One of the biggest myths we see young families buy into is that once you have kids, the idea of having your dream home goes out the window. They feel like they have to fill their home with unbreakable decorations, brightly coloured toys and kid-proof furniture. But it doesn’t have to be this way!
Your home can be beautifully designed and decorated AND kid-friendly. You don’t have to sacrifice your dream home because you have kids in the house. You can create the home you’ve always wanted with these home renovation features that will help you maintain a clean, organized, safe and beautiful home. As Calgary’s family-friendly home builders, we’re sharing our top five kid-friendly renovation trends as well as the top five home features to avoid, so you can have a home you love that works for the whole family.
Top 5 Kid-Friendly Home Features
1. Semigloss Paint
If your home renovation includes a new coat of paint, we recommend using semigloss paint. It’s pretty straightforward -- kids are messy and semigloss paint is easy to clean! So whether it’s pasta sauce or dirty hand prints it can all be wiped off your walls with just a little bit of soap and water.
2. Coat Cubbies or Lockers
Creating a dedicated spot for everyone's coat, boots and bags is a great way to keep your front entry or living room from getting taken over by coats, backpacks and shoes. By building your kids individual lockers or cubbies, you make it easier for them to get into the habit of putting their things in their special place as soon as they get home from school. Ask your homebuilder to install some built-in coat cubbies or lockers in your mudroom and you won’t regret it! Say ‘bye-bye’ to tripping over shoes and putting away backpacks every night!
3. Practical Furniture
When it comes to picking new furniture, choose something that will be practical for your whole family. This is one of the few instances where you might have to reconcile design with the reality of living with kids. This doesn’t mean you have to use that old, ugly couch you can’t stand to look at -- just maybe lean towards that wipeable dark leather sofa rather than the white canvas one.
4. Pick Fabrics Wisely
Whether it's for your curtains, carpets or duvet cover - there are definitely certain fabrics you should avoid to keep a space kid-friendly. Here are a few of our tips when picking fabrics for your home renovation:
- All blanket, pillow coverings and bedding should be machine washable.
- Pick light colours - even white! This might seem non-sensical but light and white are good colour choices because you can use bleach to clean them without worrying about the colour fading.
- Choose synthetic fibres and wipeable leather for seating upholstery.
- If you have the choice, pick heavy fabrics with a flat weave – these hold up better and require less maintenance
- For your carpets choose dark-coloured wool. As wool is naturally stain-resistant.
Once you start having kids, you realize how much clutter inevitably creeps into your home. But that doesn’t mean that the clutter has to take over your life! When planning for your family-friendly home renovation, storage needs to be one of your top priorities. Here are a few of our favourite easy home renovation storage solutions:
- Create a drop zone for your diaper bag so you have a place to put things right when you come into the house.
- Add built-in storage to your family room with cubbies that you can put baskets full of toys in.
- Pick furniture that can be multi use - like a double-tiered coffee table that can hold toy baskets on the bottom shelf or tables with drawers.
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Top 5 Features to Avoid in a Kid-Friendly Home Renovation
1. Table Lamps
We understand that it is always nice to have more lighting in a room, but try to stick to overhead lighting whenever possible. If you have kids running around, having cords on the floor can be a tripping hazard! If you’re looking for more light, consider mounting lamps on the wall or adding wall sconces at the height where a table or floor lamp might be. This renovation trend will give your room a more elegant look and ensure you kids stay safe.
2. Don’t OVER Decorate
Try to avoid adding too many decorative pieces that could be dangerous or breakable for small kids. We recommend skipping out on tabletop accessories and focusing more on wall art, shelves and mantels where your decorations are out of your kids’ reach. By doing this you will be protecting both your kids and you home decorations from any accidents.
3. Towel Bars
When planning your bathroom, instead of picking out towel bars, opt for hooks. That way, your kids can hang their towels on their own, and you don’t have to fuss with folding or adjusting the towels. There is also less risk of the bar being pulled from the drywall! This is a quick and easy home renovation feature that will instantly make your bathroom more kid-friendly.
4. Hardwood Floors
If you’re doing a home renovation, the last thing you want to see is your new expensive hardwood getting destroyed by your kids playing on it or dragging chairs and stools across it. A great alternative to hardwood is luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring. LVP is extremely durable, easy to clean, waterproof and will last – even in high traffic areas. This renovation trend gives you the same look and feel of hardwood but is a lot cheaper and guaranteed to last longer.
5. Sharp Corners
Eliminating sharp corners is a great way to make any room safer for kids. When shopping for accent tables consider those that are round to minimize the amount of accidents that happen when your kids run into the furniture.
If you’re planning a home renovation or dreaming about your future home – we hope these tips help you find the balance between aesthetic appeal and kid-friendly. Remember, life doesn’t go on hold when you have kids – your home renovation project is within reach, you just have to be smart about it.