Kid-friendly design… yes, it’s possible!
In my 20s—also known as my life before kids—décor was about what I wanted, and also, (but to a lesser extent) about what my husband wanted. I can still remember the day I snagged a steel, sharp-edged buffet that had exactly the look I was dreaming of, and the time when I finally picked up that modern acrylic coffee table my husband had drooled over for years.
But once I hit my 30s, it sunk in that the place I called home couldn’t be all about me, my style and my preferences. With eight feet roaming around—four of which belong to two small boys—I had to adjust my expectations. In other words, I had to get real about what was functional for my family, and also what was safe.
First off, things have to serve a purpose, and be non-toxic/sustainable to protect tiny humans. Don’t get me wrong –they need to look good and flow is still important, but balance is, too. Things need to make sense for everybody living within those walls, not just the parental units.
So here are a few tips, from a design-minded mom of two:
Get practical. Commercial fabrics and faux leather are a dream when it comes to kid-friendly décor. They can be wiped down for a quick-clean after sloppy hands and spaghetti spills have taken their toll. Plus, the leather-look will literally never go out of style and can be worked into nearly every design taste. And those commercial fabrics? They’re available in an endless array of fun patterns and color palettes, and are stain-resistant. Pretty much a win-win, in my book.
Embrace ideas like “double-duty” and “multi-purpose.” I have banquette seating around my table, with hinged storage tucked under each cushion to keep clutter at a minimum—something every mom struggles with. I also have a drawer on the side where I tuck coloring books, crayons and craft supplies to keep my toddler entertained while I make dinner. But before dinner hits the table, everything is stashed away again and out-of-sight.
The same goes for my family room. I had a pair of ottomans made in faux leather with slow-closing hinges (to protect tiny fingers) that serve as my kids’ toy chests. I was worried about topple-over situations, so I made sure they’re solid enough that they can’t be pulled on top of someone. (That’s the last thing a mom wants—to put her kids at risk for those “what-if” accidents.) Not only are they chic and super-functional, they also double as extra seating when we’re entertaining. Again, another win-win.
Think ahead. Quality pieces are an investment, so plan accordingly. When it comes to window treatments, choose fabrics which your kids will love at age five, 10 and 15, and steer clear of childish patterns and hues. The same goes for furniture—classic wood pieces will work indefinitely as your child gets older, and provide a good foundation for any design. You can always add in fun things that reflect your kids’ personalities—think stuffed animals, craft projects and wall art—that can be switched out on a whim.
When it comes to kid-friendly décor, remember that you can still have things you love. Just make sure you’re mentally prepared for the dings and scratches that will eventually happen when your roommates are kids, literally. Like that acrylic table I mentioned? It’s covered in scratches, and honestly, that’s okay by me.
#blessed #momoftwo #momboss