High-style and Practical Interior Decorating Tips for Kids Friendly Home
The pitter-patter of tiny feet doesn’t have to signal the death knell of a stylish home. Our interior decorating tips will highlight how to achieve a child-friendly and beautiful home.
Furniture and Fittings
It is not realistic to expect new parents to toss out every beloved piece of furniture the minute baby number one arrives because they are not deemed “family friendly”. A few carefully selected choices about furniture can have a positive impact on your home as your family grows.
– Tables and Units
If you’re on the hunt for a new coffee table, avoid slick tables with super-pointy corners. Think of all those bumped heads as junior takes his/her first wobbly steps! Steer clear of furniture made from sheer glass and hard, unforgiving metals. Long lasting furniture is desired, but it is better to choose tables and storage units with softer, rounded profiles in a tough, easily cleaned melamine or a warm, timber veneer.
Seek out multi-functional pieces that double up as effective storage solutions too: coffee tables with a magazine rack below or a low-slung sideboard with cupboards, baskets and shelving. For one of its clients, Rochele Decorating got a round blue velvet ottoman made, that was used as “child friendly” substitute for a coffee table. This worked brilliantly with children in the mix.
Open-plan kitchens that merge with a living space are great for accommodating all ages and create a family hub where everyone can gather. Opt for rounded ends on island units and peninsulas, and go for practical, wipeable fronts in a mid-neutral, matte shade. Select a glossy white and you’ll be forever wiping away dirty marks and smudges while black shows up every last sticky handprint and smudge. Select a neutral colour or pattern to keep your kitchen looking spotless easily.
Try units with a push-touch opening that curious toddlers may find more difficult to figure out than pull handles. If you plan on stashing bottles of bleach, detergents and cleaning solutions in low cupboards, make sure door fronts are lockable. Locks are also wise for low cupboards storing flour, rice and other messy mixes. It is also always wise to have a child-safety lock on the medicine cabinet.
Style and Substance
There’s absolutely no need to dumb down your style personality and panache because you have a family. Whether you prefer a vintage, shabby-chic look or a slick, modern vibe, both can work well with babies, toddlers and teens. Great lasting style may require a little bit of tweaking and forethought when young children enter the scene.
When your children are very small choose fabrics that are durable, washable and wipeable: swap fine linens and luxurious velvets for upholstery in tough denim, washable canvas and wipeable leather. Velvet in deep indigo and inky hues however, may withstand the handiwork of children. Opt for removable covers that can be thrown in the washing machine. A spare set is handy to have on hand so you won’t need to launder and iron the covers in a single day. Invest in high-quality, long-lasting pieces that will remain beautiful as your family grows. Let’s face it, chairs and couches undergo their fair share of use and wear over the years. Huge beanbags in leather or faux fur offer a great alternative to a standard chair if you need more seating. They are perfect for young ones to flop out in front of the TV or lie back and relax with a book.
Rochele Decorating suggests accessorising sofas and chairs with high-fashion cushions and throws. Pillows and throws add greater complexity to the stylization of a room through graphic prints, bold colours, and tactile textures without breaking the bank. If they didn’t cost a small fortune and are durable, you wouldn’t mind the odd dab of dribble, squashed chocolate and mucky footprint. Best yet, select pillows with covers that can be removed and washed.
Freshen up every room by swapping cushions with the seasons. We love ikat prints and bold, graphic patterns in poppy pastels which can be quickly exchanged for pretty dainty florals in spring and smart stripes and geometric shapes in winter. Pillow covers can be trendy, statement pieces. Unlike a couch or kitchen island, they do not need to last for years.
Hard flooring can be a wise choice for children. Real wood planks, engineered floorboards (a layer of real wood veneer is glued to multi-layered ply core), laminate, vinyl (look out for LVTs or luxury vinyl tiles), rubber and even the new generation of poured concrete floors, will look great for years despite messy feet and lots of traffic. All it takes is a quick sweep and mop with a mild detergent or specialist floor cleaner to keep them looking spick and span.
The downside is tiled and concrete floors can be cold underfoot. If possible, think about installing underfloor heating for toasty toes year round. Otherwise, Rochele Decorating advices investing in a few thick, dark coloured patterned or plain rugs (outdoor rugs used indoors are worth considering) to warm up hard floors and add contrast. You might need a layer of mesh grip to keep the rugs in place to make sure rugs do not slide around, creating a potential accident hotspot.
It goes without saying that an all-white colour scheme might spell disaster for a young family. If you’re a die-hard minimalist and adamant about sticking to your style guns, then simply go for washable covers, easy-clean floors and bucket loads of relaxed attitude.
– Colour Scheme
Dark colours, naturally, don’t show stains quite as easily as pale pastels or bleached-out shades. A neutral palette – mixing up dove grey, biscuit, charcoal and toffee for example – is a foolproof favourite for Rochele Decorating. Add a hint of rich, indigo blue (still a hit this season) and maybe a splash of citrus yellow and you’ll be bang on trend for years to come.
– Nursery and Kids Rooms
As far as nurseries go, don’t feel confined to the stereotypical blue for boys and pink for girls. Push boundaries and make it gender neutral with soft apple green, soothing pebble-grey and oatmeal. Accessorise with pretty bits and pieces, for a unique and quirky nursery. For teens who share, try a monochrome base with a smattering of paint-pot primaries – red, blue and yellow – to keep everyone happy.
Remember, your home is home to your children too. Highlight their personalities and achievements. Rather than stuffing school pictures and paintings away into a drawer, frame their artwork in quirky, mismatched frames and create your very own gallery to admire. A children’s gallery is perfect for brightening hallways and kitchens.
Embrace your growing brood with a few adjustments to your interior decorating scheme and you’ll get style, sophistication – and even the odd soggy biscuit – all rolled into one.