I'm a nester. I always have been. My family laughs when they recall how, when I was six, I liked to vacuum my room every day and if anyone sat on my bed, I would immediately smooth out the wrinkles. I feel very thankful for our home but have nested happily in dorm rooms, tiny apartments, and our treehouse of a rental when we were newlyweds.

My environment matters to me. When I am super busy, I long for a serene and clean and uncluttered home. There is only so much serenity I get these days with four children and I have had to let some things go. There are usually little legos and cars under my couch, most often fingerprints on my glass doors and laundry which is never quite all done. However, I have found that basic orderliness helps us all to function better. I also feel that letting go of some of the clutter, even when they are objects or toys that we've once used regularly, helps us to enjoy what we do have that much more.

I am working with the kids to participate and clean up one area as they are done with it. By making it a fun race or having a treat at the end, like making their own trail mix when they are done, we keep it a happy task. I also take a few minutes at night to just put the last bits of laundry and things away so I don't have an overflow onto the next day. I like to have my little home in basic order.

We've been updating and working on rooms in the last year or two and I have been wanting to document and record these changes. Our home is always a work in progress. I am regularly thinning things out and pick up items here and there. Some of the best decorating advice I've heard and stuck to is to just to collect what you love and for me, it's worked together. I also have a very wonderful husband who just lets me do whatever and has no real opinions on towel sizes and paint hues. He just lets me go for it.

Our kitchen was completed last summer and I adore it. Like most of you, our lives revolve around the kitchen for a huge amount of our day and I wanted a workable and bright space. My friend, Cheryl, of Bloom Design Group, helped me think it all through and offered suggestions that I hadn't even considered before. She knows my taste even better than I do! Then we were thrilled with the work that Northwest Solid Rock Construction did for us. They completely re-did the whole shebang and we were extremely pleased with their work and the quality service that we had from them.

I love how the white feels so clean, the island which now is completely reconfigured and works so much better for me and for the warmth of the whole space.

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When I was digging around for hours on the internet for lamps, I emailed Cheryl my sad little selections. She wrote back Can I just say no to them all? I'll find you what you want. A couple hours later, she had links to eight different lamps, all of which I adored!

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The room that I worked on after that was the family room which is directly off of the kitchen. We are in the kitchen and family room constantly. We got the sectional last summer and I love that it is wipeable. I wanted comfort and friendliness, with some toys available but I didn't want the room to scream toy room!

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I'm pretty thrilled with how this picture wall turned out. It was a big stretch for my symmetrical soul to depart from perfect symmetry but I think the bright colors make it cohesive. I just spraypainted a bunch of frames we had and some cheapo ones.

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I use "outdoor" pillows in this room. There are some fun fabrics available now and I find that they stand up way better to the wear and tear of the kids.

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These are the decorations over my mantle and the canvas of the kids' feet that I put over the tv.

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I searched high and low for a table that would withstand the beating I knew it would get in this room between toy cars and dishes and banging little brothers. I finally decided on an outdoor table which I knew would hold up better. It is distressed and I knew it could get banged up a wee bit and it wouldn't make me crazy to see the finish on a new table immediately messed up. I also love fresh plants and flowers in our rooms. They make me happy.

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These were inexpensive but also works great in the space, buckets and a shelf from Ikea. The sets are easy for the boys to keep together and I find that when sets are together instead of all our toys jumbled up, they play with them more.

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I also got some wicker storage for our huge Trio collection and another wooden box from Ikea to hide the miscellaneous toys.

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Here's a little bench I found last year to go at the end of the hallway with baskets for library books and some projects.

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I just painted the dining room walls this spring. It took two hours after I'd been thinking about it for about two years. I love paint. I decided to change what I had hanging on the wall there and am still deciding how I want to do it.

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The buffet with my grandmother's dishes.

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Our living room.

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We are big blanket people and I have a basket that we all dig into regualarly.

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We re-did the downstairs bath this year too but I have absolutely no natural light in there....so black and white :) I painted the bath a tone off of the shade in the rest of the house and we had new counters and cabinets put in when we did the kitchen last summer. A new light fixture makes a huge difference in there too. I hung a canvas of the boys in the tub.

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Our guest room or "Oma's Room".

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I love that this room is separate from the rest of the bedrooms upstairs as it's at the end of the hallways downstairs.

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This spring in our laundry room we tore down our ugly wire shelves which were stacked with all kinds of supplies and put up cabinets. Insert: sigh of relief at not having to look at those supplies anymore. Insert: question mark as to why we didn't do this right when we moved in. I also added some fun frames with black and whites of the kids which I used velcro strips to attach. I painted this room the same color as the downstairs bath and Ben is putting in a utility sink for me there.

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The garage is next on my agenda. Next week I'm going to paint and organize (and toss some of Ben's "extra's" like the taxidermy dog head.....). Ah, good times ahead.

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