From the category archives:

Home Tours

By Gabrielle.

Carla sent me the most stunning photos of her home, and I loved every single one. But then she wrote back right away and asked “Did I erase too much of my kids in those photos?” That was something she didn’t want to do, no matter how gorgeous the pictures. I assured her we would understand, especially since there are a lot of good ideas to take from this tour.

Like the large table just behind the couch, perfect for projects and so much more useful with kids than a simple sofa table, right? Or the floor-length tablecloth on the dining table; how many instant forts do you think Evelyn and Wren enjoy on a daily basis? Oh, and the master tub. Yes, I believe living with kids would be so much fun – especially at bath time – in a home like the Macklin’s. You’ll see, I hope! Friends, please enjoy the tour!

Q: Please tell us all about this pattern-perfect family!

A: Our family includes my husband, Craig, six-year old Evelyn, three-year old Wren, and Cali the mutt. Craig works for a thriving manufacturing company here in Cleveland selling vibrators of the industrial sort. He is an ever-faithful supporter of the Cleveland Browns and is dreaming of summertime when the golf course isn’t covered by deep snow. I’m continually amazed at his puzzle proficiency and his willingness to try the most unusual foods. I’ve known Craig since we were 15 and both competitive swimmers, a hobby both of us have happily dropped after too many years breathing chlorine.

Evelyn is absorbing every bit of information she can in Kindergarten and loves ice skating, swimming, and crafts. Wren is into puzzles like her dad and is begging for gymnastic lessons. The girls are usually great friends when they aren’t bickering over who is the kid in the make believe game they call “Kid.” Cali, the chocolate lab mix, is our neglected first-born, adopted immediately after leaving San Francisco eight years ago.

The tub and all the rest is just so, so pretty. Go see!

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By Gabrielle.

One of Rachel‘s mottos is “I’ve never met a color I didn’t love.” With one peek of her home, I know she’s not kidding. It’s a bright, cheerful space that makes me smile, and I know it must have the same effect on her family. And at the risk of getting too deep, I imagine it helps her stay positive when life doesn’t exactly go the way she’s been dreaming. Does your home do that, too? I hope it does.

There were a few times when I found myself pointing to something in her photos that I thought was super cute, only to find that it’s available in her shop! How wonderful and empowering it must be to live among your own art and makes. Friends, I’m so happy to introduce you to Rachel and her color-burst home!

Q: Please tell us all about your family.

A: There’s three humans and two canines in our little family. I’m Rachel Shingleton, and I’m a blogger/designer/shopkeeper at Pencil Shavings Studio. My husband is Simon, and he’s a realtor here in OKC. Our son Jude is a six year old kindergartener, and we like to say that he’s running for mayor of life. He’s never met a stranger, and is the absolute joy of our lives. And rounding out the craziness are two chihuahua puppies that we just added to the family back in October.

We’ve always lived in Oklahoma City (with a yearlong stint in California for me in college), and we grew up together in the same school starting in first grade. We didn’t start dating until our senior year of college at the University of Oklahoma.

More color to meet and love, coming up next!

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By Gabrielle.

I know of two people who live in Lake Como, Italy: George Clooney and Cristina Cavallari. Lucky for us, one of them is with us today to take us on a tour of her family’s unique home: a monastery built in the 1400s that’s been modernized, transformed, and constantly reconfigured to hold lots of family.

There’s so much that’s interesting to me about this tour, from the idyllic location to Cristina’s commitment to ethical and organic products, the grace with which she’s preparing for her eldest’s move away from home, to a tragic circumstance that has changed her life in the past year. And when I read her thought about how she is raising her kids – “More real friendships, less internet” – my heart sang! It’s inspiring stuff, all of it, and I’m so grateful to be able to share it with you today. Friends, please give a rousing Benvenuto to Cristina! (And just as soon as Mr. Clooney has some babies, we’ll hit him up for a tour, too!)

Q: Please tell us all about this Italian family!

A: Hello! My name is Cristina Cavallari, and I live with my husband Paolo and our three kids: Miriana (19), Noa (14), Zoe (seven), plus two crazy cats called Matisse and Piggy.

