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If getting your child to clean their room is a constant struggle, it may be time to set them up for success. Too often kids’ rooms become activity catch-alls: part bedroom, part den, part playroom and part library. Keeping all of those tasks neat and contained is a challenge – especially when you’re four feet tall or under.
Smart parents take time to bring in child-sized solutions that can make cleaning a room easier. Here are ten tips for helping your child’s keep their room tidy:
1. Include them in the organizing process. It’s tempting to rush in and take care of it, but getting your child’s input on furnishings and where things go is important. If they have a say, they’re much more likely to keep up with it.
2. Get rid of extras. Make sure everything that is in your child’s room needs to be there. For example, store out of season clothing and neglected toys in bins in the basement or attic.
3. Create zones. Organize your child’s room with a designated area for sleeping, studying and playing. Then add storage items that can accommodate the items needed for those tasks. Place a bookshelf near a beanbag chair for reading, for example, or include basket or bins for storing toys.
4. Set a limit. Keep things fresh by keeping toys to a minimum. Decide on a number of items that is manageable and rotate out the toys so they play with them more.
5. Reclaim wasted space. Maximize storage capacity by looking up and down. Choose a bed with storage drawers built in the base – perfect for storing clothing as well as toys. And hang pocket organizers on closet doors to hold small items such as socks or stuffed animals.
6. Display special items. Have a space where your child can keep treasures, such as trophies, awards, artwork and vacation souvenirs. A shelf or bulletin board will keep these things neat and contained.
7. Think small. Consider your child’s size when you bring in storage items. For young children, keeping shelves low will encourage them to put things away. Make sure closet rods are multi-level, helping your child get ready in the morning.
8. Label where things go. Help your child know where things belong by making it clear. You can use words, pictures or a combination of both.
9. Color code for siblings. If children share a room, consider assigning each a different color. Then use bins and hangers in those colors for their toys and clothing.
10. Schedule in regular maintenance. Make cleaning up a habit by creating a routine. For example, create a rule that beds must be made before breakfast. Or wind down every day with a 15-minute tidy-up session before bedtime. Set a timer and it will feel like a game.
When kids make picking up their rooms a habit, the whole house will feel more organized!
Along with folders, pencils and a healthy lunch, your child might be bringing a case of nerves to the first day of classes. Here are five ways to help your child transition into a successful school year:
1. Sleep routines. Prepare for an earlier rising time by adjusting your bedtime and wakeup time two to three weeks in advance. Go to bed and get up 15 minutes earlier for a week, and keep adjusting the time until your child gets used to the new routine.
2. Homework. Create a plan, identifying specific homework and study times. Also, help your child organize his or her schoolwork by getting the right tools.
3. Activities. Assess the amount of time your child participates extra-curriculars, and be realistic about what they can and cannot handle. Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ to something that will bring stress home.
4. Chores. Consider if your child will have time to complete chores during school, and adjust their responsibilities at home as needed.
5. Calendar. Finally, document all of the decisions you make in a family command center, where schedules and routines are posted for everyone to see on a big calendar or bulletin board.
Before they were HGTV stars, Joanna and Chip Gaines were home flippers. In a recent episode, they returned to their roots by buying their own fixer upper and renovating it to sell.
We love the simple updates they did to the master suite, which turned a challenging floor plan with a wall of windows into a bright and open space. The Gaines’ replaced the ceiling fan with something more contemporary, refinished the floors, gave the walls a fresh coat of paint and added a single open shelf added above the headboard. The result combines urban with midcentury modern … and we’ve got the look.
Joanna sets the stage in the room with the modern bed that features a shiplap headboard. The Framework Bed from Magnolia Home offers the exact same look, in a slightly darker finish. The bed can be used with or without a skirt.
A pair of single midcentury modern nightstands complements the rustic feel of the bed, and makes the space feel lighter. The drawers add just enough storage, while the modern lamps add light for reading in bed. Our Mila End Tables would be a great pick. The wood finish matches the bed, and the sleek lines mimic the tables in our inspiration room.
