You know I love a good book. Whether fiction, personal growth, or design related, I only share my favorite – “you must read and add to your collection” – books. And, Gabrielle Blair’s (a.k.a Design Mom) new book, Design Mom: How to Live With Kids: A Room-by-Room Guide, is one of those. It’s one you’ll want to have on your coffee table, and reference often because it’s both informative and beautiful.
I’ve been long awaiting this book, because I love everything Gabby does and, also, because my home is featured in it. I’ve had my home featured online and in a catalog, but to be in print, in a book, is pretty exciting!
This past weekend we had to make a quick trip to Georgia. There was nothing quick about the drive, but what it did provide was hours to pour over my copy of the Design Mom book. I don’t usually spend hours pouring over design related books. Rather, I ooh and ahh over pictures and tag stickies on spaces I’d like to emulate. But, I am not exaggerating when I say I spent hours. I read every page. It was that informative. Yes, I oohed and ahhed over the photos — they are stunning, but I also oohed and ahhed over the wise ways Gabby has made her home functional for her six children, and how she teaches her children to function in it, everyone doing their part.
I knew I wanted this book. But, I didn’t know how much I needed it.
For awhile, now, I’ve been wrestling with simplifying. I make starts at streamlining, scour for solutions to save time and frustration (for both parents and children) only to keep taking steps back or stopping at my starts. I’ve known some things I need to do, instinctively, but just didn’t have the stamina (I suppose) to push myself into implementing change. This book, has really become a catalyst for me.
For instance . . . .
Things like towels. For a few years now, I’ve been frustrated with our towel situation. I’ve thought of getting rid of all of the crazy random towels and going with one color or a particular color for each child. Then I would talk myself out of it, thinking that’s not necessary. While, every day by the pool or after the tub, I’d find myself getting stressed over trivial things like towels. I found Gabby’s advice on “Make Towel Assignments” and “Get Towels off the Floor” just the type of little big advice that would bring a simple saving solution to many moms, like me.
What about what to do with all of the school papers brought home and the art projects that pile up? Or, how about the best way to manage mountains of laundry – you and your kids? All, in here.
I love the sections throughout titled “AT THE BLAIR HOUSE” that share how they do things in their home. Because, while I do want to know what kind of floors she has found favorable and durable with 6 kids, I’m even more interested to know how she handles things like, “Family Screen Time & Social Media” and “Daily Family Dinners.”
These sections are in yellow, which makes sense because they are gold. I am a big believer in family dinners and everyone helping to clean up afterward. We implement this in our house, but I don’t put on a fun clean up playlist to make the chore more cheerful. I will now, though.
I’m finding this book will be a bit of a manual for me this spring and summer. Honestly, somewhat of a God-send as I hope to make my home not just beautiful and kid-friendly, but family functional. I’m ready to start to implement and eliminate.
If you have children, are going to have children, or know someone who has children, get this book.
Do you have any great tips or advice when it comes to living with kids? I’d love to know.
PS – The image above is my dining room turned playroom! yay!