Family-Friendly Decorating

Having children and the home of your dreams do not have to be exclusive. Many couples believe that their furniture and their decorating style go out the window when they have children. This doesn’t have to be the case.  How can you combine stylish tastes with family friendly designs? Read on for a collection of ideas about creating the comfortable, attractive and stylish home of your dreams for you and your family.

Adding Colour, Texture and Patterns

Children love to touch everything and that includes your walls. If you want the richness of the matte finish there are washable flat paints you can pick up from the local paint store. Other types of paint that can stand up to frequent cleanings are satin, eggshell and semi-gloss finish. If you have a future artist then consider painting one section of a wall with chalkboard paint and give them the go-ahead to express their creativity there. When the children are older the chalkboard can double as the family schedule/messaging center. Involve your kids in the decorating process by asking them what color they would like in their bedroom or the play room.

Help conceal spills, fingerprints and other accidents on furniture, walls and floors by looking for patterns and textures that have vibrant and darker colors. When your child spills their grape juice on your couch you’ll be glad you chose a darker tone to hide that spill!  If you’re weary of bold patterns try a softly heathered finish (this lets the fabric stretch) on couches or rugs, or a subtle color wash on the walls.

Furniture Options

When picking out furniture try to look at the best quality furniture you can afford.  You want furniture that’s stylish and fits with your decor but can also handle whatever is thrown (sometimes literally) their way. Look for furniture that’s heavy and solid, preferably made from hardwood that’s been glued, screwed and corner blocked. Cushions like to be used as weapons and for building forts, so if you want to prevent that from happening choose couches with cushions that are sewn onto the couch itself, have no cushion back or are semi-attached. When looking for tables choose coffee and end tables that have rounded corners to help prevent bruises and black eyes.

Regardless of the style you choose, remember that low maintenance and easy to keep clean items are a must.  Having children means having limited or no free time. Save yourself time and money by selecting furniture with durable upholstery. For example, leather is easy to care for, great for wiping up food or juice spills, and never goes out of fashion. Vintage items and contemporary pieces that look weathered will survive kids easier than antiques or new items that are in perfect condition.  Another option for your furniture is washable slip covers. Slipcovers protect your furniture when spills occur – and they will – and they also give you the option of updating your room without having to spend a lot of money.  Machine washable slipcover materials include flat or brushed cottons, poly-bends and velvet.

Tough Flooring

With small children your floors will receive a lot of punishment. Select more durable flooring that is easy to clean such as laminate, tile, wood and linoleum. If you’re a fan of hardwood then pick a hardwood floor that is rustic, pre-distressed and has a matte, non-skid finish.  Carpet is always a great option too as it provides padding for crawlers and unsteady walkers; the big downside is that it can be difficult to keep it looking good. Select carpets like nylon and wool nylon that have a medium-to-dark tone or a slight pattern and make sure it has a stain protective finish.

Storage, Storage and more Storage

Children have great imaginations and also toy collections that seem to grow larger and larger every year.  Clutter is an unavoidable part of having small children. Bring order to the clutter by using some creative storage areas. Use baskets and keep them in every corner of your home for storing toys.  Use attractive looking boxes and place them on open shelves in the living room to get the toys off the floor. Built in storage units are great options to keep toys nice and hidden to prevent them from taking over your living or family room.  You can also teach your children lessons about organization by showing them where the toys are being stored so they can learn to put away their own things.

Let them have their own space

Create space in the common areas like the living room and the kitchen where your children can do the activities they enjoy. Design the area around what the children are interested – mats if they like gymnastics, easel/paints for the future artist, chair, lamp and bookshelf for the budding professor. If your family is into board games, set up a games table or a large coffee table so everyone can gather around on game night.

One final thought, no matter how careful you are, accidents will happen. Keep stain removers and in key areas around the house and always have an extra can of your paint colors ready for touch ups and most importantly enjoy watching your children grow up. An entire tub of finger paint on the chair isn’t the end of the world – laugh about it. Life with children is messy but you wouldn’t change it would you?

Jeremy enjoys spending time with his two nephews. He wrote this post on behalf of, an online DIY resource and retailer of KitchenAid appliance parts.

About The Shopping Mom


  1. Stephanie Phelps says:

    Oh my goodness these are great tips and ideas! I know when I look for furniture I have a hard time knowing if it is just expensive or quality. Do you have any brands or stores you like more than other because as we know all sales people just tell you what you want to hear!?

  2. Abercrombie says:

    It looks so beautiful.