Love light and airy living rooms, but kids and pets cramping your style? Living rooms don’t have to be frumpy to be kid-friendly. What can you do to incorporate kids, pets and every day disasters into living room style?
- Patterned, durable upholstery is perfect for living rooms. Whether your living room doubles as your family room, or just entertains on occasion, white couches are unforgiving for juice spills and paw prints. Save the white, upholstered cottage style furnishings for a guest room.
- Area rugs can save the day, and your beige carpet, from kids and pets. Toddlers need cushioning when learning to walk. Use area rugs over the carpet to save the day. We love oriental rugs for their durability, classic style, bright colors and busy patterns. True oriental rugs were made literally to withstand deserts and camels, they should be up to the task of your living room. Make sure you use a rug pad between the area rug and carpet to avoid bunching and color run. There are specific rug pads made for this pairing.
- Glass tabletops are not only dangerous, but full of fingerprints in a living room with children. Skip them for safety. Instead, consider a tray on an ottoman to double as a coffee table – it can double for extra seatng and some even have storage to hide clutter.
- Make sure furnishings and tables are tip-proof, toddlers will grab the nearest object when they start to fall, you don’t want the bookcase to fall with them. If necessary, anchor taller furniture to the walls to avoid tipping. You can use a hook on the wall and one on the furniture to keep it steady.
- Avoid living room furniture with protruding edges. Soften the corners of furniture to avoid those bumps and bruises and possibly an eye injury for younger children. We love old cobbler’s benches for tables in a living room. They have rounded corners, raised gallery edges to keep objects from being pulled off and are low and sturdy.
- Slipcovers work wonders on upholstered furniture, and can save a bundle when kid-proofing your living room. For under $100, they are well worth the investment, they’re removable, can be cleaned and can be changed for seasonal use as well
- Declutter and keep accessories out of harm’s way - heavy glass vases and larger accessories are targets for knocks, spills and accidents. You don’t need to forgo them, but consider adding decorative shelving up high out of reach for accessory groupings.
- Storage, storage, storage – you’ll never get enough in a living room with children. Find furnishings to pull double duty to hide toys.
Don’t give up style when kid-proofing your living room, compromise and use common sense, the black and white decorating and pale colored cottage style may need some family friendly updates to suit your lifestyle.