project: approachable elegance

With 5 young children at home, the dream of having the kind of home my new client wants has kept me on my toes.  "Rich, elegant, dark wood, lots of silky fabrics everywhere..."

As we discussed her dreams I couldn't keep track of all fast paced scrambling going on around us.  Fresh from a birthday party down the street, the kids were all armed with suckers and baggies of sticky, sugary treats.  She told me not to worry, the new room would be off limits.  We discussed this plan and I mentioned my concerns.  Her home is full of energy and the reality of making the family room 'off limits' to the kids didn't seem to be the best option.

I don't have kids of my own so I'm not sure that 'off limit rooms' really exist without some serious strain to the enforcer of the rule, and in my opinion don't think they should exist.  Sure, there should be rules and children should be taught about the importance of treating items in the home with respect.... {Am I being ignorant right now? Like one of those people who say things like, 'When I have kids they will always behave'?}  Maybe so, but I believe a home should be livable and approachable.  I remember those dusty off limit rooms in my friends homes growing up...totally wasted possibilities!!

So, taking into consideration all of these things I have given her some great options for durable upholstery and ways to incorporate the elegant fabrics she would love to have in the room that could be functional and beautiful, but out of reach.


  1. Should your last phrase read...NOT out of reach? or did I miss something? Your instincts in design AND home functions AND child rearing are spot on. Neither mother nor child ever loved the "front parlor" stigma.

    Love the apothecary credenza.

  2. I guess I was a bit vague, I was referring to the window treatments being out of reach. I positioned her room so the sofa would be placed in front of the window, hopefully keeping her boys from hiding in the panels as she fears they would.

  3. where have you been all my life? I agree with everything you said.

  4. Well I put the sofa in front of the window in my sitting room and the boys (and girl) climb up on top of the back of the sofa to look out the window, and shimmy back behind the sofa to hide in the window well. There is no such thing as off-limits.

  5. You definitely have the right idea about children and rooms!!:)