Tips for Decorating when you have young children
Updated: Jul 17
Just because little ones are running around your house doesn't mean you can't have a nicely decorated home. While there are some precautions you'll want to take, you can still have a beautifully styled home. Kid-friendly doesn't have to mean ugly. I know because I had to rethink our interiors once our first child came along. Even so, we've still maintained nicely decorated space.
Below are tips for decorating five of the rooms in your home.
Living Room & Family Room:
You can apply these suggestions below to both a living room and a family room. The difference might be in the formality of the items. For example, you might opt for a more formal sofa in a living room and a more casual one in the family room. Sectional sofas can be ideal in a family room because they allow for a more laid-back ambiance. (You can spread out and watch television more easily.)
Sofa: If at all possible, you'll want to have a spacious sofa or a sectional treated with fabric protection or slipcovers you can throw in the wash. One locally-owned business I can recommend for fabric protection is @fibersealofthetriangleandtriad They offer protection for furniture and rugs that's one of the best products I've found. I also love that they're locally owned!
Coffee table: Glass top tables can be a challenge to maintain clean with little hands around. Consider a solid top you can easily wipe down that doesn't scratch easily.
Bookshelves: All bookshelves in a home should be secured to the wall with brackets made for that purpose. You don't want a child climbing up shelves and having them topple over. (The same thing goes for any cabinets.) Hide children's clutter on your shelves by using cute baskets or boxes.
Drapery: You'll want to watch out for a child pulling down a panel, and along with it, the rod. A falling rod can be dangerous.
Blinds: Most people today opt for cordless shades instead of blinds. If you have blinds, keep in mind that children have become entangled in cords and been accidentally strangled. Make sure any cords are short enough to be out of reach of a small child.
Rugs: Consider putting away any expensive rugs for a few years if you have little ones! This is especially true if your living room is also your family room and sees high traffic. Consider sealing rugs with fabric protection. (FiberSeal can also treat rugs.)
Storage: Your living room doesn't have to look like a playroom. I suggest keeping attractive baskets or bins in any places where your children play. This allows you to quickly put away toys and children's clutter.
Formal Dining Room:
If you're fortunate to have a dining room and a breakfast nook/eat-in kitchen, I suggest you maintain their distinct and different purposes. It can be more convenient to enjoy daily family meals in your kitchen or breakfast nook where things can afford to get messier without worry. The same rules as above apply in a formal dining room concerning window treatments. Also, any china cabinets or buffets at risk of tipping over should be secured to the wall.
Informal Dining Room/Eat-in Kitchen:
Keep a rug cleaner solution handy for any spills.
A receptacle of some kind to collect toys, puzzles, etc. is a good idea.
Place your table and chairs in a way that you leave a little room for floor play.
Durable furniture with surfaces you can wipe down regularly is a good idea.
A chalk wall is a nice idea if you have a budding artist in the family. Keep all chalk, crayons, and paper neatly stored somewhere nearby for easy reach.
Install picture ledges to display family photos, prints, and/or your child's artwork.
If you have space, bookshelves can be handy in this room. You can store cookbooks as well as children's books.
Your children, whatever their ages, will be spending a lot of time in your kitchen. If you're in the middle of building a house, you can incorporate that concept into the design. (I can help with that!) Even if you're not starting from scratch, these tips can still be helpful.
Consider how much dirt or food will show up on the floors. Patterns and some hardwood colors can help hide things if you don't have time to sweep every day (and who does?).
You might have healthy snacks readily available for your children on the counter in a pretty container such as a mason jar or in a drawer they can reach. The less-healthy snacks can be hidden away out of reach or, at least, out of mind.
Assign a drawer for children's items such as cups and cutlery.
I always suggest durable countertops, whether a client has children or not, but especially if they have kids. Quartz is popular these days and holds up very well.
I also recommend large sinks if there's a chef or children in a family.
Many of us have corkboards in or near the kitchen. That's handy for pinning up invites, notices, etc. If you have young children, keep in mind that tacks can be dangerous to them.
If you're designing your kitchen, keep the workflow in mind as well as the size of your family. It can make a big difference, especially if there are several cooks in the kitchen simultaneously.
When selecting a fridge, stove, and oven, keep the size of your family in mind. Consider adding a second fridge in the garage, a butler's, or walk-in pantry.
Beverage centers or refrigerator drawers are also useful for water, and kid's snacks at their level or refrigerator drawers
Lastly, make sure that any cleaning chemicals or solutions are safely secured against curious little ones.
If you need any help with your interior decorating, please call me. I would enjoy helping!