Just because you have a little one at home (or on the way) doesn’t mean you have to exchange all your pretty decor for unbreakable plastic and resign yourself to chaos. Let’s repeat: A stylish home and young children do not have to be opposing forces. Just ask Marika Meyer. The interior designer—herself a mom to two little boys—shares her top five tips for maintaining a sophisticated home while protecting against the inevitable messes.
When it comes to fabrics, prioritize durability. “We almost exclusively use indoor/outdoor fabrics for upholstery for family spaces,” says Meyer.
Beat them to it. Consider furniture that comes “pre-distressed” to minimize worries when the piece takes a beating during playtime. “I love aged wood, rustic wood, and even vintage pieces with patina for cocktail tables, side tables and dining tables,” says Meyer. “Also keep in mind round corners for little ones who may trip.”
Strategize your storage. No question, kids come with tons of gadgets and gear. Plan out stylish ways to hide the inevitable clutter. Built-in cabinets, storage ottomans, side tables with drawers, or a chest used as an accent table are all great options for hiding toys and games.
Camouflage with patterns. “Never underestimate the power of pattern to hide stains and messes,” says Meyer. “We often use a distressed wood table and patterned rug for a family dining space such as the breakfast or dining room, where the children eat most of their meals.”
Make it wipeable. Using easy-to-clean chairs in the kitchen will save you lots of grief in the early years. Meyer loves the modern-classic Series 7 chair—you can find similar styles for less, like this West Elm take—or faux leather upholstery that can be easily sponged clean.