Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Soaking Up Kids Bathroom Decor Ideas

Remember the quote, "How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you are on."?

That's what every morning is like in my home. With everyone rushing to get ready and out the door on time, the bathroom gets the highest attention. Once every one is gone, the bathroom, rest of the house and I settle down for the day.

So today I decided to send some love and attention towards the kids bathroom decor and pick up some great ideas to put in my kids' bathroom. And I found not one, not two but a whole big bunch of 'em.

Let us start with what my kids' bathroom is NEVER going to look like!

photo courtesy: coolroomideass.com

And I do not mean the overly girly theme either. My bathroom space is tiny, as in barely there. And, it serves as the guest bathroom as well. So yeah. I ought to stop drooling over this one. Let's move on.

The easiest way to perk up the sad, dreary, I-have-no-windows bathroom would be to put in a fresh coat of paint in a cool pattern. I do love the colors in this one. Orange is a wonderful way to brighten up the room as well as the sleepyheads and this one has just the right amount of it.

Or you could simply paint the cubbies or shelves in the room...or even just the cabinet doors.

Here's some more food for thought. Of course, the colors and the stripes are super fresh and happy, but this picture caught my eye more for the wall hook. You can never go wrong with a 'Splish Splash' in the bathroom, but I have not seen it on the wall hook before. So very easy to do as well. And it would go with any theme you decide on.

The stores are filled with bath sets and accessories for every bathroom theme you can think of. But if you think out-of-the-box, you can simply do away with those expensive sets and still get a fabulous look. Kids tend to dump their brush and paste and not really pay attention to where they land. I like this idea coz it will hold no matter what...and the excess water will simply drain away.

photo courtesy: yourhomeonlybetter.com
Bathroom wall decor is a growing industry in itself. From wall art to bathroom quotes, you can get them all. But isn't this the cutest idea - take a picture of your kids either during (surrounded by soap) or after (the famous towel turban) and hang them up as art. A-dor-able!

photo courtesy: cosmovici.co
You want to know the one thing I LOVE in the bathroom more than anything else. Plants. Yup, When I enter a bathroom and see a plant in there, even if it's a fake, it just makes me smile. And this bathroom design is just gorgeous.

Although I wouldn't mind even a little one sitting just atop the counter.

Have you noticed that we need a ton of stuff when we go for a shower. The shower caddies can hardly hold all and then there are things falling off when you are trying to get something else. It's quite a mess, really. At least that's the way in my bathrooms. Am I doing something wrong?

Oh well, this idea should be a great help to me. You can put in an extra shower rod or even a towel rod and then let it all just hang in there. So much easier to get to that loofah or the face wash without bumping into any of the other stuff.

As my kids are growing, I find myself paying closer attention to everything teen. Here are three bathrooms in completely different colors and yet just as aesthetically pleasing as the next. What do you think of the chandelier in the bathroom. Works, right? I would never have thought of that myself.

Adding a fancy mirror makes a lovely statement in the teen bathroom. Perhaps it will inspire her to keep the bathroom clean and tidy. One can hope, right?!

Wallpaper is a good idea too but you really have to look hard and long for the right design and color and be prepared to look at it for a long, long time because changing wallpaper is more work than simply changing the wall paint. Painting the vanity a different color? Genius.

These were some of my favorite kids bathroom decor ideas and I hope to be able put some of them in action in my kids bathroom and maybe even steal some ideas for my own. Do you have any favorites?

Happy Decorating,

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Birthday Parties, I'll Miss You!

The kids are growing up!

With every passing year, this thought is like a gong in my head...knocking me over. And while it's a little bittersweet to know that you have more time on your hands, I believe the one aspect I will miss more than any other is the joy of planning their birthday parties.

Over the years I have been lucky to have experienced so many different themes. I simply adore the entire process of thinking up a theme, creating the decor around it, coming up with games to go with the theme and to finally see it all through the smiles and hugs from the kids. So worth all the late night trysts with scissors, cardboard, papers and whatnots.

So let me share with you some of my favorite birthday party ideas and how I came up with the birthday banners for each of them.

