llkm24
January 19, 2011 in Photo Questions
I have 3 kids and two dogs. How can I make my house kid friendly without sacrificing too much style?
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Ronique Gibson
Family friendly materials in your home will help.

Flooring - stay away from carpet if you can, and heavy pile area rugs. Resilient flooring - wood, tile, slate, vinyl are more durable to stains and traffic.

Textiles/fabrics - opt for fabrics that are durable and aren't fur magnets! Durable leather, tweed, ultra suede and microfiber materials will hold up better than silks, and linen based fabrics.

You can still keep great style within your decor, opt for patterned fabrics that will hide staining and wear and tear better, and darker more muted color tones.

This idea book has some great ideas too:

January 19, 2011 at 11:13am   
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llkm24
Thanks for all of the information ronique. how do you feel about wood? I love the look, but I have heard that it is really high maintenance.
January 19, 2011 at 5:10pm   
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Ronique Gibson
I'm not an expert on wood. :) I have heard that laminate varieties are better against scratches from wear and tear and pets/kids.

While I've heard if laminate gets damaged the plank has to be replaced and with real hardwoods they can be sanded down and re-stained.

I heard laminates are low maintenance and hardwoods are high maintenance.

Hope that helps!
January 19, 2011 at 5:41pm   
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Ofir Zwebner
Your decision here has a lot to do with the kind of effect you wish to get from your floors.

I was looking for a clean, shiny and sleek look to my floors, and chose Brazilian chestnut engineered hardwood, which is known for being extra hard. To my disappointment, scratches keep appearing - indicating that hardness and material guarantee nothing and one has to simply be extra careful with hardwood floors.

Assuming your dog is not one of those who live in a purse, you should expect to have scratches everywhere, because dogs tend to have nails and they tend to walk/run around for some reason. This guarantees your floor will soon become full of tiny scratches, which will end up being part of the texture of your floor. If you're really into hard wood, you'll have to accept it and perhaps even choose a distressed hardwood floor which has a lot character to it.

If you're desperate to go with the sleek and shiny looks, I'd recommend laminated floors. These floors are highly durable for scratches, they are usually cheaper to install, maintain and even replace in the future, and the high-end products can look almost-as-good as hardwood.
January 19, 2011 at 6:53pm   
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Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab
Pick streamlined furniture that's comfortable as opposed to the indestructible brown leather sectional or overstuffed sofa. Dense patterned, graphic upholstery in darker colors will hide a multitude of sins. Afraid of artfully placed accessories being knocked over and broken? - stick to wall art over delicate tabletop pieces. Fun and stylish throw pillows and window treatments are a great way to add some style to basic kid-friendly spaces. Pick furniture that already has a distressed or raw finish, but mix that with clean and modem pieces to avoid it getting too cottage-y. Rugs with a dense graphic pattern can add a lot of style while also hiding spills and stains.

Great sofa fabric
Living room with blue walls and pictures/posters

warm and cozy and a little vintage feeling already
color combos - orange

graphic patterns hide everything
Vanessa De Vargas

art, crystal, distressed table, leather or faux leather covers on metal chairs….only thing I’d rethink with kids is the white rug
Levenson McDavid Architects
January 19, 2011 at 8:52pm     
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judianna20
I CHOSE HICKORY HARDWOOD FOR MY HOUSE AND IT STANDS UP WELL. I DID NOT CHOOSE LAMINATE BECAUSE WHEN YOU WALK ON IT IT "CLICKS", A DEAD GIVEAWAY IT IS NOT HARDWOOD. (NEXT TIME IN THE FLOORING SECTION, JUST TAP YOUR NAILS AGAINST THE LAMINATE.) Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

CORK IS BEAUTIFUL AND COMES IN MANY COLORS. TOUGH, CUSHIONY, AND A GREAT LOOK.

