✨The child helps us see what we don’t; and my (now grown) children are consistently helpful in this area. Marni Jameson’s* interview with Thom Filicia said it best: “We all stop seeing ourselves and our homes honestly, and can benefit from outside experts who have good taste and a keen eye to help us see what we don’t.” This rings true when creating children’s spaces.
Thom Filicia is one of my all-time favorite interior designers and the “keen eye” I often look to for design inspiration. I’ve been “following” his design guidance for years and his advice always resonates.
So, what does Thom Filicia’s design approach have to do with creating children’s spaces and adding elements of beauty?
To begin with, his spaces are intentional and attractive and on any budget. He models how to achieve balance and the importance of editing. And, as in building any foundation, Thom says: “Good design is not about one layer.” Also, he points out why layering should not be done randomly:
“Okay this room looks like a pinata got run over by a truck.” Time to add an anchor…
A room’s “anchor” influences the placement of materials and decorative elements. Anchors are often the largest and quality furnishings that grow with your family —especially your child. An open shelf anchors our Montessori-inspired space and provides a home for the loose toys, games and play items. The shelf works for the young child now and will work equally well in a teen’s room later. When the shelf is well-prepared with items that meet the child’s interests and needs, the child is drawn in and inspired to work and play. This prepared and anchoring shelf then serves as a supporting role.
What’s your “jumping off” piece?
A “springboard” can inspire visually. It define a direction through pattern/color, can be endearingly functional or offer longevity. To take this leap, Thom encourages us to put down the magazines, stop shopping in home stores and scrolling online. Instead, he urges us to be authentic and use what we have; “Most people don’t see what’s really great in what they already have.”
Following his advice, I began with a book holder. Originally a desk organizer, it’s quite artful when filled with relevant books. Along with everything else on the shelf, it meets the child’s developmental needs. While many of the books and activities will rotate, others will evolve over time. Thom suggests we look at our spaces like fashion; would you wear all your jewelry at one time or select the pieces that fit an outfit and occasion? When items are chosen thoughtfully, they simply tend to work together.
A well-planned children’s space is deliberate in its development, aesthetically pleasing, and has an alluring presence. Once prepared, a Montessori environment is simply appealing — especially through the eyes of a child.
*At Home With Marni Jameson www.spacesutah.com — Queer Eye’s Thom Filicia Offers Some Fresh Perspectives 7/8/2019