You may be readying yourself to usher in a baby, or you may already be parents to a brood at various stages of ‘growing up’. Or you may have your parents living with you. Whatever the case may be, a family home is one that accommodates many things – growing pains, swinging moods, afternoons spent playing dress up or crafting, pets or visitors galore! Your home then becomes an extension of memories in the making, for you and your family. So the question really is: how can you plan a family friendly home?
A family home has to be built in a way that accommodates all the family members even as it intuitively provides solace and succour to each one of them. The first thing to remember when you are planning a family friendly home is the fact that each human being, each family member is unique. Therefore, their needs and demands are unique as well. You may have a child who likes to spend time reading by the fireplace, or you may have a handful of kids who look for outdoor fun and frolic. You may have elders who like to sit by large bay windows, going through old photo albums, or you may have lots of visitors who keep you busy in the kitchen.
Read on to learn more on how to make your space a family friendly one.
While nothing can beat open channels of communication in a family, an open floor plan also creates the mindset for some good old family fun. The open floor plan is one that negates nicks and cuts as well as needless spills and falls, by reducing the corners one has to round. Kids especially need the security and convenience of an open plan because they are so busy running around and exploring the world around them. To remove unnecessary walls and furniture is a way of making room for their activities and ensuring that they don’t get hurt. An open plan is also ideal when you have older people in the house.
Tired of changing your upholstery or living with permanent stains on the drapes? Well, here’s a way to eliminate worry and stress on that front: choose durable materials. It is as simple as choosing a dark coloured fabric that is easily washable at home. And who said white is the only way to get an elegant look? Try greys and beiges and team them up with pops of colour for a chic look. Get patterned drapes that hide stains well. Also, get durable board or wooden and wrought iron furniture that is easy to maintain and clean. Crockery too should be chosen keeping in mind the age of the people around the house – melamine and acrylic that looks like glass could be your best bet!
A fun family translates into a happy family. Try using typography and bold lettering as a décor element in your home. Do away with “do not touch this” art and get yourself some inspirational quotes – framed or stencilled on to the walls! Add bold hues or do up an accent wall and print in white for a cool effect. Add some inspirational quotes on the walls and watch the fun unfold.
Scared of ruining a carefully chosen Persian rug or family heirloom that graces your living room as the piece de resistance? Well, stow it away until the kids are all grown up. Use an outdoor-friendly rug for your indoor spaces and give up the tension of protecting your pretty Persian versions! A neutral coloured jute mat is a great option that also lets you play around with décor accessories like throws and pillows. So use an outdoor rug indoors to make life easier. This is especially helpful if you own a dog or a cat.
As shown here you can choose fantastic rugs and accessories from London-based Green Decore.
Now this one is totally ‘one arrow, two birds’. Get your family’s smart act together – display books like art. Find same sized ones with fun and quirky covers to make for cool artwork on bookshelves. Plus, this also eliminates the risk of broken glass and crystal by replacing curios with books.
Find a space that can be a no holds barred area and create an area for playing – your kids will thank you for it, long after they have entered adulthood. Unhindered play time every day is just as important as a space where children can just be. So create a space in your basement or the backyard where kids can be, well, kids! Fill it with their books, toys, and other treasures and watch the fun happen, right at home!
Spent your Sunday dabbling in some finger painting? Got a school project that your kids are proud of? First brush with watercolours? Well, give it a wall or a space where it can all be displayed – because there is nothing like the pride and love of children when they successfully exercise their creativity. Plus, it also keeps them inspired to do more. Frame art projects created by yourself and your children to create a space filled with warmth and creativity.
A home is a place where you should be able to kick off those formal shoes, get yourself a cosy spot and just be. It means various things for various people – more so when those people are in different age groups. So give your family members the space to let go. Create the perfect haven for them by building a family friendly home. Ensure that safety is the top priority followed by innovative ways to create elegance with darker colours and lighter crockery. While this phase may seem to last forever, their childhood will zoom right by – and when they are grown up is when you and your home will miss them. So make the most of your family home and family time now!
You may read the ideabook The Family Friendly Fun Home for more creative and fun ideas for family and fun!