Hello Parkette Pals, and welcome to Fall!
In the spirit of coziness that takes over once temperatures start to drop and the sun begins to set ever earlier, we thought we’d share 5 tips on how to design a living room where every member of the family feels welcome (and actually ENJOYS).
In the past, living rooms used to be off-limits for kids and were mainly for adult entertaining/hosting. Fast forward to today and a lot of us want to live in a more environmentally friendly way, which often means smaller living quarters.
This sometimes equals no “dedicated playroom” or basement to which we can relegate all our kids’ stuff.
There’s also been a shift in parenting philosophies – we understand our children to be people worthy of inclusion and consideration, and this extends to involving them in our interior design choices.
A solid, rewarding relationship with our kids is the result of years of listening, compromise, and dialogue.
Why not start with where we live? If we want to maintain a connection with our kids, it’s important that their house feel like a home to them as well.
Tip 1: art that speaks to everyone in the house
A no-brainer. We know art can be a great conversation-starter at a dinner party – but it’s also a wonderful way to get a glimpse of the inner minds of the youngest members of the household. Picture books are a wonderful entry-point to art and can be displayed on shelves and look as beautiful as any work of art in the best museums and galleries. If you know what kinds of picture books your kid gravitates towards, you have also been given a clue as to what kinds of paintings, prints or posters they might enjoy seeing on your wall. And they don’t have to be expensive – flea markets, Etsy and eBay are all great sources for cool art.
Tip 2: a comfortable spot to read a book, watch a movie or cuddle
Having a comfortable sofa with lots of cozy pillows is one of life’s greatest pleasures. May we suggest getting one in a material that is easy to wipe down or with a slipcover that can be removed for cleaning? Check out our textile collection for lots of cushion options that can be layered to add pops of colour. You can even add one in your kid’s favourite hue – you might not be ready to paint your living room walls purple, but a few well-placed pillows can make them feel included in the design choices.
Tip 3: storage containers that are practical but look good
No need to compromise on your kid’s toys (although, spoiler alert, we do have some very good-looking ones in the shop!). If you’re able to locate bins or baskets in fun colours and a handsome bench or small shelving unit, you can keep a space looking cool without having to sacrifice the Legos or action figures. These Aykasa crates are a favourite for a reason – they can be easily repurposed, come in a vast array of colours and sizes, and we’re hoping to stock them soon!
Tip 4: no sharp corners or glass/concrete surfaces
Let’s face it – most kids, especially the under-five set, love to climb and jump regardless of where they find themselves. So, it makes sense to make sure there are no sharp corners in your living room, and to avoid keeping breakable objects in accessible spots. A pouffe or ottoman is a great piece to replace a glass coffee table or, if you’re looking for a more wipeable surface, the 'Laccio' coffee table by Marcel Breuer (originally designed in 1925!) is a great pick (and can occasionally be found for a steal on Ebay or Kijiji).
Tip 5: furniture and spaces that are designed to suit to everyone’s needs
Some kids love to read, others draw or colour, or build forts and castles. Take your kid’s go-to activity into consideration when you’re planning your living room layout. This will make it more likely that they’ll want to hang out in the same room as the rest of the family, even when you hit those tricky teenage years.