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Decorating for Families

As a mom of three, I understand the specific design challenges that come with trying to decorate your home when you have kids. Throw pets into the mix and it can make things even more challenging!

While my kids are older now and it's getting a bit easier because I don't have to accommodate Playmobil, Lego and endless art projects into my home decor, I remember all of those challenges all to well!

Today I thought I would share a recent design plan I created for a family with a baby and a dog and share some tips for family-friendly decorating. I used items from the online furniture company Article to come up with the Living Room design plan below.

Here are the four key factors I take into consideration when decorating a room for families:

Managing Stains

If you have kids and pets, you know that mess is inevitable! "Don't cry over spilled milk" or so the saying goes, but when the milk gets spilled onto upholstered couch cushions, I think tears are a perfectly acceptable response! When it comes to furniture, I always recommend darker fabric or, better yet, leather! Being able to easily clean up a spill on your sofa is key to feeling relaxed and being able to enjoy your home. In my experience, if a dog or cat needs to throw up, they run for the nearest carpeted's some kind of baby/kid/pet code I swear! When I'm selecting a rug, I look for something in a darker color, or one that has a pattern and can hide those inevitable stains (see aforementioned warning about the baby/kid/pet barf code).


One of the biggest challenges parents share with me is managing clutter. It's so easy for toys, books and kid stuff to take over a room in a big hurry. But fear not, I strongly believe you can have both a stylish AND kid friendly home - you don't have to feel like you are living in a preschool classroom! The best weapon against kid clutter is storage, and there are some really wonderful solutions out there. My first choice is always a furniture piece with closed storage and the sideboard in the above collage is a great example. With four drawers and a cabinet door, there is tons of room to store all.the.things. Bookcases are another go-to storage solution for families. I love how this one has both open shelves for decorative display, and closed cupboards to stash that paw patrol figurine collection!


I always recommend a round/oval coffee table when families have little ones. Coffee tables with sharp corners can be really dangerous for babies, toddlers and active little kids. The black metal one in the above collage is the ultimate baby friendly coffee table, with its round shape and durable metal surface. I also love this one and this one. An alternative to a coffee table is a large ottoman, which is also extremely comfortable and kid-friendly.


When it comes to family spaces, I strive to incorporate comfort and coziness into all my designs. I know how much my family values having a soft place to land at the end of a busy day and I want this for my clients too! Once the important large furniture pieces have been decided on, I always include throw pillows, blankets and poufs into the mix. Not only do these items provide comfort but they add style and personality to your home.

So there you have the criteria I take into consideration when designing for families-cleanliness, storage, safety and comfort.

If you follow me on Instagram, you may know that I have a feature I call "Moodboard Monday" where I share weekly furniture collages. If you like this post and are looking for more inspiration, be sure to follow along!

Thanks so much for reading, please leave any questions or comments you have below or send me an email at



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