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ROOM for everyone

How to create a space that feels easy to live in and still allow room for your child’s creativity suggests mum of five, Gabrielle Stanley Blair

SINCE OUR FIRST SON, RALPH, WAS BORN seventeen years ago, one of the biggest things I've learned is that design doesn't have to disappear when kids appear. You can definitely, absolutely have a beautiful home that works for both kids and adults (and babies too!). It's totally possible to take the space you live in right now and figure out how it can best serve your family's needs. I'm 100 percent confident that you can create a place where every member of the family feels right at home.

Divide and Conquer Your Books We’re kind of separatists when it comes to our books! Let me explain. The books we keep in the living room are meant to reflect what’s going on in popular culture, current events, and our of-themoment family interests. Books about crafting and DIY are generally found in the family office. The stories we’re reading during this week’s bedtimes are waiting on our nightstands. But the family room is all about relaxing, so the books we keep in here are more about leisurely reading: thrillers, our best-loved series, a little chick lit, beach reads, every Caldecott book I’ve collected, and all the picture books we adore. Some of the books are organized as series, others are arranged by colour (a fun strategy for any bookshelf ), and the options for the younger ones are always within easy reach.

Easy to Find, Easy to Put Away Toys can take over a room. So figuring out storage that will work for both you (looks great!) and your kids (easy access!) is the goal. Any furniture store you walk into will have a toy storage system to offer—probably a dozen. But before you take the plunge and invest in one, sit with your room for a while and see how it’s working. What toys are being played with >


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