Designer home or kids? The odds may seem low, but we believe you don’t need to decide on one over the other. With a little planning – and investment – mixing kids and your dream home is entirely possible. Here’s how we’d do it.

As much as we’d all love that white lounge suite, daybed and rug straight out of the magazine, the reality is that even in a child-free home, the white would soon turn to grey. Add the food, artistic or grubby hand stains guaranteed with kids, and you have instant mess. Why not rethink your shades, and invest in a colour palette that’s both on-trend and child-friendly. Darker tones for the heavy-traffic areas – lounge suites, rugs, even feature walls. Add texture or patterns to cushions and throws to hide stains, and keep tables, consoles and dressers pristine with scratch-resistant surfaces that easily wipe down.

Keeping the kids in their zone and out of the adult-only area may be a dream but if you define the spaces clearly, at least you can focus your tidying attention on the ‘child-free’ zones. If it’s open-plan, stop the spread by marking boundaries with a stylish bench, cabinetry or console. Encircle your precious zone with a lounge setting that is as stylish front-on as it is from behind.

To make packing-away part of the play-time routine, you’ll need a serious system of storage – in every child-designated room. Think: ottoman, chaise or coffee table that also offers the opportunity to store toys, boardgames or linen. Keep the kids’ rooms tidy with shelving, drawers, under-bed storage and attractive pots to keep those random beads, LEGO pieces or hair accessories. For more storage ideas, see our article on decluttering [ ]

They love it. It’s good for them, so get them outside. Again, create zones by way of climbing frame, goal or trampoline, then style up your viewing area with a beautiful outdoor setting that’s both comfortable and incorporates storage for balls or other play equipment not in use

PRODUCT IMAGES (top to bottom): Snooze, Fantastic, Osmen, Carpet Call
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