Living With Kids: Karin Katherine

May 7, 2013

By Gabrielle.

I gasped when I saw the first few photos of Karin‘s backyard. And then I gasped even louder when I learned that five kids live here. By the time I reached the part about all five kids being homeschooled in this wonderland, I finally remembered to cover my mouth! Which was a good thing, because the next shot was of the most gorgeous ceiling I’ve ever seen in a living room. Friends, when Karin says she’s addicted to the details, she is telling the truth. And, truth be told, I’m addicted to her details, too.

Make sure you tear your eyes away from the gorgeous photos and read her thoughts about being a mother and wife and home educator. They are equally gorgeous.

Q: Tell us who lives in this stunning home!

A: Welcome! I live in Sunny South Florida with my Road Warrior CEO husband, our five children (twin boys and three girls), four tortoises, five Koi fish, and a Labradoodle named Bunker. Our children are ages nine, nine, seven, five, and two, and we’re currently homeschooling them.

Before you ask, yes, they’ve always been homeschooled and no, I don’t know how long we will homeschool them. But right now, homeschooling works for our family and we love everything about it! In addition to being a home educator I am also a blogger, writer, and our family’s head party planner.

Q: How did this house become yours?

A: In some ways our home was a dream come true, and in other ways it was a nightmare that seemed like it would never end.

We were blessed to work with an architect to completely design the house for our family from the ground up. Unfortunately our build experience was traumatic (to say the least!) and we ultimately had to move out of our home for six months while extensive repairs were done on the house. Our second builder was amazing to work with and, after a year of being back in the house I can truly say we have finally gotten past the negative and honestly love the home we’ve been lucky enough to build for our family.

I love our home because it’s extremely kid friendly. There isn’t a single room that our children are not allowed in. As if I could keep them out!

Although I am not formerly trained, I have decorated every home we’ve ever lived in. In this house, because it was custom built, I was able to select every interior design element from baseboards and crown moulding to faucets and sinks, marble slabs, flooring, paint colors, and furnishings.

Because the Road Warrior travels so much, I specifically tried to create a home that would be inviting, calming, and aesthetically interesting. I wanted our home to be a haven for him. I can honestly say it has become a haven for all of us. Whenever we return from a trip I am always struck by how inviting our home seems, and I breathe a deep happy sigh of contentment.

Q: Describe your neighborhood for us, and share why your home all works for your family and your life as you’re making it.

A: We live in a gated golf course community filled with children, snow birds, and professional golfers. The location is fantastic and conveniently located to the airport, which suits the Road Warrior just fine.

I’m a warm weather girl at heart, so South Florida appeals to me and our barefoot loving children. It took the Road Warrior exactly one winter to fall in love with the area and I don’t think he will ever tire of seeing palm trees swaying in the breeze.

We tried to capture the tropical side of Florida in our landscaping. There is something magical about picking your own bananas and star fruit in the backyard.

Q: We’ve got to talk about the details. The ceiling, the floors, all the pieces that make us wish we’d gone a different route with our own decor! Where do you find your inspiration, and how do you execute it?

A: Thank you! I’m a very detailed oriented person, so my decorating style usually embraces the details.

I generally decide on an overall feeling, and then I focus on one element that I can then build the room around. In our living room with the wood beams and painted ceilings, it started with the fireplace which was inspired from a picture in a magazine. From there I wanted the contrast of the distressed built-in cabinets against the stone floor from France.

The ceiling was inspired from the fabric I used on the ottoman. Once it was hand-painted I had the faux painters throw random plaster on it and sand it to really age it and make it look perfectly imperfect.

Although most of the wood trim in our house is white, I felt the living room windows would look best if they were stained dark. It really frames the outside view of our pool and backyard, and makes a dramatic effect when you walk into the house.

In our dining room the architect designed a Triple Groin Ceiling which I really wanted to be the focus in the dining room. Our dining table seats ten, but our dining room itself is narrow. The ceiling is a dramatic touch that draws the eyes up and makes the room appear larger than it is. The mirrors along the back wall of the dining room (from Ballard Designs catalog; I love mail order!) also help to make the room appear larger.