Instead of a traditional dresser, Joanna uses a beautiful urban-style, which has a flat wooden front. The style complements the headboard, and keeps things clean and simple. Our Brisbane Dresser would be a perfect choice, matching the finish of the bed.
Finally, the room is finished with an oversized ecru rug in a low pile. Breaking up the wood in the room and warming up the floor, the rug also softens the room by adding another texture. Our Edge Ivory rug would be perfect, with its hand-woven tactile feel.
What do you think of Chip and Joanna’s “flipper upper”?
All rooms should have variety of lighting types, and this is especially true in the home office, where inadequate lighting could cause eyestrain. A home office should include a mix of overhead, task and ambient lighting. Here are three fixtures that will turn your work area into an illuminating space.
Ambient lighting is general lighting. Its job is functional, offering the right amount of brightness so you can see and navigate without stubbing your toe. Common ambient fixtures include ceiling, wall-mounted, recessed or track lights. Having this centralized source of light is the first step in your office lighting plan, serving as your first layer.
Desk lamps provide task lighting that helps you see what you’re working on. The taller the lamp the greater the desk area it will light up, so determine how much space you need to illuminate. If you do lots of detail work, select a desk lamp that adjusts to bring the light where you need it.
Desk lamps come in a variety of styles and finishes, so choose one to fit your décor. Complement other features in the room, such as the hardware on your desk, for example. Or choose one that adds a bit of personality.
Office lighting can be decorative, adding light around the room. If your office has a filing cabinet or bookcase, consider adding a small lamp that highlights the area or an accent item. lamp with a tall stand that can be angled is an ideal tool for spotlighting a feature, such as beautiful object or an ornamental corner of a room. Make sure you get a lamp that can be pointed, and use a light that is around three times brighter than the general ambient light in the room.
Nearly 10 million Americans work from home, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and as technology makes it easier and easier to be remote, that number is expected to grow. If you’re among this trend-setting group, you can set the stage for work and get more done by taking the time to design a proper workspace.
Whether you log in fulltime hours or simply manage household affairs, here are seven ways to work efficiently – and in style – from your home sweet home (office):
1. Claim a space. If you haven’t done so already, choose a spot in your home that can be used exclusively for work. A formal home office or spare bedroom is ideal – a spot on the sofa with a laptop is not. Look for an area where you can place a desk and storage system –you can even if you convert a closet if need be.
2. Choose a work surface. Every home office needs a desk or work surface. From a sleek writing desk to a larger executive set, the amount of space you have will dictate which style is best for you. If you have the room, consider an L-shaped desk that will offer room for your screens as well as a surface for writing.
3. Clear out distractions. Home offices sometimes need to double duty as a guest room or den, but you’ll want to get rid of anything that might steal your attention. This includes everything from clutter to media components, such as a television – you want your space to be focused on work. If your job requires you to watch videos, however, the TV can stay; if you’re tempted to watch Judge Judy, it should go.
4. Personalize your room. Just as you would place a picture of your loved ones on your desk at an outside office, personalize the area so it is welcoming to you. Choose a paint color that makes you happy, hang art on the wall, and consider furniture beyond a desk and chair. For example, a loveseat or accent chair might make sense if you do a lot of reading at work and want a comfortable place to sit.
5. Incorporate good lighting. No matter what kind of work you do, you’ll want to do it in a room that is well lit. This means including an assortment of lighting. Overhead lights are a good place to start. Then add task lights at your desk or workstations, as well as accent lights that will help create an inviting atmosphere.
6. Find a place for paperwork. No matter how much of your work is digital, you’ll most likely have papers you need to keep and reference. If your desk doesn’t have adequate drawer space, include filing cabinets or bookcases that can handle the excess. You’ll find several options that look like furniture, which will help keep your room from looking like an office supply store.
