A common misconception I hear often is that people don't believe it is possible to have a well designed home because they have children. While we understand the reason for this, it couldn't be further than the truth. I have tried and tested this myself because of my own 2 lovely kids! At LWD, we pride ourselves on creating homes that are beautiful, but also functional for families. Today, I am sharing all of my tips and tricks for designing a beautiful space with kids in mind!
What is the most common accidents for kids? My first thought is spilling! Liquids, foods, you name it, you can rely on your kiddos to spill it. Not only can accidents happen, but kids tend to be a bit hard on furniture. To ensure the life and the beauty of upholstery, we always use performance fabrics. Performance fabrics are fabrics that are easy to clean and withstand the wear and tear of everyday life. These fabrics won't repel spills, but simple stains should be able to come out with a little water and blotting. A few of our favorite performance fabrics and most popular are Crypton and Perennials. Both of these fabrics are livable, strong and dependable!
Another alternative we sometimes use is outdoor fabrics for barstools or dining chairs. If we don’t choose a performance fabric we make sure to choose a fabric that has a high number of double rubs. A double rub is simply a way to measure the abrasion resistance and durability of a fabric.
Here is a quick guide to double rubs:
9,000 and under: Ideal for drapery and window treatments
9,000 to 15,000 : Ideal for pillows, bedding and window treatments
30,000 to 100,000+: Sofas, chairs, ottomans, barstools, dining chairs, beds, and benches
We also recommend using a fabric protecter such as a Scotchgard for extra protection. This will help repel stains and help keep your upholstery clean. We will typically do that for an area that will get a lot of use like upholstered dining room chairs or barstools, rugs in living rooms, or pillows.
Rugs are necessary in the design process because they elevate and complete the design. While rugs are beautiful, we all know that they can sometimes be hard to keep clean. Here are my most recommended material that will last and be worth the investment:
Wool is great because it is one of the most durable and softest materials available. High traffic areas like family rooms are perfect for wool rugs because they are soft to the touch, but can withstand daily wear and tear. While wool rugs are often the most expensive option, they prove to be a wise investment as they last for years and years and are easy to clean.
When investing in wool, consider the location and make sure it’s in an entirely dry environment. Wool will soak up any moisture and can mildew. Additionally, be aware that wool rugs shed! They’ll shed less over time, but some extra vacuuming will be necessary to start.
Synthetic such as polyester or polypropylene rugs are a great budget friendly option if you are wanting to have the look of wool without the price tag. They don't last as long as a wool or natural fiber rug and can be a little tricky to clean.
Natural fiber rugs like jute and sisal aren’t soft on your feet, but are great for layering slightly smaller, patterned rugs on top. With a world of textures and weaves, jute and sisal provide an organic and textural layer to a space.
Outdoor rugs are great for under a kitchen table or high traffic areas. They are easy to clean since you can hose them off when they get dirty.
Photography by: John Woodcock
No home or design is complete without pillows! However, we know the pain of trying to keep them clean and beautiful. Thats why having a hidden zipper is a 100% priority when it comes to pillows. We custom make all of our pillows and although they are designer fabrics and are typically not performance fabrics , the hidden zipper makes it easy to remove the pillow covers to wash when accidents do happen. We DO recommend to have them dry cleaned over using your washing machine to maintain the life of the pillow cover!
Things I taught my kids about loving the home they live in:
When we were designing our home I knew I wanted to have a rule for no eating in the living. This helps keep the living room upholstery so much cleaner. We don't want to be total sticklers, so we do allow for the occasional popcorn night, and because we have this rule in place, they think of that as a treat! I knew I wanted to have nice decor in our home so there were two things I had to do when we got all the new furnishings and accessories. One, teach my kids to respect things and treat them well. Two, not be mad if something got broken or spilled on because accidents happen. With kids an accident is bound to happen, but if you have materials and furniture that are good quality and can withstand wear and tear, it will help.
Before we moved in, we replaced the tile and carpet for wood floors. A few months later, one of my kids dropped a marble coaster on the floor and caused a big dent breaking the coaster in the process. I didn’t get mad because I know things happen. We still have the dent somewhere on the floors, but you can’t even notice it since it blends in. Part of that wear and tear of a house is what makes it a home and tells your story. It is now a memory when I see it and adds to the character. When we first moved in they wanted to touch all of the accessories, but once the fun wore off they left them alone. I also think it is important to teach kids to take care of nice things and be respectful. This will extend when they go to their friends or family homes as well.
Picking out durable materials that can withstand every day life is an important factor when designing with kids in mind. However, it is equally important to understand that things could potentially be broken or ruined. At the end of the day, teaching your kids to understand the importance of respecting their home is what will help keep your home beautiful throughout the years.
Next week, we will be sharing all of the details of my kids rooms and how it was designed to grow with them. Stay tuned!