Miriana is a strong creative young woman trying to determine her role in this family. Noa is a young man mad about sport, ironic, and sweet. Zoe is only seven, but she is smart and perceptive. She is practicing artistic gymnastic, always jumping, and draws with passion.

You’ve got to see the loft bedroom – it’s the coolest!

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By Gabrielle.

Sarah Wallace decided to submit her home for a Living With Kids tour for a pretty unique reason: she wanted to fall just as in love with her home as the ones she’s been pinning and ogling online. She felt frustrated when her gaze shifted from the clutter-free, design perfect scenes on her monitor to her own less than idyllic space, clutter-filled most days. And she didn’t enjoy that feeling at all. None of us do, right?

So she decided to put a little lipstick on her home, straighten its skirt a bit, and let it shine for us…and for her. (Full disclosure: Sarah would like you to know what it looked like just outside of the frame of most of the pictures. Piles of paper and clutter were removed from her kitchen counters, there may be dirty dishes hiding in the sink, and all the craft supplies from the dining room table were shifted to the stairs during the photo shoot! Thanks for keeping it real, Sarah!)

Friends, I hope you enjoy the dressed up version of the Wallace family home. More importantly, I hope you take away a little bit of reassurance that pictures aren’t always worth a thousand words and all our attention; sometimes, it’s all the stuff that we try to edit that tells us the most about our lives. Welcome Sarah!

Q: Please tell us all about your family.

A: Our family consists of four people and two animals: myself, my husband Joey, our sons Oscar and Archie, our dog Lucy, and our chinchilla Matthias.

There may be a mess outside of the camera’s reach, but the rest is gorgeous!

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By Gabrielle.

I am utterly fascinated by high-rise family living. I think of all the little things, like getting groceries up 30 floors – which is an entirely different dilemma if the elevators aren’t running! Or, do dwellers in the sky ever miss having a backyard just outside the door? They probably have far less mud in their foyers. And how do you create that sense of indoor-outdoor childhood freedom when getting outside from the super-elevated inside involves a bit of planning? Today’s high up home shows us that it can be done.

Juliana‘s place in Hong Kong, with its endless views and unique space considerations, reminds me of a nest. I love the thought she put into creating a warm and workable family home in what was once a plain white box of an apartment. Friends, I know you’re going to enjoy this very different, very citified Living With Kids tour. Welcome, Juliana!

Q: Tell us all about this family living up high in Hong Kong!

A: We are myself, my husband Jeff, and our three year old daughter Ella. When we arrived eight years ago, I thought we’d be here three years max…but life plants roots even 30+ floors up in the sky!

Jeff is a teacher. He has his own football (soccer) charity for Down Syndrome children. He’s very passionate about life and definitely a giver. He’s a family man and our rock. I’m an Architect with a practice in HK doing both commercial and residential projects. I love designing and making things. It’s a part of my mind that doesn’t want to rest. Ella hasn’t started school yet, but she takes dance, does lots of art, loves exploring around HK, and of course plays football. She’s a really good mix of us.

Jeff loves to write and I’m very visual, so a few months ago we began a blog called The Guest Room in which we both contribute weekly blogs along with some friends about life in HK. It’s our way of bringing our worlds together targeting designers, parents, thinkers, and everything in between.

Beautiful views, inside and out, straight ahead!

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By Gabrielle.

Goodness, but I adore Julie. She seems like the sort of person who’s incredibly happy with her everyday; that friend who pinches herself during even the littlest of mundane moments. Like loving any excuse to say that something or someone is “in the barn.” Isn’t that the cutest? And then there’s her mixed feelings when her youngest pops up in the middle of the night; we’ve all wished for a good night’s sleep, but when it’s almost nearing reality…sleepless doesn’t seem so bad, does it?

Friends, I think you’re going to be quite taken with this tour – with both the open spaces and the open answers. Welcome, Thomas Family!

Q: Please tell us about the family who lives on this gorgeous piece of land.

A: Hello, and welcome! I live with my husband, who also happens to be my college sweetheart, and our three full-of-life sons.

