We know how it works: Your first home feels spacious and welcoming, with tons of room to spread out and conveniences that you’ve crafted yourself. Then you have kids. Suddenly, all of the rules you knew before are now broken. You have to account for small hands, temper tantrums, and games of tag that will get (hilariously) out of hand in a matter of minutes. Suddenly, your home needs a ton of adjustments to make sure that it’s fit for you and the kids that now inhabit it. In this post, we will detail a few tips that you can use before you get to this point.
Choose paint and paint colors that will be kid-friendly. Specifically, focus on wipeable paint. This magical paint allows you to wipe off all of the substances that will be wiped onto the wall. You can even try washable paint, chalkboard paint, or magnetic paint if you’d like to get creative and support the budding artist in your home. And in some cases, you may want to skip painting the wall altogether – for hallways and other areas that get knocked around with tons of traffic, choose headboard and cover it with a semigloss. Then call it a day and go have a cup of tea until you notice the kids have been quiet for too long.
Window treatments need to be appropriate for children. Go for curtains that don’t have hazardous attributes. For example, long curtains that fall to the floor look beautiful but children may be tempted to swing Tarzan-style on them, trip over them, or play hide-and-seek inside of them. Instead, choose the simple shades or blinds that can be wiped off when there’s a mess. If you’re looking for natural fibers, check around for bamboo.
Flooring that is easy to clean. Carpeting is great when children are very young and learning to walk, because it provides a natural padding for falls. However, the downside is that it probably won’t stay clean very long when they’re that young. The safer option is to invest in a few nice rugs (with strong non-slip backing or a rug pad) on a hard, smooth floor. Focus on flooring that can be quickly and easily mopped, and look for hardwoods that have a nonskid finish. Also look into nylon, which feels soft to the foot, doesn’t stain and lasts a long time.
If you’ve got your heart set on carpeting, focus on carpet that will provide a soft landing and still be easy to clean. New Zealand wool resists stains because it has a high lanolin content, for example. Also try carpet tiles, which can be swapped out as stains appear or wear begins to show in different spots.