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How to Create a Beautiful, Family-Friendly Home

One of the requests I hear the most from clients is that they want a beautiful, welcoming home they can be proud to entertain in, but also one that's cozy, and more functional for their family's needs and lifestyle. They want a space that feels "complete," but they don't want to feel like they are living in a museum, and that they can't actually enjoy a morning cup of coffee or evening glass of red wine on their new sofa!

Maybe they have children and thought their furniture and décor options were limited to darker shades of navy or brown, and they were too afraid to try a pale blue or light gray sofa. Or maybe they were hesitant to invest in a quality coffee table, fearing that it might get scratched or stained.

So whether you have a home full of family, pets, or you are always entertaining, here are a few tips for achieving a family-friendly design (that you also love!) in your home:

Go high performance

When investing in new upholstered furniture such as a sofa, armchairs, or even dining chairs, one of the best ways to give your pieces durability is by selecting a performance fabric. Built to have added protection against stains, spills, wear and tear, performance fabrics are meant to withstand actual, every day moments - like that accidental wine or juice box spill. These fabrics are typically easier to clean, and I even have an an demand cleaning and care service I recommend to my clients to help give them additional peace of they can actually be in the moment and enjoy their new homes, not stressing over potential spills. And yes, you can try furniture options other than dark colors!

Photo Credit: Pottery Barn

Check your labels

If investing in a new area rug, be sure to check the material the rug is made out of. Rugs made from polypropylene or wool are much more durable and easier to clean, making them more family-friendly options. A rug made from more delicate fibers like viscose, while it may look incredibly beautiful, is more sensitive and prone to showing spills or stains, and is not the best option for a high-traffic area. Even indoor/outdoor rugs that are meant to withstand the elements and come in a variety of materials are ideal options for kid-frequent spaces like basements, playrooms or even bathrooms.

Photo Credit: Caitlin Antje

Keep it natural

When it comes to choosing a material for a table that will be used frequently by the whole family, such as a coffee table or dining table, selecting a wood table is an ideal option. Not only are wood furniture pieces classic and timeless, but they also age beautifully, and in some instances look better once they have patina. In some instances, scratches can even be corrected or buffed out. While less expensive, a laminate or synthetic material may actually end up showing more wear and tear over time, and might not be repairable. And glass options make fingerprints all the more visible, plus they may be prone to chipping or scratching. So if you're looking for a more low maintenance option, try a real wood furniture piece.

Photo Credit: CNC Home & Design

Photo Credit: CNC Home & Design

Cover it up

You've probably noticed, but wallcovering is back! And it's not the outdated versions from decades earlier that many of us remember. There are so many gorgeous varieties and patterns available these days, and similar to fabrics, there are also performance or vinyl options - making them easier to clean if needed. A wallcovering can add more visual interest, texture and color than paint, especially if you're designing a smaller space like a powder bathroom, or even adding as an accent wall.

Photo Credit: The Lilypad Cottage

Stay realistic

Ultimately, when designing or decorating a home for a family with kids, pets, or all of the above, the most important thing to remember is to keep a realistic mindset. Remember that these are spaces where your family will make memories and actually live their everyday lives, and perfection is not (or should not be) the goal. Creating a space where your family can thrive might mean some unexpected nicks here or scratches there, but at the end of the day, it's being able to celebrate and enjoy this space together that makes the process, and the end result, so amazing.

Want to learn more about how you can achieve a beautiful, welcoming, family-friendly home and finally have your design or decorating projects off of your to-do list? Let's chat about it!

Photo Credit: Caitlin Antje


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