Don't Sacrifice On Style: Five Top Tips For Child-Resistant Decoration In Your Home

When children arrive, this can often signal the beginning of the end for many well maintained, stylish homes. Parents often believe that the sophistication and elegance that once defined their pristine properties must be abandoned for the next 18 years in favour of more robust, child-resistant decor. This is not completely accurate. Yes, it's true that certain embellishments and finishes may not last under constant exposure to those tiny, sticky humans, but with a little effort and a lot of common sense, you can achieve a decorated home that is both aesthetically pleasing and durable. Follow these five simple tips to child proof your home's decoration without sacrificing on style.

1. Block off any child free zones.

Some areas of the home will simply not stand up to constant bombardment from child related damage. Invest in a few good stair gates to protect your rooms and keep any elegant or expensive furnishings in tip top condition. 

2. Save your sofas and chairs.

Upholstery comes under constant attack from all things child related; food spillages, upturned sippy cups, art supplies gone astray. Where possible opt for washable leather or a similar alternative. If you simply have to have fabric upholstery in your home, choose a material that wears well and hides those dreaded stains. For added protection, use rugs or throws to cover your sofas and chairs. These can be easily removed and washed when needed, allowing for optimum damage control. 

3. Fix any flooring flaws.

Flooring is a huge contributing factor to the overall look of your home. Avoid carpets and opt for timber flooring instead. Timber flooring comes in a variety of styles and finishes to suit your home, and what's more is it can be treated to make it durable enough to withstand even the messiest of spills and stains. Investing in a timber floor will save on cost in the long run as you will avoid the constant replacements that would be required with other types of flooring such as carpet. If you're concerned about wear and tear from high traffic areas, ask your supplier about the most durable forms of timber flooring. In addition, you may want to add a few cheap rugs or mats that can be replaced as and when needed with very little cost.

4. Allow the artwork and ornaments to stay.

Allow yourself to retain those expensive pieces of art, or those wall hangings you just had to have. But for heaven's sake ensure they are positioned high enough to avoid any damage from inquisitive little humans. Avoid any drastic damage and keep your most treasured possessions high up and out of harm's way. 

5. Paint walls that will wear well. 

For walls that are prone to fingerprints from sticky little hands or even a dreaded encounter with a crayon or two, use a few coats of vinyl or washable paint. These come in most colors and shades, so you are sure to find an option that suits your individual color scheme and style. This will make for easier stain removal and avoid the need for repainting your walls every time your child gets a little creative with the art supplies. An added tip is to opt for a medium shade, avoiding colors that are either too light or too dark. Contrary to popular belief, finger prints and stains on very deep colors, are just as noticeable as they would be on very light shades. Choose a mid range color or shade for optimum camouflage ability.