I love looking at homes, but I’m amazed at how some home profiles say that there are young kids living there, and as a parent, you think, “No way!”. Either that or they have a deprived childhood of no toys.
Because we live in a tiny space, we decided to make our kitchen open concept, despite all the concerns we obviously would have with Chinese-style cooking. We felt that having a nice bright open home would be more important, so down went the walls to the kitchen, as well as to the study. By this time I was already expecting Abacus so we felt that apart from brightening up the place a lot and making it look more spacious, I would be able to watch the kids from the kitchen whether they were in the study (where we keep all the toys) or the dining/living areas.
Here are some of my tips, but not necessarily “elegant” ones:
- Unless you want to spend most of your time sounding like a cross, wet blanket (and believe me, there’s more than enough opportunity to, you don’t need more chances!), place all valuables and breakables out of reach. Some people say you can train kids not to touch your prized possessions, but you also need to have realistic, age-appropriate expectations.
- Buy cheap. I’ve stopped caring whether my Ikea sofa has crayon or chocolate marks, and won’t feel the pinch when I abandon it a few years down the road. (That doesn’t mean I’ll leave the chocolate there though, the last thing I want is to be bitten by ants while sitting on my own sofa).
- Forget corner bumpers, they will never stay stuck and look hideous.
- Buy a dining table that has its legs at the edges and not further inside the table – as you can see on the left hand side of our photo. This minimizes accidents by quite a lot.
- We had the opportunity to put a switch for the stove, so we did, and when the stove is not in use, the switch is turned off.
- Soft-close hinges such as those made by Blum, means no slamming of cupboards and drawers, saving little fingers the misery of being squashed. It can and will still happen, which is all part of growing up, but it’ll be less painful and much less often.
What tips do you have for making your home child-friendly and still pleasing to the eye?