How do you Kid-Proof your House?

Our Work | October 19, 2010

The best way to kid proof your house in a way is to just relax. Realize stuff is going to get bumped and messy but just know it’s a season in your life. I have a little routine where I touch up paint chips and scrapes once a month! Yes I am a tad OCD! Lol
-Leah Hill The Way We Are 
I don’t know if this falls into the kid-proofing category, but my tip is to have everyone take their shoes off in the house. It is amazing how much dirt those little shoes can drag in and when they stay at the door so does the dirt, cutting down on how much damage and mess is made in the house.
-Janell  Beals Isabella and Max Room’s 
Durable fabrics, buy things used or get good deals on things so you can cheaply replace them.
-Jordan Ferney Oh Happy Day 
Display valuable or sentimental items up high.  As for anything in reaching distance (think coffee tables) buy inexpensive pieces that you won’t be too upset if they get broken. Ikea, Target and Home Goods are great resources for this.  Also, remember safety when buying new furniture.  I fell in love with a wooden headboard that had sharp edges.  The first thought that came to mind was how many trips to the ER we would be making… so, I settled on an upholstered headboard and I love it.
Tip #1:  Gates can be your best friend. There is no need for really young children to be all over the house. Gates can relieve a lot of stress and keep you much more sane. Are they attractive? Not at all! And I was so thrilled the day we were able to ditch them. But they truly saved me from going crazy. 
Tip #2:  Relax and accept the fact that your idea of great design may have to be altered a bit. Not given up. Just altered. I still believe that every space can be beautiful and have incredible design. But I also have accepted that some spaces need to be kid zones. And that is the new beautiful. I had to change the way I looked at the mess! Once I began to see that it represents a beautiful life, I was able to let go of some things. 
Tip #3:  Washable everything! Everything from eggshell paint finishes to washable crayons and markers. Just keep in mind when designing that accidents happen and things will get messy from time to time. As long as it’s washable, it never seems to bother me.
-Courtney Fernan A Thoughtful Place 
Emily’s Baby
We don’t do a lot of “kid-proofing”…we just tend to stay away from items that aren’t kid friendly.  For instance, a coffee table.  I’d love to have one, but inevitably a kid would fall and crack their head open on the side of it (plus my boys wrestle all day, every day, and a coffee table would be right in their way).  So rather than having some ugly “bumper” on the side of it, we just don’t have one.  One day, when my kids are older, I’ll pull stuff back into the house that I love (like a coffee table…I love coffee tables, sigh.) 
Emily Anderson Three Boys and a little Lady
Well, I know this isn’t the right answer for everyone – but I don’t let my children
eat or drink in the living room (except water) – and I’m a stickler for washing
hands (or at least wiping down) after we’ve eaten. I just don’t want to deal with
cleaning up the inevitable mess and I think it creates better eating habits to
always eat at the table.
I must admit that I also have all crayons, markers and other art supplies out of
reach. At this age, I just don’t want them getting into those things unsupervised.
If they wanted to, they could get into my pens and markers in my little office – but
they don’t. We do art either at the kitchen table or at inexpensive little lap desks
that they are allowed to take into the living room. They know that crayons and
markers stay on the lap desk. I also will throw away any crayon or marker that
isn’t washable. Seriously, if they make washable versions, why use the regular?
Henry and Charlie ruin enough clothing …

Traci’s Boys

I also don’t let my boys jump on furniture, put their shoes on the furniture or
throw things in the house. To me, it’s still a matter of respect. It’s a sofa, not a
trampoline – and, again, I don’t want them thinking that is OK at someone else’s
house. Of course, children are going to want to jump and throw balls and play –
so make sure you’ve created appropriate places for that, whether it is outside or
on a real trampoline in their playroom or other child friendly area. That all being
said, other families have different rules and I totally respect that.
Evie is at the stage already where she is pulling everything down off shelves and side tables. So I recently started using museum putty for vases, jars, and lamps. It’s magic!
I keep the markers and paints locked up! (yet somehow accidents still manage to happen!)
I really really try to keep all eating in the dining/kitchen area, other wise there are juice stains on my rugs and I could sweep up a dust-pan full of crumbs three times a day!

Don’t stress! It’s just stuff.

It’s not so much that I “kid-proof” my house, I “kid-plan” it. I plan for all the mess that inevitably comes with children. When I buy ANYTHING for my house, I try to imagine what it will look like after my kids have jumped/stomped/cried/spilled on it. If I think it can handle the wear and tear, it makes the cut and I buy it. If not, I move on.

-Autumn Design Dump

Although I think kid-proofing is necessary, It doesn’t stop me from making my home beautiful. When purchasing items for my home, I always consider durability and longevity. Throw pillows that cases can be removed and washed, dining chairs that are easily wiped down, and decorative items that can be dropped and still survive are all key points that I look for. One day I will own a white sofa, just not yet…