At RLDx we love creating custom spaces that are both beautiful and livable. Our designs are more than just pretty spaces. We seek to enhance your everyday life by creating a sanctuary that not only brings you peace and rejuvenation, but allows you to enjoy raising a family and entertaining friends without the stress and worry of wear and tear.
As a Mom to a 4-year-old with another little one on the way, I can tell you I've personally done the rounds when it comes to what will work for a young growing family. The idea of maintaining a happily lived in home without compromising design may seem like an outlandish thought, but it is 100% doable if you follow a few tricks I've learned over the years. Below I've compiled my top 6 tips for creating a family-friendly home that has both beauty and function.
1. Choose fabrics and materials that will wear well over time.
Although I'm a sucker for linen I know that a pure linen couch wouldn't last 2 mins in my household. Even water drips will show up as stains. When picking fabrics for furniture or anything else that comes in contact with people on a daily basis, I look for something that has a slight bit of texture. The flatter the fabric, the easier it is to see those liquid stains, even after you've given it a good cleaning. If you have the option of a performance fabric that's even better! They make some really beautiful options that will allow you to not worry about those crumbling gold fish all over the couch :)
Patterns also hide wear better than fabrics that do not have patterns. It's much easier for the eye to detect an interruption on a solid fabric than a patterned fabric.
With hard materials (counters, cabinets, handles) it's important to think about how you will use those things, and your level of comfort when it comes to maintenance. I am a sucker for a marble counter, and some find the patina of stains to be charming, but not all. Ask yourself what you want the space to look like in 5 years. No one wants to re-do a space because it's not holding up.
In my kitchen at home we chose a very natural looking quartz (I knew that we would be beating up on the kitchen) which is more resistant to stains. At some point in time I will absolutely do a marble kitchen, but it wasn't the right timing for us.
In addition, we constructed the counters for easy clean up. We choose a double waterfall detail that has been so incredibly easy to clean instead of wiping little finger prints off the sides of our peninsulas.
Most of the furniture in my home has been purchased with an existing patina on it. The more it wears the better it looks. That's not to say every piece needs to look like it was salvaged from a barn, but highly polished surfaces don't really exist in my house.
There are also many beautiful flooring options including LVP (luxury vinyl planks) that are water resistant and can even be installed in bathrooms for a continuous flooring look (great for small space FYI).
2. Vintage rugs prove their value
Not only are vintage rugs beautiful, but they are literally a gift to a Mother. They are typically already aged and perfectly imperfect with a beautiful textual quality. The combination of texture, pattern, and varied color qualities are the key to hiding wear from foot traffic and stains. I've gone through many a rug in my day, and can vouch that the investment in vintage is worth every penny.
There are a lot of really great vintage rug resources on Etsy.com, and if the sticker price makes you shy away I have another tip for you. Layer a vintage rug on top of a larger jute rug. Jute is also another material that is great when it comes to wear, and you will get a beautifully custom look. When rug layering I typically will size the vintage rug down 1 size from the jute rug so the proportions look right.
3. Find unique storage solutions
It's so important for things to "have a home". Not only does it make for a clean uncluttered space, but it makes it a lot easier when you are running out the door and don't have to search for "that thing you need right now". A built-in banquette can also become the storage area for all your Thanksgiving decorations. If there is an area with furniture or a cabinet add baskets to separate items. Add a lidded bowl to your coffee table to house remotes, keys, or any other items that end up on your coffee table. It's amazing how just a few things can make a space start to feel visually cluttered.
4. Invest in furniture that patinas well
Most of the furniture in my home has been purchased with an existing patina on it. The more it wears the better it looks. That's not to say every piece needs to look like it was salvaged from a barn, but highly polished surfaces don't really exist in my house. Rougher matte surfaces tend to hide wear better.
5. Don't splurge on accessories
Accessories are so easy to consider for a space because they are usually small, can fit anywhere, and just so darn easy to buy. But all those little purchases add up over time. When it comes to accessories keep it simple. A few choice decor items can really elevate a space. include too many accessories and a space can quickly look cluttered. Most of the time anything within grab level gets moved around the house anyways, so save yourself the trip to put it back where it came from. Also, bonus points for vintage finds.
6. Create kid zones
Creating a kid friendly play area or work area will help you create organization and maintain any mess to contained areas. In those areas have lots of organization for all the little items like markers, crayons, stickers, shoes, etc. It seems like such a little thing, but it really helps with clean up after play time is done, or when your child is looking for their favorite item that means the world to them and they can't find it anywhere. Mom to the rescue :)
Think about how your family lives in the space, where clutter ends up, and build in simple storage solutions. it will take a little time to invest in the organization at the start, but it will save you a lot of time in the end.
Feel free to reach out with questions if you have specific questions, and if you have some great kid friendly home hacks share in the comments. I look forward to reading them!
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Interior photography by Walking Eagle Photography