9 Ways to Stylishly Kid-Proof Your Living Room
Between their PB & J covered fingers, muddy cleats and spastic bouts of energy, your little ones take all of 45 seconds to completely destroy a living room. But it isn’t all decor gloom and doom for you, mama. Rather, with some chic, safety-minded tweaks, your common room can become nearly immune to their adorable attacks. And the best part? No "child-proof" eyesore purchases necessary.
Hang Your Lighting
Fragile table numbers? Teetering floor lamps? Not the best options with babes running around. When it comes to electricity, look to elevate your light sources—basically anything you can hang on a wall or suspend from the ceiling. And if you must plug the cord in an outlet, consider a cord cover to keep grabby hands at bay.
Cozy Up To Pattern
Pattern is incredibly forgiving for spills and nicks, so look to pretty prints on upholstery, accents, curtains and especially rugs. (If you simply can’t stomach veering away from solid, at the very least make sure you opt for slipcovered options.)
Utilize Performance Fabrics
Got a spiller on the loose? Stain-resistant outdoor/indoor fabrics (like those at Sunbrella, Perennials and Restoration Hardware) are both extremely chic and grape juice-friendly. Or simply go for a more heavy-duty material like denim, twill or, best of all, leather, which is quick to wipe down and easy to buff when scratched or nicked.
Soften Your Coffee Table
One of the most centrally located, heavily trafficked pieces in the home, the coffee table has been known to take out even the nimblest of adults, let alone little kiddos, with its sharp edges. But covering it in foam is not the answer. Spring for a circular alternative (no sharp edges is key) or an upholstered option like a stylish, oversize ottoman or cloth storage bench.
Opt for Legs Over Skirting
We know, skirted seating and tables are so very pretty...but they’re also a magnet for scuff marks, pet hair and major dust bunnies. With a brood of rambunctious kids running around, you’d do well to opt for chairs, sofas etc. with exposed legs and clearance underneath. This makes for easy cleanup and the illusion of airiness.
Pick Smart Paint
Fact of life: Kids love destroying walls. And that's why wipeable paint is your new best friend. Look to finishes like semi-gloss, eggshell and satin, which can be cleaned up with a sponge and water, whereas matte finishes tend to embed dirt and grime.
All you really need for simpler baby-proofing fixes is a spool of sturdy (and visually subtle) ribbon. It can be tacked down to prevent a toddler from pulling books out of bookshelves, tied around drawer pulls to prevent baby's cupboard excavations or looped around a doorknob to keep it from latching and locking.
Go For Natural Woods
Glass, metal, laminate and high-gloss woods all spotlight greasy fingerprints. For the easiest upkeep (aka not trailing your kiddos with a bottle of Windex), opt for wood pieces with natural finishes when it comes to side tables, consoles and bookshelves.
Observe the 2-Foot Rule
Anything your kid can reach on tiptoe is officially in "the danger zone." This means that low-lying surfaces are no place for decorative, fragile objects like picture frames and ceramics. Move these prized possessions to a safe location two feet (or more) above your nugget's head. (Mantle decor is the new coffee table decor, right?)