No Fear Decorating

Don’t worry so much about “the good china”

By ClubMom Decorating Expert  Lauri Ward

Decades ago, plastic slipcovers were all the rage, and most people used their living rooms only for entertaining company. Holiday dinners found the adults in the dining room using the “good” silver and china, and the kids isolated in the kitchen, using the “everyday” dishes.

Things have changed. These days, everyone wants to share as much of their limited free time as possible with their family.  Working mothers want to enjoy their children when they are home, and not worry about their furnishings. Fortunately, there are decorating alternatives for virtually every room that will keep the entire family safe and happy without compromising the elegance of your home.

Many people think they have to banish the breakables to a closed cabinet when toddlers are around. Not so. Simply rearrange your collections and knickknacks so that glass and porcelain collectibles are beyond reach — atop the piano or on a higher shelf, while wooden boxes, baskets, silver, and metal objects take their place on coffee tables and other child-height surfaces. Keep wooden boxes, baskets, and silver or other metal objects on the lower shelves and on the coffee table.

In baby’s room, place soft toys and books on the bottom shelves of an open unit where he or she can reach them, and put framed photos and breakable keepsakes on the top shelves.

The wallpaper in kitchens, bathrooms, children’s rooms, and high traffic hallways should be vinyl-coated so that it can be kept clean with a sponge and mild cleanser.  The vinyl coating isn’t necessary in dining rooms, bedrooms, and large open foyers where stains and sticky fingers are less likely to be a problem.

If you’re thinking about purchasing stools for the counter in your kitchen or family room be sure they have backs. Small children need sturdy, safe seating to help prevent falls.

Today, there are so many safe and stylish furnishings and accessories on the market that any home can look great and allow Mom and the kids to have fun without fear…or plastic slipcovers.

© Laurie Ward, 2006.

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