As you might know if you’ve read any of my blog posts recently, we are just about to move house and so as you might expect our thoughts have been turning to how we might want to decorate our new home.
With Meg and Eli being that little bit older we don’t need to think about child-proofing in quite the same way as we have had to before but given that Eli still has a penchant for writing his name on everything (walls, carpets, furniture…) we do need to consider what we want to put in the house and how we want to style it.
It can be a little overwhelming to begin planning how to have a home which is both stylish and kid-friendly but I don’t think that you need to give up your dreams of a nice house just because you suddenly have small
terrors cherubs racing through it, though I do think that you will need to make some clever choices.
So whether you are just about to have children or you are looking to give your house a fresh makeover, here are some of my top tips for child-friendly ways to update your home:-
1. Invest in storage
Whether you plan to give in entirely to the brightly coloured plastic toys which come with all models of children or you want to try and keep them to a minimum (very optimistic!) you are going to need to invest in some good storage options. Over the years I have tried a variety from large, bottomless chests to carefully sorted and arranged boxes. The latter is a nightmare to keep in order as children just empty things left, right and centre and the former makes it really tricky to find the one teeny tiny toy your child might suddenly demand. So landing somewhere in between is always great. I find the IKEA boxes to be a pretty good size and they fit well in most units.
2. Buy the right paint
It’s amazing the type of paint you can buy now; wipe-clean paint is SUCH a blessing when you have children who like to draw on walls. No more worrying about having to repaint whenever your child inhabits the spirit of Picasso, you can just wipe the walls down!
3. Choose a sofa which is easy to clean
When the children were small we had these amazing sofas which were so comfortable and stylish but completely impractical. Suffice to say that both children (and dog) were sick on the sofas at one point or another and both children (and dog) wiped all kinds of food and sticky substances all over the cushions which we then couldn’t effectively clean. There is a wide choice of sofas available nowadays, many of which are more practical and able to be cleaned properly; perfect for when you have children. Look for ones which have removable covers and can preferably be popped straight into the washing machine.
4. Pass on the dining room
If you currently have a formal dining space then you might want to think about turning the space over to something else; perhaps a dedicated play room for the kids? You could always have a dining table in the room if you’ve nowhere else to sit and eat your evening meal but creating an extra play space for the children can really help with keeping those toys under control (and out of your main living space)
5. Give the characters a miss
Your child might be super into Paw Patrol or Barbie right now but chances are in six months to a year they will have moved onto something else so when it comes to decorating their rooms, stick with something which is timeless and which can be easily updated as they grow and change. Eli, for instance, went through a Pokemon phase and begged and begged us to let him put Pokemon decals on his wall. When I went to order them two or three weeks after he first asked he told us he had changed his mind and could he have Ninja Turtles instead. Suffice to say, he now has neither!