Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Good Design...with Kids in Mind

Kirsten at 6th Street Design School is devoting a whole week to "Good Design, with Kids in Mind". So far posts have been titled "Can Kids and Nice Things CoExist?", "How do you Kid-Proof your House?" and "What are the best fabrics and finishes to buy with kids?" She has a panel of experts from the blogosphere chiming in with their tips and tricks. With a busy toddler and another baby on the way this feature definitely caught my eye! I'm constantly trying to infuse our mid-90's track home with some personality, but I of course have to do this with little ones (and future little ones) in mind.

Here are the experts...some of my favorite design bloggers, including Janell from Isabella and Max Rooms, Emily from Emily A. Clark and Jenny from Little Green Notebook.

So what is some of my favorite advice, tips and tricks? Here are a few of my favorite quotes in response to the first question....can good design and kids co-exist?

"You just have to roll with the punches and not freak out. Rules should be set, but I try to remember that no thing is more important to me than my relationship with my child/children."

"Yes! Being a mom doesn’t mean living in a day care center! Just because you
have children doesn’t mean that you forfeit the right to enjoy an attractive home.
I also believe that growing up around nice things (expensive or not) helps to
teach children respect and self-discipline."

"Relax and accept the fact that your idea of great design may have to be altered a bit. Not given up. Just altered. I still believe that every space can be beautiful and have incredible design. But I also have accepted that some spaces need to be kid zones. And that is the new beautiful. I had to change the way I looked at the mess!"

And some of the best tips to "kid-proof" your home?

We don't do a lot of "kid-proofing"...we just tend to stay away from items that aren't kid friendly. For instance, a coffee table. I'd love to have one, but inevitably a kid would fall and crack their head open on the side of it (plus my boys wrestle all day, every day, and a coffee table would be right in their way). So rather than having some ugly "bumper" on the side of it, we just don't have one. One day, when my kids are older, I'll pull stuff back into the house that I love (like a coffee table...I love coffee tables, sigh.)

I don't know if this falls into the kid-proofing category, but my tip is to have everyone take their shoes off in the house. It is amazing how much dirt those little shoes can drag in and when they stay at the door so does the dirt, cutting down on how much damage and mess is made in the house.

I say YES and YES. We don't have a coffee table and I'm all for a shoes off rule.

And the best fabrics and finishes for a kid-friendly home?

"I also use indoor/outdoor rugs a lot. Dash and Albert makes some really great outdoor rugs that don't look or feel like many others do. I also use FLOR tiles a lot in homes with pets and children. It's so nice to be able to replace a tile or an area that gets damaged.

Make sure to invest in good rug pads with kids. Keeps rugs from sliding and gives some extra padding for slips and falls."

"We install wainscoting or bead board painted in semi-gloss paint in high traffic areas, like halls, stairways and bathrooms. Little handprints easily wipe off of semi-gloss paint, and the added architectural trim adds character, warmth and value to any space."
- Autumn, Design Dump

Be sure to check out 6th Street Design's blog to see all of the other fantastic tips. She also included this photo of her own living room. Love the pillow, rug, dark blue/yellow and pops of orange color combo. Oh and yes, that huge exersaucer for her baby. Because seriously, those things are handy right? And with a baby in the house, it's nice to see that even designers live with both fantastic pillows and an exersaucer.

Hope you find some of these tips helpful in your own home! Happy Tuesday!

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