Senn & Sons // Hugo's Room

Our new house is truly a work in progress. Though we don’t have any major renovations planned, we are making small changes along the way and making it feel like ours. One of our top priorities after moving in a year ago was to get the boys’ rooms decorated. Hugo, naturally, wanted to be intimately involved with the choices that were being made in his room and I welcomed his preschooler perspective on how he wanted his room to look. All of the furniture came from his room in San Francisco, so we were able to create a completely new look on a budget!

 

Senn & Sons // Hugo's Room

Senn & Sons // Hugo's Room

We wanted a room that was going to reflect Hugo’s personality – bold and cheerful – while still being a comfortable place that he can retreat to for reading, quiet time and sleeping.

The process of working with a three (now four) year old on his bedroom design was hilariously similar to working with an adult on a design project – we looked through catalogs and magazines for inspiration pictures and made a little mood board of photos Hugo liked and then started choosing items for the room that felt in line with his mood board.

Senn & Sons // Hugo's Room

One of his favorite features in the room is the chalkboard wall. We practice the alphabet, draw pictures and write silly messages all the time. I’ve heard people say that chalkboard walls are a bad idea because once kids know they can draw on one wall, they’ll think they can draw on ALL the walls. Here’s what I’ve learned in my four short years of parenting – kids are going to draw on the walls no matter what you do. They just will. Whether or not you have a designated area for it or if  you don’t allow them to draw on any of your walls, they will. I’ve gone through about 20 magic erasers trying to get crayon marks off of walls, furniture, siblings, etc. and I don’t think it’s because we have a chalkboard wall. In fact, it’s nice to not have to magic eraser that one.

Senn & Son // Hugo's Room

The storage wall is definitely the hardest-working element in the room. Using a combination of the Expedit bookshelf and picture ledges from IKEA, we have the perfect place to store and display books, art and toys. We also have a big, squishy bean bag in the room so Hugo can just plop down with books any time during the day.

Senn & Sons // Hugo's Room

Senn & Sons // Hugo's Room

Hugo loves spending time in his room – from drawing pictures at his little table to curling up with books in the bean bag, it’s ended up being a perfect place for him to sleep and play. I am so happy he was involved in the process of creating it. His offbeat creative touches totally make it work.  It’s not a perfectly styled room. It’s a real four-year-old’s room. I managed to clean it up and take these photos while he was at preschool, but mere moments later, there were clothes, toys and books scattered all over the floor along with two little boys having the best time ever just hanging out. That makes it perfect.

Create an Art Cart for Kids.

02.27.14 | POSTED BY kim IN art & design, Family Life

This has been a BRUTAL winter with the insane cold and record levels of snow in our area, and there’s no end in sight (it was -16 degrees this morning and there’s about 3 feet of snow still on the ground). It’s been so extreme that we’ve been stuck inside most of the time, which means I’ve had to be *really* creative with games and projects for the boys. My saving grace has been our “Art Cart,” which houses all of our supplies for creating masterpieces.

Here are some of our favorite supplies. (You’ll want to plan a trip to IKEA very soon!)

Senn & Sons // Art Cart for Kids

1. We use this fun kitchen cart from IKEA to store all of our supplies. While we keep ours in the open in our family room, it’s nice that the cart itself is on wheels and can be shuffled around and stored out of sight if needed.

2. Our crayons, markers, glue, stickers, scissors and other loose supplies are all divided into little containers like these that fit nicely into the shelves of the art cart.

3. These bibs from IKEA make the perfect art smocks for the kids.

4. I love these big sheets of finger painting paper.

5. The colors of the IKEA construction paper are really vivid and fun.

6. These watercolor paints are so great I use them myself.

7. Awesome paint colors, nice and opaque.

8. I love this set of crayons, colored pencils and markers from P’kolino.

9. Kids love these animal stamps from Melissa & Doug.

10. More IKEA supplies! These are super-cute stamp markers.

11. This inexpensive easel has a chalkboard, whiteboard and holds a giant roll of paper for endless drawing.

12. A kid-sized table is perfect for doing art projects.

We also have scissors, glue sticks, popsicle sticks, paint brushes and all sorts of other basics tucked into the cart.

How do you store your art supplies for the kiddos? This is what works for us, but I’m curious to know what works for your family too!

Happy New Year!