Hudson, ten, has a big heart, is a passionate football and basketball player, plays the guitar, enjoys the outdoors, is a great big brother, and a fun all-around guy. Noah, seven, is our resident comedian, creative and thoughtful, loves to whittle (yes you read that right), wows us with his Lego building and video gaming skills, and plays the piano with gusto. Lincoln, four, is a sweet, happy little boy who stays busy keeping up with his brothers, is crazy about sports, and has daily make-believe football and baseball games – all in which he is undefeated.

More loveliness (and gorgeous kitchen) ahead!

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By Gabrielle.

This home makes my heart jump a little. There’s a garden that reminds me of La Cressonnière, and stone walls and gorgeous beams that sweep me straight back to France. Boy, I miss that place. But Felicitas’ home is the perfect antidote for Europe-sickness! It’s a wonderfully balanced mix of old and new, austere and cozy. A place that lives in her childhood memories, but will also take center stage in her own daughters’ memories, too.

Probably, that red garden door will, too. Friends, please welcome the Von Richthofens and enjoy the tour of their haus!

Q: Please tell us all about the family who makes this house a home!

A: Our little family is made up of me, Felicitas, and my husband, Raphael. We are both 33 years old and have two children: Viola is three years old, and Elenor is one. We live in a small village called Sondermuehlen in Germany. Raphael and I have been together since we met at school.

I am an art historian working for the Kunsthalle Bielefeld. Raphael is director of the family enterprise, Stock Mode, which specializes in fashion. We own four stores in our town and neighborhood.

A green clock and a fireplace that looks like a castle. Go see!

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By Gabrielle.

I know you’re going to enjoy Jacey’s story. She’s a mom working as an attorney, trying hard to reconcile her innate style and decor leanings with the reality of living with tiny stain machines! Her family is also living in a home affected by the burst of the Reno housing bubble, but they’re just fine staying put. With their family close-by and their children attending the very same preschool as Jacey did, they’re certainly not stuck. Such a wonderful way to view an often stressful situation, isn’t it?

Friends, please help me welcome Jacey and please enjoy this tour around her home.

Q: Please tell us all about the family who lives here!

A: My husband and I live in this home with our two children, Lauren (5) and Cooper (3). We are missing our dog, Edna, an English bulldog, who is now enjoying life up in the clouds according to the children.

Lauren has two speeds: all out and asleep. She loves to talk, do arts and crafts, swim, and bike…really, anything and everything. She is a real pistol. She is currently obsessed with salons, so every Saturday she sets up a manicure station, a hair station, etc. throughout the house. My husband and I then text relatives and friends asking (more like begging) them to come over to get beautified. My son Cooper constantly has painted toenails and fingernails. Just when we thought Lauren had tired of the salon business she recently added a photo-booth in the laundry room to document everyone’s makeover. When I recently asked her why she was working so hard at the salon business she replied, “I am earning money so we can buy a new couch…the ones we have now are really dirty.”

The view from the living area is breathtaking, so take a deep breath!

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By Gabrielle.

Oh, you’re going to love this tour! It’s a holiday from our regular peeks into our everyday homes as we venture to a vacation home in Nicaragua. Certainly, there’s much less clutter and personal items – good thing Legos can fit well into carry-ons – but there are still signs that this is a wonderful home to fill with family memories. Like naps in hammocks. Crashing waves. Sand castles for days. Surfaces that get dirty and wet, but just need a good sweep every so often. Even better when those good sweeps are performed by a caretaker!

One of the greatest things about Natalie and Jeff’s tour is that it comes to life with one click over to House Hunters International. (Consider this tour a spoiler if you haven’t seen their episode yet! Sorry!) So, Friends, please enjoy a little trip south of the border. Way south!

Q: Tell us about the family who vacations in this incredible beachfront home!

A: We are a family of four. My husband, Jeff, is a VP of Risk for a large regional bank  – nothing like Along Came Polly! I am the communications director for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, which is a museum of conscience that enables modern abolition through the lessons of the Underground Railroad. Our son, Colin, seven, is a sweet, gentle soul who nurtures an obsession with birds when he is not building Legos. Our son, Graham, four, is full of energy, loves to be the center of attention, and is always afraid he is missing something. His favorite question right now is, “Is it tomorrow?”

