Ten Minutes With: Charlotte Smith
The creator of Ciburbanity.com
Charlotte Smith and her family “went suburban” after ten years cruising the streets of New York City. Smith’s popular website Ciburbanity (city + suburb + sanity) was born as a suburban diary, record book, and sounding board. She writes about life, kids, her 200-year-old home, and offers ideas, tips, and projects for beautifying your home and life. Smith has appeared on Flea Market Flip, in Better Homes and Gardens and has a monthly appearance on “Good Morning CT.”
Please tell us about your inspiration for ciburbanity.com.
With three small children at home, I wanted a job, but I didn’t want to be gone all day, every day. When a friend suggested I share my transition from urban working mom to suburban stay-at-home mom on a blog, I figured, why not?
So, what will we find if we click on ciburbanity.com?
I write about our house and the projects I take on. I try to share simple, inexpensive ways to have fun with decorating and incorporate your own personality. I try to demystify the process of “decorating” and encourage people to take chances.
What’s your parenting philosophy?
Benign neglect. If there’s something my kids can physically or mentally do themselves, I let them.
Where do you go when you need to escape?
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good pedicure, but more typically my happy place is listening to a great podcast and working on something out in my shed or finishing up a blog project around the house. Without kids interrupting!
How did you go from school guidance counselor to successful blogger and do-it-yourselfer?
It’s taken almost four years. When I first started blogging, the only one I knew was Perez Hilton. A year into it, I learned about a blog conference down in Atlanta and signed up for that. The DIY aspect of the blog came more naturally, but the benefit of being part of this industry is that there’s usually someone testing the limits. I quickly learned to think big.
How would you describe your style?
I jokingly call it “frugal repurposed eclectic.” I think design should have a sense of humor and whimsy. I love bringing in flea market finds in an unexpected imaginative way.
Best and worst mother moment?
Potty training my now five-year-old son almost broke me. I also admit to having a short fuse when I’m tired, which is often, so there are times at the end of the day when emotions run higher than I’m proud of. The best moments are when I get to watch them enjoying each other in some game of imagination and logistics while my husband and I are minding our own business.
Where do you see yourself and your work in five years?
I’d be thrilled to have more on-camera opportunities. Matt and Savannah, call me! I’ve started a project with Habitat for Humanity in which a group of bloggers are working with a modest cash donation to furnish and decorate a newly built Habitat house. I’d love for other bloggers around the country to follow suit and give back with their DIY talents.