found! not lost blog

“Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” ― Mary Oliver

Domestic daredevil: grasscloth and kids

I’m thinking about using this cool printed grasscloth wallpaper from Designers Guild in our newly redone entry hall. This image doesn’t do it justice since you can’t fully see the texture.

{close-up}

{full repeating pattern}

However, I’m torn, because while I love the beauty and unique texture mixed with the geometric print, I’ve also heard warnings that grasscloth could be too delicate or impractical for a family with young children. The reason being it isn’t easily cleaned, can fray, and would be difficult or next to impossible to replace a section if a portion were damaged.  I’m tempted to just throw caution to the wind and put it up anyway – it’s just walls. Besides, I’m a bit old school in how I deal with the kids in regards to our home.  I’m trying to teach them that the entire house isn’t a playroom, just designated areas, and to respect our belongings — i.e., do not eat and drink on my sofa, do not color on walls, tables, or other furniture, do not play with fragile objects, etc.  If that sounds like a lot of “do nots” to you, consider the fact that I have taught my kids these things so that they will not do those things when they are visitors in your house either!

A more selfish reason to do it was because I did not want to live with college apartment-like furniture in my thirties just because we had kids. I noticed many people with young kids put off getting anything nice for themselves because they were afraid of what their kids would do to it.  Further shock when I saw the trend toward furnishing what would’ve been formal living rooms or dining rooms with toys, play houses, and kitchen sets. So it was, that when I redecorated our last house I decided to get the furniture I really wanted long-term rather than waste the money on less durable furniture that would have to be replaced (and that I didn’t love) just because of our two toddlers.  Doesn’t a mom make enough sacrifices?!  My husband was very wary of the idea, but went along because I think he could see my determination.

Fast forward four years – guests are often surprised when they spy a crystal bowl or ceramic sculpture on a side table or shelf, but I am proud to say that my four- and six-year-old girls have learned to admire these things without breaking them.  And to use furniture as intended, not as launch pads, climbing structures, or kitchen tables.  Sure, incidents have happened, I’m not a warden.  But, they’re fewer than you’d think, and yes, they do play in our house, build forts, do art projects, be kids and have fun.  We don’t treat our home like a museum (though I wasn’t sure if I should be embarrassed or proud when my then five-year-old saw one of our friends put a beer on the side table and came over to offer a coaster!).

So, back to my wallpaper situation… the main reason I’m hesitant is because this is the entry hall and I’ve had enough experience with my kids’ friends to know that this could be inviting trouble (see above: coloring on walls, living rooms as playrooms). Not that my kids are perfect (see above: “incidents”).

So, as I was waffling back and forth on the decision I came across this post on one of my favorite home design sites, Houzz.com. Definitely mixed thoughts on if, how, where to use this cool design tool.

Dining Room traditional dining room

traditional dining room design by minneapolis interior designer Twist Interior Design
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This entry was posted on April 7, 2012 by in home, kids/family and tagged , , , , , , .
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