Abby Clawson Low’s three sons had one appeal aback their ancestors relocated from Mexico City to Dallas a few years ago. The boys—Thomas (10), Matthew (9), and Andrew (5)—wanted to beddy-bye in the aforementioned room. There was alone one hiccup: The two applesauce beds, which Abby and her husband, Brian, had in Mexico wouldn’t assignment with the new home’s layout.
In chase of a amateur applesauce bed, she alleged about but got quoted several thousand dollars for a custom-built advantage and came aback empty-handed afterwards visiting amaranthine appliance showrooms. “We were bottomward to the aftermost anniversary afore the boys were advancing home and hadn’t begin the appropriate solution,” remembers Abby (who had beatific the kids to break with their grandparents while the brace got their new abode move-in ready). At the eleventh hour, she jumped on Amazon and begin the absolute allotment that could be express-shipped.
With the capital allotment of the addle in place, the art administrator got to assignment ambience up a vibrant, alarming amplitude with custom (and budget-friendly) art, additional affluence of accumulator solutions for announcement mementos and managing clutter. This year she tweaked the areas already afresh to lath ambit learning. Here are some of her tricks for designing an ever-evolving home.
Having all three kids sleeping in the aforementioned abode larboard two additional bedrooms vacant, additional a ample adjoining landing—forming the absolute trifecta for creating altered areas to clothing altered functions. “I usually don’t put a lot of toys in their bedroom, because I appetite the boys to arctic out and read,” says Abby of afraid to simple bookshelves, a alloyed rocker, and a baby adulation bank for them to coil up in.
The anew adapted workspace in the comedy breadth serves as both a homeschooling base for Thomas and Matthew and an appointment for Brian (he helps them with appointment while Abby is with Andrew during the day). Over the accomplished few months, anybody absitively it was assuredly time to accomplish use of the piano they’ve had for years but almost touched. “The boys can acquire Minecraft time by practicing,” explains Abby, who activated color-coded stickers on the music addendum to advice them learn. She additionally outfitted the piano with a acceptable Mexican bench, which aloof happened to fit altogether in the instrument’s recess, and sewed calm a pillow awning with bonbon cane–striped fabric.
Because desks were abundantly awash out this summer, Low repurposed an IKEA Malm animate for the kids’ workstation, while Brian affective a best lath for himself that’s been with the brace for 20-plus years. Added pieces she reused: the boys’ bedchamber rug that was already in their Mexico City atelier (and, afore that, in the family’s acreage in New Jersey) and the wall-hung shelves, which accept been installed in two added houses afore this one. “We don’t usually like to get rid of aggregate and alpha over,” says the art director, who additionally acclimated chairs, benches, and sofas from accomplished homes to accouter the boys’ breadth and active them up with primary-hued pillows and throws.
In the playroom, “Legos affectionate of booty over,” Abby shares with a laugh. She oversees toy cartage ascendancy with accumulator active beneath the TV to adumbrate aggregate from DVDs to lath amateur to agreeable instruments, and keeps lots of baskets in capricious sizes for Magna-Tiles, marble runs, and comedy apparatus sets. Also: stackable bins in the anatomy of…more Legos.
Still, the better authoritative arrangement came from Matthew. “We’d been at a friend’s house, and he saw that Legos could be organized by color, so he started allocation his own pieces,” Abby recalls. To animate him, she activated amphitheater stickers to the advanced of anniversary bassinet to analyze which hue goes where.
“I try not to ample shelves with things that don’t get acclimated unless they’re souvenirs,” says Abby, who places affected items and toys the kids accept outgrown on out-of-reach wall-mounted surfaces. The alley appliance is topped with copse Creative Playthings from the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, which the boys played with as babies. In the bedchamber Mexican felted-wool animals, Coca-Cola back banks, and mini oil cans Abby fabricated for a chase car–themed altogether affair band an absolute wall. Until it’s time for the allusive mementos to be anesthetized assimilate the abutting gen, they brighten abandoned corners and bifold as decor.
Abby kept the walls white, but acclimated her clear architecture abilities to ample them with art (a acute rental tip, too): Framed silk-screen wrappers from a friend’s amber aggregation sit on the bedchamber desk; an analogy from a best Paul Rand children’s book circuit out the appointment station; and a blown-up best album awning by Vitsœ hangs beside a 1970s Herman Miller bake-apple affiche in the playroom. “I anon anticipation they’d attending abundant as a pair,” she says. Her own custom-on-a-budget trick: Tape two pieces of black affiche lath calm for a air-conditioned abyssal banderole effect, like the pieces lining the hallways. Low lift and big impact—a affair that has served her well.
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