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#022: Kid’s Spaces: Creating playful playrooms + comfy kid’s rooms with “Making It” Star Jo Gick

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In this episode, Cara sits down with interior designer and Making It star, Jo Gick to chat kid's spaces. Jo shares some of her best tips for designing kid's rooms and playrooms for your little one including how to use color in a way that's not overwhelming, build a color palette, and tips for keeping your kid's rooms organized. She also shares some insights for the everyday mom when it comes to creating themed rooms that can change and grow with your little one.

You can download this episode from Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcher, and Spotify – or listen to it below!

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#OBSESSED

what i'm loving this week

Kids room Curtain Hack: Subtle pops of color on the cheap — I'm obsessed with my own great idea — not really but kinda. 🤣

Using neutral curtains, hang some colorful sheers behind them on a double rod. This adds a pop of color, without letting the color dominate the space. Plus, sheers can be easily swapped out when kid's color preferences change.

Check out the full post for more pics + tips: How to style colored curtains for a luxe look

Sheers are much easier to change out compared to paint, plus you can get them from amazon on the cheap!

This let's you invest in some nice neutral curtains you can use for years to come, while letting your little one's personality shine through with their favorite color or a pop that goes with the theme of their room.

WAIT, WHAT?!

stuff we just need to talk about

Dont make your kids clean their room!

Your kids room should be their space — their sanctuary. Its easy for us as parents to put or organizational goals or thoughts of what our kids spaces should be (ahem, super clean) on them, but it might not be what's best for them.

Messes are what help kids experiment and learn and letting them make messes in their own space lets them learn + grow — plus feel like the space is truly theirs.

Messy / organized rooms also depend on your kids tendencies: there are little ones that organize and sort and line up their toys from a super young age — they might crave order and naturally tend to want a room that's more clean.

Then there are little ones who love making messes, dumping buckets of toys and playing like a tiny tornado — they might thrive better when you let them explore and make messes. My advice is to support your kids natural tendencies (even if they're not yours) and encourage them in their space.

Of course, teaching kids life lessons like how to be organized and how to clean up after themselves are important — I just think we need to give them a little more grace + space when it comes to their rooms. Maybe toys dont have to always be perfectly put away.

let's talk about it!

Do you agree!? Any thoughts, insights, or tips on letting kids be messy?

Leave a comment below or use #MakeSpacePodcast to share your response on social media (@makespacepod)

CHATTING WITH...

Jo Gick is an interior designer who loves designing kid's spaces. She starred on NBC's Making It, and in her own show — Rooming Up — on NBC's Blueprint network. Her work has been featured in HGTV, Better Homes & Gardens, House Beautiful, Elle, USA Today, Vanity Fair, PEOPLE, and more.

Jo's personal passion lies in designing children’s spaces, because there are fewer limits. Bold colors in a nursery invite play and whimsy, and inspire creativity in older children’s rooms. Her interest kicked into high gear after she had her own little ones. She wasn’t working when she was pregnant with her daughter, Marin, and it was her only creative outlet. If she's am not involved in doing something creative, she goes crazy! Jo grew up in a small town in Ohio, and moved to Arizona to pursue her design degree at Northern Arizona University. She took every art class available in high school and college – painting, pottery, stained glass making, sculpture and photography. 

get in touch

Instagram: @ohsojo_ // Website: jogick.com

   things to check out:

Making it — Design Competition show on NBC // NBC's Blueprint nEtwork — for makers + crafters 

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EP 22 TRANSCRIPT

...just in case you wanna read

Cara Newhart: 00:00 You are listening to the MakeSpace podcast, episode number 22.

INTRO: 00:21 Welcome to make space a home design show made to inspire you to create spaces you truly feel at home in Cara Newhart. Sits down with amazingly brilliant guests for conversations that dive deeper than pin-worthy rooms to tease out the essentials of creating spaces that feed your soul and inspire your creativity from home design strategies to decor, advice to interior design, tips and tricks. These conversations help you dream up a beautifully lived in home. Cara is the designer and Chief Creative Enthusiast behind Never Skip Brunch. Her work has been featured in print publications like people style watch and Denver Style Magazine as an influencer. Cara has collaborated with brands like Amazon,H and M, Twitter and Thrillist. Here's your host, Cara Newhart.

Cara Newhart: 01:20 It's another Wednesday and welcome to the Make Space Podcast. So I first want to talk about how grateful I am for you guys. Like, seriously, I was thinking about it over Thanksgiving because it's like the one day we stopped be thankful, which is kind of the worst, but we'll get to that in a second. And one of the things I was really thankful for besides my family and literally having everything I need is the podcast and literally how much it's grown. And I don't think it's because I'm sharing anything too amazing or too interesting. I think it's because it's resonated with you guys and you've helped me grow by sharing it with your friends and your family and coworkers. Um, just watching like the number of listens. Um, month over month is literally the most exciting thing. It blows me away. Like when I open the app, like my podcast statistics, I went to like open it on December 1st and just seeing the number of listens at 7:00 AM the first day of the month that had already happened.

Cara Newhart: 02:21 Like it just blew me away. And it also just made me so grateful for you guys. I am so happy that you choose to tune in and listen to me and I'm happy that I get to help you and share tips and help make your life better, help make your homes better. It's just such an honor. If you would've told me I'd have like a creative job really anytime before now I would be like, Nope, that's not happening. But anyway, it's just super amazing that I get to do this. And the other note I wanted to make is just to extend your gratitude throughout the year and especially as we enter into the holiday season. I know Thanksgiving, obviously it's kind of the focus and it's easy to be like me and I'm like so thankful. But then we turn right around in the holidays and start making a list of what we want for our gifts.

