I am a 40 year old mother of 3-1/2 children, ranging from ages 16 to 3. We all live in north Phoenix, Arizona, except for my bonus daughter (that's where the 1/2 comes in!) who lives with us only part of the year. My oldest, Michael, is a 16-year old boy, just learning how to drive. My bonus daughter, Domonique, is 12 and lives all the way in Minnesota. My third child, Bailey, is an 11-year-old girl who rides horses but falls off occasionally to break an arm. And my youngest, Dakota, is a 3-year-old boy who should have been my first child because he sleeps less than all of the others, and has way more energy!
We all like to play video games, go hiking and play different sports. My husband David is a computer quality assurance tester. We own an internet travel business and a real estate investing business, and I am a professional actor. I like horseback riding, volleyball and dancing. David likes martial arts and we both want to learn to swing dance when we have time someday! Michael is a wrestler, Dakota plays soccer and Bailey loves rock climbing.
Many of my kids' friends think it's cool that David and I like to play video games, so we have lots of fun when they're over. We probably have a closer family than most because we like to keep a nice balance between doing fun things, "being a friend to them," and parenting with the strictness that we think children need to help them develop into productive, good adults.
We chose my living room/office because it is way too small for all that I have to do in it.
The living room houses my office, but I also work out in it doing step aerobics, tae bo and yoga, and it is our living and entertaining area.
The office area is also very disorganized, mainly because it does not have the desk space or filing space that it needs. My desk has no drawers, and we have two computers and a printer on it. It's a very large desk so that would not be a problem, except that the computer monitor for the desktop takes up half of the desk itself, so that my laptop has to sit in front of the printer/fax. So if I ever want to fax something or print something I have to close the laptop! Some of my files are in a file cabinet in which the drawers don't open easily if at all, and we use a TV tray as extra desk space, or as a table for drinks, due to the only end table being in the far corner of the room.
I hope with a room makeover, a designer could help us better organize the space so there aren't papers everywhere and we can have a more stylish room with more space to move around in.
I would say my favorite room in the house is my library because I love books, and there are books everywhere in the room! It also has our fireplace and I love relaxing in front of a warm fire on a cold winter's night. And in the summer the room is nice because it overlooks our pool, which helps you feel cooler even though you may not actually be in it!
My approach to designing is mostly feng shui oriented. I love feng shui, but don't actually have the time to do the designing with it that I would love to do all over the house. I get ideas from different feng shui techniques and from watching designing shows on the television when I get a chance.
If I were to give a mom advice about designing on a budget, I would probably tell her to look at different ways to refresh what she has, for example, paint it or decorate it in some other manner. And being "green" oriented I would advise her to look at resale stores, like Goodwill, or at consignment stores. You can really find some nice things for a lot less money than going and buying everything new!
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