Materials meet Family-Life... and Contributions aren't all about Work
The materials that went into this house needed to be tough, hopefully, easy-clean, and user-friendly. I wouldn't be asking my 90-year-old grandparents to remove their shoes, and I wasn't putting in floors that would require removing and retying young children's shoes multiple times a day. Some people are comfortable with that, but not me.
...But not cheap. We believe in choosing quality materials that will last. No use saving money at the outset, only to have repair and replacement costs come up in just a few years. Our sweat and muscle should only be applied to something that will last and serve us well.
Without a lot of strong opinion about decor choices, Hubby was happy to leave most up to me. He did, however, love the raised, 5-panel interior door style more than I loved the flat, 5-panel door style, so we went with his preference.
I had also planned on classic, round knobs, but he'd always loved the egg-shaped. Wanting both of us to feel it was our home, and be able to look at certain things and be excited about our decisions, we used his knob choice, too.
He had been extremely impressed with Marmoleum Click flooring during a home show excursion, so that drove the flooring choice for the kitchen, back hall, and sewing room... It's easy-care, comfy, durable, and DIY-friendly. So in that case, he chose the material, and I chose the colors.
Princess Artiste was a main source of thoughtful opinions. At age 11, she was around the most, and was great company on many trips to tile shops, etc., not only helping watch younger siblings Eager and CuddleBunny as I looked, but lending her artistic eye and thoughts as I needed. She was the one most willing to help... Or too nice to not!
|Installation was a|
"Mom & kids"group project.
Princess Artiste wisely elected to keep things simple. She had fallen in love with penny round tiles early in our search, and was glad to return to them.
I was slightly afraid they might clash with the also red-brown Brazilian Cherry hardwood floors, but they were an exact match! It was meant to be.
Princess Bossy, also interested in design and interiors, helped choose the upstairs carpeting, and had free rein (within budget limits) for the library and the main bathroom.
She chose to paint the library with a deep brown, similar to the color of chocolate syrup. She kept the room in a rich vein by choosing a chandelier for the central lighting.
She went a whole other direction with the lighting in her bathroom after falling in love with a moose-adorned fixture. She explained that the whimsical animals perched over her mirror would make any grumpy morning into a smiley one. It was a little more expensive than I'd planned, but I thought the promise of a cheerful morning countenance from a girl, like her mother, who is decidedly not a morning person, would be priceless to all of us! She chose the countertop and deep gray-green paint to coordinate with the fixture, giving that bathroom a lodgy, but elegant look.
Princess Sassy made the selections for the upstairs bath she, her younger sisters, and Prince Stoic shared when we moved in. She aimed for a blue-green color scheme, with Beluga Formica, pale gray walls (BM Gray Horse), a combination of glass tiles in teal, gray and light blue. With the chrome faucet and more traditional polished nickel light fixture, the room is light, clean, and a nice twist on a Craftsman, period style.
Prince Inventive had control of the boys' bathroom. He chose a masculine blackish, grid-patterned Wilsonart laminate with linear tiles to match. The vanity knobs repeat the grid pattern,
but the frog knobs for the linen cabinet were Prince CuddleBunny's fun addition.
The kids were able to choose their own bedroom wall colors. The younger boys put their heads together, choosing an "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach, and going with the taupish gray (Ralph Lauren Manor Grey) they had and liked in their bedroom in our last house.
The girls had a bad outing with the seemingly spring-like Behr English Meadow, which turned into a garish green when reflecting back on itself from all four walls. Second time was the charm, when they settled on the softer and bluer Behr Gray Morning.
|The dark red was a great backdrop |
for Prince Stoic-made guitars
Of course, this involvement helped them all feel all the more that this was truly their house, too. It was great to see them take ownership, and proudly point out the colors and/or materials they had a hand in choosing. Their investment in work and input help them take pride in our home and, hopefully, makes them want to continue to keep it in like-new condition.
In the planning stages, the hope was to create Our Home for Ten (RHome410), but the result is Our Home by Ten. :-)
Thanks again, Ellie of Beauty 4 Ashes, for asking these questions about our house and inspiring this whole series!