Some months ago my husband commented on the fact that our round table only seated four... It's funny how I hadn't thought about that. Perhaps because Tess was always sitting in the high chair. But obviously we needed a table for five. So we started table hunting. And one thing led to another... We found this table at Crate&Barrel and it is supposed to have an indestructible top. Perfect for children. But I still end up covering it all the time because it is heavily textured and difficult to clean up spills. Oil cloth is perfect for that (except for the PVC! yikes, I know... but laminated cotton is just not the same). I had been using some brightly colored tablecloths I made a few years ago but it was such a clash.
So I looked for something more neutral and found this great silver oilcloth and tan polka dot oilcloth to use for a tablecloht and splat mat. What a difference! Don't know why I didn't do this long ago. (The kitchen table is where my laptop is usually sitting so I can steal a minute to check email while eating lunch or breakfast...)
We got the higher chairs (bar stools) at IKEA and they work great for the three girls. At some point we'll have to replace the rest of the chairs, which I bought before we were married.
We were lucky enough to replace a sectional couch we'd had for what seemed like forever. I never really liked the couch when we got it, but there just were not that many options then for a sectional and nothing else would fit down the stairway in the basement. I had no idea how long you have to keep a couch. The old one was a khaki-gold and we had the wall painted a similar color and every photo we took in that room turned out horribly! It seems strange, but I finally realized that color was really unflattering...! And since we gather so often in this room, and take photos in here, we had to repaint. (Have you ever noticed in interior design magazines when they talk about a wall color being "really flattering"? Now I get it.)
So now we have a grey couch (also Crate&Barrel) and grey walls (Martha Stewart's "Cement Gray": MSL266 from Home Depot) and I like it so much better! I had to come up with some new throw pillows for the couch. I found some different fabrics--a few Ikat inspired--but I realized I prefer a more monochromatic look with some interesting textures on the couch so I used the patterns for the floor pillows. I found these great mongolian lamb pillows at West Elm. They are incredibly soft. I love them but my children love them even more, which makes me really happy!
Because it is the family room, afterall! It's not easy to balance budget, design and kid-friendly function, is it? Sometimes we wonder if it's worth it to replace the worn-out when everything takes a beating. But on the other hand, does it make sense to put off little improvements indefinitely when they would make your surroundings more enjoyable every day? How do you do it?
(They all love the blanket I made for their dad last Christmas too. I should make some more of those!)