Removable wallpaper tiles. This fresh, modern wallpaper designed by Joy Cho comes in a tile form that can be peeled on and off, so you can replace individual tiles rather than having to repaper an entire wall. For small marks, simply wipe clean.
Tip-proof lights. Wall sconces cannot be knocked over, so these are perfect for a home in which somehow, no matter how often you forbid it, ball games are always played. Not that I would know anything about that (ahem).
Soft storage. The fastest, easiest way I've found to keep a home (relatively) neat with little ones underfoot is to always have plenty of bins and baskets on hand. These thick felt ones look perfect. They're easy for small hands to carry from room to room and come in a great modern shape.
Scrubbable, bleachable rugs. These indoor-outdoor rugs from Dash & Albert come in a wide range of colors and patterns, and they are virtually indestructible. You can hose them off, bleach them and leave them in the sun, and they will always look as good as new.
Outdoor-ready pouf. These poufs are made from super tough indoor-outdoor rug fabric, so they will hold up well to spills and dirt. Gorgeous for furnishing an outdoor room, but they would work equally well inside.
Stain-resistant flooring. Natural fiber rugs are great, but they tend to wear out pretty quickly in high-traffic areas. For mudrooms and entryways, get the look of a natural fiber rug in convenient (and easy to replace) Flor tiles. These things are tough.
Soft, squishy felt coasters. After having a child, some switch clicks inside that suddenly allows you to see potential danger everywhere. For me, that meant trading in sharp-edged stone coasters — which looked like the perfect size and shape for toddler hands to chuck across the room — for some nice and soft felt ones.
Indestructible chair. Just as durable as the classic Emeco Navy chair, this version is made from recycled Coke bottles in a cheerful red hue. They can even be left outdoors.
Wipe-clean fabric. Amy Butler is one of my longtime favorite fabric designers, so I just about jumped for joy when I saw that she is making laminated fabrics. Like a luxurious rain coat material, this stuff is perfect for covering tables and dining chair cushions. Just wipe it with a sponge, and it's as good as new.
Practical and pretty enamelware. These bowls from West Elm are made from steel with an enamel finish, striking the perfect balance between pretty and kid proof. They will get chipped if dropped on a hard surface, but they will never shatter or break — that's more than you can say for most dinnerware. Plus, they comes in such cute colors.
Chic kids' dishes. Unbreakable kids' dishes that are actually attractive? Sign me up! These come from Fog Linen, and all of the designs are lovely. Check out the shop for more.
Character-building table. A great farmhouse table can serve up hundreds of family dinners and play host to countless homework sessions and arts and crafts projects, all while only gaining character. It's a must for any family home, if you ask me! This gorgeous one is handmade in Los Angeles from reclaimed wood.
Low book storage. My 1920s house has original horsehair plaster walls, which means it's impossible to secure tall shelves so that they don't tip over. And with a young gentleman in the house who thinks he is a monkey, I need shelves that can't be pulled down. These simple wooden shelves are ideal. They can be used in multiples, placed on the ground or on a table, and are sturdy enough to hold anything from baby board books to great big art books, so you can use them long after you stop reading Goodnight, Moon.
Machine washable throw. Everyone wants a soft, snuggly throw to curl up in, but most require special care. These from Pottery Barn come in a relaxing color palette, are squishy and soft, and you can just toss them in the machine to clean. I think everyone needs one of these.
Unbreakable vases. It's true that kids can be rough on decor, but that doesn't mean you must go without pretty things, like fresh flowers on the table. These little hand-painted wooden vases from Etsy shop Shade on Shape are adorable and so durable that you could put a few on the kids' table.
Safe and sturdy tables. When you have an active toddler in the house, glass coffee tables and those with sharp edges only invite disaster. Small round tables like these from West Elm are versatile and safe. I would pair two as a coffee table, and pull them aside when my little Superman needs more space to "fly."
A gorgeous sofa with washable slipcovers. Yes, you can find less expensive sofas than this, but are they this gorgeous? I think not. To me, a sofa is one thing definitely worth a splurge, and this one hits all the right notes: capacious, elegant yet relaxed and nap-friendly. It even has linen slipcovers you can throw in the wash. It's a forever piece.
Wipeable faux-leather pouf. This cute little (durable, stain-proof) pouf from Land of Nod is bound to end up traveling from room to room — and that's part of what makes it so great. Put your feet up on it in the family room, use it as a kids' perch, or stick a tray on it and use it as a table.
Tough and inexpensive burlap. If you need something covered, you can't go wrong with burlap. It's crazy cheap, has great texture, and works for curtains, table runners, lampshades, pillow covers and bulletin boards — to name a few!
Less-breakable lamp. I am down to two glass lamps in my entire house — both were bought pre-child. Please don't ask me how all of the other lamps got broken; I would rather not relive the moments. I'll just say that I only buy lamps now that are not made from glass or ceramic. This one from Land of Nod is so cute and nautical and under $100.
Next: Stop the Toy Takeover by Changing the Way You Think
Next: Stop the Toy Takeover by Changing the Way You Think