Home Decorating Tips for Families with Young Kids
Having kids doesn't mean you need to give up on home décor for the next decade. It also doesn't say that you should do whatever you want with your home décor and then yell at the children when they make messes. Adopting a kid-friendly mindset for your home will help you make smart decorating choices for the entire family.
Steer clear of light-colored furniture and rugs
Light-colored furniture and rugs show every stain, scuff mark, and tuft of pet hair. If you want to lighten up a space without a light-colored sofa or area rug, add bright throw pillows and a throw blanket, which can get washed or replaced easily.…
Steer clear of light-colored furniture and rugs
Light-colored furniture and rugs show every stain, scuff mark, and tuft of pet hair. If you want to lighten up a space without a light-colored sofa or area rug, add bright throw pillows and a throw blanket, which can get washed or replaced easily. Alternatively, purchase a light-colored furniture piece and invest in a couple of darker covers for it that you can switch out and clean as needed. As your kids grow, you can forgo the protection on your beautiful light furniture.
Use outdoor rugs and furniture indoors
There is a wide variety of high-quality, stylish outdoor carpets on the market, most of which are perfectly suitable for indoor use as well. Just because the rug is labeled "outdoor use" doesn't mean they're limited to this function. To clean your outdoor floor coverings, you only need to hose it down and let it air dry thoroughly, and you're good to go again. While you may not want to display plastic outdoor furniture in the living room or dining room, many outdoor pieces make great kid pieces in dens, playrooms, and three- and four-season porches.
Wait until kids grow up before investing in high-quality household items
It can be a drag keeping a beloved family heirloom in storage or holding off on purchasing the dining room table you've always wanted until your kids are past preschool age. However, it isn't worth the stress of keeping high-end items in top condition while your kids are tiny. Children often damage furniture quickly and significantly without meaning to, such as by banging drumsticks on wooden chairs or seeing what happens when they run a knife along the edge of a table.
Look for furniture items with durable, easy-to-clean surfaces
The more durable and easy to clean the furniture is in a home with kids, the less of a headache it will be for everyone. When you buy new furniture, look for pieces made of microfiber, leather, wool, vinyl, and denim. You still have to be careful with scratches and punctures, but there will be much less risk of damage with spills. Similarly, when you buy a new table, consider inexpensive yet sturdy medium-density fiberboard (MDF) over an unstained wooden table, which will absorb every ink spot, paint mark, and food stain.
Choose value over quality
Opting for value over quality doesn't mean your home has to be cheap and ugly. It also doesn't mean every piece of furniture and décor needs to be a high-quality, long-term investment. Colorful, inexpensive curtains are perfect for a dining room with small children. You'll enjoy looking at them for a few years and will be ready to switch them out when the kids have swung on them one too many times or covered them in spaghetti stains. Similarly, the thrift-store couch you snag may not be what you always envisioned for the living room in your forever home. However, if it has a nice price point and serves your current home needs, it's a good value for your family.
Purchase machine-washable bedding, throw pillow covers, and rugs
Bedding, pillows, and rugs that require hand washing or dry cleaning are a nightmare when you have small children. You'll drive yourself crazy trying to keep these items clean and spend a lot of time washing the inevitable spills and messes. Avoid the hassle and stick to machine-washable bedding, throw pillows, and rugs.
Choose fun, timeless colors for kid bedrooms
When you create themes for kids' bedrooms, stay away from traditional girly pink and light boy blue, which are limiting. Select fun, bright colors and a handful of themed items, which will be easy to swap out later as kids' tastes and preferences develop. For example, it's much simpler to buy new bedding than paint the entire room.
Display kids' artwork
Reflecting the kids' presence in the household décor lets them know that they're a valued part of the family. Display their artwork proudly in multiple areas of the home. Let kids choose which pieces they'd like to display on the fridge or as part of a kid gallery wall in the den or playroom. Select favorite pieces of your own to frame for special occasions.
Set realistic, somewhat flexible household rules
While you don't want your house to get destroyed, you don't want your kids to stress out from fear of stepping out of line in their own home. Setting rules, such as drinking juice and milk in the kitchen and keeping markers with the art supplies in the den, helps establish routine and order. Kids learn through consistency in expectations and consequences. However, punishing kids severely when they jump on the furniture or take a couple of markers into the bedroom isn't appropriate. It's also okay to break the rules on special occasions, such as bringing popcorn into the living room for Friday movie nights.
Inevitably, kids will make messes and damage household items from time to time. Roll with the punches, and try to go easy on your children, especially when they have accidents and aren't being naughty. When kids are comfortable at home, they'll learn from their mistakes and become more conscious of how they treat furniture and accessories.