Thursday, June 10, 2010

7 Kid-Friendly Decorating Options!

As I chatted about decorating with some Mom's this morning at school, one concern kept surfacing: how do you decorate with kids that accidentally mess things up or destroy things?  And I do mean accidentally.  Most little cherubs don't mean to spill their milk on the living room carpet or throw up all over their rooms.  They can't help it, but you don't have to suffer through.  Keep Calm and Carry On!  (That is definitely our motto around here!) Here are some suggestions for decorating with some kid-friendly things.

1) Cotton Mats
If you are not in the market for new carpets, you can always layer washable cotton mats over your existing rugs to either save them or hide the little oopsies.  Good old Pottery Barn and Ikea usually have them and the best part is you can throw them in the washing machine if they get dirty. And the always wonderful Dash and Albert are the reigning kings of cotton mats that are washable. Along with pillows and throws!

 Dash and Albert

Pottery Barn

2) Tigressa
I learned about Tigressa Carpets from Maria Killam. She posted a wonderful blog all about Tigressa Carpets and stain removal on her blog Colour Me Happy.  Look at this comparison between a 'regular' Carpet and a Tigressa Carpet! The liquid floats on top and can easily be blotted - I am sold!

3) Slip Covers
When we were in Norway, we went to this amazing little cabin on an island off the coast and the dining dining room chairs were upholstered. Until we looked a little closer. They were actually slip covers!  But to keep the slip covers looking good, our friend had another set of white slip covers to cover them that can also be easily washed. Genius.

And here are the kids playing next to the table.  What do you see? Yep - a better view of the slip covers, cotton mats and storage bins!

4) Outdoor Fabric
If it can withstand Mother Nature, it can withstand your little one! Enough said. Here are some sources. Go get them. Now!!  You can use them for drapes, pillows, slip covers, the uses are endless!

Sunbrella fabric, Tommy Bahama, Duralee, P Kaufmann, Waverly all have outdoor fabrics. There are so many to choose from, but here are some of my favorites.

I do have a thing for polka dots - especially for young kids!

6) "Outdoor" Grade Textiles and Furniture
There are entire lines of "Outdoor" that can easily be used inside and are much more kid-friendly than "normal" lines.  Two of my favorites (and most accessible) are Ballard Designs and Pottery Barn.

Ballard Designs has a whole category of "Outdoor" that includes pillows, fabrics, drapes, rugs and more.  It is quite expansive!

Pottery Barn also has a large selection of "Outdoor" that includes pillows, cushions, cubes (which would be totally fun seating in a playroom), rugs and curtains.

5) Paint
Just because you don't want to splurge on your dream furniture and furnishings because junior is a mini pig pen doesn't mean you have to settle. You can always paint your walls a beautiful color to unify your home and distract from the imperfections. And the best part - most paint is washable with soap and water or can easily be touched up. So if your little darling pulls a Picasso with the washable markers, it shouldn't be an issue. (Side note: You could also use chalk board paint to give them a "safe" place to doodle on the walls!)

7) Storage
Yep just hide the mess. We all do it. There is nothing to be ashamed of. And there is some pretty nifty grown-up storage options too!

In case all else fails, there are many inexpensive furniture options and with the internet and UPS, they can easily arrive before your next "junior ruined my favorite - fill in the blank - meltdown".

If you would like some help creating a kid-friendly designed home, contact us!

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