Distressed- Intentionally marred or faded to convey an antique or used look.

Wanting to own something distressed is a strange thing. It goes against all that normally appeals to us as people. We want things that when you look at them you can tell they are new. We want things that are shiny.

Sometimes people even pay MORE money for things that look old, or distressed. For example, people will pay a couple hundred dollars to buy jeans that look like that have been worn for years. Jeans that are just the right amount faded with a couple of holes in them are usually the most desirable.

So why am I writing about distressed jeans, a topic I have no interest in at all? Because my family and I are setting the standard for the newest and coolest trend of the year, a distressed house.

Yep, a distressed house.

We have a relatively new house, as a matter of fact it’s only six years old, and since houses usually last about as long as people, we have the house equivalent to a first grader. But following the trend of distressed jeans, furniture, etc. we would like our house to appear in its mid-forties. My guess is, if houses are like jeans, it will at least double the value of our house if we make it look forty years old.

Feel free to try this with your house too if you would like. There are several steps involved, but most important thing you will need to do is have children. To properly distress a house you will need at least two children, preferably no more than four or five years apart in age. The more children you add to the home the quicker and more distressed your house will become. If children are not an option the ratio is the same for having dogs in your home.

The easiest and most obvious place to distress in your house is the carpet. Hardwood floors will also work, but it will take much longer. Anyway, carpet works best because things can get ugly pretty quickly if you make the right decisions. First, pick the lightest color possible. White carpeting in a house with kids will become unrecognizable almost immediately. We chose some type of light tan carpeting (at least I think thats what color it used to be) and it seems to be distressing quite nicely.

You might be asking, how specifically do I distress carpeting? There are a few quick and easy ways to accomplish this. Allow your kids to use Play-doh. Even if you are careful and cover your table with plastic, that stuff will still manage its way into your carpet. If done often enough and with a variety of colors your carpet will take on the look of an iced cupcake with sprinkles on top. Which brings me to another way to distress your carpet, food.

Allow your kids, no matter what age, to eat with utensils at the table. Luckily for us our table sits right on top of carpet so this took almost no time to start working. Foods that distress carpet quickly and effectively are: tomato soup, mac and cheese, ketchup, oatmeal, mustard, bbq, yogurt and any type of chocolate. I’m sure the list could go on and on, but these were the ones I could clearly identify from where I’m currently sitting. Utensils at the table are also great ways to help give that distressed look to brand new drywall. Spoons quickly become catapults. Cups without lids also allow for milk to travel great distances.

While at the table make sure little ones are not buckled into their booster seats. This will allow them to climb down when you are not looking so they can wipe their dirty, greasy hands on the wall to get them clean. Also, allowing your children to climb on chairs also speeds up the process of distressing your home. In no time a child can tip a chair right into your drywall giving it a nice looking dent or at the very least a good scuff along your wall.

Probably the trickiest place to distress in your home has to be the ceiling. This is not a place that can be distressed with normal wear and tear, you really need to be intentional. We found this could be done using poop. Yes poop. I’m not sure how the physics worked exactly, but one time I was able to fling poop during a diaper change from changing table onto the ceiling. This is no small feat considering we have 9 foot ceilings.

That pretty much covers the inside of your home, let move on to the outside. The most effective way to distress a lawn is to buy lots of large plastic kids toys. There is no shortage of items to purchase: plastic swimming pools, climbers, slides, swing sets, or my favorite, the sandbox. If done properly. the sand box user will take sand and spread it ALL OVER your yard not only killing grass under the sand box but around it as well.

Well there you have it, those are my tips for distressing your home. My guess is it will increase the value of your home tremendously, if I’m wrong don’t blame me, blame my kids.

Happy Parenting!



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