Almost everyone that has children also has the dilemma of what to do with all their artwork that they either bring home from school or that they do on their own time at home. Children are proud of their work and nothing can bring a smile to their faces quicker than a parent proudly displaying their creativity. To this day I have files in my cabinets of the artwork my children did over the years! When my kids were young, I felt the need to display their art on the refrigerator so that they knew how proud I was of each new artistic endeavor completed and ready to be displayed for all to see. Looking back, I remember feeling like my kitchen always looked messy and that at any given time during the day I was straightening, arranging and rearranging the pictures boldly overtaking the front of the fridge. This might not seem like an issue to some of you, but I was and still am a tad bit on the obsessive side of being a neat freak. Having the front of my refrigerator crammed with artwork all the time got on my nerves to put it bluntly. But, I just didn’t see a better way to display their works of art from the heart.
With age comes wisdom or so they say and so clever me, once my children were grown and I wanted to find ways to display their childhood artwork, I finally got smart! You could say that I also had one of those “if I had known then what I know now” moments for sure. Instead of on the front and side(s) of the refrigerator, I came up with the idea to display their childhood artwork in other spaces that not only made for Walks down Memory Lane by highlighting years gone by, but also added immensely to my décor. In fact, I will go a step further and say that this newfound way to display my children’s artwork became an art form in and of itself and piqued the interest of anyone visiting my home – a conversation piece just waiting to happen! After I met my David and we joined households, our home became forever more a “Brady Bunch” of artwork. It makes us both happy-sappy to see our children’s early years so beautifully portrayed in our homespace.
Children’s art speaks volumes from what is in their hearts. I say honor this and display their art in your homespace in ways that make them smile and at the same time that is pleasing to the eye. Simply choose very specific ways and places to do so. Here are three of the best ways I have found to achieve this in my own homespace:
- In the Laundry Room/Mudroom
- On Bookshelves
- In the garage
In the Laundry Room/Mudroom
Being a utilitarian space, most of us forget to decorate our laundry rooms and mudrooms. Yet, much of our time is spent in both spaces. Years back I decided to frame selected pieces of my children’s early art in floating acrylic frames. This was easy to do myself and very affordable. You can do this for yourself by going to retailers such as Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. Simply choose appropriate size frames for your artwork. (By the way, using this type of frame gives you the flexibility of changing out the artwork over the years as your children age.) Another way to display children’s art is on a corkboard that you can continue to change and update. I have a handmade, hand-painted corkboard that traveled with us from Charlotte to Chicago. In fact, I had the movers literally pack the corkboard exactly as it was so that once I unpacked it I had an instant connection to Charlotte. You see we have our step-grandchildren’s works of art on it that they have made especially for David and me. Addison and Austin’s art from the heart is the first thing we see when we enter our home from the garage. By the way, I cannot wait to add our precious granddaughter, Ansley’s first piece of artwork on it once she draws something for us! Talk about a love connection…
Here’s another example – one of my fave niece’s, (OK, so all my nieces and nephews- all 20 or so of them – are my faves) Jackie O’Connell has a brilliant way she displays Gavin and Logan’s artwork in the mudroom. She has an old door hanging on one wall that she puts all their artwork on. Jackie and Scott’s mudroom is the entry into their home from the garage where the kids put their book bags and shoes each day. What a wonderful way to start and end the day viewing such personal art from the heart! Plus, displaying their work this way makes things neat and tidy all around!
I am a lover of books so no matter where I live I make sure I have plenty of bookshelves for my books whether they are built-in or freestanding. For example, when David and I moved to Chicago our home had a wonderfully large bonus room that I turned into a home office. On one long wall I have placed bookcases from IKEA – inexpensive but classy looking – and mixed in the books I have arranged bits and pieces of our children’s artwork. What fun to see these pieces of art from the heart each and every day I work at home. Nothing could be better if you ask me!
In the Garage
I love to decorate all spaces in my home and I recommend to my clients that they do the same thing. The garage is a great place to display works of art as well as sports pictures of your children through the years. In the garage I tend to keep to the outdoor theme regardless of what pieces of my children’s art or childhood history I hang. Whatever you do in this space, make it family-friendly and also make it a wonderful greeting to you as you enter your home and sanctuary away from the daily grind.
Regardless of where you display your children’s precious artwork ~ true art from the heart ~ give it what it deserves. Give it a place of recognition. Furthermore, let it become part of your décor in a way that beckons others to look at it, marvel over it and make them want to head home to make space in their place for their own children’s works of art.
To children and their endless ability to love…