Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Parenting Pointers: Fun-filled &cKid-Approved Ways to Make Your Living Room A Place For Everyone

Home is quite often where the heart is. There is also a reason for that. Home is where memories are created, laughter is heard and love is shared. Every room in the home should reflect the people who live there. Every room should also look "lived in". Gone are the days of the stale white walls with untouchable furniture and glass cases displaying ancient china teacups. Homes are reflecting more comfortable, relatable and accommodating features where both adults and children feel safe and relaxed. While there may be a tiny bit of magic required to create the perfect living room for everyone, there are a few tricks to the trade. Listed below are a few hints!

 Artwork & Accessories
Not only is artwork fun to look at but it can display the personalities and tastes of those who live there. Artwork can be as simple as a beautiful, large scale quote on a side wall. Artwork can also be displayed through a gallery wall. Gallery walls are fun because they can display pictures of the family as well as as other fun pieces of artwork on one wall. Use a couple frames to display the kids' school artwork as well as Chelsea's 4th grade school pic with her missing two front teeth! Sculptures and art pieces that are considered breakable should be placed higher up so that children can't get to them. Use barn door hardware to secure shelving and fixtures so that they can be displayed beautifully!

Another fun way to splice up the living room is using accessories as decorations. Hang up items relating to your kids hobbies and interests. Skateboard walls can look urban and yet classy, hats, sunglasses like the famous Ray Bans, jerseys or more. Many families think that these types of decorations belong in the child's bedroom, which they traditionally do, but they also can work to make the living room a celebration of the whole family and not just an area to watch tv.

Storage Solutions
People come with stuff...lots of stuff. While it's important to avoid becoming an incessant hoarder, there should always be a place for toys, books, art projects, science fair trophies, etc. Maintaining strategic places for storage is the best solution. A classic tufted ottoman, covered in either a durable fabric or a classic leather, can serve dual purposes as a storage space for the children's toys and as a coffee table for the living room. Many retailers are creating workstations that can fold into a simple closet space. Foldable workstations can be great for the kids working on homework or a parent wanting to focus on work but still keep an eye on the children.

The last sight anyone really wants to see is a really big purple grape juice stain from little Tommy's mishap. However, spills happen. Dirt will pile up. Install flooring that can be easily cleaned routinely. Consider installing flooring that is easily washable. This can include laminate, wood or vinyl. If carpet is the most desired out of all the possible options, choose a darker color that can camouflage any potential wear and tear. Also consider options like Berber that lean on the more eco-friendly side. Another possible option for carpet lovers would be the carpet tiles. When a stain happens, just simply pick up the stained tile, clean it and put it back in place and it will be good as new!

 Wall Treatments
One of the most simple yet effective treatments that can instantly upgrade a space would be a fresh coat of paint. Depending on the color, paint can dramatically effect the atmosphere of the room. For a fun and trendy look, consider painting the largest wall in the living room a beautiful accent color that really pops. When choosing the perfect color paint, be sure to choose a paint sheen that can be easily washed just in case stains get on the wall. For the child who is a budding Pablo Picasso, there might some unwanted artwork on the walls. Incorporate chalkboard or dry erase paint on a wall space in the room. Then, there is a place to have fun with art on the walls but it can be easily cleaned.

All of these suggestions are completely doable with a little bit of persistence and creativity. Remember these simple tricks to create a fun-filled, kid-approved living room that everyone can enjoy!

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