The Beginning

It was my very first attempt at birthday party planning when my son turned 5. Yup before that we were a party of 4 ourselves. The theme was 'Pirate Party' and I worked super hard to get everything right - from pirate hats to hooked hands, I created them all. We bought the wall decorations online and I added the letters at the last minute. Pretty neat, don't you think?

It was my daughter's 4th birthday and she was into unicorns, of course. I made my maiden attempt at cardboard decor. Now, of course, I am in love with them and whenever there is a party to plan, it's BJ's cardboard boxes to the rescue. I was especially pleased with the banner - doesn't it look like a beautiful necklace?

Banners Galore

Since then we have immortalized the different phases my kids went through.

Armaan has always been an avid animal lover. He loved to watch Diego...and so a Diego themed party was a given. The entire decorations are made with cardboard, tissue paper, streamers and printouts and cost less than $2. Hubby dear could not believe that I had created Diego and Dora with my own hands! Don't they look cute?

And then there was a time when my daughter was still into fairies and princesses, though she outgrew those early enough. This was my favorite banner of all times. The cardboard is covered with tissue paper and the letters stuck on. I think it looks very rich and pricey.

I was so happy with the way her name came out, I plan to do something like that again when she finally has her own room...someday. I know the decor on the wall looks random, but that was part of a game the kids were supposed to play.

Since my son's birthday falls in January, we once decided to have a Halloween themed party.. You know, give the kids a random day to wear their Halloween costumes. That one time I did not have to plan any games as we had called a magician, just to be more thematic.

The one good thing about these removable wall decals is that we can use and re-use them for a very long time. For the spider hanging down (I also had skeletons hanging), I bought the regular ceiling hanging decor (I think they were stars) and stuck the spiders, made from black paper and silver ink for eyes as well as the skeletons made from paper plates.

Then there was the 101 Dalmatian themed birthday party, as that was my daughter's favorite movie. Again a simple printout with the dalmatians hanging on was enough to complete the banner. I also made cutouts of some of the dogs to put around the house.

As the children have been growing up, I have tried to keep themes and games that they would enjoy at that age. With that in mind, we had the most awesome Science Party. I had to do a lot of online digging to find some gems of experiments that the children could do - where they would have fun and my house would not get too messy either.

When that party went off without a hitch, I was ecstatic. Although I think my banner was a little sloppy. But I had worked hard on the decor and the games, so I might excuse myself.

My daughter then wanted an Arts and Crafts themed party. That is not so difficult to do especially as her birthday falls a few weeks before Halloween. We handmade the round fans under the banner too, since this was an arts and crafts party.

To commemorate my son's age turning to double digits, I created a Double Agent party with loads of spy kinda games where all the kids had to work in teams of two (double digits, you know). Creating the invite had been fun too, with hidden clues and invisible codes. Hubby created a small program on the computer wherein each agent had to enter his special code in order to enter the party area.

It was very cool, or should I say, sick?!

Finally, last year my daughter decided on a 'Breakfast in Pajamas' party. I loved the way one of her friends described the birthday banner - "It looks like frosting!" I had not quite planned it with that thought in mind, but I like it.

Well, now my son is turning 12 (WHAT...Already?!) and we are shifting into the new dimension of movie nights or bowling alleys instead. And while there are moments when I wish I could hold on to those days of yore, at least I have created some awesome memories for all of us.

Maybe I could start planning birthday parties or any other parties for friends and neighbors. Hmmm... there's a thought to keep me warm for now.

How do you celebrate your kids' birthdays? Don't you think this is a wonderful way to track their growth?

Happy Decorating,

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

No Halloween? No Way!!

As Halloween approaches, I have been hearing news of schools banning Halloween parades and citing cultural diversity as a reason.


Naturally, many parents have taken up the issue and there are many comments about sending immigrants back where they came from, etc etc.

With the immigration issue already looming large and leaving the nation divided, this is bound to create more bad blood. So here I am, a first generation immigrant, telling it as I see it.

I Love Halloween.

I LOVE Halloween.

And I'm not just saying it. Every year, for the past 8 years that I have been here, I too dress up and go trick or treating with my kids. I'm no lover of candy. Yup, lost my sweet tooth somewhere long ago, but I still love to create new costumes and new looks.

