We’ve just added a new design book to our collection: Creative Family Home, by Ashlyn Gibson. This book, featuring stunning photography by Rachel Whiting, is a treat for the eyes from cover to cover. It showcases 13 real families with colorful lives (literally and figuratively) that know how to put the FUN in functional.

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Anyone who lives with kids knows that they come with a lot of stuff—toys, books, dolls, etc. This book is full of inventive storage solutions to help contain the chaos.

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Here you can see some of these clever ideas (top, l to r): an old greeting card wire rack holds books and art prints; handcrafted baskets beautifully collect the stuff that needs to be taken upstairs; a vintage candy storage fixture holds pens, packets, and of course candy; old crates are artfully arranged and hung on a wall for the kids’ clutter; and stackable cubes are used creatively—some open and some filled with pull-out bins.

What I particularly love about this book is the glimpse we get into the homes of 13 European families. I was stuck by how most of them incorporate child-like whimsy in their dining spaces.

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This fun eat-in kitchen is in the home of a London family with four boys under the age of 10. Yikes. Note the casual collection of mismatched chairs. This combination of materials and colors tells us that this family has great taste, but doesn’t take itself too seriously.

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Here’s another light-hearted eating space, this time belonging to an Amsterdam family with two girls. Again, mismatched chairs and bright colors are welcoming to kids and adults alike.

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And another Amsterdam family with two small boys doesn’t let the graphic tiled floor stop them from introducing more color and fun in their dining room. As the book says, “A carefully chosen selection of seating has something for everyone: the ubiquitous Tripp Trapp chair for the 1-year-old, the versatile bench for the 6-year-old, and retro-style chairs for the grown-ups.”

We highly recommend this book, even if you don’t have kids of your own. It is filled with prints, patterns, color, and fun that will inspire anyone who loves to decorate.




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