When it comes to "kid-proofing," your home, it can be hard to know what to do, and there are so many ways to do it. Every house, family, and kid is different, but after working with clients with young kids for years and living with a few of them ourselves, we have learned some tips, and today we're going to share them with you!
No matter what you do, the truth is, kids will be kids! It's all about finding that balance between creating a live-able and beautiful home, and we have always been believers that you can have both.
So much of how you "kid-proof," your home is personal, but here are a few of our top suggestions:
Utilize Performance Fabrics
There are times when we'll hear clients say that they want to wait to invest in their furniture until their kids are grown, but the truth is, there are so many great technologies in upholstery fabrics today that you really don't have to!
The white sofa in The McGee Home? Performance fabric! Virtually every sofa we use in client's homes? Performance fabrics!
When we started designing our own furniture collections, we prioritized creating a wide range of upholstery options with different functions. We always suggest Crypton for widely used pieces; it's kind of the gold standard. Not only is it stain-resistant, odor-resistant, and antimicrobial, it is also made without harmful chemicals, making it the perfect family-friendly fabric.
When it comes to furniture like coffee tables, stools, or really, anything that your kids might try and stand on or climb on, it's important to make sure your pieces are made well and are durable. Not only for your sake but for their safety as well!
Natural, solid materials like oak not only live longer but age well. They have an apparent quality difference used in everything from flooring to furniture bases. Plus, living materials embrace imperfections and, in our opinion, can even become more beautiful as they evolve!
Choose decor intentionally
When we're styling a project, and our clients have young kids, we always think about the objects' weight in low, reachable places. We wouldn't use breakable pieces on a coffee table or on the lowest shelf or a built-in if our client had little kids.
Instead, we'll use objects like woven baskets, small books, or lightweight bowls and objects. And yes, sometimes we style things in a certain way for a photo and then move if afterward! We're not ashamed to admit it.
If we want to use greenery but are worried about kids getting into it, we'll use faux plants or florals in low places, and the real deal on taller surfaces.
Invest in textiles
Rugs are a big deal in high-traffic areas when you have kids, or even just people, living in your house. We love using indoor/outdoor rugs in homes with young kids to ensure easy cleanability. Also, did you know vintage rugs also happen to be extremely durable? They are still around and beautiful after hundreds of years because of their quality, which is just one reason we love them so much.
Take care in cleaning your pieces
This one is a given, but we can't emphasize it enough! When you invest in great pieces, taking care of them is essential! We even wrote a whole blog post recently about how to care for your upholstery, you can read it here if you're interested.
Shop our favorite kid-proof decor:
For more tips, keep scrolling! We asked our team members with little ones at Studio Mcgee about how they "kid-proof" their homes, here's what they said:
"Every night when I'm putting my little girl to bed, I go around and clean up all the toys and put them in her room, so there is no kid evidence in the living areas at night. This helps me wind down so much more, and once she's in bed, it feels like I have some grown-up time that's not overshadowed by how much my life has changed since having kids.
Also, we put rubber bands around cabinet handles to keep her from opening them. Super cheap, easy to put on or take off, and practically impossible for her to figure out so far! We put all chemicals and cleaning products up high, so if she does get into a cabinet, there is nothing dangerous. This way, we can trust her and let her explore without worrying. I recommend ATTACHING ALL furniture to the walls. So important!" - Renee Bush, Director of Design Operations.
"Everyone kept saying we'd have to get rid of our decor and couldn't have a light couch, but we have a cream couch and a two-year-old, and it's been totally fine. My idea of baby-proofing was making sure we had fabric and materials that were stain-resistant and easily cleaned. Also, my foolproof stain remover that I've gotten several clients hooked on is Folex Carpet Cleaner. It works amazingly on all upholstery!
I also obviously recommend the clear corner bumpers on any sharp corners and just to think about how far your hardware sticks out. Those suckers are often right at eye level for toddlers. We unscrewed the hardware on our console for a little bit because our little girl loves to twirl and dance right beside it.
I also just changed up a few decor pieces and put the really special breakables a little higher when my daughter was tiny, but I left a lot still down at her level. But the best thing we did to "baby-proof" our home and just make it safer was to buy a brand new vacuum and steam mop. If you think about how much time your little one will spend on the floor for tummy time, then crawling, and just playing, it's kind of horrifying to think your vacuum isn't doing the best possible job. We researched and found the best vacuum in our price range and felt so much safer knowing we were giving her a clean environment to learn and grow in." - Michelia Whitaker, Design Ordering Manager & Vendor Relations
"I recommend getting knobs instead of lever door handles. They can reach and pull down on the lever way before they can get a good grip on a doorknob to open it! I also love magnetic cabinet locks, so you don't see anything on the exterior. In our house, we tape cords up under or behind furniture, so they're the exact length to the plug, less tempting to tug on!" - Ali Ames, designer
"I would suggest rounded coffee table edges or an ottoman instead of a coffee table, and also, if the space calls for it, think of ways to make it feel like their space too. I like using kids' books, magazines, and pretty neutral blocks, so they feel included and welcome in the space and considered in the design decisions. Oh, and upholstery that's easy to clean! I like to spray my upholstery with Scotch Guard for extra protection." - Jen Paul, stylist
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