Home decor is meant to create a space that’s functional and beautiful for everyone in the family. However, many parents struggle to design an adult space that also caters to their kids’ needs. Children’s toys are often obnoxiously bright and can be challenging to store.
It’s easy for parents to believe they can’t have a stylish home until after their children grow up. However, with a little planning and intentional choices, parents can solve this problem and design a space they love to come home to. Here are seven ways parents can make their homes beautiful and kid-friendly at the same time.
1. Choose Materials Wisely
Some materials are just not suited to children. Take a white shag rug, for example – this item is difficult for adults to keep clean, never mind active kids. On the other hand, some materials are virtually indestructible and a great fit for a child-friendly space.
Child-friendly materials include leather, microfiber, and wool. These materials are difficult to stain, easily washed, and look fresh for years. Light fabrics work well as long as adults clean them directly after spills. By investing in high-quality materials, parents can elevate their style and child-proof their living space at the same time.
2. Avoid Sharp Corners
When children are small, it’s easy for them to run into sharp corners and get hurt. Some parents temporarily put foam or rubber guards on their furniture, but those usually don’t look very nice. Instead, choose a round coffee table and avoid furniture that has sharp edges.
Parents should also be aware of choking hazards or furniture that could smash and develop jagged edges. Kids aren’t as aware of danger as adults and could easily get splinters from damaged furniture. In an ideal home, kids should be able to run around and play without parents having to worry about their safety.
3. Make It Coherent
One of the most important things to be intentional about in a child-friendly space is colour. Some parents adopt the bright colours found in children’s toys throughout their home. That way, toys don’t seem so out of place and it’s an easy transition from an adult-oriented to a child-oriented space.
Other parents prefer to choose a neutral colour palette with a few intentional accent colours. To make their homes feel coherent, they choose children’s toys and furniture that suit a more adult style. Pastels, natural wood tones, and white blend with adult furnishings to keep a home stylish and child-friendly.
4. Create Buffers For Vulnerable Materials
You can still have the home features you always dreamed of, even if there is a risk pets or kids might do a little damage to them. Nice furniture, hardwood floors and other vulnerable features and furnishings can be protected with a little preparation.
For example, in your children’s messiest years, you can use furniture covers to drape over nice couches and chairs to guard against spills. When you have guests, simply take off the covers for a short period to reveal the pretty material once more. Plus, covers can be stylish in their own right — and you can enjoy the original design once more when children are old enough to wash their own hands after eating.
Hardwood floors are another luxury feature you might worry about. Running, knocking over heavy items and other everyday risks of child-rearing might risk a few dents and scratches, but you can mitigate this by using throw rugs (with pads to stick them in place) to protect the floor in traffic-heavy areas. It’s also a good idea to enforce “no shoes in the house.
4. Plan Plenty of Storage
One of the easiest ways to keep kids’ toys tidy is by planning plenty of storage. Every item should have a place so kids can be taught to put things away and keep their own spaces tidy. Storage containers like baskets can turn a mess into a statement piece that’s quietly tucked away in a corner.
If parents choose containers that match their home, it won’t matter if children’s toys are primary colours or a neutral taupe. It will be easy to maintain a sense of order even if nothing matches. Other ideas for storage include hollow ottomans, bookshelves, and cupboards.
5. Lose the Clutter
Nothing makes a home feel disorganized and out-of-control like accumulated clutter. It’s easy for one small tray of items to turn into a pile, so it’s best to stop the madness before it begins. Store or donate excess items to make cleaning easier and reduce the anxiety of an untidy home.
Parents should consider whether clutter is a safety concern for their kids. For example, toddlers can swallow small items. Delicate or fragile knickknacks should be put away until kids are older and can learn to be careful with them. A clutter-free home is child-friendly and easy to keep styled for guests.
6. Designate Rubbish Spaces
Some items don’t fit neatly anywhere. Parents can choose a cabinet or drawer and pile odds and ends there that don’t fit anywhere else. Items like scissors, garden tools, and bikes need to be accessible, but they don’t need to become an eyesore in an otherwise elegant home.
Intentionally messy places can help parents stay in control of their homes and keep their peace of mind. It’s impossible for anyone to keep their house spotlessly clean and tidy with kids unless they hire a housemaid. However, parents can achieve a lot by setting reasonable goals and sticking to them.
7. Embrace Imperfection
A home can either be perfect or lived in. Families who have kids should definitely swing toward designing a home that feels lived-in. Blankets that drape across the couch, rugs set at a slight tilt, and furniture that looks better the longer it’s used can all help maintain a sense of style in a home with kids.
Imperfect doesn’t have to mean mess or a sense of stress when parents are home. Instead, it’s an invitation to reject perfectionism and embrace reality. Some days, the laundry won’t get folded and there will be toys everywhere. Parents should strive for a balance between visual appeal and functionality.
Make a House a Home With Kid-Friendly Design
Decorating a child-friendly home may be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Use these tips to organize a home that’s both kid-friendly and enjoyable for adults. By asking the right questions, parents can create a home that’s easy to maintain and a delight for kids to spend time in.
Good design should incorporate functionality and aesthetics into the same space. Kids require that parents take the practical side more seriously, but a child-friendly space doesn’t have to feel disjointed or disorganized. Parents can make their house a home by catering to their kids’ needs and their own.
By Evelyn Long, Editor-in-Chief of Renovated.