Hammocks and warm views, just ahead!

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By Gabrielle.

Hooray for a fresh start to our Living With Kids tours! Let’s start 2014 with a home I could’ve probably photographed myself as Jessica and her family live in my neck of the woods. They’re renting in the gorgeous area of Cupertino in a Mackay-designed home, which seems to mean that the sunlight slides in so wonderfully throughout the day.

Still, for all the sunshine there’s a tiny bit of rain in the Doll family’s life. But Jessica’s attitude turns those rainy days into another reason to cozy up on the couch with her boys and recognize that there’s beauty in downpours. Great windows and an even greater outlook on life are such gifts, don’t you think? Friends, I’m happy to welcome you to the Doll house! I hope you enjoy it.

Q: Please tell us all about the lovely family who lives in the Doll house!

A: We are a family of four, residing in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. I’m a professional photographer and blogger, and my husband is a Creative Director who loves to build and fly RC helicopters.

Such sweet spaces in the Doll house…just ahead!

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By Gabrielle.

One of my favorite questions to ask my Living With Kids tour guides has nothing to do with decoration, and everything to do with parenting and the lessons we wish we’d learned just one day sooner. I always tell my interviewees, “Please have fun with these questions…and don’t be scared to be honest!” It’s those honest answers that move us the most, and I wanted to be sure to spend some time with a few of them before we begin another year of tours. I hope you enjoy the look back as much as I have.

I wish someone had told me…

From Andrea: This will sound completely silly, but I wish I had known newborns aren’t newborns for a year. I wish someone had told me that period only lasts six weeks max. I wish I had gotten that through my head the first time round and just sat down, cuddled, and pressed my cheek to the top of their fuzzy heads more. And I also wish that I had known it would be hard to stop having babies. They are intoxicating and addictive little things! I would have started so much sooner…

From Kate: How completely natural it feels to be a mother. I was so worried when I was pregnant that I would somehow get it wrong. I remember feeling astonished that the hospital was prepared to let me take Harry home the next day without a handbook or a test or anything! But Harry and I learned together, and becoming a mum is the most amazing and natural thing I’ve ever done.

From Haeley: To use semi-gloss instead of flat paint on walls in reach of little sticky fingers and crayons! That, and to not buy a really expensive couch when our first daughter turned one. Three years later that poor couch has done a lot of time as a bounce house.

More gorgeous truth, just ahead.

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Living With Kids: Looking Back

December 24, 2013

By Gabrielle.

Hasn’t it been such a joy to peek into other families’ homes? Now that we’re working on The Treehouse (and The French Cottage!), I even more fully appreciate all the thought and care and decision-making that goes into turning a house into a home. I say it a lot, but it’s so much more than paint colors and couch positions.

It’s slipcovers even though you dream of suede. It’s crazy-bold patterned throw rugs instead of your favorite shade of white. It’s realizing your favorite color has suddenly turned into the same color your kids love, which is on the complete other side of the spectrum as your favorite shade of white. It’s baskets full of nonsense that you fill back up every night before you head to bed. It’s dirty dishes. So many dirty dishes. It’s trying to pick out paint colors and returning home with seventy square samples of pink. It’s night lights in the hallway, toothpaste in the sink, and a swing in the living room. It’s turning the couch to face the window because the forecast is snow tomorrow. It’s make do when all you really want is make new. It’s planning for the someday while enjoying the right now.

And to think, it all began with a pink couch and an orange chair! From that fun jumping off point, I’ve learned something new every Tuesday…

Lots of beautiful links and memories up next!

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By Gabrielle.

Usually, I try to remove all time stamps from these home tours. That means cropping out Halloween decorations when possible and trying not to post summer tours in the middle of December. But Candice is good at decorating for the holidays. Like, really good. (Do you remember her Winter Wishes craft? She’s also the brilliant photographer who helped us with our Central Park family photos.) And so I threw out all the rules and begged her to share her holiday home. Her inspired Christmas decor reinforces the idea that simple is stunning, especially in excess. (Candice calls this the Anthro rule, which made me laugh. But it’s so true, isn’t it?) I hope this installment of Living With Kids offers a little inspiration, and maybe even an afternoon of cutting a billion glittery stars. Enjoy the tour, Friends!

