Don’t Kid Yourself! How To Keep Your Children In Mind When Renovating Your Home
We all like to think we have a creative imagination. When we plan changes that we want to make to our homes, we picture it all in our minds and get excited by the potential. How good is this going to look when it’s finished, right? Then that nagging voice kicks in and says “About half as good as it’s looking in your mind right now. Sorry.”
But that’s just one issue, and it can be an inspiration, can’t it? Your plans don’t need to turn into something half-finished and disappointing! You’ve got the ambition and you’ve got the picture in your mind. You won’t rest until it’s complete and looking top-notch, right? Right!
With that frame of mind, the truth is that you can silence the booing voice in your head. What does a voice know about decorating, anyway?
Just as an aside, though, be careful. You may have that picture in your head and be confident of making it a reality. What you end up with may match that picture completely. But the problem is that you’re thinking visually, and your house works practically.
In short, the decisions that you make and the excitement that you feel about them may not be taking into account the realities. It doesn’t matter how beautiful a house is if you find it tough to live in. Especially where kids are concerned.
“Nice Wallpaper … Be A Shame If Anything Was To Happen To It”
Decorating a home to make it look stunning takes ingenuity. It takes a real sense of the dramatic and visual. Once it’s all done, you can step back to admire it and pat yourself on the back. That’s a job well done. Congratulations!
If there is one drawback to that beautiful wallpaper, it is that you may see it as the finishing touch to a masterpiece. Your son or daughter, who is not quite the artist that you are, is likely to see it as a blank canvas. When you’re a kid, every surface becomes an opportunity.
Step One in dealing with this is, naturally, to not allow any crayons, felt tips or pencils near the wallpaper. However, any parent will know that ground rules are one thing. A child’s impulses and imagination are quite another, and it only needs you to turn your back for a short while. Before you know it, your lovely wallpaper is a study in cubism.
Step Two, then, is to get washable wallpaper. It may limit your choices in terms of design, admittedly. The truth is, more ornate wallpaper is for when your kids have advanced beyond the “drawing on things” stage. With washable wallpaper (and less damaging drawing implements!), you can still have gorgeous walls. All without having to appoint a wallpaper bodyguard.
Beauty And Practicality: Is One Of Those Going Down The Drain?
Your kitchen is your pride and joy. Those surfaces wipe clean with the minimum of scrubbing. The appliances are sleek and functional. The fridge is adorned with the fruits of your kids’ (legitimate) artistry. And look at the sink. Isn’t it a perfect example of minimal kitchen furnishing?
Little thought experiment before you have that sink plumbed in. Imagine yourself shrunk to the size of your nine-year-old. Little nine-year-old you has had enough milkshake, and can’t finish the glass. So you go to pour the rest down the sink. But you can’t reach, and the cupboard below the sink bears the brunt. More mess to clean up!
If you’re putting in new fixtures and fittings, then you should always put them in with the home’s smallest inhabitant in mind. Suppliers such as the Tap Warehouse will always have a few options that suit any family. By picking the right option, you will have a house that works better, without sacrificing aesthetic appeal.
Clean Lines, Beautiful Pieces, No Storage
As adults, we can make decisions to live the way we want to. We can go for a stripped-down way of life, with few possessions and no frills. That can be pretty enjoyable, as it gives you less to stay on top of. Kids, however, can and do accumulate stuff in large quantities. There are school books, school clothes, play clothes, toys, sporting equipment… The list goes on. When you have kids, you need to take account of this.
When you remodel a house, perhaps the number one thing you need to approach with your children in mind is storage. They will need a lot of it. Calculate in your mind how much you think they will need, and then add some. Now you’re in the ballpark of what will be required.
Closets in their room are essential, to begin with. But whatever other storage you can fit around the house will be helpful in addition. Under the stairs, in the basement, even some in the garden may be an idea.
It’s never going to be too much. While adults can go through their closets and always find one or two things to throw away, kids may not be so ready to part with as much.
It’s not that you’re going to forget that you have children. Much of the time, your remodel or renovation will include their rooms. It’s just that all of us, when thinking about renovation, have a very visual approach to it. And that’s almost always going to be in 2D. When you’re living in the 3D reality, it does become more obvious where our imaginations fall down.
When you’re a parent, you do need to be ready to do bits of DIY every so often anyway. Kids will be kids, and they take up so much more space and spread out far more than their size would suggest. So next time you come to do this, they’ll be old enough to appreciate the effort it takes and the importance of keeping it looking great.
And who knows, maybe their fondness for writing on walls will make them handy with a paintbrush? It’s always useful to have an extra pair of hands on a remodel.