I get asked this question a lot, “how do you keep your house looking like that with kids?”. And lately, I have been getting this question more as I post my decorating journey. Well, I am going to be honest with you, I don’t! It doesn’t actually stay looking like this all the time. But since having kids, I have learnt a few decorating hacks and techniques that help me along the way.
I bet you’re probably wondering why does she even bother, the kids are going to mess it up anyway! Well, the thing is, I want my home to be a place that looks nice and I feel comfortable in. And because of that I thought maybe finding some decorating hacks will be a good way to create just that.
I think sometimes it is just our fear that they may mess something up. They do make it hard sometimes of course, but I also think they grow to learn your ways. Children are the best adapters, eventually, they learn where they should and shouldn’t eat, they learn to tidy and where things are supposed to go.
And I just want to add one thing before we get into a few things that have worked for me, these tips won’t always work for everyone, it is all about finding what works for you and your family. It is also about meeting in the middle with it. Rules are needed, and they don’t have to be strict rules, just rules that work around keeping your house clean, tidy and decorating how you like. Here are a few of my decorating hacks and tips:
1.How I keep my sofas mostly clean. No food when sitting on the sofa. Especially for the kids. It probably won’t always happen, but make sure when they are eating super messy food it is ONLY at the dining table. Then 80% of the time, your sofa will stay clean.
2. How I keep my pouffe clean. So one of the reasons I got my pouffe was because my kids jump and run around a lot! I have 2 boys and we all know how hyperactive boys can be. So my decision for getting a pouffe originally was not just because of how it looks but how safe it is for the kids. And I am so happy with how safe it is! My kids run around so much I dread to think how many time they would have hurt themselves with a square coffee table.
But I bet the real question you want to know is how I keep it clean? Well, as well as hoovering it and scubbing stains off it I also (and this is something I have never told anyone before) use a throw on top of it. Not all of the time of course but if you want to keep it lasting longer, cover it to reduce the cleaning time of it. And my kids climb on it a lot so covering it when I need to works perfectly.
3. Don’t underestimate the use of throws! Use them on your sofas too! Growing up, my mother always used throws to keep our sofas clean. It reduced the time of cleaning up spills and dirt marks drastically. And if the throw gets dirty, just throw it in the wash. Sometimes it is way easier and quicker than cleaning up stains on a sofa.
4. How many of you guys are worried about having open shelves because nothing will stay on it? Honestly, I worried about this too before buying my gold open Vittsjo shelf. But I put my worries to one side and decided I needed to get it. And when it arrived, I put it together and placed some of my favourite items on the shelf. One thing I noticed quickly was because my son could reach the bottom two shelves he would take things off them.
So what I started to do was keep the bottom two shelves empty. The top two always had whatever I wanted on them. And believe it or not, over time, for him it blended into the background and now he doesn’t even notice it’s there. I do still keep the bottom shelves empty because I have another little one who likes to take things off shelves now.
5. Get some closed display units. If open shelves feel too out of reach for you, try display units that are closed but have glass doors. This way, you can display your favourite decorative items without having them being pulled off the shelves. (Just make sure to screw them into the walls to prevent them toppling over). And you could easily do the same with closed cabinets without glass doors if you prefer to have nothing on display. It all depends on what you prefer.
6. How do you keep your living room so tidy from kids toys!? Again, it doesn’t always stay tidy, but I keep storage systems in my living room just for the kids’ toys. And the storage systems blend in with my decor. They don’t look like kids storage units so you’d never know that the kids’ toys were hidden in them. For example, I use a cream bag that blends in with the rest of the room for their toys to go in.
I also have a Kallax shelving unit from IKEA. I bought the Kallax doors for them and I use this to store the kids’ toys inside. Because the Kallax has eight shelves, it makes it easier to organise the toys. It is also easy for them to reach so I get the kids involved with tidy up time so it isn’t always such a huge chore for me. When guests come and I need a quick tidy up, the toys go straight into the storage unit.
7. Keeping decorative accessories around the house. Let’s not kid ourselves here, we all know it is pretty much impossible to keep candles and decorative accessories such as vases near kids. And me? I am super addicted to them, I love getting home accessories. So how do I get around this you ask? Well I usually keep them on shelves or on my dining table, far away from their reach. But close enough for me to grab and decorate with when I need them. So they still live in the same room, just at different places when the kids are around.
8. Can you even have nice furniture and accessories? So if you want to buy really decorative accessories and furniture but worry about where to place them, ask yourself this, do you have a part of your home that isn’t used for everyday use? If you do, place the super decorate furniture pieces there!
I’ll give you an example, so I ended up on an impulse shopping trip with my sister once. And I found this gorgeous white sheepskin rug. It was literally love at first sight! But the only thing I kept thinking about was, will this rug get dirty really quickly if I get it? And of course, as you do, I got it anyway. When I bought it home, instantly, I knew where it could go, in my bedroom. And one of the reasons for it going there was because I know it is a room that isn’t used all the time like the living room/dining room. And because of that, it doesn’t get walked on a lot.
I guess what it all comes down to is compromise. Compromise what you think looks good and what your kids can handle. If you feel it is too far out of your reach, then meet half way. For example, getting something you feel looks good, but is safe for your kids to be around. Or getting a cabinet that you love how it looks, but your kids are able to use as well. And, you can always use some decorating hacks!
I hope this post helps for anyone wanting to decorate but worry about how to while having kids around. Feel free to comment your decorating hacks, I would love to know!