Clever home decor tips when you have kids

August 24, 2018

They say you can’t have nice things when you have young kids at home. The good stuff gets broken, the big sofa gets koki marks, and the delicate rugs are never quite the same again.

With a toddler running around our house with crayons, and a son playing with Nerf blasters and building forts wherever he can, my home has to fit in with them, and not the other way ‘round. I can’t expect them not to do the things kids do, and I can’t assume that dirty hands and their stuff won’t “threaten” the state of my furniture, even though I’m in a fairly small house, with limited furniture. Stats around property for sale in Gauteng show that many families are opting for smaller spaces and gardens, and even complex living, for security and to save on maintenance costs, but it doesn’t mean the decor is safe from the kids.

With my two kids and two durable sofas, Private Property asked me to write a piece on how you can still have great decor – and nice things – in your family home. Here are some tips:

Image of kids on floor: Shutterstock

1. Keep breakable objects high up

Even if you tell your kids not to touch the vase, accidents and clumsiness happen, so rather keep breakables within view but out of easy reach or “pathways”. Bookshelves, walls and mantelpieces all make good platforms for your breakables.

2. Get rugs that hide marks and stains

Vintage-style rugs with dark colours and designs are great for hiding dirt and crayon marks after your child has spent time drawing or hanging out in the room.

3. Place trays on tables

If you’d like to have your decor pieces on coffee tables, sideboards and dining room tables, why not put them on trays, which can easily be removed in one step if you need to clear the space for any reason.

4. Get washable slip covers for your sofas

Instead of worrying when there’s a mark or spill on your couch and trying to get it out with a cloth, it’s handy to pop a slipcover into the washing machine and let it do all the work. The same goes for your cushions – get removable and washable covers.

5. Be practical with the fabrics you choose

We battle to keep our white linen clean and, in hindsight, we should have gotten a more practical colour/design that would show fewer dog prints and everything else that leaves its mark, and which bleach can’t even really sort out. Rather choose darker colours for less hassle.

6. Use an ottoman as a coffee table

It can’t be broken, your children can’t really bump their heads on it, plus you can put books on it, and rest your feet on it–genius!

7. Try to buy things that can easily be wiped down or washed

Aside from rugs that can hide any sins until that annual dry clean, try to buy mats, blankets, pillows, etc that can go in a washing machine, rather than have to go to the dry cleaners.

Image of kids in living room: Shutterstock

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  • MeeA

    We have an ottoman that serves as the ubiquitous all-in-one surface in our TV/family room. It has certainly seen better days, but it definitely has served us well.
    I also had washable slip covers made for the gorgeous, practically unused cream couches my mother in-law gave me when they sold their house and moved to Shady Pines. I’m so glad I spent that money! My couches thankfully remain stain-free, but gosh, I wish I could get the cat to stop scratching those covers! (I’m too scared to take them off and see whether the damage is more than cover-deep!)

    August 24, 2018 at 10:24 am Reply
    • Tanya

      That sounds so cool!

      August 27, 2018 at 6:50 am Reply

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