Interior Design for Families with Kids Under Five

White? Not practical at all.

White? Not practical at all.

The Lord blessed me and my children with a new house, and I’m very excited to decorate again. I’ve been in transition for the last two years, so I haven’t hung up curtains, pictures or settled into any place. Now that we’re in our new place, I’ve been frequenting HGTV’s website and checking out the latest interior design tips. The tips are great, but some are not practical for families with small kids. I don’t want you to waste your money making the same mistakes I did as a first-time parent. So, here are my basic interior design tips if you have children under five.

1. Vinyl vertical blinds are not your friend.

Courtesy of Expletive My Kids Break. Not an exaggeration.

Courtesy of Expletive My Kids Break. Not an exaggeration.

Vertical blinds are inexpensive, and they go with just about any décor. However, if you have children, just say no to the vinyl vertical blinds. Why? For some strange reason small children love vertical blinds. They love to hind in them, attempt to swing from them and snap them off the track. If you purchase the cheap ones from Walmart for example, you’ll end up with more blinds laying on the floor than hanging from the track. This was my parenting interior design mistake with our first home. My son couldn’t stay away from the vertical blinds. By the time we moved, most of the blinds were held up by tape because my son snapped them off the track. This time, I’m going with wide fabric panels on a sliding track. Hopefully, they won’t be as enticing to my little ones.

2. Forget about carpet on the main level.

Get used to this position.

Get used to this position.

You will probably spend most of your time in the living room or den area. If so, say no to carpet. Hardwood or tile is a better choice for you. Why? Because kids spill things, throw up, pee and even poop in the areas where they spend the most time! My daughter is at the stage where she takes her diaper off. We’ve only been here 30 days, but she’s peed on the carpet upstairs twice. You need flooring that’s easy to clean up. You don’t want to carpet your entire living space with small children because the carpet is going to look and smell dank in a short period of time. If you’re concerned about comfort, choose a great area rug. At least you can swap it out easily after the kids destroy it.

Hardwood is easier to clean up and maintain.

Hardwood is easier to clean up and maintain.

3. Forgo the fabric sofas.

These parents know what's up.

These parents know what’s up.

I know what you’re thinking. “That limits us to nothing!” I understand, but don’t make the same mistake I did with my first child. My husband and I bought this beautiful sectional fabric sofa from Jennifer Leather while I was pregnant. We thought we’d have it for at least 10 years. Boy were we disappointed. My son had acid reflux and threw up all of the time – and ridiculous amounts of vomit. He also peed on it when I was too lazy to change him at the diaper station in his room. And let’s not forget the poop explosions. You may do everything right, but sometimes babies blow their perfectly dry diapers with one poop. Before my daughter was born, I purchased leather sofas. What a difference! When she threw up, I just wiped it up and kept it moving.

4. When picking your palette, choose a durable paint.

I can't count the number of times this happens.

I can’t count the number of times this happens.

We get so excited when we’re getting the nursery ready for baby. We love to choose the right colors and the safe, lead-free, low VOC paint. However, we don’t think about if the paint is easy to clean and if it can handle scrubbing. Your little one is going to color, paint and throw things at the wall. You want to make sure the paint you choose can take a licking and a few cleanings. I haven’t used their paint, but Sherwin-Williams markets a durable paint for kids rooms. Unless you want to repaint your walls every year, it’s worth the investment.

5. Don’t go broke following trends.

Pinterest, HGTV and The Bump have wonderful ideas for nurseries and children’s rooms. But, don’t go broke or take out any home improvement loans to keep up with the trends. The designs are beautiful, but remember, in five to seven years your kid is going to want a room that looks more “grown up” and reflects their interests. Create a beautiful, fashionable, safe and comfortable room for your baby or child, but keep in mind it will probably change when your kid starts maturing and developing his or her own style. Be flexible.

Have fun decorating!

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