I used a very talented kitchen designer to design the kitchen cabinetry, but I brought her an antique piece of tile that I found that we used as the inspiration for the kitchen. The cabinets are by William Oh’s, and the stain is one we used in our last home in Pennsylvania. I know what I like!

Q: Five kids live in this home, yet it doesn’t look like chaos reigns. What are your secrets?

A: I’m a little embarrassed to tell you that I’ve set our house up in zones, and everything has to stay in its zone. That means outside toys stay outside, the playroom and school room toys stay in there, and bedroom toys stay upstairs.

Q: How did you decide to homeschool?

A: Homeschooling is not something we planned; it’s something we fell into. I’m not one of those mothers who thinks homeschooling is the only way. It’s simply a way that works for our family right now. There are hard days and wonderful days. Just like parenting. And I wouldn’t trade a single moment.

Q: You’ve got a wonderful blog. Tell us all about your hopes for it, and also about why you named it Trophy Mom.

A: Trophy Mom Diaries is a sort of tongue-in-cheek name based upon the fact that I am the second wife to a man 15 years older than me. In some circles that would make me the Trophy Wife. However, the joke with my husband has been that I’m more the Trophy Mom because I dote on the kids more than him!

With Trophy Mom Diaries I hope to create a lifestyle blog for modern moms that encourages women to not allow themselves to fall into stereotypes, but to embrace their unique talents and gifts and apply it to motherhood and their family’s life. For example, I’m a homeschool mom but I love fashion. I have five children, yet our house isn’t decorated in primary colors and plastic.

To me a Trophy Mom is a someone who gives motherhood her all without sacrificing her own sense of style, wonder, and interests. It can all be applied to motherhood and homemaking, and I think your kids and family will be better off for it. Give them the best you. The prettier you. The more confident you. The creative you. Don’t give them the put upon, resentful, exhausted, three-day old oatmeal crusted sweatpants version of you. They deserve better and so do you!

Q: With five kids, how do you carve out time for each one, individually?

A: When we had the twins we thought, “Oh, we have to make sure they are embraced as individuals so we should make sure we go out sometimes with only one of them.” However, they didn’t like that. They didn’t like being separated. So we thought, “Oh that’s just a twin thing.”

But when our daughter came along, she didn’t like being away from her boys. So we had a little trio, and as they have gotten older they’ve been mistaken as triplets even! By the time we got to the fifth kid, we really thought they would appreciate some alone time with us, but the truth is they don’t. Now we try to do boy things with Daddy and girl things with Mommy, and that seems to work better because they always have a sibling with them which they seem to prefer.

I think because they are homeschooled and spend a lot of time with us, they get whatever one-on-one time they need in the conversations they have with us. I also try to cook with just one child at a time (because it’s less messier and stressful!) and that seems to fill their tank, too.

Q: Although there has to be enough room in the house, how to you give them their space?

A: I fully embrace and promote the concept of Quiet Time once they’ve outgrown nap times. Quiet time is from 1:00 to 2:30 pm in our home. Every child goes to his or her own room, and either reads or sleeps in their bed. There is no other option. You read or you sleep, and you’re alone.

Interestingly enough, the boys have their own rooms but choose to sleep together in one son’s room. The girls each had their own room until our fifth came along. Now the two oldest sleep in the same room, and the youngest sleeps alone in the room she is to share with her middle sister. Clearly my kids have their own strong opinions of where they sleep and with whom!

Q: Do you think about how a room is going to be used by your family when you’re decorating?

A: I absolutely think about function before design when it comes to our home. The living room was mean to be a sitting room for adults and a place to read. The kitchen doubles as a place for science experiments, and the lanai is where we do a lot of our crafts, co-op classes, as well as many dinners with friends.

Q: What has been your favorite part about living with your own kids? What do you already miss?

A: My kids are truly fun to be with. I love the things they say. I love their curiosity about nature. I love learning alongside them and seeing their faces when they discover something new. I love that they are truly friends and that our family’s lifestyle promotes that.