Cara Newhart: 03:11 And I mean that's okay. Obviously it's part of the holidays is gift-giving and especially if that's your love language, that can be really important. But I want to challenge you to take that gratitude with you into the holidays and still find things to be grateful for and don't just turn to what you want or what you need. Um, because I think it's really important, like gratitude even has a huge impact on our health. Like there's tons of studies that more grateful people are happier overall. So, um, just kind of a little reminder that gratitude isn't just for Thanksgiving, it's something that you need to practice all year long. And I think especially when it comes to our homes, because being grateful for your home and being grateful for you know, what you have is such an essential base for creating a space you love. Because if you don't have any sense of gratitude for what you already have, there's no way you're going to make a space that makes you happy.

Cara Newhart: 04:11 Like a lot of the work is internal before you can create, you know, spaces that you love. But it's really true, you guys, it's really true that you can't design a home you love with beautiful things. What matters are the people and you being happy and thankful being there. And then all the other stuff is just extra and it makes it extra great and it makes it maybe easier to be in love with your house if it's beautiful and can clean, but it's not the really the most important thing. So all that to say, I encourage you to focus on gratitude as we entered the holidays and find some gratitude for your house and your spaces because that's going to make them that much better.

#OBSESSED: 05:01 [music plays] Hashtag obsessed [ding]

Cara Newhart: 05:07 this week I am obsessed with my own grid idea. Not really, but kind of. So in this episode we are talking about kid rooms and I sit down with Jo Gick who is an incredible designer and she focuses on kid rooms through her, um, show on NBC's blueprint network called rooming up, which is all about designing kid rooms. So I will get into that interview and tell you way more about her in a little bit. But I first want to start with what I'm obsessed with, which is this curtain hack. So one of the ideas that she shares a lot about is that when you're designing a kid room, you should use color and like anchor it with neutrals. That's the way to make it not look like too busy and too crazy. And while kids love color, I feel like, um, they probably thrive better in environments that are more balanced, like full blown color all the time is kind of overwhelming.

Cara Newhart: 06:00 Um, so incorporating neutrals is a really good strategy even though it's a kid room, you can be playful and fun, but you also need some neutrals in there. So my, one of my hacks that I'm loving is I'm redoing Ella's room right now. It's going to be a long process because if you're a new listener, you might not know. We just moved from Denver to Houston, so I have a whole new house to totally start fresh with. But in my three year old Ella's room, we're doing like a frozen inspired theme. So part of that has been like incorporating color in a way that's not too busy in this curtain hack is the perfect way to do it. So I will link it in the show notes. So you have photos, but basically you have um, a double rod, which is just two curtain rods, one hung behind the other in front of a window.

Cara Newhart: 06:48 Um, I literally love Ikea curtain rods, which is funny because they're like so inexpensive but they hang so easily and they look really, really good. So you hang two curtain rods and the front rod you're going to do your like regular curtain, like a blackout curtain or just like a regular linen curtain. So I have like white ones, um, that are a little linen. They're not fully blackout. And then behind that you hang your sheers except that you use colored sheers. So that's a really fun way to like incorporate color. But the sheers basically just peek out from behind the white curtain and it's not like you have a solid curtain in a bright crazy color. You have like a pop of color and they still get a color. I'm kind of up on the wall, sort of, um, like an accent color I think is what I'm trying to say.

Cara Newhart: 07:38 But it's not overwhelming. It's not like the entire curtain and the entire window is covered in color. The other thing about it is sheers can be easily changed out. So if their color preferences change or you redesign their room, you can buy new sheers. Like I literally, the ones I bought from Ella's room were like six 97 a panel from Amazon. And they look awesome. They literally look fantastic. But if she ever wants to change them from this icy blue and though we got, she totally can and it's like a really simple cheap upgrade versus like having to replace the full curtain so that way you can invest in like the actual curtains and pick like a cream or a neutral. Um, we did white because it goes with the IC frozen theme, but you can buy like a nice version of those and then just change out sheers based on color preferences. And it's also easier than painting a wall. And I know that paint is like our hero for transforming rooms and adding color, but like don't sleep on sheer curtain panels because they are way easier to change out. So I use this, um, strategy in my office at my other house, but I will link that blog post because it has some tips. Um, and it also has photos so you can see exactly what I mean if you're having a hard time picturing it

WAIT, WHAT?: 08:56 [music plays] Wait, what?

Cara Newhart: 09:04 Okay. My Wait What for this week is to stop making your kids clean their room. So not all the way obviously because they can't live in a room, that's a total mess. But I do want to entertain the idea that having a room that's organized and constantly picked up isn't necessarily what's best for all kids. So I'm coming at this from someone who was a very messy child and is still a very messy human. Like if you look at the places in my house that are supposed to be organized, usually the mess is like discreetly hidden away in a very strategic way, but there is tons of mess to be seen. But all that to say, I think personalities dictate kind of whether you prefer to be more organized and structured or kind of more messy and whimsical, let's put it that way. And I think this starts when we're kids, like from a very early age, there are kids that line up their toys and sort them by color and are very, very organized.

Cara Newhart: 10:10 Like I remember, um, one of my friend's little boys just loves putting things in lines. Like he'll line up all his trucks just all in the line. And then there's kids that are just kind of like, like dumping things. Like if you give them a bin of anything, they will dump it on the ground. And I think I was that kid. But anyway, all that to say is I think a kid's room needs to be their sanctuary. And this is something Joe and I talk about in this interview, but it needs to be theirs. And I think sometimes as parents we kind of put our organizational goals for what their room should look like on them when that's not really what's best for them. Like that's what's gonna look best. But when you tell your kid like, okay, you need to clean up your toys when you're done playing.

