When it comes to decorating, I often hear the term “baby-proofing” synonymous with putting everything away until the child is old enough to not break things. While I fully support locking cabinets full of cleaning supplies or plugging sockets for especially curious children, I don’t believe your home has to change drastically when you welcome a baby.
We have two very different girls (one rambunctious, one extremely shy) and both would be attracted to a large, shiny vase on a coffee table. Over the past 6 years, I have learned that there are two ways to go about decor and kids. First and foremost, I think breakable decor is a great opportunity to teach children about boundaries and that some things we just don’t touch–just like you wouldn’t touch a hot stove! We have seen the value in this over and over as we have visited our friends and family members homes that have beautiful breakables dotting their home–even if you choose to put away all the precious objects in your house, you can’t expect everyone else to follow suit when you come to visit.
The second lesson I’ve learned is that I prefer to decorate our home in a “family-friendly” way. Our main focus is making our home comfortable. A lot of times people equate “family-friendly” with “what kids would want” but parents are part of the family, too. Making a space truly “family friendly” means there’s something for everyone, and everyone can be there at the same time, enjoying themselves, happy in their surroundings. That means no rooms are off limits to our girls, but Chris and I also take great pride in our spaces looking nice too. So how do we achieve that balance of never stressing that something is going to get broken or stained while still keeping the living room instagram ready? (Har-har)?
We have consciously chosen decorative accents that are functional, beautiful and kid-resistant so we can all live peacefully and happily under our roof. Here’s a few favorite pieces that fit into our family-friendly decorating model (I’ve tried to keep everything budget friendly, too!):
1. PILLOWS AND THROWS | I love focusing on textures in a space because they are so family friendly! A pillow or throw isn’t going to break, so I pull a lot of personality into a room with textiles that are just as beautiful to look at as they are cozy to lounge with.
2. BASKETS | Having baskets in every room to throw toys in, or shoes to be put away is a total life saver when I’m doing a quick clean sweep of the house or when company pops in. Often times, I’ll throw toys in a basket and toss a throw over it (ultimate family-friendly decorating!) so the train tracks aren’t in plain view in the living room all day but the girls still have easy access to their toys when they’re ready to play. We also tend to line open shelving with baskets (in the reading room and bathroom and Greta’s bookcase and Faye’s room!) because it’s the perfect, visually pleasing way to corral just about everything from toilet paper to diapers and magazines. And! Indestructible.
3. POUFS + COFFEE TABLES | When it comes to actually choosing furniture, we’ve learned to choose pieces that are indestructible (like metal) or pieces that may look better with a little patina (woods with a lot of texture–our dining room table is a great example of this–or metal, again!). I love round coffee tables in homes with children (we have number 10 in our living room!) because there’s a lot less stress that someone is going to poke an eye out on the nightly run-all-the-energy-out-before-bed routine. If you want to skip the coffee table altogether, poufs provide a great grounding element to the room, can double as extra seating, or triple as a place to prop your feet up! Poufs are all over our home for all of those reasons.
4. DECORATIVE TABLETOP ACCENTS | Say you do want to style that coffee table or credenza (and you totally should!) but want to do it in a family-friendly way (me too!). Look for wood, jute or rope accents. Metal over glass vases. Why not some good looking coffee-table games? We have number 5 and 6 and they are so fun for kids and adults while still looking great! Coffee table books are safe, although I’ve learned their protective covers don’t always fare well. Ha!
Are there still breakables in reach of little ones in our home? Yes! Some table lamps and candles come to mind. But a mix of teaching our girls boundaries and choosing pieces like all of these has helped us create a home that is livable and loved by our whole family. What’s your take on family-friendly decorating?