clean than others. Vinyl flooring for example or a leather sofa are especially great choices for the busy family home due to their easy maintenance, affordability and stylish design, and if you can simply wipe away spills, or throw fabrics right in the washing machine, it’s going to help to keep the home looking stylish, clean and lovely with minimal effort.

Rugs are another way to add style and cover up stained carpets or protect wood floors with kids around.

Add some plants

Plants in funky plant pots or baskets, along with succulents, are very stylish right now. You can buy them all over (I just got one on Saturday in Lidl for £1.99) and I have a few in each room (and are on the hunt for more – provided I can keep them alive), but I find that plants are a great way to bring style and joy to any home.

These are just a couple of tips you can follow to keep your family home more stylish and clutter free. The best thing about them is that they require very minimal effort and are thrifty ways to make a huge difference to your life and environment. 

*This is a collaborative post

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Just the other day I joked with my friend on the way home from school, saying that I am so glad that I don’t have to currently go to an office to work. People still laugh and joke with me that what I do from home isn’t a “real job” (or rather they don’t quite get “blogging” – which I am always happy to talk about), but either way I feel very fortunate at the moment to have something I love doing, that is so varied, and enables me to stay at home with my kids whilst they are little and study too!

When I hear about the office politics and remember the ugly chairs and desks I once worked at back in the day, I am grateful that I now work from the comfort of my own home with my own style around me!

Before anyone thinks I am boasting, this post is by no means a criticism to anyone who does work in an office – I recognise that I am fortunate to be in an industry that means I can work from home and make money doing something that I enjoy and that I have built up from a sad chapter of my life – it suits me and it suits our family, and I find it such a blessing and have always seen it as a gift to our family from Poppy (for she was my inspiration for writing it).

Blogging is hard work some days and take a lot of imagination other days – the work isn’t always consistent and I also find that working around young kids has its drawbacks and struggles too, but ultimately I am glad I do it, and that I work from home. I guess what I am saying is that when I hear of the problems Nath feels from his back from spending the day at his desk, or when I think about personally being confined to an office 9-5 like he is, I am rather glad that that isn’t my life right now, and I am incredibly grateful to him for working hard for us whilst I can do my thing at home (or in a cafe with WIFI and cake)!

I fully expect/plan on working when all the kids are in school (and when I have completed my therapy training), but again this work will eventually be me seeing clients in our own home in a purpose built office space (eventually being the key word there) as well as part time elsewhere (I hope).

With all of this in mind I have been asked to share some ideas about #MYChairStyle – a campaign looking at how the office furniture we choose (be it at home or Furniture At Work) is reflective of our personality or we can have it reflect our fave celeb style.

So here is what my dream space would look like (courtesy of Pinterest of course).

My dream office Space 

My dream office space would have to be designed to be a calm and relaxing place. Whilst I love vibrant colours and crazy prints (check out Olivia Nicole Silk’s home office – its ideal), I have to exercise an element of self control to recognise that this isn’t everyone’s taste and that an office space used to offer therapy in also, would need to feel calming to the clients I am seeing.

I have thought a lot about this, and would go for greys or whites, or monochrome with maybe small accents of colour. This way it is calming and cool but holds elements of me too to be happy to work in!

The office furniture would include a desk, bookcases for therapy books and files, and some lovely plants in cool pots! I would need a comfy chair or small couch.

and then the final touch – #MYChairStyle – Well that would of course have to be something like this (I can’t be too conservative!).

*Collaborative post – All images are taken from Pinterest! 

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This post has been drafted for months and I have never got around to publishing it – sorry! It is a little sneaky peak into our home and a look at what we did with our girls bedroom when we moved in last Summer. I am hoping to show you a few more (as and when we add the finishing touches) but as they are both getting older now, and with Alice soon coming out of a cot and most likely into bunk beds, I wanted to show you (and preserve the memory of) their little girls unicorn bedroom!

A Unicorn Bedroom

The kids rooms were the first to be done, and we got them done quite simply and quickly. Ethan has his own room (which I will post about soon) and the girls share. Megan was adamant when we were moving that their room would be pink and unicorn themed – the rest was up to me! I was sure that it would be simple and classic whilst incorporating the unicorns. I most certainly didn’t want big characters everywhere and we didn’t have time or the energy to faff with wallpaper or anything, and so we painted it all pink (from the olive green it once was), knocked out the fitted wardrobe and built in a make shift one using Ikea units! This way it felt fresher, was a better use of space and was certainly more age appropriate for a 1 year old and then 5 year old!

