Staying stylish with young kids

Stylish family living

Darren Palmer has a broad portfolio, having studied fine art & graphic design, originally working in advertising and owning his own graphic design company. After succumbing to his true passion, Darren now operates his own interior design studio and has been a judge on numerous seasons of The Block.

With a family house that contains pets and children you need to let go of the idea of having the perfect home for the sake of your sanity and the pleasure of the people that live in, and visit your home. Yes, it’s important to have a nice, tidy and pleasing environment, but you never want to be that person that values the perfection in your space to the comfort of the people that use it.

You can create a balance however between a presentable house and a comfortable and usable one with only a few considerations.

Think about ease of cleaning as your number one

Flat surfaces are easier to clean than heavily textured ones so when looking at carpets consider tight loops or cut and loops over the likes of shag or long pile carpets. Heavily grained timbers can also trap dust, with dark to black floors being the hardest to keep constantly clean. Mid to light toned floors will allow you to not worry about dust on a day to day level, but you need to consider that the lighter you go with your flooring the more easily dirt and dark shoe scuffs will be seen. The best flooring solutions whether they be soft or hard have variation which allows for every day wear to be less noticeable, allowing you to be that little bit more relaxed about their use.

Think about durability as your second consideration

Hardwearing flooring will last the test of time and the more forgiving the material the more extended the life and look of your floors will be. Hard flooring, such as tiles, can be a good long term durable base. If you’re using natural stone you need to consider porosity and the propensity to etch with exposure to acid, however a porcelain or ceramic tile that’s glazed will provide you with a nice, almost indestructible flooring solution.

Vinyl Planks, whilst still prone to damage are very robust and relatively stain and scratch resistant compared to natural timber products. The benefit of a natural timber floor or thick veneered timber engineered board is that, in the worst cases, the floor can be sanded back and re-stained, though the success and amount of times this can be carried out will be dependent on the particular product you’ve installed.

In terms of carpet choices, wool carpets have a natural moisture resistance that can be enough should you have an adult’s only space. However, if your carpets are exposed to heavy use or even high levels of natural light, a Solution Dyed Nylon or SDN carpet, such as Carpet Court’s STAINMASTER® EverSoft® SDN, will have the properties that best stand up to the usage and exposure.

Zoning spaces

If you’ve got the space you have also got the freedom to create different rooms for different occupants and uses. An adult space can have more refined and delicate materials and inclusions. Think about saving natural fibres with less variation and more expense for the spaces that you know you can keep perfect and meticulous.

For children’s space make sure the choices you make are based on the way kids interact with the space. Flooring has got to be wiped clean, vacuumable and basically indestructible, able to withstand spills, play dough or whatever it is that might be ground into them. A hard flooring is probably advisable in this instance, a low cost hard flooring even more so.

Storage is key

Keeping lots of storage and shelving in children’s play areas is also a great idea to save clutter from taking over the floors. Tubs that sit underneath a central play area allow for easy access to toys from a low height as well as being a convenient way to sweep any finished games off the play space and into storage.

Precious or more fragile toys such as Lego can be put up on shelves to be accessed when wanted but kept safe from accidental (or deliberate) damage when play takes on a different direction. The more ordered your kid’s rooms are and the more easily they can be used by their little owners, the more successful they will be at not just working for them as play spaces but for staying nice and tidy to satisfy the inner perfectionist in you.