A Beautiful Kid and Pet-Friendly Home

I’ve had so many clients tell me that they don’t want to buy anything nice for their home because either their kids or pets will “trash” it.  Guess what?!  There is a way to have your cake and eat it on your white sofa too! See photo above for proof – my client has two kids and a dog!

I realize that families want their homes to be functional and beautiful.  So how do we make this happen?  It may seem counterintuitive, but don’t buy poor quality pieces, expecting them to get “trashed.”  High quality furniture and furnishings hold up to wear and tear better, meaning that you only need to buy once!  I’ll explain below…

Performance Fabrics and Materials

Fabrics.  We’ve seen an increase in fabric offerings that have stain and water repellent finishes (known as Crypton or Nanotex).   Indoor/outdoor fabrics have become softer to the touch and come in so many different styles, colors, and patterns.  I’m currently drooling over Pindler’s Pendelton collection by Sunbrella

I’ve had so many clients tell me that they don’t want to buy anything nice for their home because either their kids or pets will “trash” it.  Guess what?!  There is a way to have your cake and eat it on your white sofa too!

Cute dog + cute rug!

Hardwood. Yes, hardwood floors can dent if you drop a cast iron pot on the floor, but unlike tile, it’s unlikely to crack (also no grout to clean, which is a huge plus!).  Hardwood is durable, easy to wipe up, and can be sanded and refinished several times over its lifetime.  Quality, factory-stained engineered planks can provide extra protection against scratching if you’re worried about dog nails, kid toys, etc.

Rugs.  Add texture, color, and warmth with a rug!  And yes, I hear time and again about concerns with investing in rugs with kids and pets.  There are several options here as well!  Natural products, like wool, are more cleanable than some of their synthetic counterparts, such as nylon.  Wool also naturally purifies the air around it, making it a good hypoallergenic choice…not to mention is a natural flame retardant.  Check out these vintage rugs from Perch 313 – beautiful rugs that have survived decades of wear! Indoor/outdoor rugs are also durable options.

Reimagining Storage Solutions

Pets and kids require a lot of accessories!  And those accessories don’t always go with the aesthetic.  Get creative about where you store the kids’ toys and dog dishes.  Check out the ideas below!

On the outside, this hutch is styled, but it’s got sneaky storage for my son’s toys in the cabinet below.

Consider dedicated and built-in areas for your pet’s food and supplies.  Image from terracottadesignbuild.com.

Can you spot the Duplo trucks on the mantle?  Playful injections of personality while keeping all the breakables out of reach!

Creative Safety Precautions

Safety is always a concern with kids and pets.  Here are some ways to increase safety in your home:

Floor Plan. The last decade or so has been flooded with open concept new construction and home renovation, but as a past dog mama and current toddler mama, I’ve found that my almost 100 year old bungalow is great for pet and kid safety!  Rooms are easy to gate off, and we were able to keep our rescue dog (with high anxiety!) contained in the kitchen while we were gone.  When my son was crawling and first walking, it was easier to corral him near me in just one room at a time.  My friend and fellow blogger (and past Interior Designer!), Allie of Porcelain and Plaid had the genius idea to install charming Dutch doors in her new build that double as baby gates! Her blog features her beautiful home and life with her toddler, as well as shopping guides for home decor, clothing, and gifts. 

Don’t we all want our homes to be attractive, comfortable, and safe?

Induction Cooktop.  Worried about burns on curious little fingers and arms?  Induction cooktops use conduction to transfer heat, meaning the surface is transferring heat only when the pan is touching the surface.  As soon as the pan is removed, the heating element stops.  Note that you will need to buy special induction-compatible pots and pans.

Refresh.  Take this as an opportunity to restyle your home a bit.  Embrace a bit of minimalism!  I feel the space lighten visually when I remove a couple of objects from view.  Or move things to another room that sees less wear and tear.  I use what I call “whole house cohesion” with my own home and my clients’ homes, meaning that all rooms flow together and objects can be moved from room to room and not look out of place.

European Way of Living

Those scratch marks on the wood?  My son’s teeth marks.

In the US, our culture is all about new, new, new.  And if it’s not new, it better at least look that way!  When we look at European countries, we see real marble in kitchens and unapologetic, time worn furniture and rugs.  We’ve seemed to embrace some aspects of this lifestyle with the “rustic” trend; however, only if the piece is purchased or distressed that way “on purpose.”  You know what?  I love my ivory armchairs, even with the bite marks!  And there is some discoloration on the fabric from jean rub-off.  Wear means lived-in and loved, so let’s let go of the notion that all interior items must be perfect and totally indestructible.

I could talk at length on this entire topic!  Did I miss anything?  Leave a comment below with questions or topic ideas!

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