Name: Danika and family
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Size: 3400 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years, renting
When you're outnumbered by kids, it can sometimes be hard to craft a home that both fits your style personality and theirs. Particularly if you're renting. But as this young family proves, you can get creative — and colorful — even in a rental.
Danika's advice for making a home is simple, but universal: "Make your home yours. Unapologetically. And invite lots and lots of people over and eat good food, and laugh, and love on each other. Take pictures of that and share it with everyone."
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: I would describe my style as "gathered." It's a combo of Boho-Anthro-Euro-Moroccan-Traditional vibes. The traditional part of that is something that I grew into because of this house. It was built in the 1950s, and has some mid-modern features on the outside of the home, but inside it is mostly traditional architecture and design. In order to work with the natural flow of the home, I have adopted my look to include antique and traditional looking pieces.
Inspiration: My greatest inspiration for design is how we gather with our family and our friends. I believe the loveliest part of having a home is how it serves as an anchor in how we engage our world. It's the place where you retire and relax and rethink your strategies. It's the place where you invite others to do the same. When I think about how my home looks, it's from that perspective: How can I make this house function as we gather and engage our little piece of this world?
Favorite Element: My favorite spaces in the home are my children's areas. I am highly motivated by their work of play. I have learned a lesson or two over the years spanning my motherhood and three kids. Most important lesson? Less is more. Children need very little to spark their imaginations. All parents can relate to the box and tissue paper being more engaging than the toy in the box, no?
Second most important lesson? Buy lots and lots of wooden toys. They last longer and engage their imaginations more than any plastic talking toy out there!
In this home, we downsized from five bedrooms to three. This forced a room sharing situation for the girls. We purchased bunk beds from The Land of Nod with a light gray finish as a neutral to complement the bold color choices in the room. Somehow my least favorite hue before having girls has become a huge inspiration to me in decorating for them. We went with a gorgeous shade of pink in the vintage-patterned floral rug from nuLoom purchased from Zulily. The IKEA kitchen is now on its third kiddo and going strong.
Biggest Challenge: I can say with certainty that the biggest challenge for me is resisting the urge to throw money into updating a home that I do not own. When we first moved here, we wanted to take our time in getting to know the city before making an investment in buying a house. We have since grown to love this home and are constantly dreaming up ways to update it. The challenge has been to find ways to make it feel like us, while not being able to make it work exactly the way that we need it to.
What Friends Say: My friends tell me that I need to do something with this design stuff that I am into...
Biggest Embarrassment: Bathrooms. Only two out of three bathrooms are really completely functional in this home. We don't have a bathtub that fits an adult. Showers only in this house if you are a grown-up.
Proudest DIY: Not a DIY kind-of-girl.
Biggest Indulgence: Dishes. I LOVE dishes. This home has a lovely built-in in the formal dining room. When we first moved in here, I did not really have anything to showcase in it. What is a gathering without good food? Gorgeous dishes are such a great way to present that good food that you are serving. My collection now boasts my great-grandmother's vintage 1960s china (complete) along with a full set of Turkish brass cutlery from my father's travels overseas.
Best Advice: My advice? Make your home yours. Unapologetically. And invite lots and lots of people over and eat good food, and laugh, and love on each other. Take pictures of that and share it with everyone.
Paint — Sherwin Williams, Indigo
Rug — IKEA (No longer available, similar)
Couch — Z Gallerie
Side table — Pier 1 Imports
Mirror — Pier 1 Imports (No longer available)
Circular bookcase — World Market
Coffee Table — Antique Find
Curtains — World Market
Sideboard — Crate and Barrel
Lighting — antique find
Paint — Sherwin Williams, Navajo
Table — Crate and Barrel
Bonnet Chairs — Antique Find
Side chairs — West Elm (Not available anymore, Similar)
Curtains — World MarketOutside (No longer available)
Rug — World Market
Bookcase — IKEA
Desk — Homegoods
Shelf — IKEA
USA shelf — World Market
Swing — Pier 1 Imports