Planning a family? Well, besides usual considerations about your readiness in terms of maturity, money and relationship, you should consider your living space. The home in which you will raise your kids must be adapted to their needs. First and foremost, it must be safe environment for kids to minimize the possibility of injuries. Not only that, the “kid-friendliness” must be reflected in the very house décor, which should pose a lovely family place which will have positive impact on their growing up process and on developing their imagination. Sounds like rather demanding task, right? Perhaps it is, but if you have in mind all the joys of parenthood, this endeavor will be a lot easier. We’ll try to guide you through it.
● Electricity is dangerous, everyone knows that. It’s childproofing 101. So, using outlets covers to protect the outlets is a good precautionary measure to take. If you are using extension cords, cover the exposed outlets with electrical tape. All major electrical appliances should be grounded. Check and remove any potential electrical fire hazards.
● Walls should be in good condition with no nails exposed. Frames and mirrors should be stable. Make sure the rugs have anti-slip pads underneath.
● Install a finger-pinch guard on doors and place doorknob covers. If you have sliding doors, they should have childproof locks.
● Put protective padding on corners of all furniture that has sharp edges.
● Stairways must have safety gates at the top and bottom.
This is an ongoing process and you’ll solve many problems along the way, or if you want to be completely safe, hire a professional childproofer.
The Three Cs of Kid-friendly Design: Casual, Comfortable and Creative
Now that we’ve got the most important thing – safety – solved, it’s time to get to the fun part – design.
● Casual design means that there should be no fuss about the style, so Victorian decoration is out of the question. Avoid covering furniture and tables with fabric (sooner or later, your child will pull it and crash whatever was on it).
● Opt for low-maintenance when picking the furniture, flooring and walls. When the child arrives, you’ll have no time to tackle with such problems. Choose long-lasting materials.
● The space should be comfortable. Beds and mattresses should be neither too soft nor too hard
● As kids tend to walk barefoot or crawl, floors should be covered with rugs. You should consider all bathroom heating options, and for the same reason, perhaps, opt for floor heating.
● Make extra storage space with vertical shelves and baskets and boxes in open shelves.
● Get creative with colors, pattern and textures. Kids will enjoy more in such surroundings than in a room with white silk sofa, they’re afraid to get near to.
● Make special kids’ areas, such as reading nook, room for make-believe games, play room, sports area, corners or rooms for arts and crafts. You shouldn’t buy expensive furniture. Those should be the spaces where your kids and their imagination can run wild.
● Besides being comfortable and safe, your kids’ bedroom should be their piece of paradise, be that a castle for a princess or a superhero cave.
Life with kids can be messy, stressful, exciting, but above all the things beautiful. Do your best to contribute to that beauty by making your home kid-friendly.
About the Author
Marie Nieves is student of economics who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. She is an avid lover of photography interested in interior and exterior design. Marie loves to talk about her experiences and she is regular author on Smooth Decorator. You can find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and G+.