*contributed collaborative content
Have you ever looked around your home and despaired at the perceived lack of style? We’ve all dreamed about living in a Home and Garden spread sometimes, but for those of us with active families or young kids, it can seem impossible. Who can think about style with toys strewn everywhere, and stains on the rug?
It turns out that dream home feel isn’t as far away as you might think. We’ve compiled a list of tips for how to create a gorgeous family space you can be proud of, that makes room for every member of your family.
For a timeless design trend, neutral colors work best for maximum flexibility, but that doesn’t mean you should skip out on color altogether. Keep things light and breezy with pops of color all around. Avoid severe prints like stripes and dark neutrals like navy. Bright colors as accents will help keep the space kid-friendly and cheerful. Bright pillows, cushions or décor items will help keep the odd kid’s art piece or child-sized furniture from sticking out like a sore thumb. So go with it! Embrace adding color to your aesthetic, and see where it takes you!
Stick to Synthetics and Leather
When it comes to having a home with kids, the design is one thing, and practicality is another. Make life easier on yourself with synthetic fabrics in the rugs, and leather, or otherwise easily-wipeable furniture.
Zip cushions make it easier to pull apart upholstery and throw it in the wash for later, but synthetics make it possible to wipe down your soft furnishings in minutes. So think practically, spend the extra cash, and buy yourself some peace of mind with that leather sofa!
Try For Safer Furniture Options
Another practical consideration in a home with little ones underfoot is always safety. That’s why furniture with rounded corners is a great addition to your home. Soft ottomans and rounded chairs and tables make it easier for little ones when things get rowdy, with fewer sharp corners to catch them.
Stay away from glass furniture, which can crack and weaken, breaking and sharpening without you noticing. Keep lights and lamps off the floor by lighting up wall sconces and ceiling lights. Hanging lights are less likely to get bumped, and they don’t come with wires that little hands might tug or trip on.
Finally, a wooden dining room table will get a lot more mileage than a glass one, can handle the mess, and has no sharp edges, while glass and veneer are tough to keep clean, and often come with sharp, dangerous edges.
Stick to Carpet Tiles
Carpet in a home with a kid is a big nope. Just like upholstery, carpet stains quickly, and you’ll need to spend most of your day cleaning. On any given day, your carpet is full of pet dander, outside dirt and grime, fleas, dead bugs, and dead skin. Yuck!
Not exactly the healthiest option for your family. And if you’ve got kids, the amount of debris soaked up by your carpet is even worse! Stick to laminate, which is easier to clean and tougher to damage than hardwood, or vinyl, which can be easily wiped down. If you must have carpet, try carpet tiles instead. If something spills, it’s easier to just remove a single tile to have it clean or replaced.
Use Area Rugs To Create Kid-Friendly Spaces
In an open-plan space, when you want space for kids and grown-ups, you can use big area rugs to create “rooms.” A bright patterned rug under a child-sized table, or a large, group activity toy, can help to provide kid spaces in an otherwise adult room. Giving kids their own spaces within the house helps keep clutter and disarray confined, while still creating an atmosphere for learning and growing, and making sure everyone in the house feels welcome.
Speaking of clutter, storage is your friend here! Kids come with a lot of stuff. Toys, artwork, and treasures. If you want to make kids feel welcome throughout the house, having an assortment of kid’s toys, books, and décor, will help remind the kids that it’s their space too, and also improve functionality. How do you do it without compromising on style? Sneaky storage solutions! Using decorative baskets and bucket drawers as toy boxes in your living room, or a kid-sized bench complete with storage can help you keep clutter to a minimum, while still making an impact style-wise, and keeping the room functional.
Add Kids Stuff To The Décor
Of course, if you really want to emphasize a family-friendly space, you’ll get the whole family involved! Choose your kid’s favorite art projects, or most beautiful-looking toys to add as objects of interest around the house. Create a kid’s reading corner with a child-sized tent or pillows and chairs around one of your bookcases. Put up some whimsical prints, or make a family photo wall as an accent wall. For a space that tells everyone how important family is, make it one-of-a-kind by filling it with family memories and getting the kids involved in style choices.
Give Yourself Some Grownup Space
Just like your kids will need their own space in the house, you need yours too. Whether you’ve got a china collection you want to show off or an antique sofa set you really can’t have sticky fingers on, designate a grownup only space to store your own treasures, whether it’s a formal dining room private bedroom or office space. Otherwise, keep anything breakable or precious placed out of reach of the kids, to avoid any disasters!
There are days you’re behind on the housework, the clutter and crazy schedules start to get to you, and it’s hard to imagine those parents who can keep a gorgeous home without constantly worrying about sticky fingers, spills, and general family mayhem. But that beautiful, functional family home doesn’t need to feel out of reach. Embrace the chaos by creating a space for kids and adults to enjoy together, full of bright colors, kid-sized décor, and the opportunity to spend more time as a family, to keep things both functional and beautiful in your home.