Interior Ideas: The Golden Rules Of Family-Friendly Decorating



When you’re focused on baby-proofing sharp corners and hiding breakables, it can be easy to lose sight of your interior style...

Whether you need the house to look dinner party-ready by the weekend, or you just want your digs to regain a little of their pre-kid smartness, these clever interior manoeuvres have you covered.

Words: Eliza Ashe


Image: Julie Adams


Aim high...

Rather than keep your most treasured items hidden away in storage, try moving them to higher ground. Wall mounted shelves and picture ledges are ideal for displaying carefully curated collections of trinkets and treasures. The key is to group items in similar colours, using a mixture of textures, shapes and heights to create interest. Think holiday mementos, family photos, vintage finds, vases and framed artwork grouped together for a gallery-like feel.


Image: Vincent Fahey


The greenhouse...

A ‘70s staple, houseplants are back bigger than ever. Investing in a mix of tall and leafy indoor plants is an easy way to breathe colour and life into a room – no lava lamp required! Plus they also work wonders at boosting indoor air quality. Word to the wise: despite being the most photographed plant on the planet, when it comes to maintenance the Fiddle Leaf Fig is about as demanding as a newborn baby. Breezier options include Ficus elastica (rubber plant), the Schefflera tree or Philodendron. Tip: Scour secondhand stores and plant nurseries for old steel tubs and pots that can moonlight as large planters.


Image: Julie Adams


Storage is king...

When it comes to selecting furniture look for pieces that work overtime. Think side tables, commodes, trunks, toy boxes and coffee tables with built-in storage opportunities. Time saving tip: Make tidying-up time easy by keeping a few stylish baskets stowed under the coffee table for stashing kid’s toys and books at night.


Image: Julie Adams


Décor on the go...

When it comes to making any space look instantly put-together, you can’t go wrong investing in an over-sized tray (or two!). Grouping a few items like a trinket box, photo frame, candle and books creates interest and makes any surface look artfully styled. Simply keep the staged tray out of harms way on a hallstand before moving it to the coffee or dining table before guests arrive.


Image: Julie Adams


Bright idea...

When it comes to creating a cosy atmosphere for family gatherings, focusing on lighting is key. Turn off the harsh down-lights in the living and dining areas and make the switch to a statement pendant or a few portable lighting pieces such as an over-sized table lamp or quirky wall-mounted light for a more relaxed vibe.


Image: Julie Adams


The big cover up...

Nothing disguises tired carpet like a statement floor rug. The trend right now is to mix and match patterns and fibres. Go for broke with a vintage kilim, stripe or muted floral print. The same rule applies for upholstered furniture. If you’re waiting until the kid’s are married before splurging on your next sofa, stick with a few new cushions and throws that you can afford to update seasonally.


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