Q: Please tell us all about this festive family.

A: Hi! Our family consists of Mark, Candice, Grant, Nicholas, Sebastian and a prideful little scotty dog named Dickens. I met Mark when I moved across the country the day before my senior year of high school started. I wish I could say it was love at first sight but really due to a rather large miscommunication when we first met it was more of a Pride and Prejudice situation. To say we barely tolerated each other is an understatement. It wasn’t until the end of the year when we were cast as husband and wife in the high school play that we stopped trying to avoid each other completely.

He moved away after high school and it wasn’t until he came back when I was a junior in college getting my BFA in photography that we knew we were in love. We were married just a few months later. We have been married for almost 15 years now and I’ve loved him every minute of it. (There is a lot more to the story including the time I set him up with my best friend…but we will just leave it at this!)

Mark is currently a Theatre Professor at a University here in San Antonio, and I teach photography online.

Grant is a new teenager and is everything Mark and I are not: brilliant at math and science with a deep love of rules and organization. I’m very grateful that there is someone in this house who loves that stuff.

Nicholas, formerly known as Cole, has decided that at the age of ten his nickname is too young for him. He also changes his name from Cole to Nicholas every Christmas season. He is charming, funny, and can make friends with anyone.

Sebastian is two. That means that you can see that there is an eight year gap between his brother and him. We waited for him to join our family for a long time and it was well worth it. He’s super smart and full of life. He pretty much rules the rest of us with his adorable demands.

That’s it. I’m painting a room black.

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Living With Kids: Myla Lopez

December 3, 2013

By Gabrielle.

This tour takes us on a sweet journey through a home that lovingly embraces two cultures. From traditions and tiny travel souvenirs to a giant world map in a little girl’s bedroom, Myla and her family’s home is a subtle study in world geography. The most important lesson? That it’s a small, small place.

The Lopez family lives in the perfect spot – just a 40 minute commute outside of New York City – which was one of my family’s favorite homes on our growing list of hometowns. To further illustrate my point (and Walt Disney’s!) of how tiny this world of ours truly is, Myla’s family and mine are neighbors. Sort of. She has a cottage in Normandy, too!

It’s the most fun when paths overlap, isn’t it? For those of you with culturally blended families, or even those of you with your passports at the ready, I really hope you enjoy this tour!

Q: Please tell us all about you and yours.

A: I’ll try to simplify our story! There’s me, my husband, Richard, and my daughters, Chiara and Ines.

I spent my childhood in the Manila, Philippines while my husband spent his in Brittany, France. We now live in northern New Jersey and spend summers in our little cottage in Normandy, France. We met in our late teens and dated long-distance prior to the days of email and Internet. The great thing is that we still have actual hard copies of our correspondence that we can show our daughters, and hopefully our grandkids one day. I can’t believe it but we actually have been married for 17 years!

Loving her bedroom wall color…Just ahead!

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By Gabrielle.

There are stunning homes that look like they should sit on a magazine page or ten, and there are homes that look like – whoa – a lot of little children live there! And then there is Trina’s home, which is a splendid mix of beauty and beast! There’s not one space in her home that’s too precious or too perfect for her four children, but there’s also not one space in her home that doesn’t look absolutely precious and utterly perfect, either. I’m happy she’s achieved this magical blend, and I couldn’t wait to show it all to you.

Also! She is one of the lucky ones who get to relive her childhood all over again in her family home. You’ll love that part of her story. (There’s a line or two about one decorating regret that will make you misty, I bet. Tell me if you find it and have to wave off a few tears like I did!)

Friends, please welcome the McNeilly family. This is such a fun tour.

Q: Please tell us all about the la la lovely family who lives here!

A: I live with my husband, Stephen, who I met at age 15 (crazy!), and our four children.

My oldest, and only girl is Ella, age ten. I prayed for a girl and am even more grateful for her today than the day I first laid eyes upon her big baby blues.

