One concept that seriously almost killed me: Baby-proofing.
You finally have the cash to buy your first grown-up home and you design the space of your dreams. Bring on the white upholstered chairs, and glass table, and decorative gold accessories.
Then you have a kid, and the design fun is over. Every sharp corner must be padded, outlet covered, drawer and cabinet pull locked, and decorative choking hazard hidden. Not only that, your space suddenly becomes inundated with every brightly colored singing flashing beeping blinking rocking and rolling piece of gear and toy that ever existed. For being so small why do kids require SO MUCH STUFF??
Needless to say, I really struggled with the idea of baby-proofing while still maintaining my sense of style.
So I have rounded up my favorite baby/kid-friendly furniture and accessories that allow me to keep my sanity while also not threatening my child's life.
1. Swap out a hard-edged coffee table for a tufted ottoman, like this one from Overstock. We like this one because it still
has plenty of storage space on the lower shelf, and the nail-head detail is timeless. Add a cocktail tray on top as needed, which can easily be removed when chubby fingers start grabbing. Find other upholstered ottomans here, here, and here. More cocktail trays here, here, and here.
2. Opt for stain-resistant fabric. I'm not sure why, but I decided to get a white couch when our daughter was 3 months old. She's now 18 months and perpetually covered in something orange or green. Luckily, we got stain-resistant upholstery and are pretty impressed with how well it works. Smudges and spills wipe off easily. So if you're acquiring in a new piece, inquire about stain resistant fabric, or invest in a protective treatment such as PB Fabric Protectant Spray or Scotchgard.
3. Leather is better. Leather furniture tends to age well with rough-and-tumble use. It become soft and weathered, which can really add to the character of a piece. I'm kiiiiindof dying
over this olive-green sofa from Crate & Barrel. This mid-century modern chair from World Market is also stunning.
1. Faux flowers and plants.
This gorge little faux ranuncula arrangement will withstand tugs and tumbles without risk of spilling any water or blooms.
And there's no chance of potting soil tracking everywhere when your kiddo undoubtedly grabs these faux Silver Queen plants in planters off their stand.
2. Metal over glass. Metal accessories will withstand wear and tear much better than glass or ceramics, which are prone to chips, cracks, and shattering.
This table-top figurine is pretty hearty, as is this set of decorative spheres and these oversized chain links. Remember to avoid objects smaller than your fist, which are a choking hazard.
3. Wood is good. All-wood decor is
also quite durable, like this vintage-look dough bowl, or these decorative beads with tassel. This etched wood canister is also so cute.
Baby and Kid Gear
If you want to maintain a sense of style when purchasing items for your baby or child, consider light and neutral colors and natural materials. Grey linen and wood look sooo much nicer than purple and yellow plastic any day. Also, to keep your space from becoming completely bogged with sh*t, buy wisely or better yet, borrow! Kids grow out of stuff (toys, clothes, etc.) in approximately 5 minutes, so only obtain the necessities.
1. The FUNNY SUPPLY line I've discovered on Amazon has a variety of chairs and toys that are actually kind of cute. Like this white adjustable high-chair, which isn't terribly over priced, or this foldable wooden play-gym.
2. For book and toy storage, I love these farmhouse style crates. So cute and multi functional.
3. When buying nursery furniture, look for convertible or multi-function pieces versus baby-specific. Such as this amazing 3-drawer dresser/changing table with chic leather pulls. When a changing surface is no longer needed, remove the top tray
attachment for a sophisticated dresser.
As for the ubiquitous rocking chair, comfortable doesn't have to mean ugly! Case in point: this glider.
4. Keeping all the kid mess out of sight is as easy as throwing stuff into nice storage baskets and bins. We've done several posts featuring great organization tips and tricks, check out a recent one here.
So, with some strategic shopping you can totally keep your house looking cool after kiddos hit the scene. If you have any more tips, leave them in the comments!