Around the world and back

Hey guys,

I wanted to share with you a neat little idea I had for an activity that I could do with my boys and then use it as wall art for our house. I am also confident that this activity would strike up a conversation with our guests when they visit our home.

One of the many things that my husband and I share is our love for traveling. When we first started dated, we seriously listed out all the countries we have visited to determine who has travelled more between the two. LOL (we were such kids then). We both have done our fair share of independent traveling but have also taken some amazing and unforgettable trips together such as Greece, Italy and Iceland. Traveling is something we are both passionate about and plan to continue doing with our children. Having said that, if you’re a parent, you’ll know that traveling with children definitely has its challenges, from flight durations to time change, nap/sleep schedule, routine…the list goes on. As a result, we have definitely limited our traveling over the past 5 years. Both my boys have been on numerous plane rides, but for the most part, we try to keep our destinations within 3 hours of flying (with a few exceptions). Some of the places they have been to are: Dominican Republic, Toronto, Bahamas, Lake Louise, Seattle, and California.

My oldest child is 5 now and the youngest is turning 3 in a few weeks. For the first time, both my husband and I feel like we are ready to take on bigger adventures with them. This summer our family will be visiting Lisbon and the Algarve in Portugal for 2 weeks. While I am super excited about this trip, I am definitely nervous about it and no doubt, the stress level will be at its peak closer to the date.

With this trip and future trips in mind, I wanted to come up with something I could do with my boys to document the magical memories I plan on creating with them (yes, being SUPER optimistic here). I purchased a scratch map of the world online. Check out this one similar to the one I purchased.  This one from Walmart and this one from Etsy both seem like great options as well.

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Every country we visit, the boys can scratch that country off on the map to show where we have visited collectively as a family. I got the map framed at Hobby Lobby and now it is currently hanging in my office/dining room. Right next to it, I hung a Metal mesh grid panel. After each trip, I would let the boys select a few photos from our trip that they could print using our polaroid printer.   They can then hang it on the grid using bullnose clips or mini clothes hangers. How cute is that? To add a little dimension and some fun to it, I wrapped a fairy string light that I picked up from Target around the metal panel. I want to make sure the photos are visible so lighting was necessary.

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I love that this is something we could do together as a family for many years to come. It provides an opportunity for us to bond and reflect on our experiences and most memorable moments from our trip. Another thing I absolutely love about this idea is that a map is a pretty generic/standard piece of art but this is so personal and really reflects who we are as a family. If you know me and my style, you’ll know that I am a fan of making your home reflect you, your lifestyle and this is just that!

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Now if you are looking to do something similar to this and not wanting to use a scratch map, you could also glue a map to a cork board sheet, get it framed (optional) and then pin the areas you have visited. I had a client  once who collected pins from every city/country he visited and used it to pin his map.

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Now all we need to do is start traveling and fill our wall with amazing memories! If you do end up doing something similar, I would love to see it, so please feel free to email me at xomyhome@gmail.com to share your creation and memories. Thanks for following along guys!

 

XO,

 

Kim

 

Styling one room for multiple purposes

Although I currently reside in Florida where there is no shortage of space and large homes, I spent most of my life in Toronto, where square footage comes at a premium price tag. Designing a home in the city is often not just for the esthetics but each square foot needs to be accounted for to maximize functionality.

An effective way to create a multi-purpose room is to combine a frequently used room with an infrequently used room. A perfect example of this is combining a guest bedroom with an office space. Since guest bedrooms are typically only occupied when you have overnight guests, it makes sense to convert it into an office space for daily use if space is limited.

In this 1700 square foot home, 2 office spaces were needed.  Immediately the guest bedroom was turned into an office for dad as he needed a bit more privacy. I then converted the dining room into a beautiful office space for mom who was fine with having her work space in the common area. The dining room only gets used when they have guests over so it was perfect to function an office space as well.

For this room, we got this large beautiful wood dining table with live edge, that will be used daily as a desk, where she has ample space to lay out her work, computer and whatever else she needed. For storage, we used 3 metal bookcases and placed them behind the dining table. These bookcases were the key to the design. Traditional wooden bookcases would have visually occupied more space in this room but these metal shelves keeps it looking open and spacious. Boxes with filing folders were used to store important documents and baskets for extra storage.

