Posted by Clive Braude on 20th Sep 2016
A kid-friendly living room space doesn’t mean everything needs to be wrapped in protective plastic coverings, or free from anything that could cause a potential mess. On the contrary, a kid-friendly living room has to fulfill many needs and multi-task between being a livable room that caters to both adult style and kid-functionality.
Aspects of your living room décor like customized storage, unique accommodating layouts and fresh colour palettes, washable paints, and sleek, cleanable surfaces all contribute to maintaining a great balance of family-friendly purpose with grown-up aesthetics.
Here are a few tips for decorating your living room that will please everyone in your home:
There are a slew of paint and wall options that can help keep your space looking like it’s been freshly painted, while being incredibly easy to clean and maintain – because nothing strikes a kids fancy like a wide open canvas, just asking to be inked by the stroke of their crayons.
Consider painting your living room abode with a higher gloss paint, which are typically easier to clean than their matte counterparts. Likewise, paint with a Teflon surface coating, available from a few manufactures who license DuPont’s familiar Teflon technology as a liquid addition to their paint lines. The Teflon lowers the surface tension between the wall itself and the creative addition your kids may add to the wall. Similarly, it helps to stop the contaminant from penetrating the wall. It makes wiping off scuffs, crayon, paint and dirt from walls easy.
You could also encourage your kids to draw all over your walls – let us explain: Try painting a wall specifically for your kids. Consider painting a wall, or a section of a wall with chalkboard paint, available at most craft stores. The black matte surface is easily paired with a number of postmodern and chic furnishings, and can be easily cleaned by a soapy cloth. Plus, supporting your child’s creativity and having their handiwork around is a great way to keep the living room functional and fun for everybody.
The first step to helping your living space remain kid-friendly is removing the immediately dangerous items – place any and all sharp, fragile pieces on high shelves out of their reach. This includes looking at a new coffee table with rounded edges and that has a height below their eye level.
Second, should be to organize a space that the kids can feel is theirs, separate from your space. Do this by investing in some attractive toy bins and totes that are stylish and durable – try a woven natural material, or denim to up-cycle the idea of keeping toys around.
Try placing this space away from an inherently dangerous spot, like near a fireplace or stairs, for example. Put it in an open corner of the room where you can have an easy view of the kids as they play and you entertain, while having it out of the way of major foot traffic, swinging doors, or narrow halls.
Give them their very own set of chairs and a table for doodling, snacking and playing. These pieces can easily be matched to your existing living room aesthetic.
Mix in pieces that add the convenience of hidden storage compartments for toys, books, and art supplies. These creative hidden spaces will make it much easier for you to convert the week-long play space into a stylish space to entertain weekend guests.
For your furniture, focus on leathers – genuine of bonded – for additional stain and spill resistance. Leathers are durable and easy to clean and are a staple of many kid friendly living rooms. Further, they’re durable enough to help protect against dog and cat nails. Fabrics like ultrasuede are perfect for both the spilly kids and the red-wine-drinker as they’re nearly indestructible and wipe up easily with a damp paper towel. Ultrasuede is more of an outdoor material, but stain resistant qualities are perfect for homes with active kids.
Vinyl furniture is another good option for keeping a chic and stylish living room. Vinyl can be textured and coloured to appear much like leather, and are extremely cleanable. You can also invest in a fabric treatment if you’d prefer to stay put with your low-tech furniture fabric. A product like Nanotex works well to add a stain protective layer on fabrics.
Lots of chic new living room styles work flawlessly to accommodate your active parental lifestyle – the simple fact of the matter is; you shouldn’t have to change much in terms of style. Style is just as important as durability and stain defense. Take your time and get to know your available options, because there are beautiful pieces available!
Style is how you and your family express themselves – so making your children a part of the living room design process is a great way to explore what they’re into and what types of materials, décor and style you can manage to agree on. If you’ve got your heart set on a white couch, so be it – just cater your furniture material choices or child-centric play spaces to a spot within the room that keeps them as separated as possible. There are ways to overcome!
People have a common misperception that a child-friendly space means something with padding everywhere that boasts a spill-proof everything – that’s not the case. As time progresses you’ll regret buying the cheap “it’ll do” sofa set or décor accoutrement. You needn’t live in fear of a daily spill – what is scary, is a space that’s only child-friendly, and not adult friendly as well.
Your living room is where you’ll spend the majority of your time as a family, and hence the name, it’s for living in, so let us help you find the furniture, design concepts and layouts you can live with.
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