Tips for Great Home Décor with Toddlers

When it comes to designing décor that works for you and your kids remember these two words: Washable and safe: Washable to keep your home looking its best, and safe from the standpoints of your kids and your possessions both.

Washable is easy enough to understand. After all, kids—especially the toddler to junior high variety—are little dirt magnets. They pick up dirt from everywhere (including places that don’t appear to have any) and redeposit it to every surface they touch.

Washable slipcovers and carpet designed for high-traffic, commercial use are great ways to combat this endearing quality, and both measures are a good deal less costly than replacing upholstery and carpet made for residential use every few years.

Slipcovers that are made from washable canvas, cotton duck or denim are especially popular right now—check out a few recent decorating magazines to see how great these look! Commercial carpet is not only more cost-effective; today’s commercial carpets come in great designs that complement any décor.

Keeping knick-knacks (especially the highly breakable variety) to a minimum when you have small kids is critical to your sanity. Remember, even the most accident prone kid will be a grown up eventually! You can reintroduce your china figurines, fragile side chairs and other breakables then.

Safety is an important factor for children, especially the young ones. Make sure that tall bookshelves are bolted securely to the wall. That way, if small kiddies are tempted to reach the top shelf by climbing on the lower ones, they can’t pull the entire bookcase over on themselves.

Other good ideas for making décor both attractive and kid-proof:

Include smaller scale furniture for smaller scale kids: Giving a child his or her own small rocking chair will reduce the time they spend on the grown up versions, which reduces the time they can spend transferring dirt to your furniture as well.

Think ‘wash and wear’ for all your surfaces including walls and woodwork by using enamel paints. It used to be that the flat wall paint that looked best in living and dining rooms was also much more difficult to keep clean than the high-gloss enamel versions used in bathrooms. However, today’s enamel paints come in flat versions that retain their washable characteristics while looking matte and elegant. In fact, some matte enamel paints are guaranteed against staining!

Consider having your family and visitors remove their shoes before entering your home. This will reduce the amount of dirt tracked in from outside to zero and the amount of time you spend vacuuming your floors as well.

Make it a home that your kids will love to live in also and not an interior design showcase that your children cannot just be themselves. Chalkboard painted walls, charming wicker baskets so kids can keep their own toys and books tidy and interior decorating choices that are comfortable and functional for the whole family.