Incorporating Kid’s “Tacky” Stuff in Your Home

Our Work | October 20, 2010

hum….tricky one.  taylor has a cinderella pillow case that isn’t the prettiest thing and so when i make up her bed i put her monogrammed shams in front of it but she has her “special pillow” to sleep on.

-Shannon Darby  pink wallpaper
I would like to say that that tacky stuff wouldn’t bother me too much but just in case it does I’m thinking that I will try to use the art of distraction to resolve this issue (haven’t had an issue yet so I’m looking for any advice on this one myself).  Anyway here is how I think it is going to play out in our home when that tackiness creeps in:-) haha  
Little Johnny:  “Look Mom I just hung up this really cool picture of Barney in my room and I really like it.”
Mom:  “Oh little Johnny purple is pretty neat all right but I have this canvas that I would love for you to create some of your fabulous artwork on so that we can hang it in that very spot instead.  Your artwork would be even that much cooler then the Barns.”
I am hoping something similar might work in the future.
-Christina Brian  full house
I let my children display their treasures in their rooms.  I figure, their bedroom is their personal space. If a trophy or figurine is important to them they should be able to display it proudly. I want them to be happy + comfortable in their rooms and if a plaster puppy figurine that was painted at a friends birthday party makes them happy, so be it. 
-Danyelle Mathews dandee designs
Luckily they actually have pretty great taste and don’t like a lot of things I don’t like! If they do become attached to something I don’t care for it does stay in the room and we figure out how to make it work. Plus, these items are usually a temporary fascination and they tend to leave about as quickly as they show up. 
-Janell  Beals  isabellaandmax

The  bulletin board behind the door. 
It’s really important for kids to have some “say” in how their space looks.  Sometimes I’ll give them options that are a “win-win” for both of us.  Also, I put a huge bulleting board behind the door.  They can put up any superhero posters they want as long as it stays on that bulletin board.
-Michelle Hinckley Three Men and a Lady

The only Princess decor in my daughter’s room is temporary.  She has a plastic princess vanity that she got from her grandparents for Christmas.  No character decor is allowed in Casa De Salmon.  My girlfriends were shocked that I actually allow my girls have Disney Princess nightgowns. It helps to display tasteful items that have special meaning to your kids.  For example, Elizabeth and I collect seashells each time we go to the beach.  We keep those in a jar on her dresser, while all of the princess toys go into her toy baskets.  
– Krista Salmon Kiki’s List 
My 6-year-old son is a major pack rat.  So, I’ve started investing in different glass jars and containers to store all of his little knick-knacks.  I am also working on incorporating shelving into my kids’ rooms.  Bottom line is even though it makes Mommy crazy, they’re proud of their stuff and their rooms.  
Darn good question! So much of it is just plain tacky, isn’t it! I am not ashamed to admit that I actually designed our bonus room {which has the majority of the kids’ toys} around the Fisher Price color scheme! Ridiculous, right. But I couldn’t handle the toys not coordinating with the room. So I used a lot of the warm tones including reds, gold, and dark brown furniture. The toys don’t seem to clash with those color choices. We also use the Expedit in that room with a lot of bins for their toys. Keeps things tucked away. I have a place to display their art as well. I also couldn’t handle things being hung up all over the place {do I sound crazy yet}. So the kids get to pick their favorites to display and we hang them up over their toy area. They love it and I like that it isn’t taking over the house. 
-Courtney Fernan A Thoughtful Place 

Well, when i was growing up, my mom did not appreciate my “tacky” stuff that i had in my room.  She wanted the room to look the way she wanted…and it always hurt my feelings.  So, I’ve embraced my kids “decorating style”…yes, it tends to drive me crazy, but that’s why we have doors on their rooms.  I just shut it when the tackiness is getting a bit crazy.  I do love decorating their rooms…and I do the basics, and then they are allowed to add their flare.
That is one room I don’t mind having not perfectly decorated. Its his little space that takes more energy to keep well kept than its worth so i let it be:)
-Anna Liesemeyer  In Honor of Design 
Create a display area that contains the “tacky” stuff – whether it’s something like Pottery Barn’s wall shelving or IKEA’s Expedit bookshelves. Everything looks better grouped … or at least corralled! For those ubiquitous art projects, I love using bulletin boards or art cable displays (basically a wall-mounted clothesline). Frame groupings also look fantastic. Mix in family photos, and make sure you use frames that are easy to remove the back and swap out the picture. I must admit, however, that – despite my best efforts – Charlie’s “pet dinosaur” is currently living in an packing box at the foot of his bed.
***keep in mind… my children are young… so this answer will work well for mothers of small children, just starting school***
We haven’t really gotten into TOO much of that yet, with  my kids being so young…meaning… no SUPER scary artwork, or funny looking pottery, LOL… but ONE good way that we have decided to keep our “creations” in check, is to put them in a place where the kids can reference and look at them frequently.
We have a book like this:

Really… as you can see, NOTHING special…(in the looks department, anyways) lol.  It’s just a plain ol’ 3 inch binder, with all of my kids’s artwork and creations in there.

I DO try to write a little note at the bottom of each piece that I keep, to remember WHO did it, and WHEN it was done.
As far as “school” work that comes home… at the risk of sounding like an awful mother, to some… I keep about 1 piece of artwork a week, and ditch the rest.
Usually, I’ll keep the weeks work, just in the kitchen, on top of the fridge, or something, and then on Friday… I just pick the ones the girls loved the most, and ditch the rest!
You can’t keep EVERYTHING… so keep the stuff that speaks the loudest about your child, and store it somewhere safe, like in some protective sleeves, so that your kids can enjoy them 🙂
They won’t even remember the silly other little things that you got rid of.  Promise 🙂
-Shelley Smith House of Smiths 

I keep the toys in the family room in cute baskets and the toys in her bedroom go in the closet when they aren’t being played with.  I am always on the lookout for cute toy bins…ZARA home makes the best ones! I hide the big toys like the ball table in the closet when I have guests over:) 

Caitlin Wilson

I give each of my three kids “free reign” over their bulletin board. Anything goes. They can also put anything they want on their night stands, and each have a “junk drawer” for all of those little treasures that they collect.
– Autumn  Design Dump
Luckily, my kids are still young enough that I don’t have to fight this one yet! But I think every one (even kids) should be able to live in their personal space with the things they really love. It reminds me of how nice my mom was to me growing up. In junior high, we moved to a new house and she and I worked together to decorate my (own!) bedroom. It was a beautiful room, but then one day she came home to me hanging up Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins posters! And she let me keep them up! (but she always shut the door to my room first when guest came over) I think I’ll have the same approach when the time comes when my girls will inevitably want to display some ZhuZhu pets on their Draper chest, or a Jonas Brothers poster on their Schumacher papered walls. Get the foundations of the room right, and then let your children accessorize.
Creating a gallery wall can be the perfect way to incorporate a child’s personal items. An eclectic mixture of their art, shelving for their favorite childhood toys, and a collage of pictures is aesthetically pleasing and adds personality and charm to the space.
I’d love to hear from you!  How do you tackle the “tacky” stuff your kids want to display?