I miss their baby stage. If I could go back and have a do-over, I would have embraced the baby stage more. I think I was in survival mode as I was trying to figure it all out, and I wish I could have just enjoyed it and not worried about figuring it out.

Q: Please finish the sentence: I wish someone had told me…

A: I wish someone had told me that kids are resilient, and you cannot ruin them for life by making one parenting mistake.

–-

Thank you, Karin! You made Design Mom look so pretty today. And your afternoon Quiet Time ritual sounds lovely, especially when swishing palm trees and the sound of the pool’s waterfall are thrown in! May we all visit?

Friends, I love how Karin chooses function before design, even though at first glance it looks the opposite. And although it does sound like a lot of work, there’s something to be said for hand-picking absolutely everything in your home as it’s being crafted. I’m hoping we can do that – but nightmare free! – for our French cottage! Have you ever built a home from the ground up? Was it difficult narrowing down your choices, or did you choose one focal point at a time like Karin did? I need your expertise!

P.S. — Take a peek at all the homes in my Living With Kids series here. And if you’d like to share your own home with us, just send me a note! It’s a lot of fun…I promise!

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Just Moms » Blog Archive » Living With Kids: Karin Katherine
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Love this idea for kids work etc! Living With Kids: Karin Katherine | interiors-designed.com
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{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Becca Lloyd May 7, 2013 at 11:12 am

Can I come to her next dinner party?

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2 Maria B May 7, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Just gorgeous. I’m really impressed with the mixing of patterns and textures. As someone with absolutely no gifts in that area, I’m totally jealous of the ability! Beautiful home!

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3 PARIS BEE kids blog May 7, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Wow, wonder woman! She makes it look so easy! And I love the corkboard walls. That’s one I will definitely copy!!

xoxo PARIS BEE kids blog

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4 Christy@SweetandSavoring May 7, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Drooling over here! I would LOVE to stay in a house like that. She’s clearly worked very hard to make it what it is today.

I liked what she said about the kids wanting to be around their siblings- and quiet time is such a smart rule.

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5 Amy May 7, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Wow!!

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6 Azra May 7, 2013 at 12:31 pm

What a beautiful home! I love the details and outside of the house. Certainly, it looks like a paradise and kids must be in heaven.

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7 Christy May 7, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Gorgeous home and seems like a lovely family.

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8 Sunshine May 7, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Gorgeous mama, gorgeous home, gorgeous kiddos! What I am loving even more though is digging into her blog and seeing what an amazing (and real!) mama she is. Love a fellow homeschooling mom, who is choosing not to loose herself, but to nurture herself and give her very best to her family. Precious. Thank you for sharing Karin!

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9 KelliO May 7, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Wow! What a house! I love those cork walls. Also loved browsing her blog to discover a beautiful person. Thanks Karin and Gabrielle!

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10 thyme (sarah) May 7, 2013 at 2:13 pm

My goodness. Such gorgeousness. I homeschool too, but a few states over in Texas. I would have loved to be in her C0-op! Pool parties galore.

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11 sw May 7, 2013 at 2:17 pm

I love how this series mixes it up with all sorts of abilities and styles. So much we can learn from each other. The quote that got me thinking is “Give them the best you. The prettier you. The more confident you. The creative you. Don’t give them the put upon, resentful, exhausted, three-day old oatmeal crusted sweatpants version of you. They deserve better and so do you!” I am simultaneously inspired and frustrated when I read this. . .But it has definitely made me ponder–many thanks!

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12 becky May 7, 2013 at 3:42 pm

I love all of the different styles in this series. I’ve always been a big fan of individual style and interpretation. I only get judgy when people are living in homes that have no sense of self or purpose or are hyper-designed by someone else. She nails this so beautifully and having spent a lot of time in Florida – I appreciate the soothing tones, the wood – all the more shadowy, muted tones that give you a bit of respite from all of the tropical sun. What a wonderful house and I love their family and story as well!

