10 Tips to Create Family Friendly Spaces in Your New Home
August 23, 2012
Do you have an active family? Are pets and people tromping through the house on a regular basis? Do you want an elegant space but need to accommodate a family environment? Here are 10 tips to creating those warm family friendly spaces without sacrificing style. Tip 1: Consider runners or non-carpeted materials such as tile, wood, laminate and linoleum in high traffic areas. This will save wear and tear on carpeting, and will eliminate the worn look of deep dirt areas. You can pick runners up and clean them easily (make sure they have a sturdy non-skid backing.) Tip 2: Use throw rugs. Whether you have carpet or hardwood floors you will be glad you added bright or bold print rugs to create a drip zone for the kids. It's always easier to clean a throw rug than the whole carpet. And if you pick a bold busy pattern, it's easier for drips and stains to blend. Tip 3: Micro fiber is your friend. Microfiber couches and chairs look elegant and are easy to clean. Think sturdy fabric when you are choosing your furniture. Make sure you spring for the stain resistant finish. Tip 4: Invest in your furniture. Don't sacrifice quality for the short-term gain of a low furniture bill. With an active family the furniture will take a beating. Good quality furniture will last whether it's used as a trampoline or not. A sturdy furniture foundation will allow you to recover when styles change and as the kids grow older. Good sturdy bones to furniture is the key to keeping furniture bills low over time. Tip 5: Baskets! Use baskets to organize toys, shoes, and knick-knacks and keep the clutter to a minimum. Just because you have lots of toys doesn't mean the house needs to look like a daycare. Even if you create a kid-only space in the house, you don't have to sacrifice style for fun. Organization is the key to clutter reduction. Tip 6: Go vintage! You don't need to decorate in post-college shabby just because you don't want the kids to destroy nice furniture. Instead you can look for contemporary weathered furniture pieces to give that distressed vintage look and still handle the onslaught of kids with little fuss. With this style you won't even notice one more scratch! Tip 7: Color choices can create serenity. You'll be glad you didn't go for those white or light couches when grape juice gets spilled. Instead consider darker neutrals that hide dirt and accessorize with color. Tip 8: Bring in the color. Fun frivolous colors make a cheerful home. Bring color in with paint, throw pillows, rugs and non-fragile decor. Tip 9: Wipeable paint is a must. Walls take a licking in an active family. From scuff marks to dirt, make your life easier with durable paint. Even flat paints now come in washable versions. Make sure you check the can of paint before you buy. Tip 10: Accessorize out of reach. Just because you have kids doesn't mean you can't have nice things. Put the sturdy accessories at kid level. When placing the fragile stuff, just think about vignettes on top of armoires, high shelves or consider placing a decorative rail high up on your wall as a boarder and place some of the treasures there. As you settle into your new home, you can make it into a place that the whole family can enjoy.