My kids have grown up with a healthy love for Halloween too. We have prolonged discussions about their costumes for the year. And here's the thing - I don't think it's just me. Every Halloween I give out a LOT of candy to kids who come to my door, and many of them are immigrants too.

The saying 'When in Rome...' is very true. If you have decided to make your life in a country other than the one you grew up in, you must embrace the new way of living. You don't need to change your religion or eat foods that you don't want to. You don't have to forget your own culture.

But don't restrict your children from experiences that don't harm them. And if you do feel strongly about not celebrating Halloween, please take the time to explain your reasons to your children. Teach them to accept and respect the traditions of others.

Cultural Diversity does not imply stopping your own traditions to accommodate others. It means teaching your children to respect other traditions even though you don't follow them. Even my mom, who is in her 60s, decided to jump into the Halloween fever with enthusiasm.

We figured Dad looked scary enough on his own that he wouldn't need any costume! Ha ha.

And one year, we decided to give the kids an extra reason to don their Halloween costumes - we had a Halloween themed birthday party!

I am proud that my children celebrate Halloween with the same gusto as they celebrate Holi - our very own festival of colors. Aren't Tolerance and Empathy the most important traditions we can teach our children ?

To all my readers, far and wide, I declare that I find Halloween to be one of the most fascinating holidays ever. I hate spooky. You will never convince me to watch a horror movie. I never want to enter a haunted house (even one that I know is make-believe).

But I love Halloween. This year I was ready for it early too.

Want to know what my kids will be dressing up as this year ? I will be revealing it on my Facebook page Decorating 4 Kids. So I hope you will visit me there too.

Which reminds me...I should get on with the costume making. My daughter comes back from school everyday with the same question on her lips, "Did you finish my costume today?"

Happy Halloween to one and all.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Mural On The Wall - the Reveal

Hello hello,

Are you ready to see what is up on my dining room wall? This project has been a long time in the making. But it is finally done and I am quite happy with the results.

A blank wall, to me, is an art project waiting to happen. I was not very clear what I planned to do in my dining room. I picked up quite a few knick-knacks while I sorted things in my head about where I wanted to go with them.

I found these super pretty measuring spoons in Michaels (of all places!).

I haven't even taken them out of their packaging yet. I also picked up this tray from The Christmas Tree Shop.

In the picture you can't tell it's a tray...but it is. I wanted to go with a French theme for the dining room. I had visions of a silhouette of an ornate lamp post. You know. To give it the feel that we are dining in Paris.

And then, I found this...my source of inspiration.

It's a blank greeting card! I found this in BJ's - just goes to show that inspiration is all around us. And I knew this is what I wanted to re-create. So it was off to Michaels for the duck tape et al. I live in a rented space, so I can't paint the walls, which would have made my life so much easier.

Instead I had to deal with tape and thereby, whatever colors I could find. So here is a picture of my BLANK dining room wall, or should I say, my canvas before the project.

Yeah, right. As if you have never seen a blank wall before. But really this is just to show you the BEFORE and AFTER pictures. So just bear with me.

Naturally I did NOT find the colors that I wanted. But now I quite like what I did find.

The orange is a really bright orange and it had me worried for a while. But paired with the sober beige, it actually gives a pop of color that is quite refreshing. The edges are rough, but one smooth layer of tape over it can work wonders. Here is the bottom part of the wall all done.

It was surprisingly quick. I added the 2 single lines of tape over the broad bands and I do think they make it look better. Gives the eye a break from just the 2 broad bands, methinks.

Then came the hard part of drawing out the Eiffel Tower. Lot of measuring involved since it was to be a BIG size almost reaching the ceiling. Can you see the faint pencil lines? I don't mind using pencil on the wall (though there are strict rules for the kids.). I know I can easily remove these with the Magic Eraser.

Well, truth be told, my project came to a standstill right about here. For one, I could not figure out what color to use for the Eiffel Tower. The card, as you can see if you scroll back up, has the tower in a darker shade of beige with lines on it which give it the feel of the Eiffel Tower. So I just stopped here.

And then, the elves came to help.

