Discussion Topic: Can you have children AND nice things?

Monday, July 26, 2010

You all know Liz from Say Yes to Hoboken. Well she tweeted the other day that her two year-old broke her beautiful lamp (seen below, available at Overstock) and she wanted to know if she should replace it. Would it just get broken again, and end up being a waste of money?

I told her that I would replace the lamp if I were her (and affix it to her table with industrial-strength velcro). But I'm a decorator and probably care more about this sort of stuff than the normal person might. Plus, I have girls (and girly girls, at that), and I have a feeling they are much easier on my house than little boys might be.

Anyway, the situation made me start thinking about the old saying "You can't have kids AND nice stuff."

image from Cottage Living - the LEE Industries sofa shown here was upholstered in an outdoor fabric by Duralee.

Recently a woman introduced herself to me and said she loves reading my blog for the pretty pictures. Then she said she doesn't actually decorate her house now because she still has young kids at home. Her pretty things were boxed up for "someday" and her floors and walls were bare. She told me her story all matter-of-fact - like, of course my walls would be bare, I have kids.

Should we just give in and face the fact that our houses are going to be dirty and trashed and undecorated until the kids are in college? Or do we decorate with Raoul and Spitzmiller and then freak on the kids when the inevitable happens?

Do we buy the lamp a second time?

In our house, I try to shoot for a balance between kid-friendly and inexpensive things (that I don't care about it they get ruined) and then a few special things that I talk to my girls about and set rules for. And then I take a chill pill when those things get messed with on occasion.

What do you think, readers? I'd really love your opinion here for something I've got brewing on my back burner. We'll call it market research.

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