Family time is important for building strong bonds. Kids especially need to spend time with parents, learning and having fun. An ideal family-friendly design should be comfortable and inclusive to everyone in your home. Finding the perfect balance between family-focused design and trendy interior design can be challenging. Here are a few ideas for designing a practical and fashionable home.
Open family room
The family room is where kids typically spend the most time with their parents, so make the family room open and inviting for kids. Strengthening bonds with your kids can help them learn and develop in early childhood. Family time allows older kids to feel more comfortable talking to you about what’s going on in their world. Once kids reach adolescence, they are less likely to want to spend time with their parents, but this is actually when they need parental guidance the most. Create an atmosphere where they want to spend time with you and share their thoughts.
Find out what interests them and make sure there is a space for their hobbies. If they are into video games, make room for their gaming consoles in your media center. For kids who enjoy spending time on their computer, buy a portable lap desk so they can use their computer in the family room. Sports fanatics will enjoy watching their favorite game on a big TV. Arrange furniture in an open layout to allow for easy interaction. Make sure you have ample seating for your kids and their friends.
Room at the table
Cooking and having regular meals together strengthens a family, even if it is only once a week. Gather in the kitchen to teach your kids some cooking basics, and then enjoy fun conversation while you eat a healthy, home-cooked meal.
The dining table is a great place to gather. If you are looking for a new dining table, make sure it has room for everyone. You might want a large dining table or one that can be expanded for additional friends and family. When your kids and their friends are sitting around your dining table, you know they are safe and well fed.
Bring nature indoors
Teaching your kids about the natural world is just as important as anything they will read in a book. All it takes is looking out the window to see what nature has to offer. Allow them to observe nature without having to go outside.
Reading is important at any age, so consider adding a reading spot near a window for your kids. Install full height shutters to let in natural light for reading. Window shutters allow you to adjust the amount of light coming into the room. Being able to dim the lights and close the shutters is great for children who like to nap in the living room. Open the shutters during the day to watch the weather. Install a bird feeder just outside the window so you and your kids can learn to identify the different birds that perch there.
Fun bathroom theme
When your kids are young and still potty training, they will need an incentive to spend time in the bathroom. A fun theme can inspire them to learn how to use the toilet sooner.
Keeping a solid wall color allows you to change the accessories as your kids grow. Consider a shower curtain or hand towels with a festive print when they are younger, and change them out for more mature patterns or solid colors later.
Keep things looking new
Everyone knows kids are sometimes messy. Cleaning up after them is never fun, but you might panic when you find out that a spill stained your furniture. Planning ahead can prevent stained furniture and allows everyone to relax and get comfortable.
Keep in mind that stain-resistant fabrics can be cleaned easily. If you want to avoid chemically treated fabrics, look for darker-colored patterned or textured fabrics, which can have enough depth to hide stains. Seek out soft fabric accessories that are washable and add slip covers temporarily to protect furniture from young children’s spills.
Safety for all ages
Whether you have a toddler who is bumping into things while learning to walk or a teen who likes to roughhouse, avoid sharp corners and glass tables if possible. Antiques and breakable items might be best kept out of reach.
Invest in edge guards to protect young children, by covering sharp edges on existing furniture. Consider replacing your coffee table in the center of the living room with a cushioned, storage ottoman that has a lid. This is a great place to store toys and other items without sacrificing a grown-up look.
Home is where your family spends time connecting and relaxing. The design of your home can entice family members to spend time together making invaluable memories, so make your home a family-friendly haven for everyone who lives there.