Roomhints interviewed interior designer Courtney Thomas for her 3 best hints for kid-friendly home design.
Check out her hints below and let us know if you agree with the designer’s hints in the comments below.
Crate & BarrelCHECK PRICE
My job is to make spaces functional in their layout, comfortable in their use, inspirational in their style and luxurious in their appointment. In that order. For that one moment after installation, the pictures are perfect. The house is immaculate. Then, it gets lived in. That’s what a house is for. Life is messy. Kids are messy. Design should be practical before it’s pretty. I call it Live-able Luxury. That’s my vision, my style and my goal for you.
* It's textured finish suffers kid abuse well by hiding the imperfections
* A textured finish means you cannot write smoothly across it's surface without using a solid surface board under the paper
Joy BirdCHECK PRICE
I am inspired by architecture and people. Interior Design connects the two and sets the stage for our stories. I get to take the unforgettable moments and memories of your home and your family’s story and turn them into permanent reminders that inspire you every-time you walk in the door. That’s the rush for me. I don’t design, build or create for everyday perfection because in my world it doesn’t exist.
* Top quality leather breaks in well and is wipeable (though nothing can protect against sharpies and scissors!)
* Raised, non-skirted legs makes it easier to clean under
* 36" deep is fine for more formal seating, but not deep enough to encourage longer periods of lounging
* The tufting on the seat cushion will be a target-rich environment for crumbs if you don't vacuum regularly
Ottoman Coffee Table
Within the walls of my company, I am principal, chief cook, head bottle washer and lead designer. Within the walls of my home, I am a mother of 4 kids under twelve, a wife to an exceedingly tolerant husband, a recovering perfectionist, field-trip slip forgetter and “make your own lunch” taskmaster.
* Multi-functional use
* Upholstered pieces (even in leather) may be harder to protect against pens and foods than a solid wood piece
Courtney: “No matter how many times I wipe down our varnished wood table, paper still sticks to it, wear and tear still show along the squared edges, and school projects (think glitter, glue, and pens) still mark its surface. This table starts with a slightly textured, rough-hewn finish that isn’t so perfect you’d see every scratch when they happen but also isn’t so rough-hewn as to trap dirt in crevices and make it impossible to wipe down. It also has a live edge which shows less wear and tear as kids lean over it and rub across it like our wood square-edge table does.”
Courtney: “I love the look of this sofa for a living room. I should note that this is not what I would pick for a more casual family room. The structure of this sofa doesn’t lend itself to long periods of lounging or TV burrowing. For a living room, though, that has to work as a grown-up space but endure the rough-housing of kids, this sofa fits the versatile bill. The style is more modern vintage but could work in a transitional room. It’s made of top-grain leather that wears well with age and comes with a lifetime warranty. I love the cognac color which works with a variety of other fabrics and rugs. It wears it’s style without a lot of accent pillows.”
Courtney’s 5 Tips for a Kid-Friendly Living Room Design
- Single cushion seating means fewer crevices for kids to hide stuff (crayons, remotes, snacks).
- Few accent pillows. Look for pieces that have structure and style built-in and need less help from accent pieces that just wind up being picked up off the floor.
- Leather, performance fabrics (velvets or chenilles), or nanotechnology fabrics (new to market) are the best bets for safe-guarding fabrics from kids, pets, and clumsy friends.
- Consider docking stations for electronics inside a nearby built-in cabinet or a large side table drawer of the living space. Getting kids used to putting their electronics back on charging stations and out of sight will help keep them protected and maybe even less enticing (a parent can dream).
- Kid are creatures of comfort and the floor.. Mine always seem to be on their stomachs reading, drawing, and playing games. Consider a soft textured rug or carpet, some plush blankets, and large, daybed-tufted floor pillows.
Courtney: “Kids treat coffee tables like desks. The height of a coffee table is better suited to them than a dining table or desk and it provides the perfect work station for art, for eating, for climbing, for sitting and for leaping onto the sofa. This ottoman can handle it all and provides a lower shelf that can also house storage baskets in addition to the treys. The treys provide the solid writing surface kids crave and a place to land food or drink.”