A lot of moms wonder how they can have their “dream space” and not have nightmares about destruction or injuries. But you can!! Trust me…..;) Our children are almost 5 and 9 and I have always been passionate about decorating our home. Through trial and error (and a few tears) here are a few things I’ve learned about “kid-friendly” decor. Take into consideration these 7 tips and let your decorating passions go wild!
1. Space layout
Okay, we know children are going to run through the house and use the furniture as a jungle gym at one time or another. So, first things first, make sure there is a good flow in your house but try not to let this stop you from putting seating arrangements close together for conversation areas in your living room. Coffee tables should be 16 to 18 inches from the couch so that you can easily place drinks on it, or prop your feet up, etc..
2. Fabrics Choices
The most durable fabrics are ultrasuede, twill, denim, velvet, wool, flat weave fabrics, and other natural fabrics woven with a little synthetic fiber. To learn more about choosing a couch or other upholstered piece of furniture, click here. Also, consider using throw pillows with removable covers for easy cleaning and if window treatments get handled often (or if there are allergies in the family), machine washable is the most practical.
3. Shapes of furniture
If you have smaller children, I am sure you have thought about the shape of your furniture. “Captain obvious” says to try to avoid hard corners and edges. Upholstered and/or round shapes are two great options for coffee tables. Poufs are also a great way to add style to your room and kids love them.
Machine made rugs made from wool or synthetic material have the most durability and are the easiest to clean. Of course, synthetic rugs will not last as long as wool but can be a great, less expensive option for those families with younger children. It is possible to find 100% wool rugs at a great price in stores such as Home Goods or Tuesday Morning. This might be the only time I will say “stay away from white” unless you are braver than I, my friend! (click here for more tips on choosing, purchasing, and placing rugs)
5. Lamps and other decor
The things that break! Antique stores and consignment shops are great places to find well made, nearly indestructible decor items. Look for metal lamp bases with a shape you like, spray paint to fit your style. Pharmacy floor lamps are a nice option too. Wall sconces and ceiling pendents will be out of reach so you can use what ever you like. Look for decor accessories that are made of metal or plastic so little hands can’t hurt them. (Bookends, bowls, vases, candle pillars, and figurines.)
6. Special items
Items that are non replaceable you might want to put it in storage for now. Otherwise, display your breakable items on the top shelves of your bookcases or etageres or use wall shelves that are placed out of reach .
7. Toy storage
Baskets and bins placed under the coffee table or on the bottom shelves of your bookcase will keep toys out of sight when it is “grown up” time but in a reachable area for small children. If you have a family room and a living room consider limiting most toys to the living room.
On a side note, we use a basket of books for the kids in our living room and games and puzzles in the family room. The rest of the toys stay in the kid’s bedrooms. We have been doing this for two years now and bonus, we play more games, do puzzles, and read together much more often. I know this isn’t practical for all families, but you can always experiment with toy placement and storage in different rooms, your kids might surprise you.