Cara Newhart: 10:56 And then they don't clean them up and they just say like, I'm not done playing like to them they want a room that's played in and they don't want things to be put away. They want to be able to find things and have their imagination and have different toy sets out at the same time so the Legos can interact with the Barbies. Like it doesn't have to be as compartmentalized and organized as I think our adult brains want it to be. Like our adult brands look at that room and it's chaos and it stresses us out. But the thing is I think as parents we need to give our kids a little more grace and a little more room to be messy because the messiness is where the creativity happens in like getting to see all the different place sets together. Like I remember some of the best playing I did as a kid was when I didn't really use the toys.

Cara Newhart: 11:45 Like they were on the box supposed to be used. Like it's when we built Lego houses for our hot wheels and then had like a giant Barbie come in and like wreck the town. Like that's the most creative type play that I think helps them learn an adventure versus just like playing with one little set at a time and then putting it away right after. Like that doesn't give them the full experience of being a kid. So I think as parents, you know, they obviously need to have some structure. They need to learn to clean up their messes and clean up after themselves. But it doesn't have to be every single day right after we decide play time's over. Because for them it's kind of like play time's never really over and we shouldn't like cut that off too early. So my encouragement to you is just to figure out what's works best for your child.

Cara Newhart: 12:34 Like are they the type that really loves making messes and kind of thrives in that creativity of like having everything out on the floor where they can see it and it can interact or do they crave structure a little more? Do they like lining up their toys and organizing things, um, and then try to work with their natural tendencies, even if it's not yours. Like if you are an organized person and your child is a little tornado, like try to find a balance of where they're getting structure in their learning life lessons, but sometimes like it's time for them to make a mess and you might just have to close the door and let it be theirs and let it be their space and it's not your problem to be stressed about. So I would love to know what you guys think about this. Do you have strong opinions?

Cara Newhart: 13:20 Do you make kids clean their room and put everything away and it needs to be organized or um, do you kind of see my perspective where I think messes fun and kids kind of need mess sometimes to be able to be creative and feel like the space is theirs and not just like perfectly organized like we want it to be. I know there's going to be people on both sides of this and it probably depends on what your personal tendency is, whether it's more towards mess or more towards structure and organization. I know in the very first ever episode of this podcast, episode one I sat down with, I'm a professional organizer who helped me do my linen closet and she kind of talked about um, her kids and how she keeps them organized and how she's found the organization really helps them because I think they probably tend more to be like her where they thrive off structure and organization. But yeah, let me know what you think about whether a kid should clean their room. You can add me on [email protected]h.com

Cara Newhart: 14:34 okay, so let's dive into this interview with Joe GIC. She is literally the coolest and her spaces that she designs are just amazing. They're so fun and playful but still feel balanced and feel like a place where kids can thrive. You might know Joe from NBC is making it, which is a competition series centered around DIY, um, where there's different makers and they have challenges. She was a finalist and she designed the coolest shed with this amazing colorful accent wall. So if you haven't watched season one, you totally need to dive into that. Um, season two just launched this week, so it's the perfect time to start because you'll have plenty to binge show has also been on blueprints runway remake, and she has her very own show called rooming up, which is all about designing kids' spaces. Um, and that's on NBCs blueprint network, which we talk about more in the episode and I will link it in the show notes if you want to go and find out how to watch her and check that out. You may also have seen Joe featured in places like HGTV, better homes and gardens house, beautiful USA today, L people and so many more. So listen in as I sit down with interior designer Joe GIC.

Jo Gick: 15:59 I hear ya.

Cara Newhart: 16:00 Okay. So I'm guessing quite a few listeners will know you either from watching you compete on the NBC TV show making it or from watching your show rooming up online on the blueprint network. Um, can you share with us just a little bit about your background as a designer and kind of like what your journey has looked like?

Jo Gick: 16:22 Sure. I, um, my name is Joe [inaudible]. I'm an interior designer by day and I'm maker Vinai. I love to make things. Uh, I actually, I'm from Ohio. Originally I came out to Arizona to go to design school. Uh, actually I didn't really know what I wanted to do. I think Ohio. I knew I was just ready for something new. I want to see what else is out there besides, you know, the small town that I grew up in. Right. So I moved out here and my older brother had already lived out here. And, um, I started out at ASU and, um, I took every art class imaginable because I just love, I loved art classes in high school. And so, um, I ended up, you know, I thought I wanted to be an artist and my brother who's 10 years older than me, he was like, I don't know, like that's a really hard career path.

Jo Gick: 17:18 Um, you know, why don't you try interior design? And I was kind of like, I was like 20 or 19, and I'm like, okay. So I started taking interior design classes, ASU, Arizona state university, and then, um, I ended up transferring, um, their program was really, really intense and they had like an upper division and like, uh, it was like a five year program, so you would apply for this upper division. And then it was like, uh, like three more years of school. Oh wow. Well, was like working full time. I was paying all my own bills and um, you basically have to like sleep at your desk if you do that program. So I never even applied for their upper division because I was like, Oh my gosh, what if they're going to tell me I can't be an interior designer. So I ended up switching over to Northern Arizona university, which is only a four year program and graduated with my degree in interior design from there, um, in 2004.

Jo Gick: 18:13 So it took me a while to get through school, but I did it. Yeah. Uh, six years. It's like I'm not even a doctor. I just said designer. But anyway, yeah, it was just, Oh, it's hard. Like, you know, paying all your own bills and, um, but I, I mean, I really think that set me up for success because I really had to learn how to, um, you know, figure out the world and how I was gonna take care of myself and get my degree. And I mean, that just helped me as an entrepreneur to navigate, you know, starting a business and, and all that kind of.

Cara Newhart: 18:51 Absolutely. Yeah. I feel like that's a really important skill as a creative entrepreneurs. Like I F like I could just hide away and make things. And I'm good at that. But like making it a business as a whole other thing to learn. Right. That's really cool that you got to learn through life kind of that way. It was hard. But so then, um, I know you really love designing children's spaces. What kind of drew you to kids rooms and nurseries? Was that something you like started out doing or is that like a passion you developed kind of later?

