Like many of you, I have young children at home complete with all the dirt, toys and crayons you can expect. Perhaps, things are a little different with girls, but with my three little boys there's no end to the crazy. Luckily, you can still have a home that is beautifully styled and furnished without the worry by following these FIVE suggestions when furnishing your home. Trust me, anything that helps make life easier at this phase of life is worth trying out!
1 - Use items that aren't too Precious
We all have treasures we've inherited or with special meaning in our homes. During this phase of life it's best to keep those out of reach, up on a shelf and protected from little fingers. Instead, I love to use vintage pieces with inherant character and minimal cost that aren't too precious.
Wooden items like carved bowls with lots of nicks and character are one of my go to's! It doesn't matter how many times my toddler throws it on the floor it still looks great!
Thrift store books are another item I love to use when styling a home. Rather than spending tens and hundreds of dollars on coffee table books, most of the books I style with only cost a few dollars each from the thrift store. Then when my kiddo accidentally rips out a page or spills their milk on my book it isn't the end of the world.
Vintage tables, chairs, and stools can take an additional beating from daily life and still look fabulous with a little added extra character. Not everything we own needs to be new. It's often the mix of old and new that feels so homey and inviting.
When we invest a lot in those accessible accessories it tends to add more stress than it's worth. The reality is, accidents happen and things get broken when kiddos are bouncing around and so using pieces that aren't too precious will help take the stress of keeping everything protected away from daily life. Life is stressful enough as it is!
2 - Use Soft Surfaces
Speaking of bouncing around, as much as I tell my kiddos to slow down, stop jumping on the sofa or to climb down they often test their limits and get hurt. Furnishing your home in a way that prevents as many accidents as possible is important!
Soft surfaces like upholstered ottomans instead of a hard edged coffee tables can save you many a trip to urgent care or the ER. I've learned that from experience! We literally just got the stitches out of my three year old's face from bouncing into the coffee table at grandma's house.
In a space like your family room when your kiddos spend the majority of their time, choose pieces that are soft like upholstered arm chairs, ottomans and sofas instead of items with sharp wood or metal edges. There are so many stylish ottomans available now and a great tray can serve as a hard landing spot you can easily move out of the way when needed.
If you only have one living space, look for something with a rounded shape without points so it's safer around those bouncing kiddos if you choose a coffee table.
3 - Look for Cleanable Materials
Between potty training, sticky fingers, and runny noses things are bound to get dirty quickly. With small kiddos it's amazing how quickly it happens! Using materials that are easy to clean makes life so much easier when accidents do happen.
Spaces that get extra dirty like the dining room and kitchen opt for materials that are easy to wipe off like leather, vinyl, wood and metal. You'll want to be able to wipe that spaghetti sauce right off instead of having to pull out the green machine and scrub it away.
For other spaces where you have upholstery like sofas and arm chairs there are so many materials available now that are incredibly durable and cleanable like crypton and indoor / outdoor fabrics like Sunbrella.
Choose materials with some texture. The light and dark shadows or coloring in a material can help hide the wear and tear prolonging the life of your piece despite what a kiddo might do to it. I will say darker materials tend to hide things more than light ones but I do know a number of people who have white sofas and bleach has done wonders to keep it clean.
My green machine from bissell has been hard at work the last few years and can be a lifesaver to get those unexpected stains out!
Pillow covers are also a great way to add style and they can easily be removed and washed on a gentle cycle, air dried and brought back to life!
4 - Choose Rugs with pattern and Color
Rugs are an essential to define your space, add softness and set the stage for the rest of your pieces. It's amazing to me how quickly the floor gets covered in toys and crumbs. My three year old is notorious for sneaking snacks, cereal and the like and dumping it out on the rug. With that in mind, here are a few things I look for when specifying a rug in a space kiddos spend time in. The rug shown above in my sun room where my kiddos spend most of their time. It was a great find at an estate sale for $150. I love the size, 10' x 14' all the colors and the low pile makes cleaning up so easy. It wasn't a huge investment so I'm not stressed about it getting a worn out over the years either.
Rugs with lots of colors and patterns will hide stains you can't get out and disguise daily living much better than a high contrast or solid colored rug will.
I like to use rugs that are soft but with a low pile. I literally sweep my rugs before I vacuum to make clean up easier. If the rug pile is too tall then those little crumbs can get deep into the fibers and make it harder to clean.
There are many inexpensive rugs available now with a printed on pattern on a soft surface that makes cleaning a so easy. There are even machine washable rug options that work great in places like the kitchen and entry too!
Indoor / Outdoor Rugs have also made great strides in quality in the past few years. These rugs are super durable and stylish too!
5 - Have a place that's out of reach and pretty for you.
While much of our lives revolve around our kiddos at this phase of life (and later in grandma phase too) it's important to have a place to call your own that you can keep "pretty". Perhaps that's on an entry console table, a display cabinet with glass doors or an arrangement on your dining table. Somewhere that's out of reach and can always look good when the rest of your home seems to be in the chaos.
Just because you live with children doesn't mean you have to compromize on style. You can also look for other ways to add style to your home that's out of reach from children. Artwork and lighting for example, can do wonders to add ambiance, style and set the mood for your home.
These little boys are a huge part of my life! I want them to be kids and have fun in a beautiful and safe space. I also want to love the space I live in and make it my own and I'm sure you do too. Luckily, we can have the best of both worlds! I hope you found some of these tips and tricks to furnishing your home with kids in mind helpful. All the best hunting for those pieces to make your home beautiful!
❤️ / Hillaree