The past few months have drastically changed my personal decorating approach for two main reasons. The first being that my sweet angelic baby girl turned into a ninja warrior who can manage to destroy the house in under three minutes. The second is that because of the pandemic, we are home ALL day, which gives my children more time to create a giant mess. Now, I am constantly trying to balance my desire to have a beautiful house with the reality that toddlers (well mine at least) are extremely destructive.
In my attempts to decorate our new home with my children at home 24/7, I have made quite a few design mistakes. I’m sharing the things I have learned throughout my design process along with some helpful advice I wish I had when first starting out.
Adjust Your Mindset: One of my biggest mistakes when I first started to decorate my house was that I was just not realistic. I have to frequently remind myself that I am simply not in the season of life for a perfectly decorated home, and that is OKAY. There will be a day when I can put my coffee table books on my actual coffee table, but that day is not today.
Storage is Key: By 8 A.M. my family room looks like 20 toddlers threw an unsupervised house party. When it comes time to tidy up, our built-ins serve as our place to shove all the clutter. Other great options I have utilized to store toys are cute baskets and storage ottomans. Bookcases are another great option; you can store toys below for easy accesses and showcase your favorite non kid-friendly decorative accessories on top.
Chose Furniture & Accessories Wisely: Please save yourself a lifetime of someone telling you “I told you so,” (in my case, my husband) and do NOT buy the pretty kitchen chairs with cream linen fabric. When it comes to furniture with fabrics, invest in long-lasting, durable fabrics that are easy to clean and will stand up to a lot of abuse (because there will be abuse). The same is true for carpets. Your carpets will be subjected to spills, mysterious stains, and maybe a potty-training disaster to two. You NEED something easy to clean. When it comes to family room accessories (pillows, throw blankets, etc.), buy things you won’t mind being hurled across the room (another lesson I learned the hard way). Things like decorative pillows, which spend more time on the floor than the sofa, are just not worth spending a ton of money on.
Don’t Settle: A beautifully decorated home and toddlers can coexist. A lot of shopping has opened my eyes to the endless possibilities for child-friendly home decor. There are so many stylish choices on the market today that are durable and easy to care for. Now more than ever, there is absolutely no need to compromise your personal style because you have children.