Wednesday, January 15, 2014

We-Design-Day: Big Boy Room!

It's been a while since I wrote about working on a plan for my son's "Big Boy Room". For a while (ie over Christmas/holidays) I did not think about it (mostly) or worry about it (even thought my original goal was to get him transitioned to his room before/over Christmas). Now with the new year here, it's time to start thinking about it again and work towards getting the design completed and work on implementing it.

My ideas are all broad and conceptual, but I know I want the room to grow with him as he ages. The room needs to be functional (sleeping, relaxing and double as a "sometimes" guest room), inviting, mature with the ability to be youthful, energetic, edgy and "masculine" but not so much as to take away from the fact it's a child's bedroom.

Typically, when I do design work, I've got worksheets and interviews I conduct but the biggest tool I use is observation. I like to observe people and their things and learn more about them. I can give you magazine perfect, trendy design but if it isn't who the people are, they won't be happy with it and subsequently, neither will I. I know my son pretty well. I know what he likes, what he doesn't like and I kind of know his "style" (as much as a five year old can have a style).

This weekend, I dug out my paint kid and started reviewing my samples looking for greys. I had it in my head that grey tones were they way to go. Black furniture to ground the space and the use of industrial materials (diamond plate metal, various garage/shop accessories/furniture) would give me the look I wanted.

And in my head, it was fabulous, with a Capital "F".

The small swatches of colour looked great and I was in love with the three different combinations I'd put together - I had no idea how I was going to pick just one! Today I pulled out the paint chips and laid them all out.

And I quickly realized that they were in no way reflective of my son. At all.

The idea is concrete and is reflective of him and his likes, it was just my preoccupation with a neutral pallet that got in the way.

Can we agree to make red the new neutral?

Design Tip:

To thine own self be true.

HAHA! I've always wanted to use that on my blog and tada!

In all seriousness, it's very easy to fall in love with something trendy or something you see on TV or in a magazine but if it's not really indicative of your style, you're likely better off to admire the pages of the magazine and focus on figuring out what your style is.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The significance of September

It would appear everything I like doing, I stopped doing in September.

As my son and his friend sat down to play the Wii, I thought "What should I do?" Write! That was the obvious answer. I donned my earphones, turned on my music (do you have any idea how annoying the Mario games' music is?) and opened my story (you know the one, the one I wrote in six weeks?). It was then I noticed I hadn't touched the story since September 19 (2013)! WTH?! How did that happen?

I started dreaming about the story the other day and I knew I had to get back to it. I have a serious love for the characters in the story - I'm kind of sad, really, I should get a life. Maybe it's the writer's curse to be in love with your own hero and heroine?

None the less, yesterday's post about "new year, new book" may be the inspiration I was looking for. I mean, really, I have at least one other story idea sitting in my head (I wrote it down - I can't trust myself to remember my name these days) but I want (must, need) to finish up the first one before I dive into another.

Here I go, back in with Derek and Clare, see you on the other side!

(PS If/when I publish the book, I think "Derek" will have a different name. I used "Derek" initially as a place holder and it's not grown on me)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New year, blank book?

Someone I know (actually, I think it was three people) posted this clever little sign on their Facebook page about how the new year is like a blank book - you can write your own story. It finishes with the even more clever "write a good one".

Honestly, I love it. I love the saying and think it's fabulous.

And at it's core, it a great sentiment but it really isn't all that practical. I mean, really, who wouldn't want to start each year - any  day - with a blank slate. A chance to right our wrongs, a chance to paint a beautiful picture, an opportunity to make our lives exactly what we want them to be.

Except for bills. And money. And mortgages. And life.

My son is five (coming six) and his book is blank but even he's got school (2.75 hrs per day, 5 days per week - and piano on Tuesdays plus 20 minutes piano practice 5 days a week) and yanno, he's five so I make his bedtime and major life decisions for him.

I suppose if I don't take it too literally, I could see the benefits of looking at the new year as a blank slate. I can choose better and choose different. I can resolve to be kinder, think sweeter and to taking the high road more often.

But I'll think about that tomorrow. Welcome to 2014.


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