Creating a home that's both stylish and family-friendly can be a hard balance to strike. But, with some creativity and clever space planning, making your home a place that can be safely enjoyed by the entire family is achievable. We've rounded up a list of nine tips that blend style and function.
Decorate with pieces that will age well.
Kids can be hard on a house and its furnishings, so decorating with pieces that can weather kid-storms will save you big dollars. However, this doesn't mean you have to go rustic or shabby with your decor. Materials like weathered metal and wood tend to get better with wear. The round metal coffee tables Emily Henderson chose for our living room and sunroom are a great example of furniture that can easily take on more character (however, the sound these tables make from the incessant pounding they encourage is another story...).
Make your furniture child resistant...errrr friendly.
Children are inherent climbers and explorers - equipped with a layer of leftovers and dirt. Rather than working against this characteristic, embracing a certain amount of it will work in your favor. For this reason, leather furniture will be your bestie forever. But if leather is not in your decorating cards, using poufs for kid-friendly seating (and building... and rolling... and jumping, etc.) is a simple solution. Covering sofas and chairs with durable upholstery (or covering bottom cushions with a throw or a few yards of fabric like Oh Joy! did) is another easy way to adapt your current furniture.
Use cordless blinds.
Kids and cords are a terrible and frightening combination with an easy solution. Installing cordless blinds and shades offers the benefits of custom window treatments while keeping your kids safe. We used a cotton soft-fold roman shade in our niece's bedroom makeover; the shades are custom, beautiful, and most importantly, completely safe.
Paint smartly and safely.
Paint can transform your home in dramatic ways. Consider using an eggshell or satin paint finish in the rooms where your kids are most drawn to the walls (pun intended - ha!). Painting with a low-VOC paint is more expensive, but its lack of harmful chemicals and fumes make it a no-brainer, especially with kids in the house.
Intall runners on stairwells.
This tip is so simple and so effective. Using runners on your stairs will make them less slippery and therefore, much safer. And guess what? DIYing a stair runner is very doable (here's a great tutorial).
Make space for your kids.
Play rooms are a luxury most of us can't afford. However, creating a nook for your kids to play in is easy. Setting up a play table and chairs in a family room instantly makes the room family friendly.
Be clever with storage.
Children come with an unbelievable amount of stuff. To avoid LEGO trails and mountains of mermaids (a real thing in our house), use shelving and bins to take care of business. Baskets work wonders and make for beautiful storage. While having "a place for everything, and everything in its place" is a nice idea, it's a challenging reality. In our house, we settle for "a bin for all of it, and all of it in a bin."
Incorporate child-created artwork into your collection.
The creativity and artistry abundant in children is inspiring. If I had an ounce of the creativity (and production!) my five-year-old harbors, I'd open an art gallery and call it a day. Incorporating your child's artwork into your set creates a more personal collection and sends them a lovely and important message.
Be smart about flooring.
White shag rugs will work beautifully when you retire in your seaside condo. In the meantime, stick with hard surface flooring, durable sisal or wool rugs, or patterned outdoor rugs (these work well under the dining table). Sisal and wool are natural fibers that are easy to clean. If you're looking to introduce something a bit more colorful, there are some beautiful indoor/outdoor rugs that are comfortable underfoot.
Do you have a favorite design or styling tip with kids in mind? Share your ideas in the comments below!