Poll anyone under the age of 25 (who may be lacking in interior design savvy) and they’ll likely tell you that once you have kids “it” is all over, with “it” including having anything nice in your house.
Of course, parents know better, right? Kids are just the beginning! These beautiful little humans don’t have to represent a threat to your sense of style! Do they?
Well, maybe a little. But no, not really. There are plenty of ways form follows function well enough to allow you to have your style cake and eat it, too.
There are few home furnishing materials stronger than stainless steel and the finish is on trend, which sets it up as a win for anyone with a Tasmanian devil on the loose in the house.
Furniture with stainless steel legs, stainless steel appliances, stainless steel countertops and coffee tables – there are plenty of areas where this polished look will work in a kid-friendly space.
“But, stainless steel is so cold and hard,” you say. “My baby won’t like that.”
Indeed! Too much stainless steel isn’t good for anyone, young or old. Wrap it in something soft, though, and it’s a whole different story.
And, when you’re choosing something soft, just make sure items approved for kid contact are swaddled in stain-resistant material. Solution-dyed acrylics and vinyl are great options, but if that seems to hard-core you can also spray stain guard on dark synthetic blends.
Natural wood is tough stuff, especially when you choose a hardwood like oak or cherry. Pine and cedar are not as strong, but the upshot is that natural wood gains character even when it gets a little nicked up.
It’s also pretty easy to clean, and can easily last long enough to pass down to the beautiful angels who once threatened to destroy it, especially if you treat it.
Leather is also not a bad choice for kids, thanks to its durability and tolerance for treatment. In fact, the chances are higher that an adult or pet will do any damage (puppy teeth and car keys = leather’s worst enemies).
If the above are kid-proof, then what is there to avoid? Here are a couple big ones:
Glass: A glass-topped coffee table is a style double threat. If it breaks, now you have to deal with a) broken glass and b) replacing the table.
Natural Fibers: You can usually stain-proof items with natural fibers, but you have to make sure you a) choose a product that won’t damage the material and b) remember to reapply as needed.
Custom Furniture/Art/Etc.: Kids don’t grasp the concept of money or uniqueness, which is actually pretty awesome – but not for that limited edition Louis XIV reproduction settee.
Now, go forth awesome parents, and style without worry of total destruction!