as an interior designer, I work with a lot of different clients, many of which are moms with young children. Oftentimes I hear the statement “Child Proof” or “but will that hold up with my kids”. It is a common misconception that because someone has kids or pets or entertains often, that they have to somehow lose some of the quality of their style. Although form does follow function, it is just as important.
Because you have children doesn’t mean that you have to lack anything in the styling of your space. Here are top ten decorating tips within three main decorating categories to consider when styling for wear and tear type function, including some styling hacks for dollar saving mommies!
Shelf & Table Styling
- Command strips are your best friend… You don’t have to put the breakables in the attic until the kiddos are older, just place them on a higher shelf and stick them down.
- Books are your other best friend…Not only are you encouraging your family to read by having books all around your home, but you are using one of the oldest tricks in the book for bookshelf styling. And as long as you aren’t displaying great aunt Janet’s antique bible where the kid’s can get to it, it’s a great option for bringing in color and style and functionality to your space.
- Keep it simple when styling table tops within kids reach…If you have young children who leave adorable destruction their wakes, I would recommend keeping your table styling (and lower shelf styling) to a minimum. Design is all about balance, and it’s better to draw a person’s eyes up in a space anyways, so keep the styling and artwork high on the shelves, walls, and taller tables and the coffee tables and lower tables and shelves mostly clear. These lower spaces can be great places for your kid’s books, and toys. Place them in small decorative baskets of your choosing for a little extra style.
- Choose washable/cleanable textiles and fabrics…The fabrics you want to look for when choosing rugs, curtains, throw pillows, furniture, etc.:Leather-look vinyl, cotton blends (not cotton), high quality acrylic fabrics, olefin, high quality rayon, and polyimide. Oftentimes I will actually look for an outdoor rug to be used indoors, especially places like the dining rooms, kitchen, kid’s rooms, play rooms, and etc. They are very resilient and you can typically find ones just as stylish (like the photo above).
- Add a couple poufs… They’re fun for the kids, add a lot of style to your space, add function in the form of foot stools and/or extra seating, as far as furniture goes they’re affordable, and if you choose a leather-look vinyl fabric they are durable and super easy to clean.
- Choose frames without glass… If you have boys who enjoy rough housing or kicking the soccer ball around the house like my little brothers were growing up, you know sometimes hanging mirrors or frames with glass on the wall can be an issue. Well, this is another area where those command strips may come in handy, reinforcing whatever other hanging hardware you’re using. But there are several companies (Ikea, Target, Walmart) that sell decent looking frames that have a thick plastic instead of glass in the frames.
- Canvas Prints…Affordable canvas prints can be printed at most Photo Centers in stores like Walmart andWalgreens now days. They’re easy to clean, require no frame, and minimal hanging. And they’re relatively durable.
- Vinyl wall stickers can oftentimes make the best wall art. .. They’re easy to clean, affordable, require no hanging hardware, peel right off when you want to change them, and can’t get knocked off a wall. And there are some nice, stylish, and beautiful options now. I personally like to get custom ones done for clients, using a meaningful quote, or etc. It makes the space feel less like a house and more like your personal home.
- Involve the kids in the design…I had a client last year that I decorated a “kids office/music room” for and we created a beautiful feature wall where we hung their children’s school art projects among contemporary pieces of art. Because we involved the kids in the design and included things that they personally worked hard on, they’re extra careful in the space now!
As you can see there are plenty of ways that you can style your house in a way that will work with having children in your home. You no longer need to give up decorating your home to make it child proof. Start today by making your house a home!