7. Maintain a clean-up routine. Once you’ve organized your space, do the work to maintain it. Every evening before you quit work, take a few minutes to put away papers. On Fridays, take out the trash and to run the vacuum cleaner so that everything is fresh and ready when you come back on Monday. And reserve your office space for office activities. If kids bring toys in, remove them at the end of the day. Do a visual sweep each day, and you’ll stay organized.
Getting kids to bed can feel like herding cats. Set yourself up for success by following these three tips from the National Sleep Foundation:
Start in the morning. People who make their bed in the morning are 19% more likely to get a good night’s sleep every night, according to the NSF. While it’s not clear why, we’re guessing there is a connection between feeling good about where you sleep and your tendency to sleep through the night. Teach your child to make their bed when they get up in the morning.
Pay attention to texture. Select soft linens and pajamas. Three-quarters of us claim that comfortable sheets and bedding are important to a good night’s rest. Since kids tend to kick off their covers at night, dress yours in pajamas made of breathable fabrics that keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Provide the right bedtime snack. Think about what you offer your child to eat or drink before bed. Foods containing tryptophan – the amino acid that is a building block of the sleep-related chemical serotonin – could encourage drowsiness. Turkey is a well-known source, but so are eggs, chicken, fish, and nuts. Another good bedtime snack is a light carbohydrate, such as whole -wheat crackers with a small amount of peanut butter, or cereal with milk. But avoid fatty, fried or spicy foods before bedtime that will upset the stomach and can interfere with sleep.
If you caught Fixer Upper last night, you no doubt fell in love with what Chip and Joanna Gaines called the Hot Sauce house. (If you didn’t see it, check out the photos here.) The classic Texan home had a big overhang and a wrap-around porch that kept out the sun and provided space for relaxing in rocking chairs. Owners Jenny and Ramil had moved from Northern California to Waco, Texas to be closer to family, and Jenny wanted to create a dream home with rustic Italian flair.
“Our clients really wanted a rustic Italian feel, so I wanted to really be purposeful on all the design that we implement. All of these elements, I think, make it feel just warm and inviting,” Joanna said.
We agree! We fell in love with the dining room, where the Gaines duo removed a wall to create an arched opening between the dining room and kitchen. New French doors, in natural wood finish, replace the old windows, bringing in lots of light to the special space.
If you can picture yourself gathering here with family to enjoy a glass of Chianti and homemade bruschetta, we’ve got the look.
The heavy wood table is the star of this room, with its ornate trestle base. We have the identical table, Farmhouse Keyed Trestle Table from Magnolia Home. Big and roomy, it’s perfect for family dinner as well as gathering for coffee or craft projects. Pair it with matching ladder-back chairs for a cohesive, rustic look. Or match Joanna’s design by using X-back side chairs, like our Huron Chairs in russet.
The arched mirror brings a sense of drama into the dining room. Joanna refurbished an antique window frame, adding mirror to create a sense of spaciousness and light in the room. The Eased Arched Window Casing by Magnolia Hone would bring the same look to your room. Use as is, or remove the panel doors and insert a mirror to duplicate the Fixer Upper home.
Joanna chose a wood and metal chandelier to continue the rustic feel of the dining room, and the exposed candles add a old-fashioned character. Our Edmonton Chandelier would be a great choice, complementing the rest of the wood in the space and bringing a metal texture to the room.
To balance all of the wood in the room, Joanna used a large light rug, which complements the wall color. Our Ella Rose Bone Rug is a great choice, and it was designed in coordination with Magnolia Home. The intentionally faded design creates a transitional look, and the Persian style is timeless.
Complete your Fixer Upper look with tabletop accessories from Art Van. From dinnerware to candlesticks, we can give you everything you need to bring the Italian Rustic Magnolia Makeover home. Bellissimo!