Jo Gick: 19:23 You know, I, when I worked at a model home from, for, um, for several years and I actually did not like designing kids rooms, um, I thought, Oh, these are so boring. Like, I don't know, you know, how can I make these interesting? And, um, there was always like a theme. It's like, you know, they'd give you like a little title, like Sophia is four and she likes playing with blocks and you know, dah, dah, dah, and you'd have to like design this room for this, you know, imaginary child. Right. And, and it was always a color scheme that like matched the entire house, you know, like model homes are, yeah. So I just never really liked it. And, um, so I, I kind of shied away for it from it because I wasn't good at it. And, um, what happened was that I got pregnant with my daughter and it opened up like this whole new door of like, you know, this was a real child who had real interests and, you know, um, it was, you know, designing for your own child that you only you really know is really made it fun.

Jo Gick: 20:30 Like, you know, I would go shopping for things. I'm like, Oh my gosh, is this, does this scream Marian? Like, is this her personality? Me, even when she was a baby, like obviously like she didn't, you know, she liked Elmo or whatever and I wasn't going to design a room like that, but like colors and vibes that I felt from her because she was such a happy baby. I really wanted her room to be colorful and cheery. Um, so that's how I kinda got interested in starting in kids' rooms. And so I, um, I did her nursery, uh, and then I did her, you know, her big girl room when her brother was born. And then I did a brother's nursery and then her brothers, you know, big boy room when he moved into his bed. And, um, then I started doing more and more for clients and just realized how much I really loved it just because I wasn't constrained by a color palette.

Jo Gick: 21:24 Right. Um, and I wasn't constrained by certain materials and I think a lot of times the parents would let me be a little more creative in the kids' rooms and they would, in the rest of the house, they were more willing to take risks. Um, and then, and then when you're designing for an older child and they tell you, you know, kind of what they like, um, you know, I love that kids come into things without preconceived notions because they haven't already developed these preconceived notions about certain things. Yes. So it's the law. There's less limits to my creativity when I do design kids' rooms. And I think that's why I really love them.

Cara Newhart: 22:06 I really like that. Like, I just remember remembering myself as a kid. Like I wanted to paint my entire house lime green and like you just don't, it doesn't occur to you that that's just not done and no one really likes that. But as a kid you're just like, I love this and like this is what I want to surround myself with. So I can totally see how that, like playfulness would be easy to translate into design and like really fun to not have those same boundaries versus designed for adults. Yeah. So, um, and part of that, like me being a mom, I was obviously not interested in kids rooms until I had a kid. Um, and, and my mom's a kindergarten teacher, so I think part of it is like, my whole life was very playful and like bright colors and she's very like rainbowy and like fun personality. And so I was like, I'm going to be an adult and like do adult things. But then having a kid, it's like, how do I create a space that's not like the rainbow throughout everywhere but still playful? Like, how do you kind of achieve that balance between like fun and playful and kid spaces but not like an overwhelming environment, if that makes sense. We'll be back with Joe's tips for creating kids spaces that are playful but not overwhelming after this message from our amazing sponsor.

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Cara Newhart: 23:45 one of those products that I think can go a long way for big transformations. So my goal with the podcast is to teach you guys how to DIY big and do it without fear, but that doesn't always mean ginormous projects. Sometimes it means just finding tools that help you get the look of a huge transformation that was really involved and really hard without it being that hard. And this is one of those products that I really think is so multipurpose and can really help you on your DIY journey. It's something amazing to use when you're just getting started and it can make your projects go faster if you're a season DIY wire. Okay, so two things. I'm really loving crazy glues fast dry wood glue for is number one holiday decor. My best idea for this is using it for custom ornaments. You can snag some wood ornaments and all kinds of wood cutouts to decorate them and then just use crazy glue to attach in there, literally ready to paint or Hayne in just six minutes because the glue cures that fast.

Cara Newhart: 24:46 In addition to some DIY decor, I'm also loving crazy glue, fast dry wood glue for furniture, quick fixes. If you have any pieces that need a tune up before your holiday guests arrive, crazy glue is a perfect way to get those last minute fixes done. If you haven't tried the fast dry wood glue yet, other things to know is that it's paintable sandal and you can snag it from Amazon for under $9 just head over to bit dot Lee dash crazy glue, wood glue. That's crazy with aK and then crazy glue, wood glue, all capitalized and use it to transform your holiday projects. And now back to the interview. How do I create a space that's not like the rainbow throughout everywhere but still playful? Like how do you kind of achieve that balance between like fun and playful and kid spaces but not like an overwhelming environment, if that makes sense.

Jo Gick: 25:47 Whenever I design, I always try to start with kind of a neutral base and then pop in color with, you know, things that you can change out later, like

Cara Newhart: 25:56 Mmm.

Jo Gick: 25:57 Bedding or rugs or drapery

Jo Gick: 26:02 or, uh, you know, things that artwork, things that you are easily removable. Now you can do, I mean, I mean if you look on my website and you look at some of the rooms I have designed in the kids' rooms in particular, sometimes I will do like a crazy wallpaper on a wall or on a few walls. Um, and, and that's okay. I mean, that's obviously not easily removable. I mean, good. But, um, I think the biggest thing is when you're playing with color is to watch your scale of each pattern. Um, and then you need to kind of have a starting point. So whenever I design something, I usually, I like to call it like a lead fabric or like a lead rug, which is like the one thing in the room that incorporates all the colors that I'm going to pull out of that thing.

