Introducing the Mom Cave

Introducing the Mom Cave7 Great Articles

1

5 Reasons Every Mom needs a Mom Cave

By Lian Dolan
  • You dream of a place with no naked Barbies on the floor. The rest of the house belongs to them, the other people in your family who toss their backpacks in the middle of the living room. Your concept of home decorating doesn’t include posters of the Green Bay Packers or Hello Kitty. Honor your style.
  • A recharged mom is a happy mom. Our cell phones needs recharging. Our laptops need recharging. So do Moms. In ournon-stop world, we all run out of energy. Power-up with a half-hour of “me time” in your own personal space.
  • Silence makes the heart grow fonder. From morning to night, you are there, Mom, listening to your children, from the cute stories to the not-cute whining. Think of your Mom Cave as a place to enjoy an intermission from all the drama—you’re not leaving so much as just taking a break, just like at the opera.
  • The mini van is not a Mom Cave. Moms relish alone time in the car, music blaring and the seat heater turned on. Some days, ten minutes of wait time in a carpool lane is tantamount to spa visit. But, the car fills up with kids and has no facilities. You deserve a special spot with access to running water.
  • You are not just a mom. You’re also a writer or a quilter or a voracious reader. How about your dreams to organize your grandmother’s recipes or research the family tree? Every mom is multi-faceted. Create a place for those other facets.

Lian Dolan is a mother, writer and broadcaster. Her latest novel, Helen of Pasadena, is an L.A. Times bestseller. Her blog and weekly podcast about modern motherhood can be found at www.chaoschronicles.com. She records the show in her Mom Cave, otherwise known as her closet.

2

Mom Cave 101: Reward Yourself With a Mom Cave. Here’s How!

By Lian Dolan

Previous generations of mothers seemed to have it all figured out when it came to creating their own personal space. They had bridge clubs for adult conversation. They had sitting rooms that were off limits to children for reading magazines or having coffee with friends. And, when life got really rough, they had Calgon to take them away.

In today’s world, moms have all-purpose family rooms, constant texting with our offspring and endless To Do lists that never seem to include, “Time alone with my thoughts.”

Now’s our chance to reclaim a little square footage in our homes and in our lives, Moms! Find a spot where you can go back to being you, if only for a half hour a day.

Here are some basics for your Mom Cave:

What to exclude:

  • Guilt: Leave all your guilt at the door. Being a great mom doesn’t require you to spend every moment on kid stuff. Make “Balance” your mommy mantra.
  • Children: The little ones will want to come in because it’s cozy and clean. Don’t let them. Then it becomes their cave! You can let the dog in, but hold the line on kids.
  • Laundry: It’s your room, not a chore room. So don’t even think about bringing in that pile of laundry to fold while listeningto
    music.

What to include:

  • Peace and quiet: Do whatever it takes to insulate yourself from the outside world. A door, a lock, or padded walls? All work!
  • Chocolate: Really, does “chocolate” need an explanation?

Lian Dolan is a mother, writer and broadcaster. Her latest novel, Helen of Pasadena, is an L.A. Times bestseller. Her blog and weekly podcast about modern motherhood can be found at www.chaoschronicles.com. She records the show in her Mom Cave, otherwise known as her closet.

3

Stylish Storage Options For Your Mom Cave

By Emily A. Clark

You’re the COO of the family. And while you might not get the respect (or salary), of a Chief Operating Officer, your entire clan depends on you to keep track of appointments and make sure the bills get paid. An organized Mom Cave can help you achieve all this and—better still— can give the achiever in you a quiet spot for a blissfully unproductive hour or two. Here’s how to keep your Mom Cave organized in style.

  • Invest in bookshelves for streamlined storage. Organize shelves according to their purpose: Create a reading shelf for books and magazines, as well as a reference shelf for product manuals, how-to guides and the like. We also recommend a response-needed shelf for mail and other missives that require your follow-up.
  • Think outside the (storage) bin. You want your storage solutions to look lovely, so choose pieces that make you smile. A stack of fabric-covered boxes are great for stashing everything from phone chargers to craft supplies. A baker’s rack, found in the kitchen department, has a light and airy feel but also functions to hold the storage solutions of your choice.
  • Strive to make your Mom Cave clutter-free. Once you invest in storage solutions, use them. Sometimes, there is no more beautiful sight to behold than an empty desktop. And it goes without saying that you should ban stuff you don’t want or need: Those strewn toys and random piles of dirty clothes have no place in your space.
  • Remember, your Mom Cave is a place to do what you love. A Cave that’s all work and no play is no fun. Carve out space for favorite hobbies and activities—and you’ll be much more likely to finish knitting that scarf or completing that scrapbook.

Emily Clark is an interior designer based in Charlotte, North Carolina and a wife and mommy of three. She blogs on decorating, design and other stylish topics at http://emilyaclark.blogspot.com.

4

The New Social Hotspot: The Mom Cave

By Susie Lilly Ott

With football season finally over, men everywhere are emerging from their Man Caves. Take a page from their playbook and consider using your Cave as a place to spend time with your friends. Or, if you prefer, think of your Cave as a kind of playroom where Mommy gets to gather her pals. After arranging for several hundred playdates for your children, you deserve to throw one for yourself, don’t you think?

You don’t need a lot of space; a cozy Cave makes the spot all the more intimate. What you really need are a few places to sit and a couple of surfaces for snacks and drinks. These can be just about anything: footstools, large pillows or even storage benches. A tip: Make the room even more inviting by including lots of high-touch textures, including velvet pillows for leaning back on and soft throws for cuddling up with. Create ambiance with scented candles, relaxing music and soft lighting.

