Maybe it’s because I know the behind-the-tour story, but I can’t help but look at this home, sigh a little, and think to myself that it’s such a perfect space to bring home a new baby. And that’s exactly what Linda and her family are planning to do – preferably not today or tomorrow, but soon! This blogger and Etsy shop owner (have you seen her cake stands?) is on strict bed rest at 34 weeks, and is hoping that her baby girl will grow a little bigger before her arrival. Until then, picture her calmly yet anxiously waiting in this home: clean, clutter-free, super organized, and crisp white with happy dashes of color everywhere you look. Enjoy this refreshing tour, Friends, and please send your best “Gain some weight, baby girl!” wishes.
Q: Please tell us about the family who is lucky enough to live here!
A: Hi there! We’re a family of three, soon to become four. My husband, Greg, is a firefighter, and I am a blogger and Etsy shop owner. Our almost-four-year-old son, Drew, is equal parts mischievous little boy and artsy, sensitive old soul. Baby Girl will be coming in May (or sooner!) and I know she’ll bring with her more love and chaos than we could ever imagine!
Q: How did this house become your home?
A: We fell in love with this home as soon as we saw it. However, unbeknownst to us or our agent, it already had a contract on it. We couldn’t believe that this perfect-for-us home might belong to somebody else. As often happens, though, the previous contract fell through and here we are! There was a lot of work to be done on the home, but the resulting sense of ownership and accomplishment have made it all worthwhile.
Q: What makes you love where you live?
A: I actually grew up in this neighborhood, and love how it’s close to my family and many of our friends. The neighborhood has lots of trees, sidewalks, trails, and a lake, which makes it perfect on those gorgeous days when you just want to be outside.
Q: You work from home with a little one around, as many of do! How do you balance your time and attention, and make sure everyone is getting as much as they need?
A: Working from home is always a balance. No matter how much you love what you do, when you work from home, it can be hard to switch gears and turn off work. Fortunately, having a three-year-old around solves that problem; they never let you get too consumed by your work! I have lots of help nearby, which helps so much. I also try to work smart by scheduling posts in advance, getting work done before my son is awake, and making work a family affair when possible. My son loves to help us pack up Etsy orders. He bubble wraps every toy and book he can get his hands on!
Q: How would your son explain what you do?
A: Because I’m around and available all day, my son doesn’t really consider me as working – and most of the time, I don’t either! He does know that I make things and ship them and spend a lot of time in front of the computer, but I really try to involve him in it all as much as possible. I hope to convey to my kids the importance of loving what you do, no matter where you work or what you do.
Q: How would you describe your style? Has it changed since adding your son to the mix?
A: Our style has definitely evolved since having a child, and am sure will evolve even more once our second comes along! I think our style is a bit contemporary and a bit eclectic and hopefully very comfortable and livable. Since adding a child, we’ve added LOTS of baskets, lots of slipcovers, empty surfaces ready for play, and lots of inexpensive, washable rugs. There are definitely concessions we’ve had to make along the way. Like that beautiful coffee table vignette in your dreams? Not practical when your son wants to race cars around the coffee table. But there are lots of styles that work for both parent and child.
We have a lattice rug in the kids’ room, for example, that turned out to be perfect for train tracks, race tracks, or to build a neighborhood upon. It’s become one of my son’s favorite play places!
Q: When does your home work best? Is there a favorite space each of you has when you need time to yourselves, and is there one that’s best for spending time together?
A: We use every inch of our home, and different areas definitely have their different purposes. We are putting our two kids into the same bedroom, so that I’ll still have my craft room for Etsy work, being creative, and my personal time. Our son loves to make art or play-doh projects at the kitchen table or on the coffee table, and we love to read cozied in one of our beds.
Our home really works best when it’s organized and streamlined; when we all know what goes where and our son can help in the clean-up process. It gives him a sense of ownership and pride in his belongings.
Q: What do you hope your design choices will teach your son and almost-here daughter? Do you put thought into what you bring into your home?
A: I’d love to think I’m teaching my child that beautiful, comfortable surroundings can be functional. More importantly, I hope he’s feeling that he is just as important a part of this household as my husband and I are.
We love to display Drew’s art around the home, and have his belongings organized so that they’re accessible, functional, and manageable. Hopefully, we’re also teaching him that less is more, and that our home works best when it’s less cluttered with excess things.
Q: What is your absolute favorite part about living with your son? What has surprised you the most about it all?
A: Living with my child has taught me the importance of letting go and enjoying my surroundings. It’s not really about how beautiful and coveted something in your home is; it’s about being able to enjoy what you have.
I love that I’ve had to get creative with how to make this home work best for us. Everything from choosing flooring, to creating art, to decorating and displaying and organizing, really is done with my little person in mind. Surprisingly, though, we’ve ended up with something much more creative, much more personable, and much more us that we could’ve imagined!
Q: Please finish the sentence: I wish someone had told me…
A: …that having kids doesn’t stifle your creativity; it just challenges you to think outside the box. And also this simple rule of happiness: “Do more of what makes you happy and fulfills you, do less of what doesn’t.” It relates to our home decor, our families, our free time…and yet we seem to spend so much of our time doing the opposite.
Linda, I love your thought about how living with your son – and keeping him in mind when decorating your space – made you much more you than you could have ever imagined. It’s like that, isn’t it? Kids have a way of showing us who we truly are! Now, get back to resting and please tell your baby girl to do the same. We will be happy to see her when she’s a bit chubbier! Good luck, Linda, and please keep us posted!
Friends, if you have any cheerful bed rest stories to share with Linda, I’m sure she would love to read them. And if anyone is in the mood for all things pregnancy and childbirth, there’s a lovely collection right here.