Hi Everyone I am new to mothering so I am not sure if I am posting this in the right forum or not. I hope so :) Anyway I am looking for ways to make my home more warm and gentle, more Waldorf inspired. Currently my husband and I rent an apartment so we are limited as to what we can and can not do . The way the apartment is set up is well in my opinion wrong ! The rooms are spread apart the entrance which is also the small living room is small and other than a couch and chair and a book shelf that is about it. The bedrooms are the same way and there is not a room we can set up as a playroom. I would love some ideas on natural home decorating.
We are into living a natural lifestyle and we have some but not many waldorf toys. We are on a limited budget so I do what I can. So what are some ways i can go about creating our home to flow more ? I just feel like I do not know where to begin with this I wish someone could just come and decorate my home for me.
Thanks so much. I hope I am wording this right.
Not necessarilly the wrong place! Just not a lot of traffic in the forum last night. I think a lot of it seems to involve simplicity and using natural materials. You said you have a few "Waldorf" toys. That's a good start...keep it to a few! Trust me, beautiful natural toys can still get to be too many! I went on a binge with some really good deals, and making toys myself...well, two years later...I need to declutter as much as I did when DS was 18 months old and Fisher Price exploded at my house!!
If you're looking for the feel that you see in schools and pictures, then focus on natural materials and fibers. If you do that, it can just kind of come together. When I moved, I got almost black furniture, and I like it, but it's definitely a different feel. Some days I regret it. But mostly I think that it works for us where we are now.
Some concrete ideas: Toys and books in baskets. Small play areas around the home so that your little one can be where you are and it's EVERYONE's home. Use the same rules when getting things for your baby as for you: nice to look at and feel, good quality materials. You might go up in price a bit sometimes, but the perk is that you bring home less STUFF.
Simplicity Parenting has some great ideas on implementation of what it sounds like you're looking for.
Avoid going overboard! It's really about simplicity.
My own personal take on it is that the things I have on display (and there's not much) are all things that DS can touch. I don't have much of anything out that's break-able. If I feel like decorating...I might fill a wooden bowl (it's a salad bowl my mom got for a wedding present!) with pine-cones or colorful felt balls. By keeping "natural" and "child friendly" in mind...my house is more peaceful. As he gets older, I'm able to put out more delicate items and teach him to respect them while he examines...but at 4 yrs old, we're not up to anything really fragile yet!!
I second the idea of not having too many toys out. We have some Waldorf dolls, a wooden bike, iron and ironing board and two book slings. Various other toys filter in and out, but mainly they're stored on our back porch where play happens in warm weather. We have several play silks available at all times.
We also keep items at the level of our child. Her bed is on the floor instead of a toddler bed or conventional frame. Around here, play things are also things mama and daddy are working with--thread, wool roving, scraps of fabric. There's lots of room for creativity with everyday objects. I think clearing out the clutter, even if it needs to be done in secret, is a huge step toward a home more conducive to creativity and peace.
Mothering an Autumn (08) , a Spring (11) , and another Autumn! (Nov. 2013)
Taking what works and leaving the rest
Your situation sounds a lot like ours.
We're renting, so it's very limiting on what we can do. Our apartment flow is pretty awful, too. I've been spending the year and a half we've lived here trying to simplify and get things organized, which is really all I can think of doing right now. It's amazing how much of that there is to do (especially as 15 month old DS gets older). Once we have a "clean palate" I think it will be easier to see what we could do creatively.
I'd like to set up a small reading area in DS's room and get some sort of flow in the kitchen going, so he can start to "help". Right now I have toys on shelves in the family room and books on the floor in DS's room, but that's pretty much it.
I see all the beautiful things that can be done, but it'd be cool to see what can be done without a lot of space. I'll have to check out Simplicity Parenting, too.
That's a great idea to keep things child friendly. It sounds simple, but I know that half of the time I get aggravated is because DS is getting into something he's not supposed to.
What we did was to remove any items that were not at all child-friendly (like packing up all the stationery and office supplies) and have a few things in each drawer or cabinet that would be interesting. That way, I wasn't always having to follow her around or wonder what was going on. Saved frustration on both sides--limits (which were fewer) were easier to impose and there was no infinite cleanup of Tupperware. Taught me a lot about how much I don't need.