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13 Amber May 7, 2013 at 4:05 pm

[ Note from Design Mom: Amber requested that her comment be removed. ]

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14 Kate L. May 7, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Hang in there, Amber!

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15 Erin May 7, 2013 at 5:30 pm

I agree, Amber, and I’m sure Karin would too. If a mom in three-day-old crusted sweatpants is doing her best and loving her children whole heartedly, that’s what they’ll remember her for and that is “her best self”. So if you’re in a stage where you can only focus on a few important things, know that you’re not alone!

It was fun to see this beautiful home.

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16 Jen (Balancing Beauty and Bedlam) May 7, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Amber – any of us moms can relate, and we all go through those times. Remember that we are more than just meal makers, fight breaker uppers and home work checkers, even though often it feels like it. In those times when we are mustering up the energy to just get out of sweatpants, we are also instilling so many amazing qualities at the same time: Weaving dreams and leaving a legacy, even when it doesn’t feel like it. Knowing Karin personally, I know she would say the same thing. She has a heart of gold and her desire is that we all see the long term influence that this gift of mothering has on our kids whether that’s in a gorgeously decorated home or one with piles of laundry every where (mine ):) We still can create that haven. Hang in there!!

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17 {darlene weir} @ fieldstonehilldesign.com May 7, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Karin, you have created a beautiful home. I LOVE how you put your family first in every way, and that shows. Sometimes, I tire of seeing all of these GORGEOUS homes in magazines that seem impossible to live in. It is common for people to think that if you have more resources, you can achieve the home of your dreams, but I have seen too many people create their homes for “the looking” and not for “the living.” Of course, I would LOVE a pool like that in my own backyard {who wouldn’t!!??}, but I must pause to be thankful that you use your home AND your time to SERVE your family and 5 precious kiddos. I will save my irritated pangs toward those who flaunt their money and quickly pass off their kiddos for someone else to raise. LOVE WHAT YOU HAVE DONE!!!!!

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18 Amy Sangvai May 7, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Wow, absolutely stunning! Great details. You have talent to create beautiful space for your family! Thanks for sharing.

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19 Chellae May 7, 2013 at 6:41 pm

This post reminded me of the day my baby spit up on my sister’s very expensive, very authentic antique Persian rug. I was almost in tears with embarrasment and she just said, “Hey, it’s just a rug.” Even seemingly unreal houses can absolutely have very real, very down to earth people living in them. And a house keeper doesn’t hurt!

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20 Brittany May 7, 2013 at 7:40 pm

What a beautiful home. Thank you for sharing it Karin. I love seeing how others utilize their talents to create beautiful spaces. The apparent grandeur if others lives or homes does not diminish our own, unless we allow discontentment to rob us of our joy. All the best, to everyone. :)

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21 Design Mom May 7, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Friends, thank you for the kind words and positive feedback! As I’m sure you can imagine, sending photos and writing answers to interview questions takes a substantial amount of time and effort. And sharing your home like this is a big deal and requires more bravery than you might guess. I consider the women featured in this series cherished guests on my blog, and they should be treated as such.

I work diligently to show a wide variety of homes on Design Mom. If a featured home doesn’t strike a chord with you now and again, that’s to be expected. Perhaps an earlier home — or one in the future — will be just the inspiration you’re looking for.

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22 Christy@SweetandSavoring May 8, 2013 at 9:49 am

Gabrielle, I just had to comment again and give you some props- I love your diplomatic responses to criticism. You seem, impressively, to always have exactly the right words, no matter the topic.

I do not yet have my own home, and always enjoy the wide variety of moms and families you feature in this series!

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23 Design Mom May 8, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Thank you, Christy!

