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How to Keep Your Luxury Interior Kid-Friendly

We often assume that high-design and having children are completely incompatible with one another. Thankfully, this could not be further from the truth. You can absolutely create a kid-friendly home without sacrificing style. With designer performance fabrics, washable wallpapers and scratch-resistant finishes widely available, having a stunning kid-friendly home is easier than ever. In this post, we share our top twelve tips for crafting interiors that are both beautiful and functional for families of all ages. From buying antique furniture without sharp corners to mounting vitrines around artwork, follow below to learn how to keep your luxury interior kid-friendly.


12 Tips for Creating a Beautiful Kid-Friendly Home


#1 Avoid Delicate Finishes and Materials

First on our list of kid-friendly interior design tips is to avoid delicate finishes and materials that scratch, stain, discolor or tear easily. Avoid soft stones like marble, travertine and limestone when choosing a dining room table, coffee table or countertops for your growing family. Relegate natural grasscloth wallpaper, high-gloss paint and matte finishes to adult-only spaces. Replace leather, linen and silk in your living room, family room and kids rooms with performance fabrics. Though natural materials tend to be more delicate than man-made materials, some are durable enough for kid-friendly home decor.


In her article “4 Chic but Totally Kid-Friendly Materials to Use in Your Home” for Architectural Digest, Miranda Silva elaborates. She recommends mohair, pleather and lacquered grasscloth when decorating a family friendly yet stylish home. Quoted by Silva, interior designer Palmer Weiss notes that these materials are "'equal parts sophisticated and kid-friendly.'" The two grown-ups in your household will love the elegance of these materials. At the same time, the kids will be able to use the entire space without damaging delicate furniture.


#2 Choose Dark Colored Rugs and Other Soft Finishings

One key to kid-proofing your home is to choose dark colors when buying rugs and other textiles. Dark shades are typically more kid friendly colors than pale neutrals, which show stains immediately. Consider adding bolder colors to your nursery and playroom too. Hadley Mendelsohn explains why in her article “20 Stylish Ways to Kid-Proof a Family Home, According to Designers” for House Beautiful.


Mendelsohn writes that "'ironically, the colors that are intended for all nurseries are probably the least kid-friendly colors.'" She notes that "'the light colors show dirt, spit-ups, and spills vividly and there's little to do in cleaning them.'" Dark colors can add an air of sophistication to your space while hiding evidence of spills and spit-ups!


#3 Use Outdoor Rugs Indoors

Next on our list of kid-friendly decorating ideas is to embrace outdoor materials inside your home. Outdoor rugs and window treatments will resist stains from dirty hands, food spills and other messes more effectively than materials designed for indoor use. Outdoor fabrics are especially useful in entryways and other high-traffic areas of your home.


Consider adding outdoor rugs and window treatments to a family room, living room or dining room that receives a lot of natural light. Many outdoor fabrics are UV-resistant and less likely to fade over time.


#4 Put Wallpaper on the Ceiling Instead of the Walls

Another fun tip is to wallpaper the ceilings and upper walls instead of the entire space. While kids can easily reach baseboards and wainscoting while they play, ceilings and upper walls are safe from little hands. Use delicate wallpapers and designer paints above dados and on the ceilings to add interest without risking stains, smudges and tears.


#5 Jump on Recent Trends Like Organic Shapes and Cozy Furniture

Over the last few years -- especially during the pandemic -- plush furniture and organic shapes have become incredibly popular amongst interior designers and homeowners alike. In her article "Why Cozy Furniture Is a Trend" for Curbed, Diana Budds explains. Budds notes that the "stark and rigid and serious looking" aesthetic of the early 2000s is out. Soft surfaces, organic materials and gentle curves are in.


Quoting Pierre Yovanovitch, Budds writes that "'exaggerated and cozy forms add a sense of playfulness and storytelling.'" Not only is cozy furniture both fun and soothing, but it also tends to be safer for kids. When choosing coffee tables, sofas, ottomans and other furniture for your home, consider on-trend pieces that lack sharp edges.


