HGTV shows how to designing around kids and still have style

Discover how to create a home that's functional, stylish and kid-friendly.
Blue Family Room With Slipcovered Furniture

Blue Family Room With Slipcovered Furniture


Candice Tells All

Candice Olson, host of HGTV's "Divine Design," uses neutral slipcovers to create cozy, kid-friendly seating in this playful basement. A durable wood coffee table is the perfect spot for playing family board games or creating beautiful artwork. Muted green carpet throughout keeps this space light while still providing camouflage for inevitable spills.

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  1. Design 101

How to design around kids? There's only one answer I can think of: Wait until they're grown up and moved out. Just joking! You can have young kids and a good-looking, stylish home. I believe this because I personally live it. I have young kids, so I know firsthand your house can look good as well as function for a young family. You just need to create a home with materials that are very durable. I actually looked up the word 'indestructible' so I could relate the definition to home design: non-breakable, shatterproof, resistant, toughened, rock hard, reinforced and armored. I think that pretty much sums it up. Of course, it depends on the age of your children and also what room you are designing, but you can make it work.

Let's start with a very well-used room if you have kids: the family room. Everything in the room needs to be able to withstand the kids, so carefully consider all the materials and items for the space. For instance, darker fabrics on any upholstered chairs or sofas hide stains better or possibly even fabrics with some pattern in them since they can be more forgiving than solid, light-colored fabric choices. If you're set on using light-colored fabrics, there are some that are engineered to be stain resistant. Also, look at the durability of fabrics. If it's for upholstery, consider a tough, strong fabric like a heavy twill, Ultrasuede or leather, versus something more delicate and light, like a cotton or linen.

For family rooms or living rooms, it's obvious a glass coffee table with sharp corners is not suitable for a family with young kids. In fact, avoid glass altogether because those little fingerprints are always visible. Instead look for a large leather ottoman to use as a coffee table. They're great because they have soft edges, can be wiped down and, hopefully, even come with storage inside.

Speaking of storage, with kids there are always tons of toys and stuff to be put away. Look for end tables with storage, small cubes as extra surfaces or seating that has storage. Anywhere you can find some extra space for toys and supplies, incorporate it into the room with baskets, benches, boxes, etc.

For those rooms where you have young kids playing on the floor, consider going with a comfy, thick area rug. Make sure it's something soft and durable, and look for a color that's medium to dark because with kids spills are inevitable.

If you are designing your child's bedroom or a new baby nursery, there are so many great, cool ideas out there. These days you can find hip, contemporary baby furniture. There are lots of great stylish pieces of furniture specifically for children, which are durable as well. You can chose from cribs that turn into beds as your children grow — what a great investment piece to consider. You don't have to wait until your kids become adults to have a stylish house, just search out the strongest materials available for those rooms where they hang out.

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