Many parents sacrifice the beautifully designed home of their dreams because their kids might end up breaking, staining or scratching the decor. You might end up living in a space resembling a bachelor pad — mismatched and cheap furniture, no accessories and no cohesive style.
There’s a better alternative for stylish, kid-friendly homes. You can create a stunning design balancing form and function with some minor adjustments.
1. Round Out the Edges
Furniture with sharp corners are magnets for accidents. Little ones learning to walk or slightly older kids running through the house can slip and tumble right into them. Save yourself the guilt of those bumps and bruises and opt for furniture with rounded edges.
Try out poufs or an ottoman instead of traditional coffee or end tables. For an even more family-friendly design, look for rounded tables with built-in storage. When your kids are young, it can hold their toys — and you can use it for blankets later.
2. Invest in High-Quality Furniture
Kids are tough on furniture. Your solution may have been to buy cheap versions of everything, but they’re inexpensive for a reason. Over your kids’ life, you might need to replace each piece multiple times.
In that case, you may as well invest in high-quality furniture from the start. While it may have a more expensive initial cost, these pieces will last you for many years. Take your time and find beautiful furniture with good craftsmanship and hearty fabrics.
3. Choose a Wipeable Wall Finish
Not all paints or wall treatments are created equal for cleaning. Whether you like it or not, some little one will use it as their canvas one day. Do yourself a favor and get ahead of the problem now.
Choose paint in an eggshell, satin or semi-gloss finish, which you can wipe with a damp cloth to remove smudges or artwork. As a kid-friendly option for the artists in your family, purchase chalkboard or whiteboard paint and DIY a fun accent wall.
4. Get Clever With Storage
If you’ve packed your house to the brim with all the stuff your kiddos “need,” it might be time to invest in new storage solutions. Built-ins offer the most storage and are aesthetically pleasing, so they’re an excellent choice if you have room in your space and budget.
On a smaller scale, consider how you can add storage with furniture. For example, a cute console table with baskets or bins underneath becomes a showpiece and a designated area for storage.
5. Select Flooring Based on Your Needs
Flooring choices depend on your family’s needs. Carpet provides cushion and grip from when your children are learning to walk till they’re running around the house. However, it’s not as easy to keep clean, so opt for a low-pile carpet that’s easy to vacuum and look for options with stain-resistant treatments.
Hard floors are timeless and sturdy but scratch easily, so these might not be the best choice if you have pets. Vinyl and laminate flooring have come a long way in appearance and are cost-effective alternatives to hardwood. They’re also scratch-resistant and easy to keep clean.
6. Go Bold With Area Rugs
Area rugs are the perfect way to warm up a space and provide a cushion for little feet and knees. You could buy washable or outdoor rugs to make your cleaning job easier. If those aren’t your style or in the budget, choose a natural material like wool, seagrass or jute.
Another way to battle the mess is to hide it. Rugs in medium to dark earth tones conceal your home’s daily ins and outs. Bold patterns also work to distract the eye from spills and stains.
7. Set Up Kid Zones
Clutter will take over your home if you let it. To help keep it at bay, designate spots specifically for kid toys and activities. Having their own space might make them more likely to keep it clean. It will also make tidying easier if all of their belongings have a home.
You could set up a whole playroom if you have space or improve the storage in their room. A kitchen craft table or a few toy bins in the living room can help your child feel included while corraling the mess.
8. Give Kid’s Art a Place of Honor
An art-covered fridge is the surest sign of a home with kids. However, all those masterpieces can make your kitchen look cluttered quickly. You can enjoy your kids’ hard work, make them feel special and get your refrigerator back with better design choices.
Give your kids’ art a place of honor in your home by framing it. Buy one for each child and rotate pieces in and out. Some frames even have extra room for holding additional pictures behind the current one for easier rotation. If you have the space, you could also create a gallery wall of artwork.
9. Pick Durable Fabrics
As parents, the fabrics you choose for your home must be stylish and functional. Densely woven materials will be more resistant to spills. Also — like with carpeting and rugs — medium to deep earth tones are best at hiding everyday wear and tear.
Leather is an excellent option for furniture since it tends to look better with a bit of love. It’s also easy to clean with a damp cloth. However, if you love white, it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Slipcovers let you bleach out any stains or spills while giving you timeless appeal.
10. Add Low Seating Options
Having furniture and decor of varying heights is a staple of good design. Why not bring that element in with your seating? Your kids will love that they have extra places to sit that seem to be just for them and you’ll have extra room for guests.
Ottomans and poufs are very comfortable and can add texture to a room. You could also consider small wooden stools or a kid-sized table and chairs that function as seating and play space.
Kid-Friendly Design Tips for Your Home
Accidents will happen with little ones around. Kids spill things, fabric tears and springs give way. Prepare for mishaps by following these tips for kid-friendly decor. It’s also a good idea to keep extra supplies on hand — like a small amount of each paint color for touch-ups. As with so many aspects of parenting, do the best you can and live with the rest.