10 Designer tricks to achieve a beautiful kid-friendly home
As a mother of 2 young kids, I totally get how messy, careless, and “forgetful” children can be. Sure, in time they will outgrow their strange little ways; but I refuse to wait for that elusive day to enjoy a beautiful home. I also want my kids to enjoy their own home without worrying if they are going to make me come unraveled if - and when - they have an accident. Heck, I don’t want to come unraveled either!
I believe a chic, beautiful, elegant interior can be achieved and still make welcome space for our little whirling dervishes. The key is to stay focused on durability, flexibility, and beautiful storage (Hint: You’re outgrowing your Kallax). I’ve personally tested all of these in my own home as well as countless clients with children! Consider these 10 tips, kid-tested and design mother approved.
#1 Opt for a Round Coffee Table
When very little kids are learning to walk, falls are inevitable. And when they grow up, horseplay is also inevitable. A round coffee table not only softens the look of a room, but it eliminates sharp corners which can be painful if fallen on.
#2 Avoid Tables with Veneer Wood & Glass
Veneer wood is typically very thin and will likely to scratch easily. (I know because I’ve made this mistake!) Glass tops are also one to avoid. You can almost never keep them clean from finger prints. Instead, I opt for solid wood with a more rustic/primitive look, sealed stone, or metal. Almost all tops are still going to need a coaster to protect from drink rings, but these choices can stand up to juice spills, legos, toy cars, and most things life with kids brings.
#3 Choose the Right Fabrics
My three go-to fabric choices for kid-friendly interiors are leather, outdoor fabrics, or darker fabrics. Leather is easily wipeable and ages gracefully. Outdoor fabrics allow spills to bead on the surface rather than absorb into the upholstery. While darker fabrics do a great job of hiding everything.
#4 Pick Patterend Rugs
Solid rugs or ones without much variation show everything - crumbs, spills, you name it. For a kid-friendly home, I prefer a rug with lots of pattern, movement, and color. My favorites are true vintage wool rugs. Another option is to select an indoor/outdoor rug, which can stand up to spills, but a solid pattern still shows debris. They also are made of synthetic materials that off-gas chemicals. Not ideal for families with crawling babies.
#5 Select Easy to Move Tables
Life with kids requires flexibility. Swap a few cocktail tables instead of a traditional coffee table. This is perfect for when your kids break into performance mode or spontaneous gymnastics.
#6 Invest In Built-ins
Hardworking built-in storage adds elegance, functionality, and value at once. They are an investment so consider working with a professional to design it right. (Hint: I may know someone ;) If you ever sell, you’ll likely recoup much of that investment back.
#7 Choose Seating with 8-Way Hand-Tied Construction
Kids love to jump on seating. I stress more about them falling then wearing down the seat cushions. That’s because I choose seating with 8-Way Hand-Tied construction. This method is a premium choice over the cheaper version of Sinuous Spring construction that can quickly loose it’s shape and comfort.
#8 Opt for Ottomans
Another alternative to a traditional coffee table is an ottoman. Ottomans provide a soft place for kids to to play, jump, or lounge. I say this with one caveat. I’ve yet to find a storage ottoman that doesn’t look cheap and well...like you’re hiding something! Just don’t do it. For the very little storage that you get from them, opt for decorative baskets instead. (That’s a free bonus tip. You’re welcome.)
#9 Skirted Sofas = Sneaky Storage
Speaking of storage, slipcovered sofas are so chic and timeless. But they happen to serve double duty for stashing board games and puzzles.
Choose Wipeable Dining Chairs
The living room isn’t the only place that needs thoughtful attention. Enjoy a carefree spaghetti night by choosing easy to wipe materials. A few solid choices are leather, wood, or molded plastic (think Eames chairs).
There you have it. My 10 favorite tricks to creating a chic home with kids. What do you think? Have any of these worked for you? Has this inspired you to rethink your own space? I'd love to hear from you.