5 Tips to Create a Kid-friendly (and Parent-friendly) Family Room

by Beth HunterAugust 9, 2012

Kids and clutter seem to go hand-in-hand which can make maintaining a beautiful family room a challenge. If you have kids, you do not have to sacrifice on style! Here are five tips to keep in mind when creating a family room that everyone can enjoy.

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Kid-friendly Walls

Choosing a washable paint sheen is a great way to kid-proof your paint job. A paint color in eggshell, satin or semigloss will easily clean up with mild soap and a damp rag. If you prefer a matte finish, flat paints have the benefit of touch-up painting without the presence of brush marks. There are even new “washable” flat paints on the market that allow for damp sponge clean-up. Chalkboard, magnetic, and dry erase paints can be purchased at your local home improvement store to create a fun opportunity for kids to safely write on the walls.

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Kid-friendly Couches

Leather couches, slip-covered furniture, and sunbrella fabrics are all fantastic options for your family room furniture! Many furniture companies offer stain-resistant fabric options, or will Scotchgard your furniture for an additional fee. Keep in mind that darker colored furniture will typically wear better than lighter furniture; however, white slipcovers can be bleached.

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I purchased leather couches for our living room eight years ago (when I found out I was pregnant). Eight years, two boys, and two dogs later, they are still in good condition!

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When I’m craving a lighter look, I simply place slip-covers over the sofas which can be washed and bleached as needed.
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Kid-friendly Coffee Tables

Almost every parent has had the experience of watching their toddler fall, or near-miss the corner of a coffee table. In order to create a safer environment, consider using a round table, upholstered ottoman, or a few poufs in place of a traditional rectangular coffee table.

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Tip: If you have a wooden rectangular coffee table, you can turn it into an upholstered ottoman.

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Kid-friendly Flooring

Dirt, spills, dust, dog hair, and crumbs are typically part of family life. Keep things simple by installing washable flooring such as tile, wood, laminate, and vinyl. If you prefer carpet, you might want to consider carpet tiles which enable you to clean soiled squares or replace as needed.
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Good options for family room rugs are natural fiber rugs such as seagrass or jute as well as indoor/outdoor rugs which are durable and easily cleaned.

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Kid-friendly Accessories

The family room should be a place where everyone in the family feels welcome; therefore, I love the idea of incorporating a gallery wall which features both grown-up and kid artwork.
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When accessorizing your family room, keep cherished collections and fragile knick-knacks placed up high on mantels and bookshelves, out of reach of curious hands. Some accessories that tend to be more kid-friendly include elements from nature (i.e. shells, driftwood, pinecones), chunky wooden bowls or candlesticks, and stacks of books.

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And finally, the one most important element of a kid-friendly and parent-friendly family room is storage! But we’re going to save that for an additional post. Stay tuned!
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Beth Hunter
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