Welcome to my new blog series, Memos from a Soccer Mom.
In the design world, a memo is a small piece of fabric, wall covering, or other material that is representative of the product. The sample generally comes with technical information such as size and color and a pattern repeat if applicable. Sort of a testing piece that interior designers use to see how the fabric will look with a paint color, floor tile, and other fabrics for the room design prior to ordering full yards.
In The non-design world, a memo is a short note designating something to be remembered, especially something to be done or acted upon in the future; a reminder. So these are my “memos” shared from an interior designer who is also a soccer mom.
My Tips and Trends, new products for the home, and things I’ve learned hands on that worked well and NOT so well. (But don’t expect any recipes on this blog. Not my area of expertise. In fact, feel free to share yours with me…I’m sure my kids would appreciate a variety in my daily repertoire of recipes.) I hope you enjoy!
First lessons learned: When my boys were little I decided that I wanted our home to be a place where they could freely play, be creative and most of all make memories. This could prove to be a hard balance for a type A, everything in order, “I am an interior designer you know”, mentality. A friend of mine had given me a hand painted wall hanging that said, “Please excuse the mess, my children are busy making memories”. I hung this up in a place that displayed well as you entered our home, stepped over Hot Wheels, Lego creations, and Star Wars ships to then look up and read the phrase; therefore excusing me of the “messes” in my home., right? Well, I soon realized that I needed the reminder of the saying more than I needed others to see it.
I learned early on as a both a soccer mom and an interior designer the importance of designing with a foundation of Function for each space with durable solutions and materials for every day living. Wipable surfaces, washable paint, durable fabrics were all a must have!
Like all soccer and sport moms, one of the first things you learn is that you don’t just simply drive them to the venue for the sport they play and that’s it. Oh no, they play the sport inside the house, their bedroom, the hall ways, family room, you name it. They find a way and invent indoor versions of the sport! I know, boundaries could be set and rules applied but remember my cute wall hanging? Wer’e making memories here……
As a soccer mom one of the first things you learn to deal with our those tiny and pesky black rubber pellets from artificial turf fields that do NOT stay on the turf field itself. No, they take up permanent residence in your home. You find them in your carpet, your hardwood floors, your kids bedrooms, the bathroom, your washer and dryer. They make their way verywhere! (You all know what I’m talking about). So what was my Solution to this problem, besides a good quality vacuum, one solution….A salt and pepper (black and white) cut pile carpet that I had cut to size and edges bound as an area rug. Durable and easy to clean.
I also soon learned the terms “distressed and “reclaimed” worked very well in my home. Distressed furniture pieces that wouldn’t mind an additional “distressing” now and then were perfect. And let’s talk about reclaimed…. The definition of reclaimed is “to recoup, regain, recover or retrieve.” This describes my dining table perfectly! During the day it would be used as fort with a sheet draped over it, or as a ping pong table with a net strung across the middle for a ping pong tournament on a rainy winter day. Then, I would “reclaim” it for it’s original purpose and set the table in time for dinner.
(PB reclaimed dining table)
And what carpet do you put in the bedroom of a die hard soccer player who eats, breaths and sleeps everything soccer. Artificial turf. Yes I did….artificial turf. In his room. My carpet rep told me it’s the first time he ever had artificial turf cut and had the edges bound into an area rug. A fun design touch to add to a sports theme room! My son loved it and It was easy to vacuum and spot clean. (Bonus for the pesky black rubber pellets…they felt right at home!)
Just as I am feeling pretty good about my management skills of the rubber pellets and dirt and daily wear and tear from my boys, we adopted our daughter when she was 3 years old. Welcome to world of nail polish, glitter glue, glitter paint and pretty much all things glitter. More reason for durable materials to be used throughout our home.
What I have learned as a soccer mom and have infused in my design work for clients is that beautiful interiors are possible to blend with durable solutions for every day living. Having a home that you love and a place that your family can truly live and make memories is the most important thing.
It is possible to live amid both sentiment and conventional beauty. It’s what transforms a house into a meaningful a home.
Tammy| 13 September 2017
Michelle, you hit the nail on the head with this! From one soccer mom to another…thank you for the great tips!!!