A good design is beautiful, but it’s also functional at the same time. If it’s not, you’ll end up hating it and changing it down the road. Anytime I design a space, it has to be both beautiful and functional. One aspect of functionality is to keep your kids in mind when you design a space. There’s the actual design that needs to keep the kids in mind and then there are other ways you can infuse your kids’ needs into the design.
A Design for Kids Too
First of all, let’s examine the actual design. For example, when you choose a paint sheen, remember that the glossier the sheen, the more washable no matter what paint brand. Satin will be easier to clean than egg shell. Semi-gloss more washable than satin. Secondly, think about the materials you use. Remember that if you choose laminate for your countertops, it can burn if you set a pan on top of it. Granite won’t burn. Quartz is resistant up to a point. For floors, hardwood is easy to clean. If you want to go with tile, remember that if your kid drops a glass on it, it could break (Remember to keep extra tiles on hand). You may consider a luxury vinyl instead. You can drop something on it and it is less likely to break. It can also be grouted to make it look like tile.
Keeping Kids in Mind with Appliances
As for appliances, homes with kids tend to be busy homes, so choose a refrigerator that dispenses water and ice. Get a dishwasher if possible that can clean caked on food so you don’t have to wash the dishes first. Just make sure to perform routine maintenance per manufacturer’s directions to rid the dishwasher of food remnants. Make sure to educate your children on how to avoid burns when using the stove. Keep microwaves within reach of children. And use your refrigerator to post artwork, morning routines, calendars, and chore charts so kids can refer to them easily. You’ll need a lot of magnets!
Keeping Kids in Mind with the Details
Besides the design, there are other ways you can keep the kids in mind when designing your space. Here are a few other ideas:
- Hang a cute clock that you can refer to several times in the morning. I’m usually in the kitchen before school making breakfast, brewing coffee, and feeding the pets. I’m always looking at that clock to make sure we’re out the door on time.
- Have a place in your kitchen for school forms: permission slips, fundraisers, etc. I found a cute metal file shelf at Ballard Designs that works great. And the papers are off the countertop.
- Have a place for coats, shoes, hats, and mittens. I use a closet because it keeps the mess out of site. Creating lockers and using baskets for storage works great too and can be very pretty. You can find baskets or cute bins at Hobby Lobby or TJ Maxx. I always measure the space the basket will be in before I shop for baskets. Fitting a basket exactly really makes it look cute and organized.
- Stools are great accessories to a kitchen. My kids sit on my wooden stool to do their homework or just talk to me while I cook. A step stool is also nice so kids can help with the dishes or just play with their water toys in the sink. You can find cute stools at places like Target or even Walmart. I love to make the kitchen an inviting place for my kids to play.
- Part of great design is great organization. The pantry is a great place to make organization super cute. You can look up ways to organize a pantry online. I like to take things out of boxes and into baskets and bins. I put all my snacks into cute baskets. The kids can just grab a snack after school and you don’t find empty boxes anymore in the pantry that the kids didn’t bother to recycle. I like to find bins that fit exactly what I’m putting in them and make all the bins and baskets the same. You’ll want to organize the things kids like (require?) too like chocolate chips, hot cocoa and chicken noodle soup for when they get sick.
Your kids are your heart and soul and a space needs to be inviting for them too. Taking their unique needs into account will encourage them to do their kid thing in that space. And a house with all those little voices circulating around is truly a home. Having kids doesn’t necessarily mean your house has to be a cluttered mess. You can incorporate design tricks and get organized in super cute ways that makes mom and dad happy as well as the little ones in their care. And who doesn’t want a happy family?