The Art of Making Pretty Messes (Even with Kids)

Occasionally people mention to me about how clean my house appears to be.  This is often based off of what I share online and not so much real life.  As a blogger and photographer it is part of my job as well as part of my natural creative talent to stage beautiful photos.  Not to appear unrealistic but to instead provide inspiration or curate pretty photos.

While the first reaction from others may be I have a clean house, the reality is I make pretty messes.  My house is far from clean.  But it is usually somewhat tidy.  Dirt and paper piles are too very different things.  I do not like to clean but I do not mind tidying up.

So my secret to pretty messes and keeping to what appears as a tidy house, is to have pretty organized things.  Everything has a place - like my nephews' toys that get put in baskets and tucked under furniture.   And everything I purchase I try to buy pretty.  Meaning if I am going to have a basket of laundry sitting out for a week, at least it is in a cute basket.

I use furniture to hide non pretty items as well as tuck away those things that need to be accessible to little hands but not necessarily on a daily basis.  Plus when it comes to kid's toys I am pretty picky.  For the most part I only buy "cute" toys, often educational, that I can use one day with my own kids, boy or girl.

I also only have furniture that can either be well loved or didn't cost much.  Garden stools and poofs are surprisingly very kid friendly.  They love to use garden stools as drums and poofs as places to sit.  Though I am an aunt who enforces rules - so there is no standing or throwing of these things.  Having pretty things comes with a price (having to enforce discipline or accepting it will break) but I find it is worth it to have nice things that actually can also be used by children.

Every room that gets used with my nephews has at least a drawer or basket dedicated to them.  That way we have a few toys in every room, making being in a new room a little more exciting, as well as containing the messes to small amounts in each space.  Plus they know exactly where their toys are and where they need to be put away.  Even at ten months, my nephew knew the drill.

Even this feeding chair gets hidden amongst the bar stools, perfectly fit to tuck away but far from an eye sore in my opinion.

And times where I am too busy to put stuff away, even this stack of clothes and scarves from my closet caught my eye as lovely.  They have a pretty place but have yet to be put away.  Though I don't care to show off a stack of clothes, if someone was to stop by and see my mess, I would not be horrified.

Things get left out, we have an overabundance of produce, and I let dishes sit out to air dry.  It is the nature of life.  But when I am given the opportunity of what type of bowls to have in my home or what basket to put things in, I choose the ones that bring me joy to see.  That even in my messes, they can still be beautiful.

Last fall I searched for a white or cream colored down comforter for our living room.  We had a green and red one that did not match our decor but I loved them so much because they were so comfortable to lay on the couch with.  I wanted the same type of blanket but one that would match our house better.  I found this white and tan one on sale and we absolutely love it.  So when it gets left out, it blends in with the rest of our house.

My desk is rarely clean but at least I can use cute coffee mugs to organize color coordinated markers.  The beauty amongst the mess makes the space intentional.  I desire to try to keep things in order for the sake of keeping the space pretty to look at.

And even in the everyday messes, a home that is well styled, is still what people will notice.  Who cares about that pile of stuff when instead my eye is drawn to a lovely gallery wall.  We all have our messes and our homes will never be clean, but that does not keep me from creating beauty surrounding it.

So if you are going to make messes, they might as well be pretty.  I choose to allow life to happen in our home that naturally creates clutter.  There will be a time to tidy and pick up but in the midst of it I desire to keep living surrounding myself with beautiful messes instead.