Designing and furnishing a home can be much simpler when there are only adults living in it. The only things that need to be considered are comfort and style. However, kids bring in additional elements to the picture that are important to consider. The main ones include durability, safety and convenience. Luckily, there are ways in which you can select furniture and styles that will not only make your home a kid friendly space, but also maintain the style and comfort enjoyed by everyone else in the home.
Kids can be rambunctious and wild, often not considering how running and jumping around in tight spaces can be dangerous to both themselves and the furniture. But the reality is kids are going to bump their heads, knees and toes and run into furniture no matter what. For these situations, rounded corners are always a good idea along with round tables or upholstered furniture. This could look like an upholstered ottoman for a stand-in coffee table or a rounded coffee table itself. Overall, avoiding furniture with rough, sharp and pointed corners that stick out can save many a boo boo and even a trip to the ER for stitches.
With kids you have to think durable – what kind of furniture can you get that will put up with the harsh wear and tear and prolonged abuse kids are going to bring to it? With this in mind, choosing the right fabric and upholstery is a must. There are various types of durable fabric options including microfiber, wool, leather, vinyl, and denim. Microfiber especially seems to be the most popular option among families because of its stain resistance, variability in textures and colors, and manageable cost. More expensive options include leather, which is again very durable, easy to clean (if done immediately and correctly) and can give a more sophisticated look to your home. Whichever you choose, just make sure it is tough.
Avoid Glass and Other Fingerprint Material
As far as coffee tables and other countertop surfaces go, avoiding material that shows sticky fingerprints can save you a lot of constant cleaning. While there is nothing wrong with glass in particular, you will have to consider investing in a large supply of Windex. Instead, consider laminate and granite countertops. These surfaces are easily cleaned, don’t harbor bacteria, and come in various colors and styles.
Removable and Washable Fabrics
After you have chosen the right fabric to suit your home, considering how it can be cleaned is an important factor. Not all furniture has a removable option, but for pieces that do, it can be a quick and extremely easy way to clean up spills, stains, or any other general dirtiness that comes with use. Slip covers are great for both mixing things up and for quick and easy clean ups. They are easy to wash and if you go with white, bleaching is an easy fix option.
The popular consensus among families seems to be the sectional couch. This piece of furniture is great for various reasons. It is both spacious while not taking up a lot of space. Its wrap around style makes it the perfect wall flower to the family living room. Additionally, it provides many seats for the whole family plus friends to either cozy up on together or spread out. Throwing down some big floor cushions is another popular option for families with restless and playful kids and also provides additional comfy and easy seats.
Storage and “Multifunctional” Furnishings
If your kids love making the living room into their playroom but you don’t want it looking like one all of the time, utilizing furniture storage space is a great option. For example, use a storage ottoman that hides away toys when necessary in a subtle and convenient way. Also consider tables with built in drawer space or room underneath to easily slide bins and baskets of things under. Avoiding additional storage units on top of the furniture already in the living space will make for a less cluttered and better organized kid and adult space.
Additionally, this type of furniture is often multifunctional. Going with a storage ottoman as opposed to a standard storage container provides an extra durable and comfy piece of furniture to act as a footstool or a seat. Other multifunctional and storage saving options include built in bookshelves and built in storage benches. Baskets are also attractive and storage friendly options and can be slid into and around many areas!
When you are furnishing a house that is kid friendly, it is important to be more realistic than artistic. Not to say that these two traits can’t exist together, because they certainly can! This applies more to choices that you know can’t be compromised with kids around. For example, decorative pillows are lovely, but throw pillows are better with kids and they can be both stylish and practical. They don’t call them “throw” pillows for nothing! Instead of choosing the intricately hand stitched and beaded decorative pillow, go with the more durable (there is that word again!) throw pillow that is going to be able to take on abuse a lot better. Being realistic with accessories may also look like moving the $1,000 vase to a more secure place up high and replacing it with something a little less destructible such as decorative drift wood, clunky wooden bowls, sturdy candles or books.
While creams and other off whites look sophisticated, they aren’t the ideal colors for homes with kids because as you can imagine, they are going to show stains and scuffs easily. Instead, go with darker colors that hide these imperfections better or go for all white because it comes with the bleaching option. For actual kids spaces consider choosing “bright-dark” colors such as reds and navy blues. It adds both a spunky kid flavor and also shows scuffs and stains less.