#6 Let Kids Contribute to the Decor

Encouraging kids to participate in the design process can make them more invested in the care and keeping of your home. Speaking with writer Michelle Mastro in an article for Parents.com, Seattle-based interior designer Marita White explains. Mastro notes that empowering kids to design these spaces "can help them feel safe and that they belong in the home, too." She suggests involving your kids "at every phase of the project" -- from conception to execution. Of course, your kids' preferences might not match your aesthetic or your budget.


In this situation, Mastro recommends taking inspiration from your child so her, or she knows their ideas matter. If your child loves hot pink, offer to use the color as an accent -- in a wallpaper pattern, throw pillow or drawer pull. Parents can bring life to their kids' ideas without sacrificing style. Other great options are to ask your kids to choose their favorite family photos and drawings. Offer to frame and display these pieces throughout your home -- not just in your kids' bedrooms. You can even let your kids choose the perfect spot for their masterpieces.


#7 Consider Buying Vintage, Antique or Used Furniture that Already Has a Few Dings

Antique furniture tends to be more durable than cheap contemporary furniture. Plus, used furniture will probably already have a few scratches and stains. Not only will antique furniture add character to your home. It will not show signs of aging or damage as readily as brand-new pieces will.


#8 Add Vitrines Around Contemporary Art That Isn’t Framed

Next on our list of decorating ideas for kid-friendly homes is to protect art in subtle ways. There should be more art in your kid-friendly living room than your child's coloring books! Protect modern and contemporary paintings that lack frames from fingerprints and scratches from toys by mounting a clear vitrine around the bottom.


Keep collectibles and sculptures from toppling over while children play by securing them with museum gel, putty or wax. In her article “7 Secrets to Chic, Kid-Friendly Decor” for Vogue, Monique Valeris explains. Quoting interior designer Keita Turner, Valeris writes that clear museum gel "'is the ultimate kid-proof and invisible bond.'”


#9 Choose Performance Fabrics When Upholstering Furniture or Buying Slipcovers

This next tip is an obvious one but is still worth mentioning. When reupholstering existing furniture, buying new pieces or shopping for slipcovers, be sure to choose performance fabrics. Once intended solely for outdoor furniture, performance fabrics protect your space from spills, fading and stains. In short, it keeps your stuff safe from damage consistent with having pets or kids in the house.


#10 Use Patterns to Distract from Stains

Hiding stains on solid couches, curtains or rugs is next to impossible. It is much easier to disguise damage to patterned surfaces. As such, embrace paisley, polka dots, stripes, chintz and whatever else strikes your fancy when choosing wallpapers and fabrics.


#11 Mount Sconces for Layered Lighting

With heat and electricity involved, lamps can be dangerous for children. Glass can shatter, bulbs can break and fires can spread if kids accidentally knock over the wrong lamp. To avoid injury, opt for sconces to achieve the layered lighting every space needs for dimension and atmosphere. Kids will be less likely to hurt themselves or break the fixture, but the space will still be beautiful and well-lit.


#12 Incorporate Storage Wherever Possible

The more storage the better when designing interiors for families with kids! As such, adding extra storage is next on our list of decorating ideas. In her article “How to Make Your Living Room Kid-Friendly” for The Spruce, Lauren Flanagan offers her tips for adding storage to shared spaces. Flanagan recommends buying "end tables with drawers, a coffee table with shelves, and even benches that open up." Not only will you keep guest linens and extras out of view, but "it's great to have space for things the kids use frequently."


With added storage, your kids can put their toys "away at the end of the day without having to take them up[stairs]." As Flanagan points out, "kids are more likely to keep their things clean and organized if it's easy to do so." If designing an open floor space, consider adding built in storage for your kids' coloring books and toys to the wall. Built-ins reduce clutter while adding architectural interest to your home.