One of the greatest challenges of growing your family is the sheer volume of STUFF that come with a new little person. Not only the things that you think you might need, the things that you want (because they are so beautiful) and the things that you find you actually need…there is also dealing with the many things that you are given as gifts from loved ones, and then extra bits and pieces that you may receive as hand-me-downs. First world problem, sure, but what can happen is that your beautiful, neat, child-free home suddenly becomes a den of clutter. And, if you are struggling to fit a shower in your day when your baby arrives, it can be even more stressful when you are looking for a home for all of those things in a vain attempt to get your life back!
(above: Jali and Willow – from the 2012 Kids Annual – have a gorgeous play space in the family room at their home. Photography by Maureen Haynes.)
I always figure that in the grand scheme of life, the small amount of time that your kids are actually little kids is actually quite a teeny window. Because of that, it is often nice just to embrace the ‘stuff’ for a short time. Many people fill every available space with all sorts of plastic goodies, but letting people know that a child actually resides in your home doesn’t always have to be quite so obvious. Sometimes it can mean a simple corner of the home that is dedicated to your little one. Kids love to be where everyone else is, so if you love to cook and spend heaps of time in the kitchen, then why not set aside a corner for your kids to become little master chefs on their own terms?
(above: Eva’s kitchen – from Issue 8 of LittleONE Baby – is in a corner of the family kitchen. Photography by Tanya Love.)
If you have the space in your home, then a play room can be brilliant. Many parents find that often a play room is more trouble than not as it can become a breeding ground for mess and you can be constantly tidying and wasting hours looking for the toilet from the doll’s house when some kid shoved it in the lego bin. However, it is also a great opportunity to keep all your little people’s things in one place and good storage can make life a lot easier of everyone. By displaying the pretty and hiding the not-so-pretty it can make for a special room that everyone loves to be in.
(above: Rafaele – from Issue 1 of LittleONE Baby – and big sisters, Gianna and Sienna, share a gorgeous playroom with shelves that are both pretty and practical. Photography by Lisa Nankervis.)
I got to thinking about small spaces, and where toys live, and the things that I love, and the things that my kids love…and then I got to wondering what everyone else does? When it comes to their little people and all their little things, where do you keep them? And, more importantly, do you love the homes that you have created for your little people’s things? I have a corner of the lounge room, just next to the TV and a simple, white toy box on wheels is the home for all the latest favourites of my two. Next to that are a few items that work perfectly with the colour scheme of the lounge and kitchen area…but are also beautiful toys, and toys that my kids love. I realised that this littlest space in my lounge was actually one of the spots in my home that I actually love to look at…even if it is filled with toys! Now, everyone knows how much I love Instagram, and it is a great place to share images. So, I set the challenge…show me your favourite ‘littlest space’ (#mylittlestspace) and what wonderful responses I received!
(above: Oscar & Sebastian’s little corner of the lounge room.)
Just like Jali in his teepee above, I love the idea of a teepee in a room. Kids of all ages adore hide and seek, and also the feeling of being all tucked away somewhere secret. A teepee gives them that private space, whilst also allowing them to be near everyone else. And, an adorable teepee is lovely to look at regardless of age!
This little shelf is in the lounge room of the family home and dedicated to the smallest person in the house. Regardless of how you decorate your home, there is always bound to be something out there for kids that matches in perfectly with your decor and it is so lovely to remember that regardless of age, it is their home too!
A playroom or cubby can certainly still be stylish and this fun room houses toys and a lovely long chalkboard to draw on. Sitting at the end of the garden, it is a little corner just for kids! So sweet.
A bookshelf is the perfect little space for kids – no matter how young they are. Not only does it keep things in order, but it means that all goodies are easily accessible. And, it is a great way for kids to understand design, display and organisation. Perfect!
I love a reading nook! This gorgeous little corner is the perfect example of a place that is practical and kid-friendly whilst also being lovely to look at. Just a few simple details can be all you need to create a beautiful room that your child will love.
This family are spending a few months away from home and what a gorgeous and colourful way to set up a sweet play area in their temporary home? Window sills are perfect for kids – they are just the right height and can create a lovely display when your child isn’t in play mode.
This new mama told us this was her favourite space and I can totally see why. A beautiful rocking chair sitting right next to baby’s cot would have to be the best seat in the house!
Often the thing that makes a space so special and unique is colour – and that is what possibly makes kids spaces so much FUN! Like this room, with just a gorgeous pop of neon that would be guaranteed to make you smile every time you walked past (don’t you just adore those big buttons on the walls as well? Love!)
I think the most wonderful thing about spaces for kids would have to be the personality. That quirky toy that reminds you of the day it was purchased, the chair that your little one loves to sit and read in, that pillow, that game, that book…it is the one thing that makes the space unique. And the one thing, that is the years to come when your little one is grown, that will forever remind you of this exact moment in time. How priceless is that?
So…with a few days left to join the challenge…would you like to share with us a little corner of your home that is just for the littles in your life? Get on Instagram if so! Follow us on www.instagram.com/littleonemag and hashtag your littlest space with #mylittlestspace – and maybe, while you are there, follow some of the clever people from the spaces we have shown above. Just by hashtagging your image you are in the running to win the ENTIRE back catalogue of LittleONE print issues. That is 12 beautiful, glossy images delivered to your door – over $200 in value!
And, if you have a lovely space that you would like to share with our readers, please get in touch and let us know! We love a space that can inspire…so we would love to hear from you. Email [email protected] and show us what you’ve got!
What’s your favourite space from those above? Is there something that you would like to replicate in your own home?