A question I get all the time is how I feel comfortable styling my home with little kids running around.
Am I afraid they’ll break something? Leave messy handprints on something? Tear something apart?
Or am I ever worried they’ll move everything around so much that nothing will ever have ‘it’s place’?
If it were up to me and just up to me, my home would likely be styled a lot differently.
There would probably be more white furniture, more breakable things on easy to reach tables, and there certainly wouldn’t be baskets filled with toys everywhere.
But it’s not just up to me and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
I aim to style and design our home so it needs the wants and needs of everyone inside it, not just me.
It’s my job to create safe, comfortable, nurturing spaces for my children to play, imagine, grow, and develop.
It’s my job to make sure they feel free to explore without fear of ‘messing something up’.
And that might mean not having a perfectly put together home all the time. And you know what? Tha’s okay! It’s great really.
But all that said, even if it’s not perfect, you can still create a styled home that is also functional for your family (even with little ones).
Here’s how I do it!
5 SIMPLE TIPS TO CREATE A FUNCTIONAL, STYLED HOME (EVEN IF YOU HAVE SMALL CHILDREN RUNNING AROUND)
TIP #1: DESIGN WITH LITTLE ONES IN MIND
Here’s the thing. If you have little kids, especially toddlers, you probably aren’t going to want to place breakable picture frames and trinkets on end tables.
You might not want to style a tray and place it on your coffee table.
You might not want to have a coffee table at all (so. many. corners.).
One day, you’ll be able to have all those things again, so know this is a temporary phase!
Instead, replace your coffee tables with ottomans, move the breakable things out of reach, and focus on decorating the harder to reach areas of your home.
Keep the needs of your children in mind, making sure to give them space and freedom to play and explore without being afraid that they’ll get in trouble if they bump into something.
TIP #2: GRAY, BEIGE, & OFF-WHITE ARE YOUR FRIENDS
If you want a light and bright home and dream of one day owning white furniture, I hear you!
But today is not that day (I say as I watch my littles go from snacking to somersaults on the couch).
But that doesn’t mean you can’t create that light, bright home you want!
Opt for light grays and tans that help hide those inevitable messes. Or slipcover everything so you know you can wash it if it gets dirty.
Just maybe don’t invest in that one of a kind, timeless piece until your kids are a little older and have another place they can play without fear of the white couch.
In the meantime, go for the off-white neutrals. You’ll get a light and bright home, and they will be able to play and be themselves!
TIP #3: CREATE A SOLUTION FOR THE TOYS (AND SET RULES FOR PICKING THEM UP)
This is a big one in our house! We have baskets in our living room where the toys go. Honestly, toys are everywhere all the time. We couldn’t just tell our kids that all their toys needed to stay in the playroom. After all, this is their home too!
So I got two tall baskets to place in our living room. They add a little design to the space and hide the toys that my girls chose to keep in this room.
Get used to the fact that if you have little kids, there will be toys. And again, that’s okay!
If you can come up with a designed storage solution for them, it won’t be a problem!
The kicker? Make sure they know to put things away when they’re done so you are left with a clean, styled space instead of piles of toys where the rug once was.
How we do this in our house is by first setting the example. We don’t leave things out that we’re not using. Everything has a place, and we put things back when we aren’t using them.
By default, our girls have started to do the same. But we also teach them that once they’re finished with one toy or game that they need to clean it up before moving on to the next activity.
My oldest is a little on the OCD side, so this actually helps her focus her attention on one thing without experiencing any anxiety over cluttered spaces.
Before mealtimes and bedtime, our girls also know that’s time to pick up any toys that are still lying around the house so they can start fresh after they eat or when they wake up.
This totally might not work for everyone, but by setting these examples, we’ve been able to show our girls how to take care of their things and their home!
TIP #4: MAKE YOUR MAIN AREAS COZY AND INVITING
This might seem obvious, but with little kids, cozy wins every time. Do you remember going into your grandmother’s home when you were little and that feeling of being scared you were going to break something?
That feeling of not knowing where you were allowed to sit even? Plastic coverings on couches anyone?
That is not the feeling you want your kids to have in their own home! Instead, focus on styling cozy spaces. Use blankets, pillows, poufs, comfy couches, fluffy rugs… The best part? All of these things can still be styled!
Again, it might not be ideal, but you can still create a fun, styled space that both you and your kids enjoy and feel comfortable in.
TIP #5: IF THEY’RE OLD ENOUGH, GET THEM INVOLVED
If they are old enough, let them in on the design. Take them shopping with you, let them help decorate tables or place items around. Even if it’s you telling them what to do, they’ll feel included in the design, which will in turn give them some ownership of taking care of it.
Ask them what they like, what they don’t like, and let them have a say in something small. This not only helps them feel included and important, but it really shows them the thought that goes into a space too.
And when it’s ‘their decision’, they’ll want to keep it that way instead of tearing it apart.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Focus on the right now, because it’s temporary! In the future, you’ll be able to have all the stark white furniture, breakable items, and expensive things.
But when that time comes, you’ll miss the little hands running around messing it all up.
So don’t stress about what you can’t have, and instead try to focus on what you do have! And create cozy, styled, inviting spaces where your little ones can grow, imagine, and play without hesitation.
Get them involved, teach them to pick up after themselves, and show them they matter.
And in the meantime, style what you can and let go of the rest, because again, it’s temporary!
Do you have littles at home? How do you decorate with them in mind?