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Elegant Decor & Small Children-Yes they can co-exist! (10 simple steps)

There I stood, staring in horror, at my angelic white custom made silk dupioni drapes covered in bright red ketchup... My beautiful little 2yr old, had decided that my drapes would look better with red stripes. Nooooooooo! That's when I realized that I would have to make some serious changes in my home decor to accommodate my small child and keep my sanity. As a professional decorator, I love beautiful textiles, elegant accessories and opportunities to express my creativity in my home so I was really worried that I would have to sacrifice all of that in order to have "kid friendly" decor. So after much research and some trial and error, I have figured out how to keep some of the style and elegance in my home while letting my son play freely with out worrying about what he might destroy. Here are some simple little tips that I have complied please let me know how they work out! 1. Kid friendly paint. Dirty walls are one of the main things that will make your home have that overall sticky unclean feeling (no matter how clean everything else is). Some people opt for that high gloss paint but that really does not look elegant outside of the kitchen and bathroom. Instead look for durable, washable flat paint like Benjamin Moore Aura interior paint (or ask the paint store for a premium quality washable flat.)This will be worth the extra $ if you can afford it. It's an investment in having a clean feeling home for the next 5 years. 2.Green Guard carpet & upholstery protectant. This is similar to scotch guard but I recommend it over scotch guard because does not contain Fluorochemical. This step may seem pretty obvious, but it always surprises me how many of my clients who have kids have not taken this simple, life changing step to protect their carpets and furniture! 3.Trade in your natural fibers for synthetics. As much as I love genuine silk, it is not nearly as durable and cleanable as artificial silks or rayon. Cotton is great but not as cleanable as micro fiber. As you probably already know, microfiber is one of the most durable/washable fabrics if you have kids. Fortunately for you there are many synthetic fabrics that look beautiful and if they do get ruined, they cost you a lot less than furniture made from natural fibers so it wont hurt as much. 4. Shoes off in the house policy. This new rule will be much easier to enforce if you have a cute little shoe rack near every entryway. So lets say one of your children gets a little hyper and decides to jump up and down on your sofa. This will be much less stressful if they are not wearing any shoes. 5.No red foods or juices on the furniture. Sometimes it can be really hard to keep kids from eating food outside of the dining rm. Sometimes you have to pick your battles with kids. Maybe you decide that they can eat on the couch sometimes but please enforce a strict NO RED DYE policy on the furniture or over the carpet. Most foods that don't have bright red dye are actually easy to clean up and will not stain. (Try using an enzyme cleaner-enzymes will actually eat the stain until its gone including the oil). The big problem with red dyes is that they will almost always dye whatever material they land on and most stain removal attempts will be futile. 6. No scatter back pillows. You know those comfortable looking sectionals with big pillow back-cushions that are not attached to the sofa? It looks like the perfect choice for your family room doesn't it? WELL ITS NOT. Unless you think it sounds fun to be collecting and re-positioning them several times a day, stay away from these sofas! Instead, try a more tailored sofa with all cushions sewn on and permanently attached. Trust me, this will save you hours of your life. 7. Limit accessories & collections. If you must display a collection, put it up high and out of reach or expect that it could be broken. Limit the number of accessories on low areas by displaying one or two bold pieces like a large decorative bowl and make sure that it is made of something durable, not glass. (When you first place it in your home, your little ones may play with it a lot, move it to other rooms, wear it on their head, fill it with water or even throw it against the wall.) But after a while they will get used to this new object, it will be old to them and they will loose interest in it. 8. Bolt things down. Have you ever been in a nice hotel and noticed that the flat screen is bolted to the TV console or the art and mirrors are bolted to the walls? This is not just to keep you from stealing them, its to keep them from getting broken and to keep you from getting hurt. It doesn't cost much to have a handyman bolt things to the wall. You can screw dressers and consoles into the wall so they cant be tipped over. You can even screw in some if your accessories into your shelves! It really looks great and gives you peace of mind when you are out of the room! 9. Hide your cords in the walls. You probably already know that hiding your cords gives your home a more elegant look but it can also be safer when you have babies and toddlers who like to pull on cords because when they are learning to walk they like to hang out near the walls and cords are at there eye level so its very common for them to pull on them. 10. Take a deep breath and relax a little. Remind your self that your kids are gifts form God- infinitely more valuable than ANY material item you possess. You already know this one but its still easy to get upset when things get destroyed. ;) I hope these tips help you because they have made my life a lot easier. Comment below and let me know some of your tips too! If you are in need of decorating services, please do not hesitate to reach out via email. I know that we can make your dreams a reality! *none of the brands listed have compensated me in any way to mention their names so if I have listed a brand name, its just to give an example of something that has worked for me ;)

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