Skip to main content

Common Design Mistakes When Living with Kids

We’ve already shared with you our hacks to hide the mess and tips for kid- and pet-proof furniture, and if you’re a parent (with human or animal children) you are probably already wary of all-white furniture, sharp corners, and slippery floors. So today we’re sharing some of our more obscure tips to help make your home more kid-friendly and save you a ton of frustration down the road.

Avoid Textured Knobs

Textured knobs can be a beautiful addition to a scarcely-used piece of furniture, but avoid them for cabinets or drawers that will be attractive to messy fingers. The tiny grooves mean they are notoriously difficult to keep clean, and trust us when we say, dried-out Play-Doh will cling to them like glue following your little artist’s creative endeavours. This rule applies to anything that little hands will touch, such as faucets and door knobs.

Image: A beautiful textured knob from Rejuvenation that is perfect for empty-nesters

Instead, opt for smooth hardware without any grooves or holes that will trap dirt, food, and other mysterious sticky substances.

Image: Ahhh, much better. Rejuvenation’s Sommerville knob

Outdoor Rugs are Okay, But You Will Need a Waterproof Rug Pad

A common misconception is that you can plop an outdoor rug in your living room and let your kids (or pets) go wild. Outdoor rugs, while typically being stain- and mildew-resistant, do not actually prevent liquids from soaking through to your floors beneath.

Credit: Coddington Design/Vivian Johnson Photography

Even if you have durable vinyl plank flooring, liquid can seep between the cracks and can damage your subfloor. If you want to protect your floors, be sure to get a waterproof rug pad. They are much easier and cheaper to replace every so often than your actual rug or floor.

Skip the Flat Paint

It is common to paint walls in a flat or eggshell finish, while doors and trims get the semi-gloss treatment. There is a reason for this. The more gloss present in paint, the more durable it is, and doors and trims get the most bumps and knicks. Unless you live with kids who run through your home like the bulls in the streets of Pamplona. Our solution? Paint your walls in a satin finish.

Credit: Coddington Design/David Duncan Livingston Photography

Glossier finishes tend to show imperfections in the wall, but a satin finish has just enough gloss to be kid-friendly (you can scrub off those crayon masterpieces with a little bit of elbow grease) without going full-out glossy glam.

Make Friends with your Local Rug & Upholstery Cleaner

It’s another misconception that getting your rugs and sofa professionally cleaned will eat up your budget. Our San Francisco Senior Designer, Dana, regularly has a rug & upholstery cleaner come to her house. And trust us when we say, it is worth every penny!

Image: Dana’s budding artist experimenting on a blank canvas

At around $250 to clean a large sectional and about 800 square feet of carpet that have been loved by two dogs, a cat, a toddler and a spit-up prone infant, it is money well spent. Not only will it prolong the life of your furnishings, but it will refill your mental coffers to have a presentable space once again (for at least a few days).

Credit: Coddington Design/Vivian Johnson Photography

Need more tips and help with putting together a livable family home? Book your Discovery Call with Coddington Design to see how we can help!


Subscribe for the latest news, special events, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.

Newsletter signup

Please wait...

Thank you for subscribing!