Jo Gick: 26:52 So if you have a rug that has a bunch of different colors in it, you don't have to pull. And this is one thing that people always do is they're like, that isn't the exact exact green that's in the rug. And that's okay. As long as it's in the same family, the same tone, it doesn't have to be the exact. So, um, I sell these letters on my shop, um, on my Etsy shop, which is called Oso Joe designs. And they're actually like these wooden letters and I fill them with felted balls and they're of all different colors. And a lot of times I get questions from people like, Hey, um, can you change out that one pink color because it's not the same pink that's in, you know, my rug or whatever. And I always say like it doesn't have to be the exact, and like I try not to give people, like I try not to be pushy and like if people designed vice about what product they're buying from me, but I want to tell them as a designer like Hey, it's okay to pop something in their room that isn't the exact color because I think people get too caught up in the matchy matchy of everything and that's what makes them less interesting, if that makes sense.

Cara Newhart: 28:03 Totally. That's really good color strategy. Just overall because that's really what people think they have to do is like get things and make sure they match in like learning about like hues or color families or how to just like lighten or darken a shade but it still works together is like right. Yeah. Such a good strategy. Also your Etsy strap is so cute. I saw like a little like cactus sign with like the felt balls and Oh my gosh, I need one. I don't know where I'm going to put it, but I need one. So

Jo Gick: 28:35 I have so much fun making all that stuff and I'm always, I always have, like right now I've been um, kind of messing around with resin, like playing around with like how it works and putting things in it. And I've been making earrings so I want to um, put those in my shop soon, but I want to kind of really, um, figure out exactly how it all works so that my products will be, you know,

Cara Newhart: 28:57 Oh my gosh, I've been really into resin too. I got these like wooden trays and like some cute kind of like scrapbook paper and was like layering things and making like a clear bottom tray resin SoFi.

Jo Gick: 29:11 Yeah. It's like if it doesn't set up right, it gets sticky and then if you don't, you know, you have to get the right resin and it sucks. It's kind of an expensive crap because resin is not

Jo Gick: 29:20 right. Right. So it's a lot of like trial and error that I've been kind of messing up when I'm my free time. Yeah. You know?

Cara Newhart: 29:28 Yeah, no kidding. Uh, my first, my first project definitely didn't turn out and turned out sticky, but it is really cool just overall as a material, that's for sure. So for listeners out there who haven't tried resin maybe on YouTube and learn a little bit, but you should definitely try it because it is fun, but there's so many, there's so many videos. It's like, Oh my God, it's overwhelming. So I'm just diving back into like strategies a little bit. Can you share just maybe a couple of your best strategies that the everyday mom can use when it comes to like designing amazing spaces for her kids?

Jo Gick: 30:06 Yes. I would say, I would say if your child is interested in certain things, you want to, you want to make a nod to their interest. So maybe it's a piece of artwork or it's just a pillow on the bed. But like if your, your child is into Sesame street and say, yeah, you don't want to do Sesame street, everything like Sesame street lamp, Sesame street, you know, cover lit, Sesame street level, you just need like, you know, maybe his favorite character is big bird and you have a big bird pillow on the bed. You know what I mean? Yeah. Like this way when he's like over a big bird you can like donate the pillow. Yeah, I'm saying so I think that what people do is they get caught up in this whole theme thing and that's great for their birthday party. That's one time a year. But for their bedroom you really need something that's gonna like that's going to roll with their interests. So maybe more of like kind of like a nice color palette that, that has a lot of different color that you can pop in different things. Um, but then, you know, switch things out. Is their interests change. I think that's important.

Cara Newhart: 31:16 Oh my gosh, that's amazing advice. Cause I know one of the struggles I've had as a mom when it comes to my three year old Ella's room is like how fast things really change as she grows. Like I feel like I'm constantly changing her space as she enters new stages and her needs change, like she's really into art. So we had to put like a little table in her room. Um, and obviously kids' spaces aren't rooms that you can design in, like leave them alone for five to eight years until you decide to redecorate, like they're ever evolving. So besides just like not going all out with themey stuff, um, do you have any other good ideas for how to like go all in on designing the space but not, but keeping it so it can transition well as they grow?

Jo Gick: 31:59 Yeah, I think that if you have like, um, you need a focal point in your room always. So a lot of times in a bedroom here, focal point will be like the headboard wall. So you could, um, you know, I was do something interesting on the headboard wall if it's wallpaper or some kind of paint detail. Um, or something like that. And again, something like neutral that can change out what their interests, um, that's always like a nice pop of something in the room. Another thing that's great is like decals. I mean, there's amazing decals out on Etsy that you can get and they're just stickers that you put on the wall, but they look like wallpaper. I mean, you know, if they're triangles you can do a whole wall of triangles and then it looks like wallpaper. Yeah. Yeah. So there's easier things like that you can do.

Jo Gick: 32:44 I think that one thing that people don't think about a lot of times with bedrooms is, you know, they want to keep the kids' toys out of the main areas and that's fine, but you don't want to clog your kid's bedroom with toys either. Because really, you know, your bedroom is a place to go and rest. Yeah. It can be a place to go and play, but if the room is so cluttered with toys, there's going to be a good chance that your child's not going to feel comfortable in their room. Um, you need to have, they need to have plenty of space to walk around and play on the floor and maybe you want to get them a softer rug if you know that they like to play on the floor or you know, I think there's like intentional things you can do like that, that will take the room up, you know, up a notch. I'm trying to think what else. Um, you know, I think that, you know, a lot of times the kids' rooms get neglected because parents are thinking about the rest of the house. But if you think about it, I mean that's their space, that's their safe place. And I think if you make it feel like it's theirs, I think that um, that gives your child like a sentence, um, belonging and you know, place that they know that's theirs and safe and like things that they like.

