We’ve all seen decorating done on television shows and in magazines, with flawlessly positioned furniture and decor items, but have you ever considered that these people are not thinking about homes that have toddlers? The idea that toddlers can coexist in a house that is perfectly decorated does not have to be a wish. In the case of the toddler, safety is the key ingredient no matter how beautiful the house looks.
Making it safe yet still beautiful
Child-friendly home dÃ©cor starts with safety. The obvious first dÃ©cor item on the list that is a danger is the beautiful and most likely very expensive, crystal or glass items on your beautiful end table. Glass and sharp-edged dÃ©cor items on low tables are not safe for your toddler who may be playing close by. Those little curious hands will want to reach up to get the crystal on your end table and who knows what will happen next.
If you want the crystal and glass items to stay a part of the dÃ©cor, look at putting these items as high as possible so that your child can not reach them. For example, if you want to display your china, create a shelf that is high on top of the wall and place it there. Your toddler may look up and see it, but won’t be able to reach it.
If you are redecorating to accommodate your toddler, look at replacing glass and sharp items with metal ones. Your toddler will not be able to chew on it and it won’t break if it falls. Your toddler will drool on it, sit on it or write on it, but it can always be cleaned. However, be sure to choose metal items that are heavier for items on the floor so that your child cannot move them – or make sure that it is secure on a surface so that your child cannot make it fall down on top of them.
Keeping your furniture safe from your toddler
There is nothing like having a fancy couch or table top ruined when your child writes or draws on it, and this is inevitable when little hands get hold of crayons or markers. A good way to discourage children from drawing on furniture is to provide crayons and paper for your toddler to draw on. This will prevent your toddler from destroying your walls and furniture with their art work.
To protect your tables you can put a secure covering on the table using butcher-block paper. Then, if your child writes or draws on it, it can be easily removed and replaced. Couches can be covered with special coatings that make them more durable or covered with throws that can prevent intentional damage from crayons or stains from sticky fingers and spills. To protect your walls, consider using a wash and wear paint that allows crayon to be washed off easily.
Be realistic about what to expect from your toddler. This is a curious and expressive age for children and often the creative destruction is not intentional, but merely because the surface is there and looks great for drawing on. Their curiosity for touching is also natural at this age and delicate items are bound to be broken if they are within reach.
Always take care to consider entrances and stairwells, and gate them appropriately – and consider gating off parts of the house or particular rooms as well, rather than changing the contents of the rooms.
Decorating to meet your expectations
If you know what to expect with a toddler in the house, and what you expect your home to look like, it will be easier for you to find a dÃ©cor theme that is a balance between the two. It will be no surprise to find bread crumbs and all types of stains on your couch; magic markers on your wall; and fingerprints on counter-tops, because you do have a small child.
You can find a choice of furniture and dÃ©cor that provides the aesthetic design you are looking for that is suitable and appropriate for a toddler.
Remember that before long, your toddler will grow up and you will probably wish that they could go back to being that age. Your fine crystal and beautiful couch may have to be put away for a while, but they cannot replace the enjoyment both you and your child will have in a home that is decorated to suit you both.