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How to make a family friendly home

With a 4 and almost 2-year-old myself, I know the daily struggles of wanting a beautiful home vs. the practicalities of having kids!

BUT just because you have kids doesn't mean you have to give up your personal style. It's possible to have a home that's both sophisticated and child-friendly 🤗

When I'm planning and designing a family home, I give a lot of thought not only to the aesthetics but also the practicalities and how it functions for everyday life with kids.

It's important to plan for how family life is now but also to consider how the needs of your family may change over time as your family gets older and bigger.

So with that in mind, I have put together my top tips and all the things I like to consider when I'm designing a family home...

Hopefully, it will help you when you are planning yours!

Bright breakfast nook with round table and green velvet banquette
Image: Pinterest

- The layout will always be the make or break in a family home.

If you have the luxury of being able to plan your layout from scratch then you want to spend some serious time thinking about this.

I like to consider how a family can spend time together - open plan living is far more suited to our way of living nowadays compared to the more 'formal' layouts of older houses. We don't have much use for formal dining rooms anymore and generally prefer to live in a more relaxed and spacious environment.

How a family can all have their own space - despite the move towards more open-plan living, it's important that members of the family have their own space so they can spend some time away from each other as well! Keep flexibility in mind - a playroom now might make a great den as the kids get older.

How parents can keep an eye on their kids - especially useful if your kids are still fairly little! Consider lines of sight and function. It's pretty handy being able to cook dinner and see what they're up to in the garden.

under stairs coat storage with baskets and seating
Image: Pinterest

- Do you have a practical entrance?

It's worth thinking about how you will come and go from the house. Which door will be used the most? Is it set up for dumping school bags, sports gear, shoes, coats, dog leads etc? Can you store all this stuff somewhere (preferably out of sight?!)

Also consider those who like to dump keys, receipts, coins and wallets out of their pockets (yes, I'm talking about the husbands here haha!) Perhaps a console with some drawers, or a little leather or wooden tray that they probably won't ever use 😆 hey, we can try, right?

- Invest in clever fabrics.

There are so many fabulous fabrics out there now that are spill-resistant including some delicious velvets and linens. If I had one word of advice it would be to invest in these, coz, you name it, I've wiped it off our sofa.

- You cannot have enough storage.

Kids come with a lot of stuff. Having enough storage to tidy it all away at the end of the day means you can still enjoy your evening without being surrounded by Peppa pigs car or a lego ice cream van.

Think about where bikes and sports equipment will be stored as they get older too. These take up a surprising amount of space!

If you're after some ideas for great kids' storage you can read allll about it here.

blue and white boys bedroom with wooden shelves and accessories
Image: Dani Pyant Interiors

- Use natural materials.

Choosing items and materials that are meant to see a lot of 'love' will not only add some texture to your space, but the kids will only add to the patina, a win-win in the long run.

- Scrubbable paint.

If you're painting a kids' room, playroom, kitchen, or hallway - anywhere your kids or pets are going to be hanging out, please use a durable matt emulsion. It will make your life easier when you need to scrub 2-day-old Weetabix off the wall.

- Embrace perfectly imperfect.

My favourite one of the lot!

No matter how much you kid-proof your home and use genius hacks to style it, sometimes all it takes is a mindset shift. I'm really trying to be more open to embracing an imperfect home - not gonna lie, I don't find it easy but it's nice to take some of the pressure off and enjoy the chaos of family life!

messy living room
Image: The Little House of Four via Pinterest

I hope this post has given you some ideas of things to think about and consider when designing a family home :)

The most important thing is to think through each aspect of your family's day-to-day life and then try to reflect this in your home. Understanding how you live will help you to identify what you need to fulfil those actions.

Have a great week

Dani x

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