One of the things not too many people know about me (now they will) is that I am used to interior decorating a home whenever my husband buys real estate to flip (yes, he does it à la Fixer Upper). I’m always up for the task to do it since I love it when potential buyers look at one of our properties and makes an offer, also wanting the furnishings inside the home.
But there came a time when the baby came along at the same time a project needed to be finished and ready to sell. Keeping a house tidy for showings is already a task but what do you do when the child is becoming more independent and accident-prone in the house? I shall give my own very specific design tips in a later post, but for now here are some general guiding rules to go by.
When picking out furniture, don’t always buy the expensive stuff
To be more specific, sofas are usually the most expensive item in a family room. And when you have kids, it’s VERY possible they will get stuff on sofas. By “stuff” I mean crumbs from breakfast, cookies, snacks, juice, formula and milk spills, “accidents” ...but I digress. You don’t want to invest in something nice until they’ve grown a little older to be more careful and know how to clean up after themselves. Besides, there are a lot of furniture stores out there nowadays that offer a lot of value and beautiful style, such as CB2 or Lulu & Georgia.
Gravitate towards soft textures for all things in rounded shapes as much as possible
Jessaleona.com came to fruition because of the problems with baby proofing we dealt with while setting up a home multiple times. There was a lack of baby proofing products that looked great with the rest of the space and we really didn't want to end up with a hodgepodge of primary colors everywhere. The sliding cabinet locks and the hidden magnetic cabinet drawer locks were probably the best product that ever happened for us. The first two items we usually bought was a sofa then a coffee table and it’s always best to buy stuff that’s soft or lightweight (like a fabric or leather ottoman) with rounded edges. Our baby would always love hugging the furniture and everything else that we bought thereafter was rich in texture and color.
Try to purchase some stylish storage options around the home
This is probably the best takeaway from this whole post. It’s incredibly important that everything has a place and purpose in decorating a space. And with kids’ toys, blankets, and even food utensils/plates in the family room, bedrooms and bathrooms, it’s clear that beautiful storage resolves a lot of style issues that you may think could be compromised with clutter. But clutter won’t look like clutter because they’re stored away!
Focus on the walls, not the floors
It's better to have a patterned rug that hides imperfections and it's better to have a neutral palette as much as possible so that the mix of darker accents make a statement. When you focus on the walls with mirrors, wall shelves, photos, and art, your home gets a heightened look while keeping your toddlers away from trouble or getting hurt. Be wary of using bookshelves or sideboards with drawers of any kind though, since these are prone to toddlers climbing on them.
Consider the use of outdoor furniture indoors
There are six pieces of furniture that we have never sold with a house: our six polycarbonate (almost like acrylic) dining chairs. These are hefty dining chairs that stand the test of time and interior design and children (lol). They're stackable and in different colors too! Whenever there's a spill or crumbs on the chairs, we either vacuum it up or wipe it down and we're left with brand new looking chairs and we love it. We purchased the transparent color as an investment and the rest is history. In my opinion, outdoor furniture has a similar return on investment too. They're usually made of material capable of withstanding spills, wind, rain, you name it. I believe "children" should be on that list for outdoor furniture manufacturers and they'd get a whole lot more business, don't you think?