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24 christy May 7, 2013 at 8:25 pm

OK, I’ll admit that at first I felt jealous of Erin, of her gorgeous home, great looks and her (apparently) charmed life. Then I read her blog. I found out she struggles with fibromyalgia and is in pain on a daily basis. Oh boy, that would be tough. Also her husband is away for long stretches of time. Also tough. Suddenly my resentment changed to a feeling of deep respect. Erin, I do admire you and I know you’ve worked hard for everything you’ve got. I’ve learned a great deal from you today. And I think I’ll keep my own (imperfect but wonderful) life. Thank you very much.
Love from Christy in Canada

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25 Cheltz May 7, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Wow! You are clearly a very talented lady, Karin! The details truly are spectacular, but I think the French stone is the thing that stood out to me as pure genius. Also, I’m a firm believer in zones and quiet time — no need to be embarrassed — we all need to guard our sanity as moms, so we can be our best!

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26 Christina May 8, 2013 at 12:54 am

This series is really fun! It’s so great to see how other mums have setup their nests, big or small. And this house – whoa – it’s just stunning! Karin has done a really great job, I think you can just tell when someone has put a lot of thought and love into their home

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27 Mandy Byron May 8, 2013 at 1:15 am

Wow! Wow! Wow! Just can’t get over this house! I just love your ceilings and floors so so much. Looks so French and Italian to me. And that pool and playground! Awesome. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing, now I’m off to check out your blog.

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28 Andrea May 8, 2013 at 4:25 am

What a stunning home! I grew up in Florida & this made me miss pools & manicured lawns! I love the slight tropical influence in plants & fabrics through the home.

My favorite thing, though is the polka dot bathroom! I have never seen anything like it. What a happy, happy room!

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29 Sherri May 8, 2013 at 6:02 am

Gorgeous home – and what a great little haven for the kids – fruit trees, toys, pool – I’m sure they love being homeschooled, hanging with their sibs, etc. Was in South Florida earlier this year – and…. am missing it. Anyway – love, love, love all the details – the dots in the kids’ bathroom, the dark stain on living room windows, the fish and shell themes I see throughout, the cork boards for artwork ;). Just lovely.

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30 Julie May 8, 2013 at 7:53 am

Beautiful home! I would kill to have fruit trees in my backyard and if I ever live in a climate that would allow for that…it’s first on my list! Awesome! And I’m about to walk around my house and figure out where I can put a cork wall for art and a dart board. Love that idea. So many great ideas. And with 5 kids. Impressive! These “Living with Kids” posts are my favorite and I love that they are from all walks of life….that is what makes them so interesting.

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31 Jenny also May 8, 2013 at 8:41 am

Wowzers! I love, love that patterns, tile, fabrics, etc etc. That living room ceiling is amazing. What a beautiful home!!!

Since she went quite a bit into her domestic life with details of home schooling, quiet time, etc I would have liked to hear about the kind of help she employs as well. I think that would have helped with balance/perspective.

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32 Design Mom May 8, 2013 at 5:00 pm

I have to say, I’m fascinated by the request to know about hired help. A couple of house tours ago, I shared Karey Mackin’s home. She has a driver, a maid, and all sorts of help — there were like 100 comments and no one said a word. Hah!

I have no idea if Karin has help around her house or not, but with five kids, I’m sure there are messes often. I imagine she cleaned everything up for the photo shoot. (I certainly would!)

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33 Summer May 8, 2013 at 8:54 am

Of course, at first I miiiight have had an eye roll, but this woman and her family seem so nice and just all around awesome! I’m glad she shared her home and life with us – they’re both beautiful. Also, I LOVE that she’s able to joke about the “trophy mom” title. That made me giggle!

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34 Summer May 8, 2013 at 9:00 am

I see some questions about having help on here, and I’d like to add: I’m chlidless, live in a little townhome, and am middle class (at best), and even I have a housekeeper come clean for me. Clearly this woman is blessed, so I don’t think she needs to share what assistance she has. She does the best she can like everyone else.

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35 J May 8, 2013 at 8:59 am

[ comment removed ]

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36 The Prudent Homemaker May 8, 2013 at 1:33 pm

I homeschool my children (I have 7 children ages 11-1), and I cook all meals from scratch–all the time. There is no going out to eat option here; it’s not in the budget.

