How to Design (Chic) Kid-Friendly Rooms
If you love home decor and designing beautiful spaces in your home but want to start a family, it’s okay — you can have both. Maybe you already have kids but now they’re moving around more, infiltrating more of the house, and you’re worried you will lose your adult spaces. Having kids doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice having an esthetically pleasing home — but it does mean compromising. Parents and kids can coexist in a home that doesn’t look like a daycare centre.
Ditch the white couch
Pre-kids, a white couch probably looked like a chic buy, but now that you have a little family, it seems impractical and impossible to clean. Buy quality furnishings in dark colours to camouflage stains and marks. You want to invest in durable pieces that can withstand roughhousing and tomfoolery. Instead of fabric that will absorb spills, opt for leather or an easy-to-clean microfibre.
Glass is half empty
Do you love your glass coffee table? How about when it has hundreds of tiny handprints all over it every day? Not to mention that glass tables often have sharp edges that are unforgiving on tiny noggins. Just because you’re giving up your chic glass table doesn’t mean you have to opt for something ugly. Consider a large storage ottoman instead. Leave the top clear when the kids are playing in the room, but when you have guests over put a serving tray on top to provide a solid surface. What’s even better about a tufted storage ottoman is that you can put blankets, pillows and kids’ toys in it when the room is not in use or you’re reclaiming it as an adult space.
A nice plush rug is a win-win. It’s soft enough for babies to play on, and it feels oh-so-nice on your feet when you walk into the room. Toddlers tend to fall a lot, so it’s good to have a soft landing pad. Just like with the couch, choose a colour that will conceal stains, but also buy one made from an easy-to-clean fibre.
If you want to add a bit of fun to the room, to embrace that kid-friendly vibe, choose a patterned rug. It can be a fun accent piece that’s still grown-up looking.
Kids tend to be obsessed with things for a short time before moving on to the next thing. Movies and TV shows often dictate what’s cool for kids. The trouble is, it’s hard to keep up. Instead of buying decor with characters and cartoons on it, choose a theme and colour scheme that’s adjacent to that. If you’re subtler with the theme, it’s easier for the kids to age in place — meaning you won’t have to redo their room every year because they’re into something new.
Be flexible and let the kids choose more of their stuff, but try to steer them away from anything that’s clearly a fad.
Nooks and crannies
Welcome the kids to the family room or rec room by giving them special spaces just for them. Create a cozy reading nook with a child-sized teepee and piles of pillows and warm blankets. Set up a toy chest or a train set at the side of a room you all use. This way the whole family can be together, even if you’re doing different things. When you’re a family you need to concede that sometimes things will be messy or full of “kid stuff,” but you can take joy from that and accept that you have to share and compromise — even with decor.
Your house might not look like it’s torn straight from the pages of a style magazine now, but in a way, you get something better — a real life.