Enjoy the Richness of Wood

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family, Hardwood

Re-creations such as this home provide us with a realistic view of life before our time. These homes generally consisted of one or two rooms and maybe a loft as a sleeping space for children.

This main room served as kitchen, dining room and living room. Much of the furniture was probably hand made from local wood. The walls and floors are also locally produced.

Take a look at the log wall along the back of the room. This is an outside wall, with the rounded logs facing out and scraped smoother on the inside. If you like this look, today’s hand-scraped wood flooring can give you a taste of it. This wood floor, on the other hand, is not common today. That muted light brown-grey tone comes from lots and lots of scrubbing with harsh soap and water to keep it clean.

The central table has a much richer patina – developed through hard use and loving care. You can find flooring and furniture with a comparable level of character. Some floors are reclaimed from older properties and sanded and stained to achieve this look. Flooring companies are also getting very good at creating this feel from new wood.

How much wood do you want in your own home? Things have changed since the time when people had to build a life with products made with their own hands, but much about this room is inviting and charming. What can you learn and borrow from this room to add charm to your own space today?

Floors for Babies

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family, Hints, Tips and Advice

If you’re expecting a baby, you’re also preparing for a world of life changes. Is moving or renovating on the horizon? If so, be sure to keep your baby in mind as you select your flooring.

Babies spend an amazing amount of time on the floor. When they’re first born, lay your little one on a quilt on the floor underneath a slow-moving ceiling fan. You’re providing hours of entertainment! As they get older, the floor is the site of rolling over, scooting and crawling as well as stacking and knocking down blocks. Learning to walk comes next, and the floor is the best place to play and spend time as your baby moves from toddler to schoolchild.

You should think about comfort, ease in moving and stain and spill issues with your baby and flooring. Carpeting is a good choice because its cushion provides a safer falling surface and a more comfortable place to play. Look for soft carpeting with a good pad to maximize both comfort and safety, and with a baby in the house, spend the extra money for a stain-proof option.

Hard wood and laminate will also work well for children. Studies have actually shown that time spent on their stomachs on a hard surface adds neural connections that will make learning easier later in life. The smooth surface also makes it easier for learning feet to walk. Area rugs can take the place of carpeting if your style is more suited to wood.

The right flooring is just one of the many decisions you face with the addition to your family. We’re here if you need advice on floors or other home options.

The Multigeneration House Part 1: Sharing with a Parent

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family, Hints, Tips and Advice

Many years ago, it was common for multiple generations to share a home. Grandparents, parents and children would all live together. After World War II, that changed for many people when young couples sought the dream of having their own homes. Now, however, parents of baby boomers are getting older, creating a situation where multiple generations are once again sharing space.

Here are a few suggestions to make the transition easier when you have a parent joining you and your family in your home.

  1. Make sure everyone has some space that is under their control. Remember that your parent or parents are used to having a home of their own. The best scenario is a room for every individual or couple. If that isn’t possible, be sure that everyone has some private spot that is under their control, even if it’s just a corner of a room. Also give everyone their own storage space. Your parents have had to give up a lot of possessions for this move, and it’s important that what’s left is respected.
  2. If you have older family members joining the household, do a safety check for them. For the elderly, this may involve moving rugs that could be a tripping hazard or adding a non-slip pad underneath. Falling is the most common reason for the elderly losing their ability to walk. With that in mind, carpeting is the safest flooring for the elderly because it can cushion their falls. Consider adding a large carpet in their room. You can have standard carpet cut to size and bound so a room can be almost completely covered at a minimal cost.
  3. Finally, spend some time with your parents, discovering their concerns and priorities. Does your mother still want to bake cookies every Saturday afternoon? Would your dad like a garden in the back yard? Are your children worried that they may not be able to have their friends over for a movie night every Friday with popcorn? If you all work together, joining the generations in one home can be an enriching experience for everyone.

Inside Play Space

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Family

Is the season’s bad weather keeping your children inside with nothing to do but get on each other’s nerves? Here’s a suggestion to create an indoor play space just for this time of the year.

This is easy if your child or children have a designated playroom. If not, wander around your house and think about any area that could be designated for children for a few months without much disruption. A corner of a dining room, part of a basement, or even the space between your family room and kitchen could work.

Start by creating a separate floor to define the space. An inexpensive throw rug or a carpet remnant in a color that contrasts with the floor would work well. Add in some useful furniture, such as a children’s play table or a coffee table with cushions around it. You can cover the table with a vinyl tablecloth to protect it from play activities. Extras such as bookshelves, bins, or even a small child’s tent can help to further delineate the space as for children. Posters or maps on a nearby wall add to the color and interest.

Once the space is set up, use it as a reward for finishing chores, homework, or as a source of interest during those long grey days when everyone is looking for something to do. Place a jar with suggestions for activities in it, with each child taking a turn selecting one. Spend an afternoon brainstorming ideas with your children, writing them on additional papers for the jar. Surprise them with special projects or tools. For example, one day they may find a box with different types of measuring tools in it, and instructions to determine what kinds of things each tool can measure well.

Create an imaginative space to compensate for the outdoor limitations, and help your children get through the winter without overdosing on TV or computer games.