Thursday, February 22, 2007

The First Thing You See In A Room, 2




Sorry it's taken me a while to finish this post. Life intervened, as they say....



Here's how we rearranged the room. This time for a focal point, I used the wardrobe (from IKEA). Since it's kind of high for a horizontal surface, the kids don't tend to put so much clutter on it. On top sits a dollhouse log cabin (since it has glass windows, I like to keep it up high) and a plant. The girls use the wardrobe for clothes (there's no closet in the room) and it's easy to close the doors when it's messy. As for the shelf for toys, I decided to use it as a room divider to section off my older daughter's art area. We painted the back green to match the walls and hung up artwork on it. It's still usually a messy area, but this time the shelf hides the mess instead of displaying it. :)

Probably an idea focal point for a child's room would be something large that contained no horizontal surfaces, such as a painting or a large plant (though plants have their own set of problems when used with kids.) Another tactic for keeping rooms looking clean (when "being clean" on all occasions is near impossible) is to locate the messy areas (the toy box, the desk, the dresser) in areas out of the immediate line of sight, usually on the wall behind the door or on the same side as the door.

You can create a focal point by painting a section of the wall and hanging it with a display of pictures. Resist the temptation to put a bulletin board or a chalk board as the focal point - it will quickly become messy! We have a magnetic board section for kids' artwork on the wall behind the desk (visible as the dark wall in the desk picture). A high shelf for special toys (like an heirloom china doll or a ship model) is another possibility.

Let your children in on the secret of focal points, and let them know that a good way to keep you happy as room-cleaning inspector is to a.) make the bed and b.) make sure the focal point is neat. And if they're able to handle making the bed, make the bed the focal point with a brightly-colored wall behind it, a mosquito-net canopy (we got ours from IKEA), or fabric hung on the wall behind it like a tapestry. Point out that they can make their rooms beautiful with a little daily effort on their point, and you're raising the next generation of house artists!

5 comments:

LeeAnn said...

Regina, I love that green color on the wall! So cheerful! And I laughed when I saw the IKEA wardrobe--we used to live three miles from the Seattle IKEA and nearly our entire house is imported from Sweden. It's like a showroom. Is this the bunkbed set you were cursing in your CeT long-ago post? We have the cheapest of the cheap IKEA bunkbeds for the middle girls, so we can commiserate. They are plain unfinished pine with visible screws, nuts and it's really, really short. I doubt it will last past the three year old moving into kindergarten.

I like the idea of the focal point, but I keep thinking I have awkwardly shaped rooms to accomplish this. Or just too small rooms. The middle girls room opens smack onto the end of their bunk bed. The older girls room could have a nice focal point, but my daughter likes to have all the furniture around the periphery of the room to make plenty of play area for dolls and such. Actually, the baby has the nicest bedroom in the whole house. It was the only room that was completely painted and coordinated in color (a butter yellow and medium gray-blue). And he has fewer things, so it stays neater (although stinkier with the diaper pail being there).

I've been sharing many of the posts on this blog with my 9yo daughter. She has been loving this and finding reinforcement of values taught at home. Especially seeing that other girls love Waldorf dolls. None of her friends have them and she often wonders why places like Target and the mall don't stock them.

(Would Waldorf be Waldorf if it got popular and mass-produced and available in every mall in America? Would we have to find something even more authentically hand-crafted and locally-made?)

LeeAnn

regina doman said...

LeeAnn,
Actually we sold the bunkbeds a few years ago. Good riddance! The bunkbed in the picture is a crib-sized bunkbed I designed and made with generous help from a carpenter friend. It didn't turn out quite as I wanted, and Andrew wants to give it away, but for right now it's Thomas's bed. We had moved him in with the girls after Joshua died.

I love the green too - we needed a more gender-neutral color after Joshua died (the room was pink), and for some reason, I really wanted that color. It's very springy!

Bonnie said...

Regina, your blog was passed on to me by a friend, and I am so delighted to have discovered it!

I am overwhelmed by your courage as a mother and I am inspired by your expression and passion as an artist.

Thank you for creating the blog I have been needing.

Bonnie, from Canada

teresa said...

Regina, what did you use for a chair at that small table/desk? I am thinking about chopping the legs off of a table to put in my daughter's room, but am not sure about the chair part. Also, thanks for the pictures of the dolls in your girl's room. I am inspired, and am seriously contemplating starting my first Waldorf doll.

LeeAnn said...

Regina,
I finally figured out how to post photos, so here are some of mine, inspired by this post.

http://apostletosuburbia.blogspot.com/

Hope you enjoy them,
LeeAnn