Decorating the living room was an easy feat pre-parenthood. My husband and I didn’t have to worry about picture frames getting knocked off the coffee table or magazines getting rumpled and torn up. I remember how we used to keep stacks of Good Housekeeping and Real Simple on in a pretty little basket just under the coffee table, and how we’d have a nice vase of fresh flowers every so often on the side table beside the one-seater.
Gone are those days! With a 2 year-old running around the house 24/7, I’ve had to spare my magazines their fate (they’re now stored in files in the home office), and we’ve made some kid-friendly adjustments to our living room decoration.
As parents, we should want our living room to be a place where our child feels welcome, not restricted. And since we all want our homes to be both pretty and practical, here are some tips that can help us achieve that balance.
1. Go for multi-purpose furniture.
Coffee table: Opt for a solid wood coffee table, preferably one with storage capabilities. A wooden table made of mahogany or a similar hard wood makes for a sturdy activity area. It’s versatile and can be decorated with a pleasant runner and a happy bowl of ornaments, but sturdy enough to withstand the kids’ play times.
Ottomans with storage: Look for ottomans that are dual-purpose and have storage capabilities. This way, you can easily store the kids’ toys, coloring books and crayons, board games, and other items they might frequently use in the living room.
Toy-box benches: You can line one end of the living room with benches that double as seating (just add cushioned padding and throw pillows on top) and toy boxes for storage.
2. Create a kids’ nook.
Create an area in the living room for a kids’ play area or nook. This can be achieved by allocating a certain area for their kids’ toys and games, such as in a quiet corner behind the sofa or in one side of the living room. You can place their toys in functional shelves which can store baskets (I personally like Ikea’s Expedit shelves for this purpose), or have large decorative baskets which can double as tabletop surfaces.
3. Arrange kids’ artwork in frames on the walls.
Displaying the kids’ art work in frames is a great way to add warmth and character to your living room. Create a mini art gallery of your children’s favorite paintings and drawings by hanging them in decorative frames around the living room walls. The frames will add that modern and grown-up touch to your living area while the illustrations will give character to your walls, not to mention an instant face lift! Try interspersing photos of the family as well amidst the artwork; you’ll feel refreshed at how these displays can uplift the entire mood of your living room! (Here are some creative ways to hang decorative plates and how to create a wall display of varied-size frames.)
4. Use slipcovers.
Protect your sofa and other upholstered furniture with attractive slipcovers. They’re washable, so you can easily remove and replace them when they get soiled from dirty hands or random crayon scribbles! Steer clear of white slipcovers, though; instead, opt for patterned or darker colors which can camouflage stains and slip-ups if they happen. (Of course, wash the spills off as soon as they happen and have them professionally cleaned as needed.)
5. Opt for eggshell finish on the walls.
Eggshell finishes are scrub-able, so if your kids happen to scribble on the walls, you can easily clean those stains off with a cleanser and water. Go for a nice neutral color that fits your living room’s overall look.
What are some of your kid-friendly decorating tips for the living room? Leave a comment and tell us all about it!