Building a Home "A great place for Adventure!"

“Stephen Hawking grew up in an unusual family...Stephen, his two sisters, and his parents lived in a big old house near London. Mr. and Mrs. Hawking never seemed to mind if the paint and wallpaper were peeling, the roof leaked, or the carpets were worn through.”


“The Hawkings house was a great place for adventure.”

We have been reading some GREAT kids books from the library. The Scholastic “Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Scientists” (and the Artists series, too) are good mix of funny comics, real photos, new vocabulary and real facts. We learn so much from these short kids books (highly recommend them!)

I found a really great time to read a book like this is when the kids are strapped into their seats/high chair around dinner time or during a snack time. They can’t go anywhere and we read aloud and I’ll chat with Liv about the book. Liv & Cohen are really young so when I read this book I talked about how Stephen Hawkings studied the stars and space. I skipped the pages that talk about his ALS, just because my kids are too young. I’ll prompt Liv with simple 2 year old questions like, “When we see the stars is it dark out? What else do we see in the sky?” She loves the moon lately! In this way, I find that I enjoy reading the book too. We do of course read a billion “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” little kid books as well, but throwing a few older elementary books in about real people helps keep it interesting for Grant and I :) We love reading non-fiction books with the kids.

As a new-ish parent, it is so interesting to hear what other parents do and how different people were raised. I just read this weekend that Picasso’s dad, Pablo Ruiz Picasso, was an extremely talented artist who was an art professor. So cool.

As I think about designing our home and making it ours, I LOVED this quote from the book…

“The Hawkings' creaky old house was filled with books, paintings, and odd items that Stephen's dad had brought back from his trips to Africa...”

….and the quote above, “The Hawkings’ house was a great place for ADVENTURE!!” Yesssssssss.


Building a Home


It has been such a dream to start decorating and making our new home our own. We’ve only been here for 7ish weeks, so it’s all new and still very much in the works..although I’m always drawn to dark walls we chose a bright white (benjamin moore chantilly lace) and I’m really happy with it!! We have some high ceilings and I knew the bright white would capitalize on all the light. anyway, I always want to live in every Soho House I see, so I’m constantly going back to those beautiful!! I just discovered they have a shop too!

soho house favorites: the allis, 76 dean street

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I want to design our home..what I want my children to see on our walls, the feeling our friends/family will have when they come over… how can I create a space that is warm, orderly, kid-friendly and full of artwork that is meaningful to me…these bits from different interviews I’ve read have been on my mind…

Dax Roll and Joyce Urbanus of Amsterdam-based design studio Nicemakers, from “House to Home” (via SohoHouse) talk about their design philosophy and the feeling they try to create in their spaces: something warm, lived in…

Joyce— ‘What’s most important to us is that the spaces we design don't feel new. We had a couple of openings, in a bar and in one of the penthouse projects we did, where people said to us when they arrived for the first time it felt like it had already been there for a long time. It feels very natural, considered, but not contrived.’ 

Dax —‘It feels like the restaurant had been open for a long time already, or people had been living there for a couple of years and had already travelled the world and collected some nice art and objects.’

Dax Roll and Joyce Urbanus bedroom (above)

Dax Roll and Joyce Urbanus bedroom (above)

I’ve been also thinking about the artwork I want to much..which ones etc…Anna Bond’s beautiful home really inspired me to be selective. Anna hung only one painting on her dining wall and really let it have it’s own moment. Thinking about having your home be a serene haven from the fullness of the day, a blank canvas when your day is full of busyness and color…

Anna Bond and her husband Nathan spend their days running Rifle Paper Co., the beloved stationery brand with more than 175 employees, so they want their home to feel like a haven. “Friends come over and say, ‘There’s no color!’” says Anna. “But we need a place that is totally serene.” (via)


The Butcher’s Daughter in LA is also one of my favorite interiors— soooo insanely amazing inside- the plants!!!


Liv's Montessori Inspired Nursery

Liv Puzzle.JPG

Now that Liv is officially a full toddler (running, talking, exploring everything!) I have continued to add to her room, building on Montessori principles and rotating and buying a few new toys now that she is older. Her room has changed even since I took these pictures (they are from February and she now sleeps in a big girl bed)! Woo hooo!

Montessori is an educational philosophy and a whole system of education (based on the scientific work of Maria Montessori) in which the environment is very intentional and set up in a very ordered way. There is a lot more to it, but the environment is a really key piece. Activities are grouped and stored on a tray or in a basket. One of the cool things I learned from the Montessori philosophy is to store all the pieces of a puzzle in a basket on top of the puzzle. If you store the puzzle with the pieces in their proper place (already complete) there is little desire for a child to pick it up and do the puzzle, because it's already done. 

I am not 100% Montessori by any means, but I have used many Montessori principles throughout our home. I rotate our toys/books not putting them all out at once in an effort to keep the space organized and so that Liv can enjoy them without it feeling overwhelming or stuffy in her room. I have been so surprised how well Liv puts her toys back and I think it is because it is easy for her to know where it goes. One toy, one spot. Skills such as sorting, hand-eye coordination, and the exploration of materials to build etc...are all Montessori rooted. It is a beautiful approach to education. Here are a few of my favorite Montessori resources: The Kavanaugh Report & The Montessori Notebook. I love building a fun space for Liv and I'll continue to change and tweak it as Cohen eventually moves in there too. 


Liv using her water painting board (below) and of course drinking the water (haha, my fault for putting the water in a tea cup)!