You dream of the perfect home, with everything in its place and then the children come along and the dream quickly evaporates.
You dream of the perfect home, with every single cushion in its place and every surface wiped clean and shining. And then the children come along and the dream gets relegated to live the remainder of its life in deepest corner of your mind.
But does it really have to be that way? Can style and children not go together? They can if you plan in advance, keep things simple and most importantly, have a sense of humour. Then, you can get your house and your children co-existing happily ever after.
What better furniture item to hold the family's attention than a large, comfortable sofa in the middle of the room? The children can play on it, lounge on it, relax on it and it is far enough away from the walls for any of your children to be able to take their crayons to them. When relatives or friends come over, simply toss a throw over the sofa and add a few cushions and it looks all spruced-up.
If you have a toddler, care should be taken that they don't fall off the sofa, but otherwise, for older children, having a sofa in the middle of the room is best. Placed in front of the TV, Sunday afternoons can be spent casually lounging around enjoying a movie or catch-up marathon.
Love books but storing them in the attic because your children like to chew them? Well, there are lots of parents in the same situation. The solution to this problem is to keep your books out of reach. How can we do that? For starters, adding bookshelves at height lets you display your prized collection of classics but at the same time ensures that your little ones don’t get access to them.
You can also add shelves at varying heights (again, not at their reach at least until they're older) on a blank wall and rotate the books every month. Colour up the shelves with vibrant colours and your room suddenly looks more attractive and you have less to worry about.
Just like the point above, wall art and/or hangings are a great way to decorate your home while at the same time keeping the decorations up and out of your children's reach. A painting by your favourite artist, or just one that you really liked and got at the garage sale next door, can liven up your home and make you happy whenever you look it at. You can also look at using murals or sculptures to add to your home’s décor. Cloth paintings are a great touch and because not many people have them they're a good way to be unique.
Parents with babies or toddlers will think this is probably not a good idea but carpets are great to put down just before the kids start to play. A simple cloth carpet laid on your hardwood floor will prevent the scratching and stains that will spoil the overall effect. While it is true that the carpet will need to be cleaned regularly, when put it into perspective, re-tiling or refitting your floor because it has ugly scratches and stains is so much more expensive.