Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Top Tips For A Family Home Where Everybody Wins

Kids are people too as I'm sure you have noticed. And just like the rest of us, they want to feel as if their home is somewhere they can live freely. After all, it's their environment too. So what can be done to make your home into a place where your kids want to live?
Put Their Artwork On The Walls
Perhaps your kids aren't the most gifted artists. But putting their work in a beautiful frame can work wonders for its appearance.
Credit: wikipedia.org
Having kids work on the walls gives the home a more cosmopolitan feel. It's a way of accepting and expressing the importance of everyone in the household.
If your child has produced something really bright and vibrant, you can choose a matching frame. Bright, monotone colours evoke playfulness and youth.
Use Unusual Furniture
Kids and furniture don't usually get along all that well. Sofas are forever being damaged by children climbing on the arms and jumping on the cushions. And that's not to mention all the spillages.
That's why it's a good idea to get something a little more in tune with their desire to play, fidget and climb all over everything. This is where the new generation of bean bags for kids comes in. Bean bags these days aren't really anything like you remember from school. They're way more stylish and come in a range of colours to complement any room. What's more, they're much safer and more comfortable than inflatable furniture.
What I like most are the size options. You can now get bean bags that are up to 5 foot long, perfect for growing kids. Discover more at Comfy Sacks.
Make The House Open Plan
Kids like to run and trot all over the place. So that's one benefit of having a large open space in the house.
The other benefit is that you can always keep an eye on what they're doing, just in case they put themselves in danger.
Credit: flickr.com
Large open plan rooms also give the house more of a sense of community feel. Although you'll be spending most of your time working on separate tasks, having a large open plan area allows you to still be with your family. Maybe you'll be doing writing on the laptop, whilst your kids are watching TV and dad is reading a book. Usually, you'd do all that in separate rooms, but an open plan area allows you to all come together. There are fewer barriers to conversation and kids love this.
Have A Family Motto
Are you one of those people who loves to share words of wisdom on Facebook and Twitter? Well, you're not alone. Living by a motto is something that millions of people do.
I think it's a good idea to have the motto clearly visible somewhere in the house. One of the best places is at the breakfast table. Family members can be reminded of their purpose every morning.
Credit: flickr.com
The motto could be written in big bold writing on the wall. How about something like "Rooted and grounded in love" or "looking into the past to enrich our future." Your kids will love having something that makes their family unique.
Indoor-Outdoor Spaces
Kid's love to play both inside the house, and outside. Doing either isn't a problem in itself, but going from one to the other can be.
Kids will drag in mud and leaves and this can be a real pain to clear up. What's more, dirt can end up damaging your carpets and furniture.
One great idea would be to transform one room into an indoor-outdoor space. If you have a spare room that is a natural transition from the inside of the house naturally to the outside, use it. This means putting down a tough wearing floor, usually stone tiles. And it also means having an area to put muddy shoes, wet brollies and coats.
If however, you don't have a specific room, there's still plenty you can do. One idea is to take an outdoor rug, and lay it down in an area you expect to get all muddy and dirty. This is something you might want to do in your living room too if kids tend to eat there often.
And, being an outdoor rug, it's super easy to clean. Just take it outside and hose it down. The leave it out to dry in the sun.
Choose Robust Fabrics
If you have one child, you'll know that they can wear down the fabric on carpets, rugs, and sofas fast. If you have two children, you know that fabrics wear out really fast. If you have four children... well, you probably don't have any fabrics left.
So what can be done? The thing to have in mind when designing a new room for a young family is durability. You want to choose the hardest wearing fabrics money can buy. Some families achieve hard wearing by putting things like African Raffia on the walls and covering chairs in thick leather.
If possible, go for fabrics that are certified for higher durability. Often, they're just as visually appealing as the nondurable stuff. And you'll get much more use out of them.
Have An Open Forum
When kids are asked what they want from their parents, it's usually not just more stuff. It's people that they can talk to about the various trials and tribulations involved in growing up.
So how can a home facilitate this? We've already discussed how open plan living areas can make us all feel as if we're together and not Balkanised in different rooms. But what about those crucial spaces that facilitate conversation?
One really good idea floating around the internet at the moment is to organise the living room around a big, U-shaped sectional sofa. This means, almost necessarily, that the focus of the room is the other people, and not, for once, the TV.
It's a really good way to get the dialogue going. Remember, you don't necessarily have to go with dark fabrics, just because you have kids. Go for something hard wearing, but light and airy. It will make the home feel less moody and will lift everyone's mood.
Ask the kids what little features they'd like? Do they like one style of cushion over another?
Build A Reading Room
Facilitating reading can be so much more than giving children a head start on their peers so that in the future they can get a job in finance. A reading room is a magical place where kids can go on a journey. It's somewhere they can explore their imagination and leave the world behind.
A great reading room has several important elements. One is that it has a large seating space. This could be built-in seating with storage spaces underneath for colouring books and crosswords. Or it could be a big bean bag for reading in any position.
Credit: iha.com
Another important element is built-in bookcases. This just makes the room feel so much more purpose built than having a stand alone bookshelf (although this still works.) Books almost become a part of the display and make the room very attractive. It has the feeling of being something of a wonderland. Which, if you think about it, is exactly what you want to evoke when your children are reading Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.
And lastly, a reading room needs to serve as a backdrop to the child's imagination. This is why it's important, again, to go for light background colours and plenty of light.
Don't Go With Cliched Bedroom Styles
Boys and girls are different, even from a young age, but there's no reason why we need to make their bedrooms either blue for boys or pink for girls. They'll retain their gender identity without needing colours to remind them.
Think about doing something a little different in their rooms. A by might like one of the walls in his bedroom to have a theme; maybe dinosaurs, and for the rest of the walls to be plain. A girl might like the same.
Then, just break up the colours and patterns. Striped bed covers might go well with a bright wooden bed underlay and a thick rug. If the walls are plain, having a rug to break up the room can be important.
Make Play A Focus
Having a playroom is so important for both children and parents. For children, it's a space in which they can explore their creativity and become masters of the world. For adults, it's a place that can contain all that messy, noisy activity that children so love.
A great playroom will be focused around that which maximises the child's create potential. Things like having a musical instrument as the centrepiece of the room can really focus their attention.
You could also have a dedicated space for arts and crafts. Remember, a playroom doesn't have to be an ugly, messy space. Yes, you'll need storage, but be creative. Why not arrange chairs so that you can listen to your child play their music? And why not have a beautiful coffee table for drinks and nibbles while you do?