If space permits, stock the room with items perfect for entertaining the gals—a small collection of plates and glasses that you love (and other family members may break), storage space for mom’s favorite snacks (out-of-reach from grubby hands and hungry husbands), an electric tea kettle and a selection of teas, and even a guilty pleasure or two (martinis, anyone?).

Susie Lilly Ott is a former editor of Working Mother magazine and has written and developed recipes for four cookbooks, including Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove Cookbook.

5

Spruce up Your Mom Cave – For $50 or Less

By Susie Lilly Ott

Do you have a space that doesn’t quite convey the you-ness of a real Mom Cave? Here’s how to make it sparkle—without breaking the bank.

  • Think fast: What color do you love most that you simply don’t have a chance to use in the rest of the house? Add a big splash of that hue —whether that means painting one wall orange or finding a throw rug in a shocking fuchsia. Shop smart and you can pull off both these strategies for around $50. Tip: Check out the bath department, as items found there are always on the smallest scale. You may just come home with a wastepaper basket in apple green or a lavender lacquered tray, meant for makeup. The kids’ department is another source for cool colors, including hot-pink and stop-sign yellow bins, frames and other items—at cool prices, too.
  • Pile on the pillows. If you think you have enough—add one more! Go for a mix of color, texture and patterns. Your dollars will go farthest if you lay the groundwork of your “pillowscape” with a multitude of simple and less-costly pillows, covered in a solid-colored cotton or synthetic sateen. Then start mixing in a few fancier varieties in velvet, brocade, animal prints or whatever makes you happy, adorned with pom-poms or tassels or ribbon details if you like. The result: your “investment” pillows will pop and your sofa will have the look of abundance.
  • Focus on lighting. What about a fabulous desk lamp, dripping with crystal prisms or glass beads? You’ll be forever amazed at the play of light on the walls—and can find a range of choices for $50 or less.
  • Introduce just a few metallic accents, no matter how simple the décor. Whether you select silver (love it with blues!) or gold (gorgeous with pinks!), glowing metals add warmth and elegance to a room. Tip: try a wall of inexpensive silver-framed mirrors or an arrangement of gold-leaf (or faux-gold) accent pieces, such as boxes, cachepots and vases—pretty and practical!
  • Instill a sense of serenity by filling your space with your favorite fragrance. Safe and long-lasting reed diffusers are a stylish alternative to a scented candle. And because they are available in a wide range of fragrances, you can change the scent—and your mood—with the season.
  • And remember, your Mom Cave is your space to break all the rules. How often do you get to do that? If you love it, it works—and no one but you can say otherwise.

Susie Lilly Ott is a former editor of Working Mother magazine and has written and developed recipes for four cookbooks, including Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove Cookbook.

6

4 Tricks & Tips for Creating Your Own Mom Cave

By Emily A. Clark

Creating your mom cave should be fun—not overwhelming. Not sure where to start? Here are four tips to get you going in the

right direction.

1. No Space, no problem. If you don’t have a room dedicated to a Mom Cave, scour your home for any niche or corner to call your own. Is there an area in a low-traffic room that can become your Cave? A closet that can house a desk? Ideally, your space will have a door but if not, consider a pretty, free-standing folding screen.

2. Choose an inspiration piece. Whether it’s a pillow, a watercolor painting or a pretty antique chair, that one special item can help you decide which other colors, accents and accessories to bring into the space.

3. Play around with furniture placement to create an arrangement that works best for you. Before purchasing new pieces, use painter’s tape on the floor to create a life-size plan of what should go where. If you have the space, divide your room into sections for working, doing projects, and relaxing.

4. Be sure to include both closed storage and open display areas in your room. Open shelving in your Mom Cave is the perfect place to show off your favorite collections or framed photos. But you’ll also want to include drawers and other storage solutions for those not-so-pretty, but necessary, items.

Emily Clark is an interior designer based in Charlotte, North Carolina and a wife and mommy of three. She blogs on decorating, design and other stylish topics at http://emilyaclark.blogspot.com.

7

Color Schemes for Your Mom Cave

By Emily A. Clark

Color is one of the best ways to make sure your Mom Cave lifts your mood and reflects your personality. Even if you opt to cover the rest of your home in tan, kid-friendly microfiber, your Mom Cave should be a feast for your eyes at the end of the day—or whenever it is you can give yourself a “time out.”

When choosing hues, think about which colors make you feel happy and relaxed. You might want to check out an actual color wheel to remind yourself of the color combinations you like best. Or browse store aisles, picking up a chocolate throw here or a red pillow there, giving yourself time to react their hues, separately and together. There are no wrong answers! And if your instinct is to cocoon yourself in a neutral haven of soft, warm tones, go for it—but consider bright bursts of color through artwork, pillows, lamps and other accessories.

A black-and-white color scheme is a great way to add some drama, and it can also work as a neutral backdrop for incorporating other colors. Consider using a white sofa (yes, you can have one in a kid-free zone!) with lots of patterned pillows in bold colors and paired with a pretty black cocktail table. White walls are also perfect for displaying a colorful painting or your kids’ artwork—or anything else that makes you smile.

Or follow the current trend and make your space white-on-white—with silver or gold accents to bring shine to the room.

So go ahead and color your world. Make it a sophisticated mix of tone-on-tone neutrals. Or find fixtures and furnishings in the hue experts at Pantone® call the 2011 color of the year: honeysuckle, a pretty bubblegum pink. It’s completely up to you.

Emily Clark is an interior designer based in Charlotte, North Carolina and a wife and mommy of three. She blogs on decorating, design and other stylish topics at emilyaclark.blogspot.com.