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When children are at their stickiest and messiest, many parents are tempted to simply give up the idea of keeping the house presentable. For years, we replace dinner parties with imaginary tea parties – but the truth is, it’s possible to have both!
Whether you’re moving into a new family home or planning to redecorate, the following tips will ensure your place is cosy, safe and fun for all.
1. Plan ahead
Many parents tend to look for storage options only when the need arises, which often leads to an excess of mismatched furniture. When decorating a home, it’s important to plan ahead so that your child’s belongings will fit seamlessly into your ideal overall aesthetic.
Set aside adequate room for the toys and books that your child is bound to collect over the years. Get a classic wooden ottoman with a hinged top to store toys in the living room, and reserve a number of low drawers that your child can easily access to stow away any additional paraphernalia. When you eventually run out of space, make room by organising a cleanup with your children and donate the unwanted toys to minimise the chances of your child’s belongings taking over the entire house.
2. Choose furniture that ages gracefully
Try to avoid any glossy, immaculate furniture that requires constant cleaning. Instead, consider furniture that gains character with each new scrape or stain. A wooden dining table that’s already a little worn, for example, can double as a craft table for your kids, and any colourful stains that might arise will be a charming addition instead of a regretful flaw.
A natural leather couch is perfect for a family home, as spills and stains can be wiped off easily. Leather also ages well, which means that it can embrace scratches without looking overly worn. If you’re not a fan of leather, consider a couch made of microfibre. It’s comfortable, stain-resistant and water-repellent – all excellent qualities to withstand damage inflicted by children.
3. Keep your décor out of reach
DDA Interior Design’s design director Joann Ang recommends caution when it comes to choosing decorative accents.
“To prevent the little ones from getting their hands on beautiful vases or photo frames, place accessories on high level spaces or within dedicated shelving. Also, use paintings or wall-mounted sculptures instead of table display artwork as an option to decorate your home,” she says.
4. Maintain boundaries
When considering new décor for your child’s room, it’s important to consider the lifespan of every item you buy. Children will often want to buy items branded with their latest favourite animated character, including bed sheets, curtains, and even bedside lamps.
Although they will love the furniture to bits for the first few months, they’ll probably feel differently a year later. Instead, choose classic items that can withstand the test of time and limit the branded products to smaller items such as notebooks, balloons, or even Band-Aids.
5. Allow for controlled mess
Carve out a space in your home where your children can let loose and express their creativity. Consider getting a wooden kid’s table with a chalkboard top, or fix a DIY paper holder to the wall so that your kids can discover their inner artist while you cook dinner.
When everything’s said and done, remember that kids will always be kids. A little mess is inevitable when you share a home with adorable tiny humans, so instead of fretting over it, embrace it!