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© 2023 BY M. SWABB

Kid-Friendly Homes

February 11, 2016

The biggest misconception when designing a home is that if you have kids you can't have nice things. I'm here to tell you that that's just plain phooey! Now I'm not saying you should haul out your glass coffee table with the metal pointed corners, but I am asking you (nicely) to step away from the plastic-covered sofa. As my coworker Melinda so wisely said 'if everything's washable, what's the big deal?'. 

 

Raising children is stressful enough without having a microfiber sofa, so do yourself a favor and read our tips on how to have a stylish, kid-friendly home.

 

1. Coffee Tables

 

 

We are big fans of the ottoman as a coffee table. Even if you don't have kids, it's a really great look! Crawling babes won't be bumping their heads and you can kick your feet up on it once Junior has finally fallen asleep after 6 renditions of Leonard Cohen's “Famous Blue Raincoat” (I speak from experience). Just put a nice tray on the ottoman to set down drinks or house coffee table books, and bonus points if the ottoman has built-in storage to sweep toys into when your judgemental childless friends come over.

 

2. Rugs

 

So your toddler has just dropped his mashed sweet potato onto the rug and then proceeded to step on it – this is no big deal if you have Resolve and a rug with a lot of movement or pattern. Pattern hides every number of sins, especially when the pattern is only a few shades darker than the base color of the rug. For this reason we are loving overdyed rugs in homes right now – but the number one necessity for a kid-friendly rug is softness. You should hear my nephew compain about the “bumpyness” of my mother's jute rug!

 

3. Fabrics

 

 

For sofa and chair fabrics, go with an implied texture – a heavy linen or twill. It goes without saying to stay away from silks, and even cottons can be susceptible, so your best bet is a durable fabric that can be wiped with a rag – Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel have fabrics dedicated to living with kids, and every last one of them is beautiful! For more budget friendly options, consider a slipcovered sofa from Ikea. The slipcover can be removed, washed, bleached, anything!

 

4. Window Coverings

 

For window coverings, we recommend roman shades over curtains. While we always hang our curtain rods with wall anchors, there's something about a long piece of fabric that just makes kids want to pull on it. Roman shades are usually out of a child's reach, and many of them are made cordless.

 

5. Paint

 

 

Whatever paint you choose (and don't shy away from light greys and creams just because of kids!) go with a satin finish. It's more glossy so you can get crayon stains out with a magic eraser. Often parents think dark colors like navy are preferable in a kid-zone, but dark walls are more susceptible to scratches and dents which can only be covered up with paint touch ups. And if you have the budget for it, a tall wainscot is a good way to keep sticky hands at bay.

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