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Designing a Home in Real Life

Jul 13, 2018

One of the more challenging aspects of design is creating a polished and curated space despite “real life” interferences. Decorating doesn’t need to be mutually exclusive from things like kids, animals or dirty dishes (well, maybe the dirty dishes). It is, in fact, possible to live in a home that feels polished and fresh regardless of what else you might have going on. There’s no question a house filled with children is going to have different challenges than one with only adults, but both can be magazine-worthy without sacrificing utility.

With five kids and two dogs running around the house, I’ve learned some tricks for designing a room despite the chaos and destruction that children and animals can bring to the equation. Pattern can be scary to bring into a space , but it is so forgiving when it comes to things like dirty fingerprints, spilled milk and smeared play dough. Whether upholstery, bedding or a colorful carpet – if you can’t see the stain, that’s a win. For a neutral space, sneak pattern in via throw blankets, throw pillows, artwork and even tissue boxes!


Our home is filled with thrifted treasures and DIY projects that bring a fun one-of-a-kind element to our décor without the high costs. So, if there is the occasional accident or ball thrown inside, hopefully it won’t set us back too much. This collection of rainbow glass is made up of flea market bargains and doesn’t need anything else to steal its thunder, but that graphic patterned tissue box fits right in on the counter below.

The reality is that life happens. Toys, games and rogue socks sneak into the most pristine room. So, we adjust by bringing in a festive basket to corral the stuffed animals or matching storage bins to hide the games. Too many dirty dog toys? Grab a bucket and store them outside. There are so many ways to decorate with reality in mind.

The good news is that Scotties has made it easy to keep a box in every room by providing so many options, including one for our dining room sidebar. “Go get a tissue” is one of the more common phrases uttered around here, so being able to keep something as useful as a box of tissues out in the open without compromising style is such a delight.

Designing a space that works for your family and your family’s needs is the goal of any design project, but you shouldn’t have to compromise your aesthetics to achieve that goal. Thankfully, there are times like this where form meets function, so you can have personal necessities like Scotties tissues within arm’s reach no matter where you are around the house!

Written by Charlotte Smith from At Charlotte's House