A Peace Project Brings a Family Together

This busy couple wants to de-stress with their kids. Our home expert has just the thing.  

Posted in , Sep 1, 2008

A Peace Project Brings a Family Together

Rob and Bobbie Kuehl met at 4 a.m. at an inner-city crime scene years ago. He was a cop and she was a paramedic. They've remained committed to making the world a safer, more peaceful place ever since. Still, they look for fresh ideas to keep the peace in their own home, especially with their three kids.

I invited the Kuehls to my studio—The Katillac Shack—for a family bonding project. I started by asking, "What creates peace in your home?" They answered: teamwork, showing affection, honesty, creativity and...scuba diving. Scuba diving? "Our family loves scuba diving; the ocean is our place to reconnect," Bobbie explained.

Then I asked what got in the way of peace in their home. "When we argue," Bobbie said. I'm sure most families with teens can relate; adolescence is never easy. Growing up, though, doesn't have to mean growing apart. We just need some creative help in getting to know—and understand—each other all over again.

Even so, the Kuehls worked together beautifully on their project, a glass-topped coffee table, decorated with soothing images of the sea. That day I heard lots of laughter and not an angry word. Camryn, 11, led the peace project by gathering underwater photos of family dives and colorful sea life. 

Their collage was copied onto transparency paper (used for an overhead projector), cut into angular shapes and fixed to the backside of a glass table top with spray adhesive. With everything glued into place, a light was added behind the glass, giving them a piece that showed the peace they had created together.

Make Your Own Peace Table

1. Find images that make you happy.

2. Make copies of them on clear transparency paper.

3. Cut them into angular pieces.

4. Using spray adhesive, mist the underside of the glass table top.

5. Apply cut images face up to backside of glass so ink and glue don't interact.

6. Add touch-pop lights inside.

Kelee Katillac is an interior designer and author of House of Belief and Kids' Sacred Places. For more about Kelee and her work, visit keleekatillac.com.

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