Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A Kid-Friendly and Kid-Safe, Yet Stylish Home. Here's How.

Child-proofing your home. Well, that sounds so NOT sexy.  As a design enthusiast, I was not looking forward to compromising on a stylish home post-babies.  Then I realized, having kids does not mean having to trade in style. Let's REWIND.

We purchased our townhouse in September 2012.  Enjoyed Endured 6 months of what seemed like a never-ending renovation, but lucky for us, my parents gave us shelter during that time.  As in, we moved in with them... but let me tell you, as much as I adore my mom's food and my dad's lectures (winky face on the latter) -- after 6 months, 9 days, 7.89 hours, and 37 minutes, it was time to move out. So we moved into our almost-renovated home in February 2013.  Throughout the entire reno process, I dreamt up all sorts of fancy designs and made furniture purchases without thinking about function and safety once babies come into the picture.  Then comes July.  I find out I'm pregnant... and with twins! Whaaa? Yep, there were two little beans chillin' in my tummy.  Best news ever. Now, those little beans are 15 month-old playful and very very active toddlers.

I love my kids, obvi. And I want them to be safe, obvi. I also love a pretty and stylish home, obvi. Question is how the heck do you marry style and safety.  Not possible?  That's what you would think (and sometimes you may be right). However, I am here to tell you that having kids does not mean having to forego style.  Halle-freaking-lujah!

Tip #1: My tots are currently little destroyers of most decorative objects within their reach. The horror, I know! The tip is get stuff out of their reach; and whatever is within their reach should be safe, soft and okay to drop. I moved the things I fancy--and that they can break/hurt themselves with--to higher, out-of-toddler-reach surfaces.  What they can reach is either too heavy for their little chubby fingers to lift (i.e. books) and items that are OK to drop. This also means we can't place cups or plates on the coffee table, but they cannot reach a console table so we are currently on the hunt for one to put behind the sofa for cups and such.  Like this:

Tip #2: I really really REALLY wanted a white sofa when I started furniture hunting, but let's get real, that's not/not practical in a family home.  The tip is to be smart when choosing textiles/fabrics. Pick something that can easily be cleaned and doesn't show marks.  I opted for a black matte leather and a gray miscrosuede-esque sofa for my living room.  Spills roll off and both disguise stains and can easily be wiped.  I will admit that I'm currently reupholstering a vintage Louis-style armchair in a light fabric. How dare I violate tip #2?!  Don't trip chocolate chip. I started thinking about how I can protect it from my rugrats.  And... drumroll please...toss a (faux) fur throw on it. Your throw doesn't have to be faux fur, but mine kinda does.  If the kiddos spill something on the throw, it's a cheaper fix.

If you absolutely have to have a white sofa, loveseat, chair, settee, etc.--and if you do, I'm jealous-- consider a slipcover.  Check out how Emily Henderson slipcovered (using it as a verb here, can I do that?) this white sofa. Genius.

Tip #3:  Oh, my beloved coffee table.  I have Z Gallerie's mirrored coffee table and it looks fab in my space, plus it's wide enough that the girls can't reach the decorative objects in the very center of the table.  However, the sharp corners freak us out.  I can't put protective covers on the corners because it peels of the antique finish.  This means I'm on the market for a new coffee table.  I personally don't want an ottoman coffee table, although that is one great option for a family household.  I am on the hunt for a circular coffee table, which shape-wise I think is safe.  I am considering this one from Black Rooster.  Yes, I know it's glass and safety experts will have a thing or two to say about that-- but I think this will work for our situation.
I also like this Black Rooster b + w striped coffee table, but 1) my budget can't accomodate it right now; and 2) I think I need to cool it with the b + w stripes... or maybe not.  I'm wiping the drool off my face as I stare at its beauty.

Tip # 4:  Lawd knows when you have kids, clutter is unavoidable. You need LOADS of storage space, including for those plastic thingys they call toys (which are not friendly to sophisticated decor). The tip is to look for stylish storage and there is lots of it out there.  I purchased these Serena and Lily bins to store  hide toys in my living area.

These Land of Nod bins are another option.  And how can it not be b + w?!

Tip #5: Enjoy parenthood and be sure to laugh (at least sometimes) when your kiddos spill kool-aid on the new sofa or decide to make your bedroom wall their new canvas for artwork. These moments will soon be cherished memories, and I wouldn't trade them for anything!

If you are decorating/renovating and family planning, and need one-on-one advice and help -- click here to send me a message and I would be happy to help!

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