For a month, I lived in bed. Similar to the grandparents in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I did everything from a seated position. I ate, I visited with friends, I read, I imagined what was happening in the world outside those four walls. It wasn’t by choice; it was doctors orders. When you spend that much time at home in bed, especially with a new baby during the winter months in the northern part of the country, home and the spaces we use inside them become your world. Your bed is the center of the universe— the place you feed, eat, nurse, cry and wish for the light at the end of the tunnel to appear. At some point in my postpartum haze, I looked at our dingy bedsheets and tattered headboard and rug spotted with toys and clothing and mismatched socks and wondered how we’d ever reclaim the space that once was my little haven away from the world.
Around the time the first little bird chirped outside our bedroom window, I decided it was time. Our bed was once a place for rest and rebuilding, not for the family to congregate. This mama bird felt it was time to feather her own nest and give her own little birdies their own retreat, where they could bounce, climb, and be their silly selves with abandonment.
So, we decided to change the entire layout of our room and I reached out to Lulu & Georgia, an online decor shop I had been dying to work with, and told them what we were planning to do with our bedroom. To my delight, they offered to help us out with the refresh. On their amazing site we found a bed that said, come and rest. We dressed it with new sheets and put a soft, plush rug beneath it that made me happy every time I felt it underneath my toes. We even added a little ambiance with new bedside lamps, too.
Next, it was time to tackle the kid’s space. We moved the furniture out of our basement and replaced it with a durable rug and two tiny chairs for two tiny bodies. We made sure there was ample space to run, the children’s books were well within reach, and that there was a place for drawing, reading and building things.
Slowly, the center of our world began to shift and make room for a new dynamic, one that is slowly coming to fruition. Our room is where our family comes to wind down and connect through quiet whispers and soft kisses. Our basement is where we go to explore and make messes and learn things.
Finally, we’re seeing the light at the end of the newborn tunnel, and we welcome summer wholeheartedly with a refreshed feeling and new dynamic within our growing family. What I’ve seen through this definition of spaces is that decor can signal how we use our spaces for betterment, not just for parents but for kids, too. In a house as small as ours, we were able to change our decor to make sure that everyone felt welcome and that individually, our needs were met. We’ve even seen Winnie enjoy her space more now than ever since we carved out a special spot for her bed in the basement.
BY Kate Arends - June 26, 2018
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.