Published on January 16th, 2013 | by matt0
Kid proof interior design
A family home should be a welcoming, friendly place where adults and children can co-exist happily and enjoy their domestic surroundings. With that being the case, the design elements need to take account of, and make allowances for, family life. There are a few things to bear in mind when designing home interiors suitable for a growing or extended family. Here are suggestions for some of the key elements.
Walls, floors and windows
Washable paint makes sense when there are children in the house. Nowadays it comes in bright attractive colours and there is no need for any walls to be condemned to magnolia unless, of course, this is the preferred colour scheme. Floor coverings are likely to differ from room to room, depending on how a room is used and personal preference. In kitchens and bathrooms, it makes sense to have waterproof surfaces. The same goes for a playroom if painting and messy activities are likely to take place there. Carpets offer a softer alternative to tiles or linoleum, while rugs on a polished wooden floor are attractive and can be changed regularly if needed. All rugs and runners should be secured to prevent slippage.
Window coverings are an important consideration. Almost-walking children will hold on to anything to help them get to their feet, and curtains or dangling blind cords are ideal for the purpose. A good solution is to use plantation shutters instead. These are adjustable and can let in as much or as little light as needed, and when dimmed they are ideal for encouraging a toddler to take an afternoon nap. They also protect privacy.
Standard safety measures for the home include installing covers for wall sockets, using cable guards to gather up trailing wires, and making sure that stair gates are fitted. If a rectangular dining room table is at a dangerous height, covers for sharp corners should be fitted.
Upholstered furnishings in the main living area, such as sofas and chairs, should have no sharp corners or hard surfaces that could cause damage to a toddler or young child in the event of an accident. Trips and spills will happen, so removable covers are ideal. These can be washed easily, and having a spare set of covers in alternative colours or designs has the advantage of providing an opportunity to change the look of a room from time to time.
Storage can be taken care of by using wall units with plenty of shelves or cupboards. As in the kitchen, cupboard doors should be secured with child locks and it is preferable that any open shelves at the top of a unit are used for things that will not tempt a toddler to climb. As is the case with a wardrobe and chest of drawers in the bedroom, all wall units should be secured to a wall using brackets. These are often supplied with the furniture to prevent units from toppling, but can also be purchased separately.
The whole house can be made safe, as well as stylish, with a little planning and a lot of common sense.