You may spend hours a day trawling through Pinterest, looking at the most beautifully decorated and colourful homes. However, I’d put good money on the fact that those spaces are either part of a show home or mostly belong to people that don’t have kids!
After all, the thing about redecorating when you have a family is that it’s not only about how things look but also how practical they are for your life and home. Fortunately, it is possible to combine functional and great looking living room decor that will work for your family. Just keep reading to find out how.
Go for neutral walls.
The first tip I’d like to start this guide with is choosing neutral walls for your lounge. Why? There are many reasons: they are super easy to touch up or repaint if they get scuffed, or if the kids decide to complete some impromptu artwork.
It’s nearly always cheaper to buy neutral shades than specialty, on-trend colours too, not to mention that a light neutral will make your room look cleaner and seem larger. Oh, and if you must have some pop of colour in the room, you can use other parts of the decor such as furniture, cushions, and textiles instead.
Safe and stylish additions
Next, when you have kids, you need to think about how things will function in a space and how they will look. For example, modern glass tables and shelving can look amazing but have sharp, unyielding corners that can create a real hazard for little ones learning to walk or older ones that aren’t too good at looking at where they are going!
Additionally, providing yourself some space to display or hold items that you want to access, but want to keep from your kids is a smart approach. For example, a high wall mounted shelf for a precious ornament is a smart idea, as is adding extra features to make sure it won’t move or fall if bumped.
You may even want to put in shelves or a console table behind your sofa so that you can keep hot drinks and other items out of your child’s clutches.
Baskets are your new best friends.
If you are looking to create a family-friendly lounge, storage baskets are truly are your new best friend. The good news is that there are many choices, including ones made from plastic, wicker, rattan, wood, and many other materials. Something that means you should find it a breeze to locate storage that will work well in your space.
Remember that you can use baskets or bins as part of a modular storage system like the Kallax shelves and Drona boxes from IKEA. Alternatively, you may want to hang baskets on the wall and use them to store toys, throws and any other frequently used items in your lounge space.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to create and use a basket system in your lounge, either. You can find some reasonably priced storage baskets and bins in shops like Poundland and B&M in the UK, which also look attractive. Add some mini chalkboard pegs labelled with what is inside them, and you will have a space that is both organised and good-looking.
Utilise all your space
When revamping your living area, it can help to look at the space with fresh eyes. This is because our view is often so clouded by how things are currently arranged; we cannot see the potential that is going unused.
With that in mind, stripping the space back to its bare bone and evaluating each item of furniture’s position can be a beneficial activity. It can even help you see where you could add new things that will help you make even better use of your space.
Get the most out of your coffee table.
It’s easy to see the coffee table as a space in your living room only for adults. However, coffee tables can be expensive, and they can use up a lot of room in your space as well. With that in mind, choosing one that can be used for more than one thing makes sense.
One way of doing this is to find a robust coffee table and add some mini chairs for the kids, creating a desk/drawing station for them to use while still spending time together with the family. If you choose this option, the best approach is to get a second-hand solid wood table and give it a rough going over with chalk paint and then sand for an aged effect. If the kids go over the lines (and the paper!) with their colouring, you can then easily wipe it off or paint over it!
Alternatively, you may want to look around for a coffee table that will provide you with extra storage. Fortunately, there are plenty of pieces like this on the market, or if you are feeling crafty, you could even have a go at making your own.
Say goodbye to your carpets.
I know this will be a controversial one for many people, but if you have carpets in a house full of kids, you aren’t doing yourself any favours, especially as you can get a similar feel and look using rugs instead. Of course, the benefit of using rugs is that you can remove them from the space for cleaning. You can and even replace them entirely if disaster strikes, something that’s a lot less easy (and a lot more expensive) to do with fitted carpets.
Underneath your rugs, you should go for a flooring finish that is as easy to clean as possible. For some families, this is hardwood; for others, its laminate. Still, others opt for vinyl flooring because it is excellent value and only needs a quick hoover, and the occasional pass with the spray mop to keep it looking spick and span and like new.
Finally, it can be well worth investing in rug tape when it comes to flooring in the family home. Rug tape is a sticky backing that affixes to the bottom of your rugs and also grips the floor. That means your rugs won’t move and slide around, making them much safer for family spaces.
Use your kid’s art to brighten up the walls.
One of the cutest ways to decorate your family living space is to use your kid’s artwork. Now, before you start freaking out, I’m not by any means suggesting that you should use your lounge walls as an extension of your fridge door and begin Bluetacking finger paintings to it willy nilly!
Instead, you will want to take a much more formalised approach to display the masterpieces that your kids have created. One way to do this is to get a range of frames and stick them directly to the wall as a permanent feature. Then you can use Blue or Whitetack to rotate different pictures that you kids have made inside the frames.
Alternatively, why not collect up all your kids’ art and use a paper punch to remove shapes like circles? You can then arrange these on canvas or artboard and make a modern art style piece that you kids have helped create.
Give careful consideration to your couch.
The most crucial piece of furniture in any living room is the couch. However, there are some requirements for a family-friendly living space, in particular, that you will want your sofa to fulfill. The first of these is that it fits everyone in the family on it, something that can be a bit of a squeeze when you have 3 or 4 kids! With that in mind, a larger size corner sofa is usually the best choice. The reason being that sofas in a corner configuration provide the largest number of seats, so there will be room for everyone.
If you are looking for the perfect family-friendly couch, then a leather corner sofa is often your best bet. After all, you will have all that extra room, and you will be able to wipe down your sofa if the kids spill anything on it. A boon that can be hugely valuable when dealing with smooshed fruit, juice cartons, and other sticky-fingered messes. All of which will be very familiar to parents, whether they have one child or four!
Add even more seating.
In our opinion, your living space can never have too much seating. After all, being able to spread out and relax while watching a movie is a real treat. Oh, and being able to offer a seat to guests when they come over without making the kids sit on the floor is a pretty nice feeling as well.
With that in mind, investing in some footstools, pouffes, and even ottomans is a brilliant idea for your lounge. Choose pieces with built-in storage too, and you will not only have enough seating but a place for every bit of living room clutter as well. Something that can help you create the perfect family-friendly living room space that is both attractive and functional all at once.