Home is where the heart is, and for parents, that means having an environment that’s suitable for the entire family. For some, that means a home that sacrifices style for substance, trading pretty details for practicality. If you feel like you’ve been caught up in this dichotomy of kid-friendly design, there’s good news: you can create a home that looks great without sacrificing the practical needs of living with children. Here are just a few ways you can make it a happy reality.
- Decorate Practically – While the overlap between kid-friendly and high-style homes might be larger than you think, there are still a few ideas you may want to avoid. For example, fragile décor made of glass or porcelain is just that… fragile and can be easily broken accidentally- even proving dangerous for young children. As such, focus on durable materials anywhere that kids will be able to easily access them. A glass topped table or shelf might be best left in a separate office or parlor which remains closed and locked, away from the kids. Stone and wood are popular natural materials which can be used to take the place of the fragile materials until the kids get older.
- Easy to clean – Light colors can make a home feel bright and airy, but they also are not great at hiding fingerprints and stains. Furniture in particular can easily fall victim to spills and stains, which means find pieces that area easy to care for. Find materials which will help resist or even hide stains, have removable cushions, or utilize waterproof covers. There’s no reason you can’t still choose from stylish seating configurations and colors that complement the rest of your trendy home.
- Less is more – Adopting the “less is more mentality allows for an open, uncluttered space. You know what a big, open room is great for? This allows for the kids space to burn off energy in the house on those gray Pittsburgh days when getting outside might not be possible. While there’s no need to commit to minimalism, everyone will appreciate an open area that can be easily converted into a play area or used to get bulky items like a stroller through the house. Open floor plans can feel cohesive and comfy!
- Smart Storage – When it comes to kids and toys, it somehow seems as though the toys have the ability to multiply when our backs are turned. This is where smart storage solutions are a must. Look for furniture with built-in storage, that way everything has a place where it belongs. Keeping an ottoman or basket with a lid around are great ways that you can quickly clean things up if you have guests over on short notice. Make storage easy and convenient- everyone is more likely to take care of things when it’s easy to put them away.
- Create a Play Station- Being able to have a space dedicated for play is one way to have a place just for the kids which also makes it easier to keep the toys contained. Consider turning a basement or cozy attic into the ultimate play destination. This is where you can keep the larger playsets and the majority of their toy collection. It will help keep other areas of their home less cluttered, and can help create routines and schedules (do your homework, and then you can go play). As kids get older, these spaces can be converted into hangouts for them and their friends.
- House Rules – If you want your home to look good, you’ll need to lay out some rules. Again, these formative years in your child’s life are a great opportunity to help them get an understanding of responsibility. For example, toys should always be put away before dinner. Don’t wait until bedtime to clean up- start early, that way kids can help develop healthy sleep routines.
Finding the balance isn’t always easy as a parent, but it absolutely is possible to have a home that not only looks beautiful but is a fun place for the entire family to hang out.