HOUSEography

http://www.houseography.net

I have 2 kids, a handy hubby, and a real job. I love working on our recently renovated 1940 colonial and making it our forever home. I prefer for our house to evolve rather than make a total change overnight - it feels more lived in and more us!

Of all the DIY projects you've done, which was your favorite?

What's your advice for moms who want to decorate their home on a budget?

Where do you find inspiration for keeping your home stylish?

How do you effectively (but stylishly) organize and store your kids' toys?

Melissa MacGregor

I think toys should generally be stored where the kids can see them and play with them. In our family room where spend 80% of our time, I have 2 big baskets of toys and 1 basket of books, and those are the ones the kids play with most. We have a few larger trucks hanging around as well. The best part about open toy storage is that the kids can pick up themselves...theoretically. But even if I have to pick up the toys, it takes less than a minute to toss them in the baskets. I have some open shelving in our basement play area where I store trucks, clear boxes of toys organized by type (balls, cars, Legos, Lincoln Logs, etc. and a few baskets of miscellaneous toys. If you use plastic boxes, use the type with clear lids so the kids can easily see inside. It's also great to rotate the toys that are in closed cabinetry to the open spaces - the toys seem new again!
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How do you decorate a shared room for opposite sex siblings?

Melissa MacGregor

Although it may seem daunting at first, many kids rooms could easily be gender neutral. Even blue is gender neutral - especially turquoise or navy. If you choose turquoise or a sky color, you could use a beach theme or outdoor/nature theme. Accent colors such as light green, orange, and yellow would add a lot of fun and brightness. Although I prefer that the bedspreads or quilts should be matching or clearly coordinating, each could be customized with more gender-specific pillows. Regardless of sex, each child should have an area of the room which is "theirs" where they can keep their special things and play by themselves. This could be a basket of toys and a bean bag chair for a younger child, or comfy chair and a desk for an older child.
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We're looking for decorating inspiration! Please share a link to a photo of your child's room.

Melissa MacGregor

Here's a link to several photos of my son's room. I wanted a room that would grow with him yet still reflect his toddler interests - trains, cars, planes, etc. We added faux board and batten trim along the bottom half of the walls. It adds signficant architectural interest to an otherwise pretty plain room. The top is a deep gray-blue color which should be timeless and satisfy even the moodiest pre-teen. His furniture is almost entirely hand-me-downs. The rug was the one main purchase we made - it's fun and colorful without being particular "kiddie" - no trains, etc. I could see the same rug working in an office or den! The chair and bed were handed down from my grandparents and the dresser was used in his nursery. I have plans to paint that soon! http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-awXnpbPbub8/TxRIZWNlQOI/AAAAAAAAHhs/qypZc7eHXE8/s1600/IMG_5981-1.jpg
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Help us create the ultimate Western-themed birthday party! Please share an idea for a game, recipe, party favor, decoration, etc. that's perfect for a Cowboy/Cowgirl party. Include a link to a photo if you have one!

Melissa MacGregor

We held a cowboy themed birthday party for my son in May. It was a great outdoor party - the kids loved dressing up in cowboy hats and bandanas which they could take home as favors. Both kids and adults loved the fake mustaches!!! We served taquitos, chips and salsa, and goldfish crackers. I topped the cupcakes with sheriff's badges which the kids really enjoyed! Since my son is...well, a boy... I have started a tradition of getting him a special shirt for his birthday. I had this year's custom made by a local embroidery company - so cute!!
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