My children help clean. They’re home, so they make more messes–but they also help, a whole lot. They clean their bathrooms, sweep and mop, do dishes, fold ALL the laundry (22-24 loads a week here), set the table, take out the trash, clean their rooms, and more.

On a regular basis, my home is messy–that’s part of life. We have clean up time 3 times a day. It’s still far from perfect.

But if I’m going to take pictures to share online, you can bet I’ll take extra time to make it sparkling. No one is going to show a house with laundry that needs to be folded, dishes to be washed, and piles of paperwork.

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37 Miranda May 8, 2013 at 2:16 pm

I loved this home tour and think it was definitely relatable. I think all of us moms can learn from each other even if one of us has a much bigger and fancier house than others. : ) I loved her suggestions on quiet time, keeping things in their ‘zones’ and having the kids in mind when creating every part of the house. My own home is the opposite of Karin’s–100+ years old and barely over 1,000 square feet–and my family is different than hers–I’m the ‘working’ & often-traveling parent and my husband stays at home full-time with our son–but I loved her perspective on routines and making a lovely space for your family. That, to me, seems universal. Sadly, as soon as I saw her home and how beautiful she is, I thought other women may be ready to pounce or may quickly discount her suggestions. It’s unfortunate; I would hope we could all be open to learning from each other. Just because she has a gorgeous home and is physically beautiful doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be able to share her great insights on motherhood and keeping a warm and loving family space, just like the rest of us. Thanks for introducing us to Karin, DesignMom! And thanks, Karin, for sharing your home and blog with us. I really enjoyed this Living With Kids feature and just adore the variety of homes that are shared in this section. Lots of inspiration!

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38 Micah May 8, 2013 at 9:02 am

I love the bathrooms (especially the interior of the sink), the ceilings, and the colors she chose! Such a great eye for beauty to have designed all of that herself. Very well done!

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39 Lisa May 8, 2013 at 9:33 am

I love what you said about giving your children the best version of yourself, inspiring words, thank you! What a beautiful home, you’ve done a great job. I noticed several comments about housekeeping, etc. I don’t know if you have a housekeeper and I really don’t care, but it seems to me that your decorating aesthetic is clean and simple and perhaps that helps with keeping things tidy — along with the zones, great idea! Like you said, you’re into the details and when you have special details like you have chosen you don’t need a lot of extra stuff — that’s what I’m thinking anyway. Your house made me want to declutter mine so that I can spend more time doing things with my family and less time taking care of stuff! Thanks for sharing your home and thoughts on motherhood.

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40 Cheryl May 8, 2013 at 9:46 am

Karin your home is lovely. However when I initially saw the pictures I thought I can’t really relate to this person. But I was curious and I read your blog. I LOVE your post titled “My daughter.” It spoke about your daughter dealing with other children (girls) being mean for no reason. I have a six year old daughter and we are currently dealing with this. Your words moved me. We may not have similar things in our homes, but parenting is a universal language. It was just what I needed today.

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41 Julie May 8, 2013 at 12:37 pm

I think this woman’s house is amazing. And that she home-schools and is raising 5 kids with a husband who travels all the time…again amazing. I don’t really get the animosity or claims of her not being “relatable”. Everybody is different and lives differently. I mean, if you only want to read about people exactly like you, then why are you reading this blog?

If you take the time to read Karin’s “about me” section on her blog, I bet you would find her far more “relatable” than you thought. “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”.

Sorry….just couldn’t hold my tongue any more. I feel for her. I wouldn’t have the guts to put my home/words on this blog. Most of the comments are generous and complimentary (as they should be), but it’s those few that are not that will stick with her.

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42 Design Mom May 8, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Thanks for speaking up, Julie. And I’m sorry to hear that anyone wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing their home here on Design Mom. Sigh.

Sadly, I am traveling this week and have not had my usual access to the internet, or you can be certain I would have removed the (very few!) negative comments before anyone had a chance to see them.

Frankly, we get so few negative comments around here, that I wasn’t prepared. My apologies to anyone who happened upon rude comments when they were here for inspiration.