Mothering an Autumn (08) , a Spring (11) , and another Autumn! (Nov. 2013)
Taking what works and leaving the rest
Thanks so much. I love the ideas. I am going to check out Simplicity Parenting. I have a bunch of great ideas I think I just need to get organized more . I also agree with just a few toys. I have been looking at Waldorf rooms and such online and I have noticed how the are filled with many toys I think it would be very overwhelming for my 2 year old daughter.
Here is a link to Waldorf Home on Flickr.
so, this summer, i just really started trying to figure this out for myself, too. i looked all over to images online, too. it was especially hard to figure out how to set up kid's bedroom. some of the examples had bookshelves full of what seemed overwhelming to me. that helped me realize that each person/family needs to find what is especially appealing and works for them. in general, ITA with what everyone has said about keeping things simple, de-cluttered and having less out. i am currently reading "simplicity parenting" as well and finding it hugely inspiring and confirming.
for a nature table, we just use the top of a bookshelf. if you don't have the floor space for a bookshelf there, maybe hanging some shelves on the walls would give you more space. for me, i like the beautiful watercolor artwork of waldorf inspired artists. it's so appealing and calming to me, personally.
i have a desk for my laptop in a room. it's just a table. we keep the kids' rocking chair under it to save floor space. our sofa pops up into a queen bed and has storage on one side of it. not like you need to go get this sofa but maybe thinking about ways to store things in already existing spaces so there's less clutter to see? that really helps me.
we only keep out seasonal clothes. for each child that means only one jacket, one vest, one hat, one pair of gloves and rain pants stay out; they are hung by the front door.
ITA with less toys. some items are in fabric boxes in their closet upstairs like a toy library. having baskets makes clean up so much easier for us. and, they can see which toys are available without having to dig through one large toybox. less of everything is just such an easier way to live! we use the same bowls for lunch and dinner. they get handwashed at some point in between. so much easier.
we found a shelf with three clips to hang artwork; it does double duty. and, it's easy to remove the artwork when another piece is ready. a magnetic strip to hang artwork is a neat idea that my friend uses. when it gets full, you can remove stuff so it's not too clutter-y.
That flicker page rocks. I am so inspired by all of that color!!!!!!! So gorgeous, and exactly what I needed! And, I must say, everything about Waldorf makes me want to be a kid again. And I must say, I see the world so differently since I've began to incorporate Waldorf into our lives at home. Thank you for the link!
here is my advice on creating a budget friendly waldorf home:
We rent so again, options are limited..and we are also not fully Waldorf :)
Some of the things I'm working on are: building "stations" around the house. I am making a reading nook which will have floor pillows, a seasonal book basket, and a book of verses for display...I am taking this green shelf we have and moving the wooden barn and castle to that and we keep the animals and everything else in baskets. Lots of baskets! I think just having lots of nature around helps too. I love putting fresh flowers and things my DD finds around; rocks, twigs, dried berries, etc.
Our first apt was a small 1BD rental. We bought 2 playstands early on to anchor the space (put down a rug in a corner of the LR and the playstands in the corner and all his toys/books in baskets/fabric boxes there. It was an investment early on but worked because he didn't have a room or playroom.
In our new place we have more space and have made more areas of the house little play areas... a wooden kitchen for him in the kitchen, a repurposed cabinet in the LR has his toys we rotate out there (usually the favorites) and his bedroom has the playstands, a cheap IKEA toddler table/chairs, some small IKEA bookshelves. Do you have an IKEA near you?
My sister MamaUk writes a beautiful blog about famiy life bringing up two little girls in what is her take on a waldorf inspired home, you might want to take a look, she has some lovely pictures, she has been a real inspiration when it came to setting up my playspace for my lo! Try clicking on the "home" and the "natural play" buttons on her sidebar.
Here's the link:
Hope this helps, enjoy and good luck with your journey! :)
Such great ideas...Things are coming along very well since I have made this post. I picked up the book simplicity parenting and that has helped a lot though most of it we already do. We hit some thrift shops and low and behold found lots of stuff at amazing prices.
This weekend we got:
2 Sarah's silk's playsilks new in wrap for $2 each
1 Sarah's Silk's cape $3
lots of baskets
a wooden magazine rack for $10 that we put the kids books on
It is weird how things just kinda pop out once you are looking for them. I also spent some time de cluttering areas like countertops and trying to make things flow more smoothly. The pictures have helped out a lot ...
Thanks so much I love all the inspiration :)
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