Amidst milk stained bibs, rattling toys, and mountains of laundry, some of us have serious dreams. Dreams of having a living space that looks less like a Jumanji scene and more like #studiomcgee or #magnoliahome. Now, I understand we are living in real life and not going on air on HGTV. However, if you’re like me and a well-coordinated space relieves your senses (otherwise heightened by invasion of tiny tots who fill your heart twice as much as their clutter!), then I hear you sister! Considering the very real and constant threat of tiny tornadoes in our lives, I’m going to share five simple functional decor tips that you can use in your home to make it your own haven (with a sprinkle of toys of course!).
The first step to an appealing space is to remove all the clutter and extras from it. I know with kids it gets hard, but in your main living room, keep it minimal from toys to books. Keep them in rotation to maintain your sanity and child’s interest. Fewer items not only means easier pick up, but kids are able to focus and play, too, as opposed to just dumping everything on the floor.
This may sound obvious, but appropriate storage is the KEY to making a space more functional and appealing. Try to coordinate your furnishing and type of storage you choose. Just because it stores toys doesn’t mean it can’t look pretty. Coordinated baskets, boxes, and even storage ottomans make wonderful toy storage options. They all hide them in plain sight and are still available for littles right away as needed.
Books can be stored in baskets, shelves, and on the coffee table, making them easily accessible and appealing to the eye. Not only that but kids are likely to pick up books if they are visible and easy to grab! They key here, however, is to not leave too many out to prevent things from getting out of control.
3. Functional tables
No living room looks complete without coffee and side tables. Not only do they enhance the look of the room but are pretty useful when it comes to putting your coffee down or legs up. With tiny human around, sometimes these tables can become a concern when they start running or cruising like headless chickens!
Ottomans and upholstered benches make great options for kid-friendly decor. They add texture to the room and provide extra cushion for all those inevitable bumps and crashes. If you’re worried about upholstery getting stained, a lot of them are available in stain-resistant fabric; if that option seems pricey to you, then scotch guard is your friend! That spray magic in a bottle can make most surfaces resilient against the terror of tiny hands (and mouth).
If you still prefer harder material, then choose to go with shapes that have no or minimal sharp edges like round or at least has the round edges on the top.
4. Rugs or rags?
Now who doesn’t love to bring a pretty space all together with a beautiful rug? Even if you have carpet in your home, a rug definitely enhances and ties together the space.
Now I know how we all are afraid to experiment much when it comes to rugs because we’re afraid of the spills and stains that are inevitable with little munchkins in our lives. If you’re like me and really like a light colored rug and cannot wait until the kids are older, you may be able to live your dream sooner than you thought with this little tip: indoor/outdoor rug. If you’re willing to compromise a little on the ‘softness’ of the rug, these rugs are game changers! They are a lifesaver when it comes to toddler heavy areas and spaces like under the dining table. They’re stain-resistant and easily wipeable. What’s best is that you can literally take them outside and hose them down if needed. Now if that’s not kid-friendly, I don’t know what is! If you really prefer a cushier feel, you can even add rug pads under this beauty!
5. Yes, space!
Are you wondering how ‘Yes, space!’ counts as functional decor? Well, as much as I love an aesthetically-pleasing home, I also strongly believe kids should not feel restricted in their own house. One of the best ways to achieve that is to give them some space whether it’s a whole playroom, a corner of their own room, part of the basement, or any other area of your house, depending on individual circumstances. This space doesn’t have to be big, but the key is that it is THEIR space!
The only condition of this space is that there are ‘no rules’ while they’re playing. That certainly doesn’t mean that they won’t be required to clean up afterwards or can go break things, but the idea is that in this space they are allowed to jump, dump, color, paint, stack 50 books, play Jenga with pillows, or whatever else they please. Let them have their own rules in that space, so they can respect the rules of the rest of the house and help in keeping the home a coordinated living space for all.
When they have a space they can call their own, they’re less likely to bring all their toys everywhere in the house and keep things in designated areas. This not only instills responsibility from a younger age (yes, I’m talking about toddlers here!) but also allows decor-loving moms like us to have some say when it comes to what goes on the coffee table!
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