The secrets to achieving sophisticated kid-friendly décor

When you become a parent, you may feel like resigning yourself to a permanently untidy and decidedly non-stylish home. After all, our little ones have a tendency to take over, with their brightly coloured toys, sticky fingerprints, Disney-themed cutlery, and toddler-size furnishings.

However, having children doesn’t have to mean having a home you don’t like the look of. While there are certainly some design choices you should avoid – such as too much use of the colour white, and hard-to-clean upholstery – there are plenty of attractive and child-friendly design elements you can use around your home.

Is your curiosity piqued? Read on to find out more and start transforming your home into a kid-friendly but decidedly sophisticated haven today.

Choose your colours carefully

Colours can be used to great effect to impart subtle elegance to any space. While you may feel that you should choose shades that kids prefer – which tend to be bright and somewhat brash – you don’t have to if those hues aren’t personally appealing to you.

Instead, search for colours that both you and your children will enjoy; a neutral palette may be best, featuring shades such as cream, peach, beige, silver, and pale greens and blues. You can always add extra pops of bolder hues by using brightly coloured cushion covers, curtains, and other soft furnishings; and when it comes to decorating your children’s rooms, allow them to help with choosing their décor and furnishings to make sure they feel happy with their own space.

Use elegant furnishings – just keep them protected

If you have some beautiful furnishings, such as oak tables and upholstered chairs, or perhaps even hardwood floors, then you may worry that these gorgeous items of decor are not suitable for a family home. However, there’s no reason to do without your stylish items; all you need to do is keep them as safe as possible.

Chairs, sofas, and tables can easily be protected with the help of decorative throws and cloths which can be removed when you’re entertaining grown-up guests. As for hardwood floors, you can use floor runners and rugs of various shapes and sizes to cover them and minimise the risk of damage. You can also institute a few house rules, such as taking shoes off at the door, which will help to maintain the glossy, unmarked condition of your floors.

Of course, at the end of the day, accidents will happen – but there is still no reason why you can’t have kids and also enjoy elegant, grown-up furnishings.

Pick the perfect doors

Having a stylish family home doesn’t just mean focusing on the obvious things, such as your furniture, soft furnishings, and artwork. Even fixtures that usually fade into the background can impart a subtle but undeniable aura of elegance – such as your internal doors for instance.

Swapping out plain, scuffed, or easily dirtied interior doors for glossy but hard-wearing new models can make a remarkable difference to your décor. For some new door inspiration, you can take a look at Online Door Store’s luxury internal doors, which come in a wide array of materials, colours, finishes, and styles – from sophisticated period doors to sleek contemporary options and everything in between.

Once your new interior doors have been installed in your home, all you need to do is give them a clean each week to make sure they are free of grubby fingerprints and any other stains or marks, and they should look as good as new for a long time to come.

Create a gallery of your children’s art

As you focus on designing the details of decorating your stylish family home, it’s a lovely idea to include your children’s own contributions alongside more grown-up décor. For example, while you may want to hang some Van Gogh prints on the walls, you can also create a unique, colourful, and meaningful display of art using the drawings and paintings your offspring have made over the years.

Frame each piece in a matching decorative frame and dedicate a wall to their vibrant masterpieces, or perhaps even line your main hallway or staircase with their pictures. By hanging them in an art gallery-style arrangement, they will still look sophisticated, and your children will feel pleased and proud that their artwork is on display for all to see.

Of course, it’s not just their paintings and sketches that can be used in this way. Your children probably have a number of stunning books with exquisitely illustrated covers created by renowned artists such as Jackie Morris and John Tenniel. These books – particularly hardback versions – can also be used to create family-focused art displays around the home, particularly in your kids’ bedrooms. Not only will the books make an eye-catching focal point, but having them clearly on display in this manner will make it even more convenient for your kids to find their favourite book when it’s time for a bedtime story.

Forage for treasures to display

While there is a mind-boggling abundance of ornaments and other decorative items of décor to choose from, in an abundance of styles – from shabby chic to minimalist – you can also use objects you find on your family outings to decorate your home. These ‘found items’ can be used to make creative displays on mantlepieces, bookshelves, and cabinets; for instance, similar objects can be grouped together to form themed collections that create a talking point and serve as a reminder of the fun you had collecting them in the first place.

In particular, eye-catching rocks or particularly striking feathers make the perfect elements of a kid-friendly display. In addition, because they cost nothing to procure, you won’t worry so much if they get damaged or knocked over when your kids are playing around the house.

Create a special space just for you

If you are not convinced that a family home can be stylish throughout, you can focus your attention on just one or two rooms. Turning these designated spaces into a sophisticated grown-up zone will give you and your partner a soothing place to relax, or to entertain when the kids are elsewhere.

Explain to your kids that these rooms are an ‘adults-only’ zone, so they should keep their toys and other paraphernalia out of those spaces. Even if it’s only a single room, or even just a corner of the lounge or kitchen, having your own grown-up space, that you can decorate just as you please, will probably make a pleasing difference to how you feel about your home.

Be imaginative with your seating

If you have a toddler or two, then you already know the importance of protecting them from sharp edges and hard objects that could hurt them if they have a tumble. To help keep them safe from harm, and create a cosy and stylish atmosphere at the same time, why not introduce plenty of soft seating options around the home? Pouffes, ottomans, futons and floor cushions with decorative covers can be used to great effect to create a comfortable, vibrant, and undeniably stylish ambience. Your kids will also be sure to appreciate them, as they are the perfect height and softness to provide comfortable child-friendly seating.

Final thoughts

As you can see, there are plenty of things you can do to help make your bustling family home more stylish, while still creating a safe, fun, and comfortable haven for your little ones. However, it’s important to remember that spills, stains, scuffs, and breakages are part and parcel of having kids – so don’t worry too much about your décor, and don’t display anything that you would be distraught at losing. At the end of the day, the most important part of your home is the people who live in it; sticky fingerprints and all!

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