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43 Brittany May 8, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Thank you so very much for your responses and also for removing the offending posts. I am actually new to Design Mom, from Karin’s blog, and I couldn’t believe the pettiness if a few if the comments. It was all I could do to bite my tongue in the comment I left last night (and I never comment). I am glad to see that people aren’t able to hide behind a screen name and carefully selected profile picture to make snarky comments towards someone putting herself out there. I’ve really enjoyed reading over your past posts. I will definitely be following in the future :) Thank you for the series! It’s been a wonderful read! Best!

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44 Karen May 16, 2013 at 6:05 pm

I’m just a bit confused. People can only leave positive comments otherwise their opinions are removed?

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45 Design Mom May 17, 2013 at 1:56 am

Sorry for any confusion, Karen.

We have lots of discussion posts on Design Mom where we tackle topics that people don’t always agree on — like this and this and this.

But Living With Kids home tours are not a place for criticism. It takes a lot of bravery to share one’s home with the internet, so as a thank you to the good people who spend the considerable time required to be interviewed and send photographs, negative comments are not allowed on home tour posts. For home tours, the policy is: If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

If you’re in the mood to be critical of home tours, there are lots of places on the internet where that is welcome. If you’re in the mood for a discussion with Design Mom Readers, try any post on Design Mom except the home tours.

Does that clear things up?

46 Lori May 8, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Thank you for sharing this home. I always enjoy reading about a family with 5 kids who homeschools and has a nice home that they built. Karin is amazing in more ways than one. My husband and I built our second home together while I was pregnant with #5 and we did a lot of the work ourselves. It is tough and I can understand some of what Karin must have gone through. Thank you again for sharing her home with us. I don’t often get to see someone else “featured” online who has done similar things. Although, we are different. My home is not nearly as fabulous, but equally as clean.

Building your own house is very fun, but I did it both times on a very strict budget which made it extremely difficult, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. There is just something about choosing everything that goes into your house.

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47 The Prudent Homemaker May 8, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Karin, your house is beautiful! I think my favorite thing is your arched moldings!

I’m pretty sure I’d have to live in a zone 10 or 11 for star fruit (I’m in a zone 9 in the desert) but now you’ve got me curious! (And I will go find out!) I am adding passionfruit to the garden this year and I am always looking to fit more edibles in our landscape.

We do quiet time here from 1:00 to 3:30. People are always surprised, but my husband always says, “Wouldn’t you take a nap if you could?” to which every man who asks always says, “YES!” My 11-year-old and 9-year-old will take a nap sometimes, too. Quiet time is a wonderful thing; it helps me get so much done and really recharges my spirit.

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48 Betiel May 8, 2013 at 3:20 pm

I just discovered your blog just recently Gabriel, but I read so many of your mom stories living with kids already. I love them all and are truly inspired by your own story with your family and all the other moms! I wished I had your blog when my three children were younger. They are 16,14 and 9 now.

I wanted to say I love Karin’s house and the way she raises her children. Even more, important and beautiful though, I totally agree with what she says: Give them the best you. The prettier you. The more confident you. The creative you. Don’t give them the put upon, resentful, exhausted, three-day old oatmeal crusted sweatpants version of you. They deserve better and so
do you. Mom tend to forget about themselves after having children.

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49 Maggie May 8, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Wow, what a fabulous home! You are very talented, Karin. It takes a lot of work and a very discerning eye to see a project of that scale come to fruition. You seem to exude positivity and the fact that your five (!) kids love spending time together as a family speaks volumes. Looking forward to checking out your blog.

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50 Becky May 8, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Wow – it looks like a resort I’d love to spend a week at! Each corner so inviting, beauty in every direction …
Thanks for sharing!