01.01.14 | POSTED BY kim IN business, Family Life

2014 // Senn & Sons

 

With the whirlwind of 2013 behind us, I’m ready to settle in and get to work in 2014. It’s been quite a ride over the last 12 months. The work highlight of the year has to be creating the Senn & Sons film, but there were a TON of other amazing moments including Freddie’s first birthday, Hugo turning four (yesterday!), an amazing grown-ups only trip to NYC, doing a bit more nursery design, and even more here, and – the craziest thing of all – settling into our new home in Minneapolis.

This year promises to be just as busy – in the best way possible. I have a few HUGE (major, amazing, terrifying) projects kicking off in the new year and I’m so excited to be taking them on. I don’t want to make any crazy promises here, but I’m aiming to share more about my business, my process and my work here on the blog. Documenting what I’m up to and how things are going is high on my list of goals for the upcoming year.

I’m so thankful for each of you who visits this blog to catch up on what I’m working on. The support for Senn & Sons (and me, personally) has been so inspirational and motivating.

Happy New Year!

Our Thanksgiving Tree.

11.09.13 | POSTED BY kim IN Entertaining, Family Life, projects

Senn and Sons // Thanksgiving Tree

It’s a really simple idea – not one I can claim as my own, but a good one nonetheless: The Thanksgiving Tree. It’s a place for each of our family members to stop at the end of the day and write down something we’re thankful for. A lot of friends have been doing this publicly on Facebook, but we chose to make it a little more permanent by writing our “thanks” out on tags and hanging them from branches. I’m not particularly sentimental, but we will probably save the tags once they’re all filled out to keep track of all the fun things Hugo is thankful for this year.

Senn and Sons // Thanksgiving Tree

There are countless ways to create something like this – from scraps of paper tucked into a jar to any variation on creating an actual “tree” form. We chose to do something super-simple that didn’t require us to buy a bunch of new materials to create. I had the pitcher/vase on hand already, the branches were picked from a bush in our yard and the tags were about $2 for a 20-pack from Michaels.

If you’re not into the neutral look, you could add some color with leaves cut from construction paper, ribbons tied to the vase, or even by painting the branches a bright color. (Oooh, I like that idea.)

Senn & Sons // Thanksgiving Tree

Senn & Sons // Thanksgiving Tree

Senn and Sons // Thanksgiving Tree

Does your family have any traditions like this one around the holiday season? I’d love to hear about how you express your thanks this time of year!

 

 

Senn & Sons // Book Themed Baby Shower

There are so many great ideas for baby showers and parties floating around these days. Sites like Pinterest and Project Nursery make it easy to find limitless inspiration for throwing a killer party, so when I got this unique invitation for a baby shower, I just had to share it.

Rather than having a traditional, ladies-only, baby blue or pink luncheon, this is going to be a bookish, co-ed, evening soirée. I can’t imagine anything more perfect for the parents-to-be — she’s a writer and communications strategist and he’s a college professor. Having a fully-stocked library for the kiddos (they’re expecting twins) makes complete sense.

Guests are invited to bring two books labeled with  adorable bookplates that were included in the invitations. Books are our go-to gift for birthdays and showers, so I just love this idea and can’t wait to choose two of our favorite books for the babies.

Senn & Sons // Book themed baby shower

(For more baby shower ideas, check out this post and this post.)

* Invitation illustrations by Ideal Bookshelf

Happy Birthday, Freddie!

10.07.13 | POSTED BY kim IN Family Life

SENN & SONS // Freddie 12 months

Wow, he’s ONE!

What a year it’s been. Our family has been through a year of massive changes and this guy just took it in stride, bringing us smiles, giggles and cuddles at every curve. And there were a lot of curves. Through all of it, he’s proven himself fiercely strong-willed, resilient, warm and genuinely happy.

Freddie is the perfect fourth member of our fun little Senn quartet.

Happy first birthday, kiddo.

Senn & Sons // Freddie 12 months

Senn & Sons // Freddie 12 months

 

For the first time since Freddie was born last October, my husband and I skipped town and spent a long weekend in New York, leaving the boys at home with their grandparents. It was a short break — just one night in the city then two up in the Catskills to celebrate the marriage of two of our friends — but it was a big damn deal for us to leave the boys behind.

