When Rachel isn’t busy on family adventures with her two young boys, she’s pouring over interiors magazines. Her blog The Ordinary Lovely is one of the top 10 interior blogs in The Telegraph and one of the hottest to follow on Instagram. Rachel is all about making every day just that little bit lovelier, forever crafting a fun yet functional family space. So who better to ask for tips on sprucing up a child-friendly home? Check out her style secrets below…
10 Child-Friendly Ways to Revitalise Your Home
by Rachel, author of The Ordinary Lovely
As a mother of a six-year-old and a four-year-old, I feel like I’m just about getting to grips with the fact that our home is no longer a toy or chocolate fingerprint-free zone … and it’s unlikely to be for quite some time. While our rooms won’t be gracing the pages of Ideal Home any time soon, I think we’re getting there in terms of having a pretty cool but family-friendly house. I love to keep things clean, tidy and clutter-free but I also want to bring my boys up in an environment where they feel relaxed and happy. So here are my top tips for ways to revitalise your home that are chic but child-friendly.
1. WHITE WALLS
It might be a controversial one to start with as young children and anything white don’t really go hand in hand. However, white walls are akin to fashion’s black dress. They’re simple, stylish and go with anything. A white backdrop makes rooms … even children’s bedrooms … seem less cluttered and they are also so easy to wipe or touch up if they do get a little grubby. And white paint is the cheapest on the market so it’s a thrifty option, too.
2. Temporary/removable décor
That said, you don’t want to be surrounded by so much white that you feel like you’re living in a snowstorm. There are so many amazing, and quite sophisticated, wall decals and stickers that can brighten up your rooms in minutes, from skylines, to abstract art, to child-friendly characters. And the best thing? They’re inexpensive and peel off without damaging your walls so you can change them with minimum fuss as your (and your children’s) tastes change.
3. Craft your own artwork
If your children want to be part of the decorating process or you’re looking for ways to display their artwork and creations without having them all over the house, how about a quirky clipboard display or a simple wall hanging. Long gone are the days of blue tack on the back of the kitchen door.
4. Great storage
Great storage is a must when it comes to maintaining any sort of order in your home after having children. They might be small but they come with so much stuff. I’d advise not buying anything too child-specific or with characters on it so it has a shelf life beyond the early years.
5. Versatile furniture
If space is at a premium, and isn’t it always at a premium when you have children, versatile furniture is brilliant. Think coffee tables with pull-out drawers or space for storage baskets underneath, children’s beds with drawers below, or even bookcases which hang off walls rather than taking up valuable floor space.
6. Hardwood flooring
Having just replaced our living room carpet for the second time in five years, I’d recommend hardwood flooring. The eldest actually learnt to crawl and walk on hardwood flooring in our old house and while I initially worried about bruised knees my concerns were unfounded. It’s both clean (and easy to clean up) and practical and has the added bonus of looking absolutely amazing. Back then, we had pale oak flooring but if I was to choose again now, I’d opt for this stunning York Walnut.
7. Soft rugs
Rugs are a must. They add softness, colour, texture and are perfect for zoning the different areas of your home. And they’re lovely for children to play on, relax on, and lie and read books on, too.
8. Accessories with longevity
Of course my boys have their favourite superhero and cartoon characters but I try to weave them in to our home and their bedrooms in an inexpensive way, such as through little toys, postcards or removable wall stickers. Everything else is purchased to stand the test of time as their likes seem to change on a daily basis. Keep accessories, such a storage baskets, cushions, duvets even, plain and simple and you’ll get the maximum use out of them.
9. Toy zones
I have a four-year-old who is able to distribute Lego to every corner of the house in a matter of seconds. It’s an astonishing ability. I don’t mind having toys around the house but I don’t want them EVERYWHERE. Designated toy zones are my way to counter this. We have toy storage both upstairs and downstairs where he can get everything out and play. It doesn’t always work but it’s definitely worth a try.
10 .Regular decluttering
I have no idea how children accumulate so many things and so quickly but they amass small toys at a rate of knots. Regular decluttering sessions are a must if you want to revitalise your home. This might not be the most child-friendly thing to suggest but believe me, it’s worth it.