Cara Newhart: 34:00 Yeah, absolutely. That's so, so, so true. Cause it is easy just to be like, I don't want to look at kid stuff cause it's like overwhelming colors and like I'm sick of looking at Mickey mouse. But yeah, they do deserve to have their own space dedicated to them. And I've noticed with Ella as she kind of is growing up, she's like loving having her own room. Like she likes to tell me she's going to her room and like go in there and play. So really investing in that space is like, yeah, really good for them. I think overall,

Jo Gick: 34:30 well I think the other thing too is like when people think about kids room decor, they, they go to like the four, you know, the big four websites like, you know, pottery barn kids and um, land of nod and you know, you know, the, all the big four, you know. Yeah. Really, there's no reason why your, your kids' furniture has to be kids. Like it can still be an adult looking twin bag, but if everything else is more fun and playful around it, that's okay. But then they're more likely to grow into it too. So, you know, another thing to think about is just, you know, put down those barriers that you can only look at kids, kids websites because you're going to open new doors to yourself. If you look at the other home decor websites as well.

Cara Newhart: 35:16 That's so true. And then you can have like investment pieces that are gonna last a long time that aren't necessarily like kid pieces. Yeah, they're so good. Um, I feel like for many families, kids spaces like playrooms or like activity tables are also part of a shared like maybe more adult space, like a living room or a hangout space in the basement. Do you have advice for like how to keep these areas super fun and functional for kids even though they're part of a more shared room?

Jo Gick: 35:47 Um, yeah, I mean I think the, the most important thing is to have adequate storage for, for things like that for toys. Um, you need place for them to be able to put it away. And I know, you know, it's, I mean, my kids are, my kids are seven and 10 now and so I don't have like a lot of big baby toys. Like they're more into like, you know, techie stuff right now. But I always had a spot where I could, if I knew someone was coming over, I could still wipe it up and throw it in the cabinet. And I think, um, I think that's an important thing to not only teach your kids that they need to pick up after themselves and that everything has a place, but, um, also just for your own mom, sanity feel to put away these big giant plastic, you know, toys and things is important.

Jo Gick: 36:40 If it's a space that, you know, the whole family is going to be using, you know, it could be a regular sized, you know, table like an art table or um, it doesn't have to be a little kitty size play table. Um, and I think people always think, Oh, I just need to get a little tiny play table. But you know, really the kids want to sit there with you anyway and you'll, you'll get more use out of it if you just get a regular adult sized table or something like that that everybody can use. Everybody can sit around and play cards or everybody can play Plato or, yeah. I mean, I don't love sitting on those little tiny chairs. I don't know about you.

Cara Newhart: 37:18 I feel like I'm just going to snap them in half.

Jo Gick: 37:22 Right. Yeah. I mean it's just one of those things you end up like getting rid of know. So, um, although they're cute and they're, they can be great. I just think it just depends on the family.

Cara Newhart: 37:32 Yeah. But that is really good tip. Like, I think as moms, either we just listened to what our kids say they want or we go to Pinterest or you know, magazines and kind of look at like, what does a kid space look like? Instead of thinking like, how am I actually gonna use this? What am I kids actually like doing and how can I like pick elements that really facilitate that? Right. Yeah. That's good. Um, so getting kids to keep their spaces relatively tidy, I feel like is one of the biggest challenges we face as moms. Um, do you have any tips for creating spaces that are easy to keep clean? Are there any like go-to furniture or things that that work?

Jo Gick: 38:15 Yeah, I mean, my husband makes fun of me because I love, I mean I love like the clear plastic bins, but let's be honest, like if your child has a box of, you know, Legos or whatever it is, I mean the box usually falls apart. So I'm like, okay, I want what the plastic bids, you put a label on it. These where the Legos go and the kids know that's where the Legos go. And if they stack easy in their closet or wherever, I mean I think it's important for your kids to be able to like the clear blends are nice because they can see where their toys are and they're like, Oh, I'm going to grab this, this I'm going to play with. But they know that, you know, I've taught my kids like you need to put it away before you get out something else.

Jo Gick: 38:55 Right. And you know, like some moms are more strict than others, but, um, I really love, I think the important thing is everything needs its place. And if your kids know that everything has a place, then um, you're, they're more likely to know where to put it back and put it back. And the other thing too is like, especially before Christmas time in the holidays, it's always good to be like, okay, let's evaluate the toys, let's see what ones we can donate to. The kids that don't have toys and just kind of like clear out the stuff they don't play with anymore because we all know that like family members, your kids get so many toys and then they have toys upon toys that they already have and you have nowhere to put the new toys. So Dan, it's really important to make room for the new toys and give those old toys to kids in need that aren't getting toys for Christmas. And you know, you're just going to have a happier playroom and you're going to be picking up a lot less things off the floor.

Cara Newhart: 39:51 Yeah. [inaudible] and if it's too cluttered, they don't really have space to get creative and play if they have too much stuff. But also just the idea that like you need a system that kids can be involved in and like take ownership of, like they need to know how it works because it can be beautiful or it could be like the best piece of furniture, but if they don't know how to put stuff away, then it's like not helpful.

Jo Gick: 40:19 Right. So they just take, it just drives everybody crazy because no one knows where it goes

Cara Newhart: 40:23 for sure. For sure. So, um, we've talked a little bit about the blueprint network before on the podcast on episode 11 with one of my really great friends, Kristin, who hosts spring the party. But I would love to share a little bit about the network for all our new listeners who might have missed that. Um, can you share like what blueprint is and how we can watch your show?