Next is Luke, my sports loving eight year old who gives new meaning to the word sweetheart.

The last two, Liam Brave, almost four, and Rocco Royal, age two, are really close in age and are great little playmates. Liam is an old soul who keeps me company with his great conversation skills. And sweet Rocco is the best surprise I’ve ever had. He is so much of a honey that he sometimes tricks me into wanting another one.

I never expected to have four children – especially three boys – but it is better than I could have ever imagined. I call these littles of mine my brood. And as you might suspect, our house is noisy and very active. Someone is always jumping off of a couch, racing down our very long hallway with a dump truck, or singing at the top of their lungs, usually all at the same time.

So many beautiful details in this home, just ready for your inspiration file!

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By Gabrielle. Photos by Alex Wolf.

Jay Wolf first contacted me to share a link showing his family’s incredible journey back from a devastating circumstance, and I was floored for a few days. And soon enough, my awe was pushed aside by a little wonder. When your life is turned upside down, how do you right it again? When all your definitions change – of motherhood and wife and husband and home – how do you write a new and improved dictionary?

Oh, I wanted to see more of the Wolf family’s life, and I wanted to show you, too. Because all through this tour and their story, there’s hope. And there’s nothing better on a Tuesday morning than a little hope, right? Please sit a while with this home and this special, special family, Friends. I know it will improve your day. Welcome, Wolf family! (Is this the first time a dad has written the interview? I think it is! Welcome, Jay!)

Q: Please introduce us to your family!

A: Hi, we’re the Wolfs: Jay, Katherine, and James. We’re originally from the deep South, but after marrying at 22, we moved to Los Angeles to pursue our dreams in the entertainment industry and law school (for me, Jay) at Pepperdine. Little did we know that decision would not only change the course of our lives, but it would also save Katherine’s life just over three years later.

Those early years were idyllic, living in a Malibu married housing apartment with a view of the ocean, loving our church community and the creative energy that is electric in the City of Angels. Our son James came along quite unexpectedly, but we relished our new calling as young parents.

Cake stands and so much loveliness, just ahead!

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Living With Kids: Tina Fussell

November 12, 2013

By Gabrielle.

I devour Tina’s blog. (Truth be told, her husband’s site is gorgeous, too.) Tina is an information sharer, through and through. From Vitamin D deficiency to posts detailing how it truly feels like to move abroad to talking about sugar, almost every post feeds questions I didn’t even know I had. I love that. And I adore how her writing style is as calm as her home’s decor. Would you like to see the Fussell home? Let’s do it, then! Friends, please enjoy the tour.

Q: Please tell us who lives in this dreamy home!

A: We are Jack and Tina Fussell and we are Americans living in Copenhagen, Denmark with our three kids, Hailey (12), Parker (8), and Landon (5). Many people know our Traveling Tribe through our blog, Flying House by Traveling Mama where we write about our living abroad with kids, our favorite places to stay, eat, and shop when we travel and also what it is like to create a new home in a new country! We have lived in Copenhagen for three years, but we also lived in Morocco for three years and Spain for two prior to our move here.

Q: How did this house turn into your home?

A: It’s funny because we didn’t even know we were going to move until a month before we moved into our current home with a camera crew from House Hunters International along for the ride to document our 20th move! Our landlord suddenly contacted us asking for his apartment back so we immediately started looking for a new place to live. Even before walking into our town home I knew it was the perfect place for us. Situated in a beautiful neighborhood not far from the city center, with white walls and floors, and loads of light… I was sold! The fact that it had a small terrace and a quiet street for the kids to play on was just icing on the cake.

It gets prettier, if you can believe that!

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Living With Kids: Liz Young

November 5, 2013

By Gabrielle.

This home tour feels a little romantic to me. It’s got all the makings of a perfect story. There’s the storyteller herself, the serendipitous discovery of the perfect forever home after a series of inspiring wanderings, a painful separation of lovers, an in-house bakery and creative studio (which basically translates – to me, at least! – to a 24-hour access to gorgeous cakes and big ideas), and lots and lots of bikes. I’m not sure the bicycles add anything to the story, but they sure add fun to the Young family’s afternoons! We all want our homes to work for our families, but the Young house truly works with them. And after a lovely glimpse of this home, I think it deserves a raise. Friends, please meet the Young family and their delightful home. I just know you’re going to fall in love!

