6 Design Priorities When You Have Kids
What to prioritize (and what not to bother with) when you have kids
“So often people call me and say, ‘I have kids so I can’t have nice things,’” says Corine Maggio, interior designer at CM Natural Designs. And yes, she says, there are certain things you should prioritize—or avoid—spending money on during the design process if you have kids or are considering starting a family. We asked Corine how she helps people make design choices that make space for kids without your home looking like a jungle gym.
Here’s the expert scoop on how to stay stylish—and where to put your money—when redesigning with kids:
1. Performance-fabric sofa: Performance-style fabrics are a must for families with little kids. “They’re so much better than they used to be,” Corine says of the fabric options available. They’ll hold up to spills, accidents, popcorn-packed movie nights, fort building and (maybe) even jumping.
2. Lighting: A chic chandelier or other striking ceiling-mounted lighting system is out of reach for curious little ones, but can class up a room. “It’s in eye view. If you’re walking into a room, you see it, so [a chandelier] is a great place to buy something really nice and high quality,” says Corine.
3. A handmade rug: Corine says that a handmade rug can surprisingly withstand a lot more abuse and spills than a cheaper machine-wash rug, but plan on having the rug spot-cleaned or professionally cleaned as your kids grow up. Or, she adds, there is another approach if you’re just looking to survive the spit-up, potty-training, mud-pie-making years: “I’m of two minds. You can also get a lower-quality machine-made rug, and trash it and replace it after a few years.”
4. Art: Like lighting, art usually hangs high on a wall, out of reach. “It’s a great way to personalize your home and a great thing to put money into.” Plus, bringing in unique pieces can elevate any room, including nurseries and playrooms, with creative decor.
5. Flexible storage space: Corine recommends incorporating temporary, flexible and multitasking storage into your room’s visual aesthetics. Baskets, tables with drawers, leather-handled buckets, etc., all can be used to stow toys, library books, diaper supplies, blankets, stuffed animals or even just the detritus brought home from school at the end of the day. And unlike cabinets specifically intended for toys, versatile, classy containers blend into your style while keeping supplies within reach. And as the kids get older, these items can morph into more grown-up storage, too, for anything from magazines to extra throw pillows.
6. Wallpaper: Consider bold wallpaper that can grow with the kids, especially in a bathroom. A medallion-style wall covering is fun but still chic, or find a wallpaper in a whimsical, themed pattern. And when combined with bath toys and a playful shower curtain, your kids will love bath time. Kids all grown up? Swap out a simple shower curtain and lose the toys for an easy upgrade.
Read more about this beautiful—and family-friendly home—by CM Natural Designs in Pretty Practical.