Tucking your child into bed at night is supposed to be a special and calm moment, but it can often turn into a struggle when kids don’t want to go to sleep. Instead of dreading bedtime, follow these three steps for setting the right moment.
Set a bedtime routine. An early bedtime is important for kids – between 7 and 8 p.m. works best for most, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Since kids thrive on structure, creating a bedtime routine can take away the stress. Start 15 to 30 minutes before their actual bedtime by turning off the television and playing relaxing music. You might even dim the lights and talk softer. The most important part of your bedtime routine is that it’s consistent.
Create the ideal sleeping environment. If your child’s room is filled with too much excitement, it could be physically hard for them to fall asleep. Keep things calm, quiet and soft. A nightlight can provide just enough illumination to make your child feel safe. Soft fabrics for pillows and comforters can also be soothing.
Remove electronics. Limit screen time before bedtime, which can activate your child’s brain. Also keep technology, such as televisions, computers and video games, out of your child’s room. The light these gadgets emit mimics daylight and tricks the brain into thinking it needs to stay awake.
Going from a crib to a “big boy” or “big girl” bed is a big step in your child’s life. While some parents choose to transition to a toddler bed, going right into a regular size bed is just as easy, saving money in the long term.
Start by identifying the right size. Twin, full or even queen are great choices, and which you choose will have to do with the space in your child’s room. Twin mattresses take up the least amount of space, which is nice if your child’s room is small or you want to provide lots of floor space for playing. If your child will have sleepover guests when they get older, twin beds can be outfitted with trundle beds. Or consider full- or queen-size beds, which provide extra room for spreading out or sharing with friends.
Select the best mattress. Kids need a mattress that will offer proper support and pressure relief. Since they probably can’t tell which mattresses feel best, Art Van PureSleep takes out the guesswork with our patented diagnostic machine, ensuring that your child has a more restful and productive sleep.
Sleep helps us all retain what we learn during the day. At night, we go through different stages of sleep where our minds are working, filing and organizing all of the information we collect during the day. If the mattress doesn’t support your child properly, he or she will toss and turn and that can lead to fragmented memory and trouble in school.
Set a realistic budget. While it’s tempting to allocate most of your budget to the headboard and frame, the most important investment is the mattress. A good quality mattress will last through childhood. You can always purchase a headboard and frame later.
Invest in safety accessories. When you’re transitioning your child into his or her own bed, consider their safety. You can purchase guardrails that prevent your child from falling out of the bed while they sleep. Another option is to purchase a bed that doesn’t require a foundation, so your child is lower to the ground. And make sure to place a rug or carpet around the bed to reduce the chances of slipping and falling.
Moving into his or her own bed is an exciting time for your child. Make sure you celebrate the milestone by creating the perfect setting.
For a teenager, a bedroom is more than just a place to sleep. It’s a place to study, dream, brood, laugh, retreat and grow. It’s where curious minds seek answers to burning questions. It’s where BFFs share LOLs and OMGs.
How you choose to design the space will set the stage for a lifetime of memories. For a teen’s room leave the rules behind and take creativity to its highest level. Most teens appreciate having a say in the matter. Here are three bedrooms that you and your teen can agree on – they’re totally cool and totally on trend:
Feminine chic. Kids grow up fast, but some teens like to hold onto their girly side. This bedroom offers that beautiful classic cottage look with its furniture, and then a sophisticated twist with black and pink bedding. You’ll be glad your daughter is still your little princess, and she’ll be happy to have a grown up twist with a cool color palette.
Cool loft. You’re never too old for bunk beds, especially when the bunk is actually a loft. This room is a great spot for a teenage boy to call his own. The bed is full size, providing plenty of space to spread out at night, while the desk area is great for homework and Facetime sessions.
Fun hangout. A daybed gives a teen room the feeling of a fun hangout, turning the bed into a sofa-style gathering spot during the day. This collection is great for a boy or girl, with a fresh grey finish and an abundance of storage. Then set the tone with your choice of comforters and accessories.