Jo Gick: 40:47 Yeah. Blueprint has an, um, an online streaming service for makers and crafters. So, um, the content on their website is, you know, anything from cooking and baking and sewing and embroidery and, um, they've been doing a lot more, um, shows lately. Um, like Christine's bring the party where it's less instructional and more, um, more of like a show about, you know, making or doing something not so, um, not so much like a class. Yeah. Um, so I have a show on there, it's called rooming out. And, um, basically I go into six different kids' rooms and I meet with them and they kind of tell me about what they do and don't like about their room. And then we whisked them away and, um, they helped me do, um, a little project, um, for their room. So we make something with them for their room, which is really great cause you can see that they have pride in that.

Jo Gick: 41:45 They're like making this thing for their room. And, um, we redesigned their room and then we bring them back in and show them their new room. Um, and it's really sweet because these are kids that, you know, they're kinda like, eh, my, here's my room, you know, it's okay. And then they're like, Oh my gosh. You know, so that's really, really fun. Um, and it was like a really quick, like, turnaround. So it was like super Fonda, like in two weeks I went out there and the LA and I designed six rooms like really fast. So it was like a really quick turnaround, which is super fun. So yeah, the show's called rooming up and I'm pretty sure that when season two of making it comes out, they're going to be doing, they're going to be doing their free trial again for, um, for makers. So, uh, you can try it out for free and go and watch everything until your heart's content. Um, and I appreciate you want to sign up cause it's, it's pretty fun.

Cara Newhart: 42:39 It is. It totally is. Um, so we have to talk about making it too because that's where, um, that, that's just a whole other amazing show that people are gonna love. But can you talk about that show in kind of like your experience on that? Cause for people that haven't seen it, you have to go watch. But

Jo Gick: 42:57 I'm making, it is hosted by Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman and it's a craft and competition show. And I was on last season, season one and it was really fun because the, the theater part for me is like, I make things all the time, but to have a challenge and have someone say like, okay, these are your parameters, this is what you need to make. You have this much time go, you know, like that puts a whole nother like excitement level to it that for sure don't usually get when you're at home. Just making something. Yeah. So, um, I was on with, um, I guess there was, how many of us were there? Six or eight? Yeah, there's eight makers. So I was on the seven other people and um, I won't tell you what happens, who wins, but, um, the show was really great. So season two comes out December 2nd and I'm actually one of my best friends, Rebecca is on the show, which is really fun. So I'm super excited, um, to watch her. We actually are starting a YouTube channel together called for the love of color. Oh my gosh. I love it. So this is the first I've actually told anybody of it, but, um, we just started filming for it. So we're super excited about it. It's going to be, um, we're going to be making and designing and doing all kinds of fun stuff together on there.

Cara Newhart: 44:14 Oh my gosh. I'm so excited. Can we go follow you yet or is it just just started?

Jo Gick: 44:19 Yeah, we have, yeah, we're on YouTube. Um, we don't have any videos up yet. We do have our landing page. Um, we just found our intro, um, like last week. So, um, yeah, we're really, really excited. Oh my gosh, that's awesome. We built our backdrop and did all the fun things and we're, you know, do either of us who've ever done anything on YouTube, so we're super excited to get started. Um, but we just thought like we both, I mean it's funny because like I'll make something and I'll text it to her and then she'll text you back cause something that she's making. So we're like always, we're both on the same page. We're always making, always designing. Rebecca has her design degree as well. So, and our birthdays are a day apart, which is really fun ourselves. So funny. I have like a ton of stuff in common. Yeah. That we've been really good friends for a long time and we're like, Hey, like this, like why aren't we doing this together? Like it's so much more fun to do it together.

Cara Newhart: 45:14 Oh my gosh. So much fun. Just to have someone encourage you. And also I feel like when you're creative, it's hard to be creative all the time. So having someone else that can like support you and you're just like, I'm tired of trying to think things up. Like exactly. That'll be great.

Jo Gick: 45:28 Yeah, no, I think, I mean like Frieders block is like really a thing. Like it's not even just like writer's block. It's like, okay, Christmas is coming. Like what can I do? Like what kind of means that everyone else has it made on Pinterest and like think it's something new and amazing, you know? Exactly. It's tough, especially when you're like trying to create content for brands and

Cara Newhart: 45:51 yes, it's not easy all the time. I feel that for sure. Yeah. Like, what can I do that's interesting and isn't just me holding something like I love this thing. Right? Yeah. Make it pretty. Yeah, that's perfect though because between blueprint and YouTube and the new season of making it, it's like all the things that we need, cause it's about to get cold and like they could just park it on the couch on the couch. Yes. So do you have anything else exciting coming up or anything you're doing that you want to let us sit on?

Jo Gick: 46:24 I just finished this. I'm a 7,000 square foot design, um, a house and we did it from like the ground up. So, um, from pouring the concrete to, I mean I was there, I took pictures of them pouring the concrete. I designed every inch of this house. Um, my clients just moved in. Um, there's still a few things, but I'm wrapping that up. Um, and then I'm, I'm taking a little break from client work for awhile. You know, I kind of wanted to, um, focus on this YouTube thing and see kind of where that goes. Um, and then just take a little break. Um, for my sanity because, um, actually being an interior, designers are very stressful with all the deadlines and things not coming in and you know, wrangling all the contractors and all the things, um, is a little bit stressful. So I'm just ready to take a little break from that for awhile. Um, I still will be doing design, just, just not, um, you know, taking on the clients. Although I do love my clients. Um, and I may come back to it later. I just, I just feel like, um, I need a mental break a little bit.

Cara Newhart: 47:27 Yeah. Well that's awesome that you can give yourself that too. Cause I think then when you do come back to it, you'll be way fresher and better frame of mind. Right? Totally. Yeah. So the house you just wrapped up, is that going to be like on your blog so you can see the design? I'm going to be getting it photographed. Yeah.

