Jamie Davies O’Leary and her husband Mike are “those” parents: no TV in the living room.
But, do you think their kids are complaining, considering the room now features a teepee and the backyard is graced by a full-size treehouse?
Funny enough, the grown-ups of the house didn’t even select their new home just for their future children.
“We bought it before we had kids and sort of freaked out when we saw the treehouse,” Jamie laughed. “What can I say? We are both kids at heart.”
And look, they’re not Luddites. The basement is where the Netflix and cartoons get fired up, freeing up the first floor for a good universal space for entertaining adults and kids alike.
It’s their own oasis within the confines of Clintonville, which the couple has identified as the perfect area of Columbus to suit their needs.
“There’s a tight-knit community here. People are active, involved, and supportive—our street has a block party, happy hours, and an annual progressive dinner,” Jamie said. “It’s very walkable and scenic. Also the schools are great, and diverse—that was important to us. I don’t think you have to move out to the suburbs in order to have a positive school experience. We really have something great going on here.”
That doesn’t mean they can’t poke a bit of fun at its “crunchiness,” though, too.
“We joke it’s like the Portlandia of Columbus—within a mile of us we have a gluten-aware hair salon, an apothecary, fair trade coffee shop, farmer’s market, yoga studio, and gem store,” Jamie laughed.
Mike, who is a psychotherapist and musician, and Jamie, a former teacher, writer, and yoga instructor—who now finds herself running for State Board of Education— opened their doors and gave (614) a day in the life of the O’Learys.
What brought about the conscious decision to replace the traditional TV on the first floor living room with a teepee, and kids’ kitchenette? We have a finished basement/family room where we watch TV, so we wanted to create a more intentional space on the main floor. An area to drink coffee, talk, play music, hang out with guests, and let the children be a part of it. We still like TV and are balanced in our approach to screen time, but also think independent play is important for young kids.
How do you think you would decorate the home if it were just you and Mike? Well, we’d have a bar cart with lots of drinks and glassware in the dining room [laughs]. There’s a lot you have to child proof with little kids, and so we just set those things aside for a few years. I would have a space dedicated to practicing yoga. And I would have a ton of plants everywhere without worrying that a three- or one-year old would dig into them or eat the leaves. Mike would probably have more room to set up his guitars and music equipment.
Describe the perfect morning, afternoon, and evening at home for the O’Leary family. Morning: we all sleep in. The girls play or read in their rooms while we get a few extra minutes to sleep. We eat breakfast together and drink about three cups of coffee while the kids play or do artwork. Afternoon: Kids are asleep! Hopefully we are, too. Or catching up on reading, Netflix, or something quiet. After nap, we hang out outside together or do something else we love—like painting, listening to records, having a dance party, or reading books. Evening: eat tacos, sit outside on the patio with a few beers, let the kids run around and play and get dirty, read stories, and go to bed.
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