How to make new home kid friendly
Whether you’re moving into an apartment in the city or a sprawling country estate, creating a home that suits the needs of your family while reflecting your personal style is no easy task, especially when there are kids involved. While, for some families, home becomes kid central the moment their first baby comes home from the hospital, for others, maintaining much of the home’s original aesthetic is still a priority. If you’re eager to make your space child-friendly without sacrificing your style, consider these suggestions to help create a happy home that suits every member of your family.
Make space for children in every room: While creating designated rooms for your children and others for the adults in your family may be your goal when initially laying out your home, once your little ones are mobile, baby gates can only do so much and it becomes nearly impossible to keep them from commandeering a bit of space in every room. By creating a bit of play space for your children in each room in your house, it’s much easier to keep your space clean and clutter free while keeping tantrums at bay. Of course, this doesn’t mean setting up a jungle gym in the center of your formal dining room — keeping a small toy box that your child is responsible for picking up after in each room makes it simple to keep your kids occupied throughout the house without having to drag toys from room to room.
Give your kids a playroom: Keeping a few items that will occupy your children in each room is an easy way to keep your home from becoming a toy-filled war zone, but there’s also no overstating how wonderful it is for children to have a dedicated play space. Instead of hoping that your children suddenly become inherently neat and tidy, give them a place where they don’t have to be — a room where toys can be left out, running around is encouraged, and a little bit of paint on the floor, walls, or even ceiling doesn’t seem like the end of the world. As your children grow older, the room can transform from a place to play and store toys into a great homework room, a place to hang out with friends and host sleepovers, or even a music studio.
Invest in pieces that can take a little abuse: We’ve all made the mistake of investing in an inexpensive, trendy piece of furniture, only to have it fall apart just a few years (or even months) after we get it home. When you’re making a home kid-friendly, having quality furniture that can withstand a bit of abuse is key. When picking tables and chairs, choose heavy pieces with sturdy bases and legs that will be difficult, if not impossible, for your children to knock over or pull onto themselves. For soft items, like sofas and beds, look for pieces that are low to the floor, like platform beds, that will prevent your kids from crawling under them, and opt for fabrics that won’t break down with a little wear and tear. Beautiful pieces, like leather Chesterfield sofas, look elegant and will last a lifetime, even if they end up being jumped on once in awhile, although most of their inexpensively upholstered counterparts are unlikely to. Even if antiques are your passion, it’s still possible to make them safe for the youngest members of your family — make sure paintings and mirrors are securely hung using weight-bearing hooks out of the reach of tiny hands and make sure to get any pieces of furniture that have become wobbly or loose-limbed to an antiques repair specialist before you have any mobile children underfoot.
Go open concept: It may not be possible to keep an eye on your children every second of every day, especially when the rooms in your home are closed off. However, in many newer constructions, like the Bryant Park luxury apartments at Atlas New York, open concept designs make it simple to stay abreast of what kind of mischief your little ones are getting into and stop it before it goes from fun to dangerous. Thanks to the sight lines from Atlas’ kitchens into the residences’ living rooms, busy parents can prepare meals or unpack groceries while their children play in a safe space that’s easily visible and just steps away.
Create soft surfaces: It’s no secret that kids can be clumsy. Rather than crossing your fingers and hoping your little one’s next spill won’t merit a trip to the emergency room, create spaces that allow your kids to tumble without serious injury. The easiest way to do this is to add carpeting or rugs to the rooms your kids most often play in and to securely back them with slip-proof backing. Your children will still wipe out from time to time, but with soft padding underfoot, you’ll only be kissing boo-boos, not broken bones.
Having children doesn’t mean you have to give up your dream of living in a beautiful home — just a few alterations to your current space can retain its elegance while making it a safe, wonderful place for your little ones to grow up.