Jo Gick: 47:47 The next couple of months here. Um, I was supposed to actually photograph it this Thursday, but the clients are like, I just don't really think I'm ready. You know, we saw a lot of songs for the way, so I was like, all right, well we'll just, you know, put it off for a little bit. So, um, I also just designed my publicist house and her paralysis. Super fun. I have a couple pictures on my Instagram that I've taken recently. I just did her laundry room, I did her master bedroom, I did this huge library built in, so I'm going to be photographing that as well. And that house is really, really fun and um, and colorful and, and very Joe, like very right up my alley. Um, some clients like a little bit more traditional things, which is fine. And um, but this house, she kind of let me just do my thing, which was super fun.

Cara Newhart: 48:34 Yeah. That's awesome. Yeah. Good. We'll have to keep an eye out on your blog then for, um, so you've designed spaces for like some celebrities, right? Like nursery for Russell Nelson and Sierra. Yeah. What was that like?

Jo Gick: 48:50 That was really, that was, it was pretty cool. I was like, wait, who? What? Wait, what? So, um, my business partner, Jen and I, um, we were contacted by Sierra, um, cause we had done a room in LA for a couple of rooms in LA for her friend. And um, yeah, they flew us out first-class, um, to their house in Bel air in LA. And we designed, um, the baby's Sienna's room and also future's room as well. And we actually did the rooms the same in Seattle as we did in LA. So we, we flew out to LA in denim and Seattle and then they flew us out another time to do the playroom in Seattle. Um, so that was really fun. They are very, very nice. You know, it was first time I've ever flown first class, which I was like kinda geeking out about. But I was like, it's so funny because Jen and I are very like, just, you're very like down to earth. Like mom moms, you know, and we love designing, we love our job or we're like, what is happening? Like, like getting me blown out here to like, do you see yourself? Like what? Like, I remember like listening to one, two step when I was like in high school, you know, like I thought it was like the coolest thing.

Cara Newhart: 50:10 Oh yeah, I know. That's so true.

Jo Gick: 50:12 I mean, I'm not like a big football fan to be honest. Like I honestly could care less about football, but I know who Russell Wilson is. I mean, I don't live, you know, under a rock. And I was like, Oh yeah, she's a big time. And we were like driving around Seattle and his picture was, Oh my gosh. I'm like, Oh, we just were hanging out with him earlier today.

Cara Newhart: 50:31 That's so weird. How weird. That's so cool though. What a cool experience. Yeah, it was super cool. It was, it was really, it was really strange. Yeah. Oh yeah. That's so cool. So, um, where can everyone, I guess we should tell everyone where they can find you online, cause I've kind of talked up your blog and Instagram, so where can everyone connect with you online?

Jo Gick: 50:52 So, um, you can go to Joe gic.com is my website and my Instagram, which I'm mostly active on is Oh, so Joe underscore. Okay. I have a Facebook too. Oh, so Joe gag. But I really, I really don't post a lot of stuff on Facebook. Um, either, but Instagram's weren't probably where I'm most active. Yeah. And then I have my Etsy shop, which is, Oh, so Joe designs, I have to go check that out. I've got all kinds of fun stuff on there. Oh yeah. It's a way to queue. And then for the

Cara Newhart: 51:23 color will be my year two with Rebecca. Oh my gosh. I cannot wait. I'm so excited. We're really excited. Oh good. Well thank you so much for your time. I feel like this, thanks for having me. Yeah, this like got me all amped up to do Ella's room cause we literally just moved like the moving truck is at my house today and I'm like at a hotel recording this right now. Yeah. But I'm so excited to get her settled and like do a cute kid space. It's like frozen inspired but not too literally just nods girl. Only not sturdy. Frozen. Yeah. Not settle. I think I'm going to paint her like some purple mountains. Yeah,

Jo Gick: 52:03 that'll be really fun. I can't wait to watch a, your Instagram to see, I just saw your headboard. You're been working on.

Cara Newhart: 52:09 Oh my gosh. It's so big. It's going good though. I was like, how did she,

Jo Gick: 52:14 how is she wrangling that thing? That thing is huge.

Cara Newhart: 52:16 It's, yeah, it's very heavy. I really should have used a thinner wood, but luckily I have my husband just to rope into all my crazy ideas and he's like me move it around.

Jo Gick: 52:27 My husband too. He's like, you're going to help me with this? And he's like, Oh boy.

Cara Newhart: 52:31 Yeah. Like what did I get into for life with you? It's too funny. Oh wait, one more question. What is your favorite brunch beverage?

Jo Gick: 52:41 Oh, my favorite brunch beverage. Definitely a Mosa. Like a classic with orange juice or a salty dog. Have you ever had a salty dog? No, I feel like I've seen it on the menu and what's in it? Um, so it's, I'm pretty sure it's salt on the rim and then it's, I believe it's great fruit juice and champagne. Oh, that sounds so good. I love great parties. I know, I like it. I don't ever have to make it, but yeah, I just ordered if it's on the menu when I go to a brunch spot, gosh

Cara Newhart: 53:13 I'm going to have to look it up cause my husband's like the bartender of the family so he'll be all into like making a new drink. But that sounds right up my alley. Sounds so good. Well thank you again for your time. This was super fun. Super, super fun. Thank you Kara. I had so much fun. Yeah, good. Thanks again. Talk soon. Bye.

OUTRO: 53:31 Love this episode? Leave a comment on the blog post or use hashtag make space podcast to share your thoughts. If this is your first time listening in, be sure to hit that subscribe button so you can stay updated with the newest episodes. If you are a subscriber and you love the show, be sure to rate, review or screenshot and share your favorite episode on social.

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NEVER SKIP BRUNCH by Cara Newhart

I'm Cara, the designer & Chief Creative Enthusiast behind Never Skip Brunch. I'm a color & prints obsessed DIY queen who's here to help you create a beautifully lived-in life through home design advice and chic DIY tutorials

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