Because of this trip’s massive impact on our lives and overwhelming significance, I’ve decided to share my packing strategy. (Honestly, I’m just too tired from the trip to think about anything deeper than that.) Let me just say that packing for travel without children is so much easier than preparing for a trip with kids. The next time we fly with them I’ll write a post about our baby and preschooler travel essentials and it will be much, much longer.

Senn & Sons: Packing for a City Break

My packing strategy was simple and designed to fit everything I needed for a four-day city break into a small carry-on suitcase. Our weekend would include an afternoon and dinner out in NYC, a BBQ at a cabin and an indoor/outdoor evening wedding, so I wanted to have a decent range of options from casual & comfy for wandering city streets to something a bit dressed-up for the wedding.

I started with basics – gray and striped t-shirts, a sheer white blouse, a cozy cardigan and a couple pairs of jeans. I added a fun red party dress for the wedding, along with a pair of heels to dress up the skinny jeans for dinner out in the city plus a black leather jacket and lightweight scarf to top everything off.

After a few days with only these things in my wardrobe I’m convinced I could just close the door to my closet and live out of this suitcase. But I won’t do that because that’s crazy.

I have a few pictures from our trip that I’ll sort through and share later this week!

gray t-shirt :: striped tee :: maroon tank :: silk blouse :: red dress :: ivory sweater (similar) :: boyfriend jeans :: leather jacket :: skinny jeans :: nude wedges (1, 2, 3, 4) :: scarf :: boots :: loafers

Eleven Months.

09.08.13 | POSTED BY kim IN Family Life

FREDDIE ELEVEN MONTHS

Do you know what this means? The next post is going to be a Happy Birthday post. My baby, my sweet tiny little baby, is going to be a full year old. But this post is about my sweet, not-so-little eleven-month-old. He loves to “walk” — pushing his walker wagon all over the house. He’s so close to walking on  his own and even toys with taking a step or two when we’re not looking. While constantly busy during the day, he always wants to cuddle before going to bed at night, snuggling his soft little head deep into the crook of my arm and smiling up before dozing off. He melts my heart every day.

See previous monthly photos: One MonthTwo MonthsThree MonthsFour MonthsFive MonthsSix MonthsSeven Months, Eight MonthsNine Months, Ten Months.

Freddie 1 month photo Freddie 2 month Freddie 3 months

FREDDIE FOUR MONTHS FREDDIE FIVE MONTHS Freddie 6 mo -2

FREDDIE 7 MONTHS FREDDIE EIGHT MONTHS Freddie 9 months

Freddie 10 months

Ten Months.

09.05.13 | POSTED BY kim IN Family Life

Freddie 10 months

FREDDIE1

FREDDIE2

Oh, Freddie. I honestly can’t get enough of this guy. His persistence is rivaled only by his older brother’s, showing every day that he’s determined to do whatever is on his mind. He’s constantly on the move, dancing as soon as he hears music, crawling up entire flights of stairs to chase his big brother and standing to reach things just beyond his grasp. (Hence the blurry photos, yikes.) I’m not surprised how quickly time is passing, that’s how it always goes, but I’m not going to let the next few months squeal by without taking in every chubby little ounce of my baby before he becomes a toddler.

See previous monthly photos: One MonthTwo MonthsThree MonthsFour MonthsFive MonthsSix MonthsSeven Months, Eight Months, Nine Months.

Freddie 1 month photo Freddie 2 month Freddie 3 months

FREDDIE FOUR MONTHS FREDDIE FIVE MONTHS Freddie 6 mo -2

FREDDIE 7 MONTHS FREDDIE EIGHT MONTHS Freddie 9 months

Preschool is the Coolest.

09.05.13 | POSTED BY kim IN Family Life

first day of school

Though Hugo’s been going to preschool throughout the summer we still made a big(ish) deal about his true “first” day of the school year. This time of year definitely feels like a time for a fresh start for everyone, and now that we’re quite a bit more settled in our new home it’s especially true for our family.

first day of school 4

Sometimes I can’t believe how grown up he’s starting to seem. Check out that belt! He insisted on wearing it and showed it off to anyone who would listen. I can just feel his pride and excitement in each of these pictures.

first day of school 2

first day of school 3

{{ Backpack and lunchbox from Beatrix NY. You might recognize this adorable model while you’re browsing the site. }}