Whether you have small children, grown children, grandchildren, "furry" children, lots of friends or houseguests- everyone's home should be set up to handle today's busy lifestyle and all the people and "stuff" that come with it! Here are some tips for creating a home that is comfortable, welcoming, and inspiring for all our loved ones...
1. Make it Durable- Select fabrics, finishes, and furnishings that will stand the test of time (as well as dirty feet and messy spills). Two schools of thought on this...select "camoflage" materials- such as dark, patterned fabrics that show little wear and tear; OR select lighter fabrics that can be removed and cleaned easily like slipcovers. Either way, a few family ground rules never hurt either!
2. Make it Comfortable- Select upholstery pieces that feel great, and are the right size and scale for your family. Your husband may need a larger scale chair than you do. Kids love to have a special chair or table just their size, AND now they are available in an array of colors and styles to match your homes color scheme/style. Don't forget those precious pets- their beds can also match your home.
3. Keep it Organized- Storage is a CRITICAL component to creating a family friendly space and to your SANITY! Children, pets, spouses and guests all come with lots of "stuff" so make a plan to accomodate everything. I love double-duty furnishings that are both decorative AND provide much-needed storage, such as baskets, hooks, shelves, and furniture with closed door or drawer storage. You can never have enough storage.
4. Make it Convenient- Be sure that the items your family needs on a daily basis are stored together AND in a place convenient to where you use them. Try setting up "stations" throughout your house such as a "homework" station, a "bill-paying" station, an "arts and crafts" station, a "pet-care" station; by keeping useful items in one place- it is more likely that they will be found and returned!
5. Make it Personal- Your home should be a reflection of everyone that lives there! Proudly display children and grandchildren's artwork in inexpensive frames. Set out photos and memorbilia from your favorite trips to remind you of great times with loved ones. Honor family members no longer with you with photos or cherished heirlooms. Start a collection as a family- something everyone enjoys.