The title of this article may sound like an oxymoron, but just because you have kids doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your decor style. High-quality fabrics, stylish furniture, and chic accessories can still be a part of your life despite the toys, gear, and seemingly endless mess.
A beautiful and kid-friendly home can go hand-in-hand and is a reality that can be yours with these 5 simple tips that have helped me to keep my sanity over the past few years . No matter what your style - a well-appointed home that reflects your personal taste AND adapts to active kids can be yours in no time!
1. Smart storage solutions: Just because you have little people running around doesn't mean your family room has to be cluttered with toys from one corner to the other. Keep a few books and toys that your child is currently enjoying in strategically placed baskets throughout the room. Try positioning them under a coffee table, tucked onto a shelf, or behind the sofa. Anything else not being used daily can be kept hidden and out of sight in a closet or in the basement. TIP: Let your child change up the basket contents every few days to keep their options fresh and interesting.
2. Easy-clean surfaces: Fabric dining chairs can be a mama's worst nightmare (trust me I've been there). Try hard surfaces such as plastic, acrylic, or wood which can easily be wiped down from inevitable spills and splatters. TIP: Soften up seating with washable faux-fur throws or pillows to take the edge off.
3. Durable materials: Glass or metal tables with sharp corners and edges can be a real hazard for little ones. Heavy-duty tables that can double as a desk, snacking station, and art area will stand the test of time even with very active kids. TIP: Weathered surfaces that hide scratches, dents, and scuffs may be your best-bet for keeping furniture looking new despite daily wear and tear.
4. Keep kid themes to a minimum: Just because your child loves dinosaurs doesn't mean every wall, blanket, and pillow needs to be plastered with the image. Try framing a few dinosaur prints, and placing a favorite plush toy on the bed. TIP: If you keep the rest of the room's decor simple and neutral, it can grow with your child (long after dinosaurs are passé).
5. Boundaries: Have a room in the house you just can't (or won't) make kid-friendly changes to? Or maybe it's a formal living room, office, or master bedroom that you just can't stand littered with toys? Try setting simple boundaries (and enforce them) so that your child knows which specific room are off-limits. TIP: Be sure to have an alternate space where they can go to have fun so that they won't be too disappointed.
It may take some time to implement these changes into your home, but even trying one or two can make a world of a difference in claiming back your space. Children fill our lives with so much joy, so why not share the happiness in a beautiful space that you both can enjoy and make memories in together.
BIO: Candace Alongi is a 30-something mama with an eye for all things design. Her Toronto-based blog, The Minted Mama, highlights styling skills for busy moms and how looking good and living well must go hand in hand. Her decor work has been featured in Style At Home Magazine and she is a Personal Stylist at Mapleview Centre.