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The pendant light offers great lighting for work but also creates ambience for conversations over dinner and a glass of wine.

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Also, the paint used in this room is actually chalkboard paint so you can actually jot down notes and brainstorm directly on the wall when you’re working and it can be easily washed off when you are done.

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When this family expects to have guests, they bring out the dining chairs from their breakfast table, add a floral centerpiece, set the table and voila, a dining room it becomes.  By utilizing the chairs from their breakfast table, they don’t have extra chairs laying around where storage and space is already limited.

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As you can see, this room now becomes a beautiful dining room for entertaining guests and having great conversations.  You can quickly swap some of the items in the bookshelves to make it more entertaining friendly, such as candles, flowers, bottles of wine and coffee table books.

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Once dinner is done, you clear the table and once again it becomes a fabulous workspace.

I hope this has given you some tips and ideas on how to create your own multi-purpose room.

XO,

Kim

 

Superhero Boys Room

Decorating my boys room was a lot tougher than I had thought.  I wanted their room to be stylish but also reflect their interests. I also felt it was important for my 5 year old to be part of the process. However, if it had left it up to him, I think there would be superheroes flying at you as you enter the room.

I gave the boys the option of choosing a superhero theme bedding or having a superhero wall decal above their beds. As you can see, they opted for the wall decal.  They each got to choose their favorite character from a preselected list based on price point. My oldest chose Spiderman and my donut chose the Hulk. These are perfect because you can take them off easily if you need to relocate them or want to switch them out for something else.  We also had this superhero banner from awhile ago when Lucas was in his own room. Of course he insisted on bringing it over to his new shared room with his brother.

I chose this navy blue upholstered platform bed from Amazon for their room because it complements the decor. More importantly, it is not something that they will outgrow quickly.  The bed is affordable, stylish and easy to put together.

For bedding, I took the boys to Ikea since you could literally make a whole day out of Ikea, from browsing through their entire show room, stopping at the kids section, playing with all the toys, eating and then going downstairs and actually finding your items plus way more than you came for. Lucas initially chose this  flower bedding, which is so pretty and fun.  I was blown away by his great taste. I loved all the flowers and color on it and was excited about figuring out how I was going to tie the flowers into the Spiderman and Hulk theme.   Then his younger brother choose this blue stripe one. I am not sure what happened but last minute, Lucas threw back the flower bedding and just went with this simple navy blue set. I was a little disappointed but it was his choice. boys room view 1

It took me awhile but I eventually found this cute little night table for their bedside. It is also available here.  It is round so no sharp edges which is great for kids (childproof). More importantly it has a little basket that could store all their stuff animals. My boys must have at least 10-20 stuff animals in their room at any given time and they usually ALWAYS end up on the floor. So having the basket is amazing because I could easily throw them all in there.  Each night they would pick one from the basket to bring to bed with them.

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One of my favorite items in their room is the paper mâché LED letters that I placed on top of their bed. It acts both a decorative piece and night light for their room. Overall the boys room came together pretty nicely and we are pretty happy with it. It is cute and stylish for mommy, and you definitely cannot miss the superhero figures on the wall protecting my boys at night.

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XO,

Kim

Thanksgiving Tablescape

Thanksgiving 2017

This past Thanksgiving was the first Thanksgiving we spent in Florida since our relocation from Toronto. Every year Thanksgiving falls around my birthday weekend and for as long as I could remember, we have always travelled to celebrate my birthday. However this past year, we decided to travel the day after Thanksgiving and spent it with our friends in Tampa (Friendsgiving).

To celebrate our first American Thanksgiving, I decorated my entire table using mainly Chip and Joanna Gaine’s Hearth and Hand collection from Target, everything from candle holder to napkins, to napkins rings, flatware and lanterns.

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Details on items used:

Hearth and Hand Collection

Glass and Metal Taper Candle Holder – Brass

Artificial Cypress/Pine/Sage Stem Bundle 

Black Taper Candle

Cedar Magnolia Candle – I am obsessed with the scent of this candle

Small Black House Lantern

X Pattern Napkins

Gather Napkin Ring

Black Flatware

Other

Gold Table Runner

Gold Square Charger Plate

Crystal Wine Glass – I grabbed these from Home Goods last year but these wine glasses are pretty similar.

Square dinner set

XO,

Kim