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"I would be the most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of buying enough bookshelves." -Anna Quindlen
When I was a child, September meant back-to-school shopping and
new beginnings. Today, September means
preparing for Fashion Week, taping for the new season of Project Runway and
planning out the next issue of Marie Claire … plus back to school shopping and
new beginnings. Each fall, before I worry about any of the fashion madness that
will ensue, I take the time to refresh my children’s rooms, from the closets to
the paint on the walls to adding some more classics to their bookshelves. After this is done, I can worry about what
shoes to wear with what dress and how I am going to survive this month on
little to no sleep. Here's how I do it:
STEP 1: Refresh the Closet
It all begins with the closet. If your child's closet is organized and functional, you have a shot at a
good morning. If not, forget about
Organize. Arrange the closet according to school clothing and non-school clothing. Keep the school clothing within reach, making it easy for your child to pick out his or her own clothes each day.
STEP 2: Refresh the Décor
Allow your kids to give some input for redecorating and
rearranging their rooms each fall. Your
children's rooms should be a representation of who they are, not who you
are. You don't need to do a huge
overhaul. Minor changes can make a big
A Change of Color. Nothing turns a room around faster than a fresh coat of paint. Helpful hint: researchers have discovered
that more soothing hues—blues, greens and yellows—encourage healthier
sleeping patterns. Here are two of my favorites:
De-Clutter. Get rid of
old toys, unneeded objects and nonfunctional furniture. Make the space as open and clean as possible
by incorporating aesthetically pleasing baskets that double as storage space. Less mess equals less stress and more
productivity. But remember, you don't always have to throw it all away; saving
clothes that don’t currently fit for your next child is a perfect way to save
time and money in the future. To keep it all organized, make sure to clearly
label each storage bin with the age range. I'm a fan of the Seagrass Oversized Toy Baskets from Restoration Hardware ($169, pictured above)
Frame Your Kids' Artwork. Buy a few sturdy frames and use them to display your children's creative
masterpieces. You can rotate this as
often as you like. In addition to framing their artwork, framing
family photos is a perfect way to update the décor. Including pictures from
their past summer will remind them of the good times and have them looking
forward to the next one.
STEP 3: Refresh the Reading and Study Area
I believe that there should be bookshelves and a study area in
every child's room. I want my boys to be
constantly surrounded by books. I also
want them to have a workspace where they can be curious and creative in the privacy
and quiet of their bedrooms. One rule that I have in my home is that there are
no TVs or computers in the children’s bedrooms. This allows for them to stay
creative and active with no distractions in their bedroom.
workspace/study area. Stock this area with all age-appropriate school supplies:
crayons, pencils, construction paper and whatever other objects you see in
your kids' classrooms.
Build a library. Ever since my boys were babies they have had
personal libraries in their rooms. I
love going through their bookshelves with them and picking out stories both old
and new, to read to them at bedtime. Today they hold Goodnight Moon and Le Petit Prince. And, if I have done my job, one day they will
hold The Catcher in the Rye, Lord of the
Flies and The Great Gatsby.