4 tips for keeping your living room space minimal (even with kids!)

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As a mother of 4, I have to ask how you manage to simpify, declutter and live a minimalist lifestyle with 6 children. It seems we have toys everywhere, and the kids stuff accumulates into every room of the house. What is your system for their stuff?

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(1) Keep your walls + interiors neutral, natural and light

“Two years ago we moved into our new home.  I didn’t have to think for even one second to know that I wanted white stucco walls and a light-colored interior with natural materials like wood.  The boys’ toys are already overly colorful, so I prefer the rest of the house to be a bit more natural colored.”

(2) Focus on the pieces you love, and leave the rest

Make this your mantra: if you don’t love it or use it, ditch it.

“You won’t see a lot of furniture or accessories as I feel as if it makes the house looks like a mess when there are also toys all around the room.”

This applies to toys too- identify what they actually play with, what they love and get rid of the rest. 

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(3) Clever toy storage 

Clever storage solutions and double-duty pieces are a life-saver for organizing toys.  When choosing your storage solution, consider something that will make it easy for the kids to access so they can help in the tidying process as well (like a bin!)

“We have stored as much of the toys as possible behind the couch in the toy boxes by Ikea.”

(4) Clean for 10 minutes per day

Set aside 10 minutes in your nightly routine to tidy up – it all adds up to a cleaner and more minimal space, and you’ll thank yourself in the morning.

“When the boys go to bed, we tidy up the toys in these boxes and afterwards we can finally get some rest after a hectic day in our light colored living room.”

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Life Well Lived: those perfectly candid family shots

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Say hello to Maartje: mama and primary school teacher, known online as @ourlittlephotodiary.  Her life well-lived consists of beach days with her boys and home projects to cozy up her family’s space (including a new garden canopy for those wine evenings spent with friends).  Read on as Maartje talks to us about how she manages to get those perfectly imperfect candid family shots and interior inspiration.

Homebase: 

The Netherlands

Your feed is full of great natural shots of your family.  What is your top tip for photographing your family in a candid way?

My children aren’t ones to take posed photos of.  I have tried it before, but they can’t stand still so it only leads to blurry pictures.  They don’t like to get their pictures taken.  Sam protests and Mees is too busy being naughty.

As I love to capture beautiful moments, I always keep my camera within reach so when I see a moment I would like to capture, I can take a picture of it.  In this way, the boys don’t mind me taking pictures and I can capture special and pure events.candid-family-shots-2

Who are some of your favorite sources for interior inspiration?

Instagram and Pinterest are my main sources of inspiration.  These social media channels keep me continuously updated on the newest trends.  The only drawback is that it is no good for my wallet.  There are a lot of awesome stores in the city where I live.  When I’m searching for great interior stuff, I love going to @maison_et_moi and for the latest fashion trends, I shop at @incluso.nl and @newstyle.nl.  For nice things for the boys, I look at @kleinenstoer.candid-family-shots-6

Describe a typical Sunday in your household…

My love and I (no, we are still not married… ;-)) can’t sit still.  We are often doing things to improve our home and to make it look even better.  We also love sociability.  We try to spend as much time with the boys as possible.  We pass by the most fun playgrounds and beaches to make it as entertaining as possible for them (and so for us).  Our perfect Sunday is when we go to a nice beach club with the boys where we can drink wine and have a bite to eat with our friends.

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Next DIY project on your list?

HA! I have so many!  At the moment, we are making a walk-in closet with a beautiful old sliding door.  When we have finished this project, we are planning on making a canopy in the garden with a stylish table so that we have a place to cozily eat and drink something outdoors with our friends in the evening.  I think I am starting off with a smaller project though.  I want to put Polaroid photos of all the beautiful moments we have already shared above our bed.  This will make me go to bed and get out of bed happy everyday 🙂

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Next décor purchase?

I have just ordered new dining chairs by HAY –> About a chair.  I have wanted these chairs for so long!  I also want a new desk for our office, a new corner sofa with a new blanket and coffee table.  Most preferably also a new dinner table and design chair with it.  Hmm… I think I’m going to dream on and keep hoping that the money tree will start growing soon.

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All photos by Maartje at Our Little Photo Diary.

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Minimize your Digital Clutter: 3 Essential Tips for De-cluttering your Phone’s Camera Roll

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Say hello to Danielle Chassin, also known as @hippieindisguise: mama to the sweet Ro and Sen, iPhone photographer, and ambassador for slow, eco, minimal living.

This week, we are so grateful to have her share her tips on how she keeps that digital clutter of hers under control, while still capturing her family’s growing list of adventures. Read More

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Life Well-Lived: natural portraits + light play

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Meet this month’s inspiring customer: Sara, aka @saraspectrum.  She describes her life well-lived as balancing work with time outdoors, a little adventure and slow mornings (with tea!), which is easy when your backyard is the gorgeous Pacific Northwest.  Scrolling through Sara’s Instagram feed is like flipping through a lifestyle magazine and has got us inspired to add more of these elements to our own everyday.  Read on as Sara tells us how she achieves such beautiful natural portraits and her tips for playing with light.  Read More

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Life Well-Lived: mom tips

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Meet this month’s stand-out customer: Kassandra, aka @kastlescamponi.  Her life well-lived includes being a mama to sweet little Emery.  We’ve been eating up all of her tips on mom-dom, via her blog Kastles.  The practical fashion and decor ideas are a welcome add, proving that motherhood and trendiness can absolutely co-exist.  Read on as she divulges a few more nuggets, including her favorite kid-friendly picnic staples… Read More