Q: Please introduce us to the family.

A: Our current crew is Tommy (2), Moses (5), me, and Ryan. Here’s a quick character rundown: Tommy has an imaginary baby gorilla he carries in the palm of his hand, rolls him in the dirt, feeds him Chicken Tikka Masala, and naps him in silky blankets when he’s cranky. Moses is a collector, digger, woods runner, bike racer, number counter, word lover, sleeper, and justice seeker. He also buzzes his hair and wants to be a soldier like his dad. Ryan was a soldier, but now he drives a big truck, fixes hospital equipment, entertains us with spontaneous song, loves his motorcycle, and adores the rest of us.

When I was little, I wore a pin on my coat that said, “Upwardly Mobile.” Apparently, I couldn’t get enough of cartwheels and hanging upside down. I still love flipping things around as a creative philosophy, now, more than my body! And I love being outside, writing stories, driving in the sun, and making a meal while the boys are shooting Nerf guns and running commando.

The Young kitchen makes me want to bake. And eat. Seriously.

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By Gabrielle.

At first glance, I would’ve sworn Meta‘s home was somewhere in Sweden. Denmark, possibly. Or Norway. It’s got all the markings of a home from that corner of the world, with its crisp white walls, heady bursts of brights, and edited knickknacks that look like they traveled a long way to get there. But, no…the Coleman home can be found in Utah!

This home tour isn’t all about pretty things and fresh decor. The Colemans endured a devastating loss earlier this year, and part of what inspired me most about Meta is the way she’s finding her way through the sadness to happy again. I wanted to share her story with you because I know there are many others trying to find that way, too. I hope this helps. And I truly hope you enjoy this tour. Friends, please welcome the Coleman family!

Q: Please tell us all about the family who lives in this crisp and cozy home!

A: Hello! We are the Colemans: Nicholas, Meta, Henrik, and Maja. My husband and I met when we were three years old carpooling to preschool. We have been friends ever since and have been married ten years. We have a six year old son Henrik, who loves to work on claymation figures (literally every waking moment). And a two and a half year old girl Maja, who loves her brother “Haek” and tries to boss him around and do everything he does. My husband is a an artist and I am an Interior designer, a furniture designer, and have a blog called One More Mushroom. We like to be together as a family, swimming, hiking, camping, visiting museums, and especially traveling.

See how Meta turned a crushing loss into creative beauty…

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By Gabrielle.

It’s got to be difficult to follow last week’s out-of-this-world tour, but the Burket family is up for the challenge! Theirs is a home – and life – edited for their specific needs. Nothing more, nothing less. Not in their home design, not in the sweet product they make, not in their social media plan, and not even with their family calendar. If you’re on the verge of considering paring down your family’s day-to-night events, I think Leslie can offer some guidance and inspire all of the over-scheduled readers in the crowd. Friends, I am pleased to welcome Leslie and her family!

Q: Please tell us how the Burket family came to be!

A: We are now a family of four. But this all started 15 years ago with a high school crush on a boy named Tom. We dated briefly as teenagers – I even joined the golf team, no experience required, to try to get to know him! – and then he called me out of the blue in college and took me to see Napoleon Dynamite. He snuck a bottle of champagne in the movie theatre, held my hand, and made me laugh like no other. I was done.

We got married a few years later and then had two kids. Trent, six, is our Lego-loving, deep thinker. His heart is as big as his imagination. Lila, four, is a spunky, loud talking, little lady. Bless her heart. She loves to help and she adores her big brother.

Throw in two dogs, five chickens, building a house, and starting a company together, and I’d say we just really enjoy working together. And that’s just it.

This isn’t perfect, we certainly don’t get it all right, but we are dedicated and have found much joy in making this family work. I am thankful for everyday I get to share with our silly crew.

More bright and happy, just ahead!

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