My kids and nieces were eager to work on my project and since I had to figure out a way to keep them busy during the summer hols, we finally got the project on the move again.

I found this tape which had lines and a lot of color too. It's quite perfect for the Eiffel Tower. So I got them the tape, scissors and a black sharpie...and they literally took off. So a BIG thanks to them for helping me complete the dining room mural sooner than I expected.

And here is a look at the completed project.

The plate and the birds are also from Michaels. I simply painted the words 'bon appetit' on the plate with a paint pen - thank you whoever came up with the idea of a paint pen! And then hot glued the birds onto the side. Et, Voila!

Let me know what you think of my project. Have you tried duck tape murals? What are your favorite ways to decorate the dining room. Do share your thoughts, so I can start planning my next project!

Smile Always,

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

In the Mood for Art

Hey All,

I have a secret love affair!

Well, not so secret anymore, but it sprung on me quite suddenly. It was such a secret that even I had no idea that I was in love. With Art, of course. And yes, I mean the one we do on canvas et al.

The fact is that until Sir Google and Lord Youtube breezed into my life, I had no idea that making your own art could be so easy. Before I used to think that I had no talent for it. Now I want to paint and try out so many different art forms that I am in a limbo coz I can't decide which one to try first.

I do have an idea of an artwork I want to create for the kids, but thanks to all these snow days and the kids being stuck at home, I get no time at all to do my own thing.

Have you noticed that 'holidays' for the family are actually 'heavier work days' for the moms? I seem to be in the kitchen just about all day! My kids are in the high-energy, always-hungry phase...and while I love to see their hearty appetites, I just wish there was someone else in the kitchen making these yummy treats instead of me.

So this is me, taking some time off and spending it instead with some of my favorite people (other art aficionado moms) and in my favorite work space (the kids rooms).

You might have seen many walls covered with alphabets. You can't really go wrong with that in a baby nursery. But this elegant and oh-so-polished way of presenting the letters is so unique, it just makes me drool.

Lauren Tarpley Photography

While we are on the subject of nurseries, these dark walls are beautifully offset by some marble art that mom created herself. I think it is so important to have some personal pieces in the nursery. It gives the room a warmth like no other.

by Fresh Coat of Paint
After monkeys, elephants and owls, the new love in your baby nursery is the giraffe. I think I have finally figured the little minds. They love anything big - monkeys have long tails, elephants have a long trunk and owls have big eyes...so of course, the giraffe with his long neck could hardly be far behind on the cute factor. And this mom certainly knows how to capture the cuteness of the giraffe.

by Make It-Love It

In an older child's room, we have to be more careful of the color schemes and themes we use. This is such a perfect wall display for a playful mermaid room. Even Ariel will be envious! The rest of the room is just as wonderfully done to match the theme.

by 733 Blog
The 'Do All Things With Love' frame is just the right thing to add in this next kids room. As kid grow, it is important to add quotes, sayings and stuff that you want them to keep in their hearts forever.

by Ameroonie Designs
This next one would be perfect in a teenagers room. The colors are subtle and the words are meaningful yet playfully created. I think I will keep this in mind for when my kids reach teenage.

I couldn't find the link to the creator of this awesome art, but if you happen to come by my site - my hat's off to you. This is a great example of less being more.

Oh and yes, I even found something perfect for your kid's bathroom. Such an easy art, you will have a V-8 moment (you know - slap your head with 'why didn't I think of this?') The creativity of all you moms is truly off the chart.

by Between U and Me
The kitchen beckons again and it is time for me to wrap up here. I wanted to leave you with some of my own creativity. I have discussed this idea on my website Decorating Ideas 4 Kids Rooms too and I would like to bring it up again because it is such a great idea. Ahem.

Transfer the wall decor you put up at the kids birthday party to the kids bedroom or simply re-create. It is easier than you realize. Like this art decor I put for my daughter's arts and crafts themed birthday party.

Instead of 'Happy Birthday' you could write 'On Cloud 9' or 'Keep your head in the clouds and your feet on the ground'. There is no end to the number of ways we can create a wall art to pop the rooms.

Have you created special art for your home? Share it with us.

Smile Always,