With two bebes under 5 and another on the way in a few short weeks, I’m always after great interior and homeware products which not only look good but also stand up to the every day wear and tear of rampaging toddlers.
I often hear people say "We're waiting for our kids to grow up before we spend any time or money on our interiors, as we know they'll wreck everything." I completely understand this idea - after all, small children can be interior tornados at the best of times and don't we know it around here! BUT with a few smart choices, you can most definitely have a stylish AND child friendly interior. Here's a few tips, tricks and ideas to get you started:
To make toddler mess easy to deal with, always opt for easy clean flooring where possible – anything you can run a mop over – wood floor boards, tiles, polished concrete as examples, and then layer with floor rugs to bring warmth, texture, comfort and zoning to each space.
If you have carpet, don't be afraid to layer it with floor rugs. This will help to dress each space, create interest and protect your carpet from dust, stains and general wear and tear that comes along with kids.
One of my favourite timeless and hard-wearing floor rug choices is a classic cow hide. These pieces are seriously hardy and I mean SERIOUSLY. Not only do they deliver a beautiful design aesthetic they also make for a great choice in children’s interiors. They are stain resistant, low allergen, easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth and even stand up to squished in play dough:
More great child friendly rug options include those made from natural hard wearing materials like hemp. Not only are they on-trend, neutral and stylish but they also stand up to spills, mess and the wear and tear associated with toddlers. Check out the beautiful Armadillo & Co range for some stunning options and pop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org to order one of their styles.
The weathered furniture look doesn’t suit all styles but if you’re a fan of coastal, semi-industrial or bohemian and have children to consider, then it could be a great choice for you. The design characteristics of weathered furniture conveniently include knocks, chips, dings and scratches and also go as far as to celebrate the in-perfect nature of a piece that has a story or two to tell. This aesthetic makes for the perfect-child friendly option, as any additional marks and chips from toddler rough and tumble do little but add to the character. Winning!
You can find pieces in a similar style to this one above from Empire Homewares Perth & Dunsborough.
When it comes to lounges, people often think that leather is the only way to go if you have small children to contend with - and for good reason. Leather is a great classic wipe-clean option, perfect for spills and crumb clean up but is by no means the only child freindly option.
If you have your heart set on a fabric lounge but have always hesitated because you small children, don’t despair – there are plenty of fabric lounge options on the market to suit. A few key actions and considerations will ensure that your fabric lounge stands up to the cyclonic nature of toddlers and save you plenty of time and money:
- Always have your lounge scotch guard protected before it even makes it into your home – this simple and affordable extra will alleviate plenty of stressful post spill moments.
- Choose a lounge which has removable cushion covers – that way they can be easily thrown in the wash or soaked after a permanent marker assault, or after a bowl full of jelly lands upside down (even though you told them to eat it at the table).
- Opt for a style with a slim arm so there is no room to rest drinks or cups of coffee. This will force you to use a side table and prevent unnecessary spills and stains on a section of the couch where covers can’t be removed.
This Globe West lounge is a great example of a child friendly fabric option – removable covers and a narrow armrests. If this looks like the couch for you, pop me an email email@example.com for pricing and further info - we can sort you out with a great deal.
Zoning & Storage
It can be tricky to get your head around having an effortlessly stylish interior that also caters to children, their loudly coloured toys and messy activities but I’m telling you - it's definitely possible.
Include clever play zones, hidden toy storage and what I like to call ‘staple storage’ to accommodate the things your children love to do and to store the things they need easy access to. Think about how your child uses a room and embrace different ways of accommodating them - a cupboard in your loungeroom buffet dedicated to toys and another to children's books, a dedicated play zone/room where toys can be stored away with the shut of a door and specific storage solutions that make it easy for them to put away their own mess - strategically positioned rattan baskets for dirty clothes, hooks for school bags and a reading corner with shelving for books. The trick is to select storage pieces and toys that not only serve a purpose but look good. Simple!
As an example, consider installing bespoke storage cabinetry near your front and back doors to hide shoes, coats and bags - alleviating the mess created by the kids as soon as they walk in.
Or if built-in isn't an option, set up a storage zone yourself. Use nice baskets or on-trend storage sacks like the one below from Pretty Tidy to hide shoes:
Install a design savvy wall hook system like these Muuto Wall Dots from Surrounding to hang school bags and coats:
and then pair it with an amazing bench from Green Cathedral like the one below and hey presto - you have yourself a super beautiful, child friendly and design savvy storage zone.
So in short, if it's beautiful AND has a practical function to accommodate your child's interests and activities, then you're on your way to a stylish, child-friendly interior. If you need further help with storage, layout and design ideas pop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org for consult pricing and information - I would love to work with you.