INDOOR/OUTDOOR FABRIC (TAKE A LOOK AT THIBAUT), PATENTED ULTRASUEDE (GORGEOUS), LEATHER AND OF COURSE, THE TRIED AND TRUE, WASHABLE SLIPCOVERS.
January 30, 2011 at 12:26pm     
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judianna20
P S HAVE YOU SEEN THE POLYPROPYLENE SHAG RUGS AT HOMEGOODS? RELATIVELY INEXPENSIVE, DURABLE AND WASHABLE AND COZY.
January 30, 2011 at 12:30pm   
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deboso
Two words: leather & vinyl
January 30, 2011 at 5:46pm     
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Olena Newell
I have installed a wall unit/ modular cabinets from Ikea and hide lots of toys in it. Here is the pic.
February 1, 2011 at 10:45am     
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Terri Huck
They now have ceramic tile that looks like hardwood floors. The only way I could tell the difference was to kneel down and touch the floor. It is the best way to go if you have pets. I believe I saw this at The Great Indoors. I'm considering this for myself since I have a 85lb German Shorthair who really believes he only weighs a few lbs and he's human.
February 3, 2011 at 5:43pm     
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BIG HAUS DESIGN LLC
I've created a child safe coffee table that is stunning to look at and kid friendly too. I have a 1- and 3-year-old and two large dogs and it's working out great! http://www.houzz.com/photos/users/bighausdesign
August 7, 2012 at 3:53pm     
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yvonnecmartin
Food spills can be one of the biggest destructors of furniture and rugs. Hence, when our children were with us, even as college students, we had a rule that food was to be eaten only in the kitchen and dining room. The only exception was when adult friends visited and we had appetizers and drinks, children closely supervised, in the living room. By providing appropriate tables for coloring, painting, and crafts there were few accidents. Of course, toys need a place to be kept when they aren't in use, furniture should have sturdy coverings, and floors should be dirt- or dog-colored to extend the time between dusting or vacuuming.

As to style, I think that it is important to hold to aesthetic standards--how else will your children develop good taste? All this being said, there will be times when you must look at a big ugly plastic thing or an old multicolored tent in your lovely room: Just snap a picture of your little one enjoying it and remember that in time this will be outgrown.

We all agree that clutter is the enemy of style. Accordingly, think about making it easy and automatic for little ones to pick up after themselves. Examples would be a place that they can reach to hang up jackets, a designated place for boots or muddy shoes, shelves for books and toys, containers for such things as legos & crayons, etc. It might even include a small tarp or plastic tablecloth to protect the floor when playing with playdough or other messy things. The idea is not to prevent messes, but rather to contain them to the appropriate place and to make it easy to clean up. Did I mention a sand-box or other digging opportunities outside?
August 7, 2012 at 10:38pm     
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Susan Mills Design
You can have upholstered pieces that resemble linen, in all shades and colours, that are stainproof, fadeproof and can be washed and or bleached if needed. As a mom of four as well as numerous pets over the years, from dogs to baby ducks (long story!) I know what can happen to a sofa, these fabrics handle it all.

Susan Mills
August 7, 2012 at 11:11pm   
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Charmean Neithart Interiors, LLC.
Consider Nanotex or Sunbrella fabrics for upholstered pieces. Leather is a great option for dining chairs in the kitchen. Install hardwood floors or travertine for flooring. Use wool rugs for softening these areas.
Create areas either built in or moveable for kids to put their toys away. I am not of the opinion that kids should be able to take over rooms with their toys, I think there should be a holding place so things can be put away. I have three kids and a lab. I have two giant drawers underneath a built in bench for them to put toys away. If they have more things than can fit in the drawers, then its time to give the excess away. Consider a no shoes policy in the house to keep furniture and rugs clean.
Keep club soda in your pantry, it's great for cleaning up spills.
Hope that helps. Charmean Neithart
August 7, 2012 at 11:29pm     
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Charlotte
I need a source for violet ultrasuede for my living room sectional. I love the darker shade but it is time to reupholster it and I want to make the room less weighty but still colorful. Any help will be appreciated. Thank you
March 10, 2014 at 12:20pm   
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Garret Cord Werner Architects & Interior Designers
Love all the great discussion! Thanks for everyone chiming in.
March 26, 2014 at 9:08pm   
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