Tasha emailed with a dilemma. "I'm a single mother to a 17 month old about to move into an apartment (have been living with the parents to save money), and I was wondering if you had any tips for making a place kid-friendly without LOOKING like it's kid-friendly. I'm wanting classy but functional, and ideas about how to pull that off. I sorry, this may be too broad a request, but I'd appreciate any insight you might have!" Where do I begin!!
I'm a firm believer in children enhancing your life and not restricting it. There are responsibilities with keeping your children safe (no knives on the bench, faulty electricals and exposed sockets, dangling blind cords and the list goes on) but I don't think we have to live in a padded room or a cold white germ free box to keep our children safe. Here are just a few ideas.
Slipcovered sofas and chairs. Dirty? Put it in the washer. White is fine because you can bleach it. All over busy patterns are great because they hide the sticky hand marks. Leather is good and I have even covered my dining room chair pads in oilcloth - spill and wipe clean.
Focus on the walls. If you can't have too many nick nacks out on side tables then fill your wall with art to create the focus. High shelves. Keep those precious pieces on display but out of reach. (There's a great example above in the domino picture just ignore the booze bottles ..... oops.)
|Livingetc||Free Spirit Interiors|
|Elle Deco||Bohl Architects|
Ottomans make great kid friendly coffee tables. No sharp corners or glass and a large stable tray can provide a spot for drinks. So what if it spills. Pull off the slip cover or hey live with it because if it's a dark colour it will hide the juice stain. Rugs can be cotton and a size that can be thrown in the washer.
Collections can be in screw cap bottles. Lena from a couple of posts ago had wonderful bottles holding all sorts of normal choking hazards. Screw the caps tight :) I could go on and on but I'll stop there. Perhaps the readers could chip in with more suggestions.
The photos I've found will give you an idea. Just remove the hazards you see with your imagination. A couple of Jonathan Adler ceramic pieces on a coffee table are just asking for trouble but that picture has a good example of a child friendly pattern. Relax, enjoy and if it gets broken or stained or there's a small bruise on your little one that's all part of living with kids. Hey your biggest problem isn't living stylishly with a toddler, it's living stylishly on a just moved out of home budget. Good luck and buy vintage!