Furnishing a home is quite an undertaking. I try to follow interior designer Nate Berkus’ advice that your home should feel like “a collection over time,” but sometimes, you just need a place to sit down. It’s not that simple though—you have to consider layout, budget, and your family’s needs.
Are you renting and need furniture for the space you inhabit right now but know you’ll be moving in the future? Are you looking for low cost-per-use items or low-cost period? Or did your baby just start crawling and you now recognize threats lurking around every corner of your home? There are so many considerations.
Well, we tried to help by rounding up five family-friendly decor items that are worth the money. From long-lasting, performance fabric furniture to washable/wipeable rugs and surfaces, family-friendly staples are worth the investment because they’ll last beyond those first messy years. Read on for five of our favorite picks.
1. A Couch With Performance Fabric
Life with kids can get, well, messy, and your family couch is often a spot where a lot of life happens. From family movie nights to spilled snacks to diaper situations—maybe even add in a pandemic pet—your couch goes through a lot. It’s a special spot where loved ones gather, so you want it to be comfortable, and it’s also often the focal point of the room, so it should reflect your decor style.
We know there’s a lot that goes into a couch purchase, but choosing one with performance fabric can really pay off in the long run. Many well-known furniture companies offer patrons the opportunity to custom design sofas by choosing the size, fabric colors and durability, cushion design, leg styles, and more—without sacrificing style or comfort. Plus, many retailers even offer free fabric swatches to help you choose the perfect kid-friendly fabric that works for your space.
2. Washable Rugs
Again, kids spill things, dogs track in dirt, and even the adults in the house might accidentally knock over their coffee or glass of wine, which is why I’m so happy I invested in some washable rugs, especially for the spots in our home with high traffic.
The first time I took my washable rug out of the dryer, it looked brand new—I couldn’t believe I’d been considering a vintage (i.e. not easily washable) rug for my kitchen. Now, I throw our kitchen runner in the laundry about every two weeks, and it’s held up great.
Ruggable rugs come in a variety of sizes and colors. We love the neutral palette in this Kamran rug, which is part of their new vintage collection. I bought the non-slip rug pad and switch out the rugs seasonally (buffalo check for fall/winter, Persian-style pastel for spring).
Ruggable rugs come in a variety of sizes and colors. We love the neutral palette in this Kamran rug, which is part of their new vintage collection.
I bought the non-slip rug pad and switch out the rugs seasonally (buffalo check for fall/winter, Persian-style pastel for spring).
3. A Kid-Friendly Coffee Table
Rounded corners and extra storage are just a few features to look for in a kid-friendly coffee table. We’ve also been loving the way a soft-sided ottoman can work as a coffee table, especially ones with a wipeable fabric like leather. Add a tray on top if you need a solid surface or just kick up your feet and relax, knowing your littles won’t (easily) get hurt with this type of furniture around.
4. Sturdy Kitchen Counter Stools
If your kitchen includes a spot for stools, opt for quality if your budget allows. I’ve found my kids sit in the stools on our island counter way more often than they sit at our dining room table. It’s their prime spot for doing art projects, finishing their homework, and eating meals. I have not once regretted splurging on some solid wood (no assembly required) countertop stools. Plus, they’re easy to wipe down and more sturdy, so I don’t worry as much about my kids tipping them over.
5. A Smart TV
OK, so this is a little bit of a joke, but show me the parents who wouldn’t say their televisions are worth every penny. I couldn’t get through the days without some chill TV time to cap off my nights—or to entertain my kids while I’m trying to get some work done. Plus, after a day of being “on” at camp, at school, or during activities, sometimes kids just need a little time to zone out too.
My family recently invested in The Frame TV in an effort to have our primary television look more cohesive in our living room instead of being a big black box on the mantle. I’m still unsure of whether or not The Frame itself is worth the cost, but so far, I love how I can customize the frame (and art) to match the decor in our living room and how closely it mounts to the wall (truly like a piece of framed art). If you’re not buying The Frame, having your TV safely mounted can help a room feel put together, and you don’t need to worry about your littles touching the screen or pulling it down.