I decided to put their beds opposite to one another and next to the window. It seemed to use the space well and I also wanted Megan to have a side and Alice to have a side as at times she has been known to whine about sharing a room with “a baby”! Alice’s bedding was the cloud set from Ikea – which I felt went well with the unicorn theme, whilst keeping it classic and baby like for Alice! We then painted an Ikea spice rack above Alice’s cot for her few baby books, and a Kallax unit at the end where we put her toys, nappies/wipes and vests in various baskets!

I bought Megan’s bed spread from Primark for about £12 – I liked it because it had a retro feel to it and the pastel colours toned down the unicorns. Above her Ikea bed (which I bought second hand for £30) we put up 2 white ikea picture rails to display unicorn tat and little bits and bobs. This was her favourite part of the room as it was her special place that Alice was too small to reach and tamper with.

I also made a small “princess dress up” zone between the end of her bed and closet area. It was super simple and easy using a rail from Ikea that cost a couple of pounds and adding a mirror that was from our old room over it.

Since moving in and getting settled, and as they have both grown up a little (and Alice can climb up on things) we have had a little shift around in the girls room recently. We have maintained the unicorn them, but dismantled the hanging area to swap over Megan’s bed to that side of the room. She likes her little nook, and an added unicorn garland (£1 from Hobbycraft)!

The shelves that were over her bed now hold lots of books and Alice’s cot lies at a different angle with us building a hanging space in the corner where her book shelf was!

I expect in the next year or so this room will love very different, as we move Alice from her cot and them both into bunk beds. As they grow and need more space, we will also add in a wardrobe and proper drawers and possibly a small desk too for Megan to do homework at!

Our new home is very slowly coming along, and whilst we are not doing any major renovations to it, it is still hard work to put our stamp on it through style and decor. I am full of good ideas and have a colourful home style, however both Mr Smith and I are not that great at DIY and so it never looks as good as I imagine! For now though I am really pleased with this simple unicorn bedroom for our girls and the rooms we have almost finished that feel rather lovely!

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I have felt for a while that I probably need a desk to work from. My blogging jobs are becoming more and more frequent and most days I feel flustered when I have to keep moving from room to room to find a suitable work space. I have commented to Nathan on several occasions recently that what I really need right now is an area to call my own, with space where I can lay out my planner and if needed leave my laptop mid writing. It would also be great to sew on too!

I recognise that it’s impossible to have my own room for all of this, and so the idea is that we find a discreet place in another room to create a space for working and as this years main interiors goal is to do the lounge, we are thinking of finding one that can nicely slot in to the design of that! The last thing I want is an eyesore of a desk taking focus off what the functionality of that room is.

There are 3 I have my eye on that are all really affordable and that I found via Lionshome – a great website where you can search for many furniture items and accessories from various stores all in one place. I loved looking on it because I could easily compare prices from competitors and therefore know I am getting something I love for a reasonable price. Both very important things to me and discovering this site saved me a lot of time too.

So the ones I am considering right now are…

First – the cheapest one at £65.99 (sale price) from VidaXL is this lovely contemporary grey one. I love it because its really simple and stylish and will totally do the job! Its very different to other furniture we have and would be a nice statement piece in our tropical themed lounge! When not in use for work, my stuff can be stored in the 2 little compartments, and it can be used to display pictures and plants on! This one really does appeal to me and at the moment is my fave.

Secondly – This Bel Etage desk from Wayfair at £123.99. I like because its white, simple and would go with other furniture we already have. It’s a rather safe option as isn’t too different and the drawers look useful. It looks as though it wouldn’t take up a huge amount of space either so therefore would blend into the room nicely.

Finally – The more expensive of the 3 and yet one that would be super practical being in the lounge too. I like it for all of the extra storage it would bring to the room, and the fact that it is white, means it will fit in most places. It’s £230.99 again from Wayfair, but my only reservation is that perhaps it will look too overpowering and therefore become a bit of an eye sore to me!

 

I am looking forward to finally getting out lounge done, and finding the right desk for me. Whilst we have other rooms that need touching up and finishing, In some ways the lounge will certainly be the biggest of jobs. Mainly because we would like to fit a wood burner, and are contemplating taking the porch down in order to make the room bigger and better use the space with a corner sofa, and hopefully a desk for me too.

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