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51 annie May 8, 2013 at 9:11 pm

the living with kids series is probably my favorite part of this blog – and my husband is finishing grad school (i think this was the first year, of 12yrs of marriage, that we bought a brand new piece of furniture – and it was on sale for $80 … and we had a gift certificate) – but me matching the standard of living of all featured isn’t the draw (just like that isn’t the draw when i flip through a design magazine) – they’re pretty and i like looking at pretty things; they’re an insight into how other people do things and i generally find those variations interesting, informative, and more often than not, they elucidate a personal opinion i had yet to consciously articulate; they get my creative juices flowing and while tons of it is outside of my monetary wheelhouse – and a lot is also outside my style wheelhouse – there’s always something that inspires or is filed away for future plans or implemented with my twist …or pinned and forgotten because, you know, there are kids to feed and bathe and play with and rooms to clean and clothes to wash and so on.

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52 annie May 8, 2013 at 9:15 pm

whoops – haha – posted that before i mentioned how much i liked the bathroom tile and how intrigued i am by the fireplace and want a real close-up view of it.
and of course, love the ceiling and the corkboard walls.

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53 Jen May 9, 2013 at 12:54 am

wowzer, what a beautiful home. these are one of my fav series and i normally do not comment on these posts but i wanted to thank you Gabrielle and Karin for sharing this lovely home with us.

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54 Cathi May 9, 2013 at 1:45 pm

I thoroughly enjoyed this tour and getting a glimpse of such a stunning home so carefully created was a special treat. As with any of the tours, there were portions I related to thoroughly (laundry at midnight, anyone?) and some portions that I didn’t necessarily relate to as much (but still enjoyed and appreciated tremendously). For example, I don’t have five children and do not homeschool. Isn’t that mixed response the reason we like these tours… getting insight as to how other moms are living? Personally, that’s why I like this feature so much and am inspired by all aspects of each tour.

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55 Diana May 9, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Your French Cottage will be wonderful! We also bought a wreck in Normandy 10years ago,we have mended it ourselves, a few weeks a year until now we can enjoy it and garden and sit outside with a glass of wine and relax (and do any odd jobs or painting or craft projects). We are so pleased we took the chance, it gives us and our family (children and grandchildren& my 89year old Mum) lots of pleasure and we enjoy being European (not just British). And yes we continue to work on improving our French.I look forward enviously to watching your cottage being mended.Bonne chance.

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56 bec May 9, 2013 at 11:28 pm

I love the ceilings. beautiful!

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57 Kimberly May 10, 2013 at 11:12 am

Such a lovely home! As a mother of two, one boy, 19, and a daughter, 16, I have been enjoying the homes and stories of each family. I started the tour at the first home and coming to the end today, I was so happy to find this recent home tour. It has been such a joy reading about women who put tremendous effort in making their house a home for themselves and their families. I was carefree in my twenties, having my first child at 35, my second at 39. My thirties and forties have been the perfect time for me to be mother and has kept me “young”. I just celebrated my 55th birthday and I am still learning and growing with my children. We all choose a path, some more difficult to traverse than others, but having our children, a home as haven- no matter the size or possessions within- we are duly blessed. These home tours have been inspirational. I have painted a kitchen door with chalkboard paint just yesterday, wanting to do that for so time now, and after seeing the many chalkboard walls and even a kitchen blacksplash, I found the paint and did my thing. I alo painted numbers on my dining room chairs after seeing a few on a home tour. I love being motivated and inspired. Creativity on any level is a gift to me. So thank you so much.

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58 Lynne May 11, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Such a beautiful home – I love how well-thought out and executed it all is. And, I really loved Karin’s comment about not being the crusty-sweatpants mom, about offering your children a better version of yourself.

Lovely work, Karin!! And thanks for sharing, Gabrielle!!

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59 Carolina May 15, 2013 at 10:53 pm

Beautiful home – Thank you for sharing.
I love this series!
Karin – you have impeccable taste.

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60 Niki K May 16, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Oh, I see those palm trees and it reminds me of growing up in South Florida. And, just like her kids, my brothers and I didn’t much like being separated either. Great tour!

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61 Lisa May 23, 2013 at 11:40 am

Having lived in Florida, I really appreciate how this home does what you can do in Florida: make an amazing outdoor space and have fun with color. And it is rare–sadly–that people who have the means to make such a grand home also have such flawless taste!

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