Summer is drawing to a close and many families are preparing for the start of another school year. Suddenly the house seems overrun with backpacks, school supplies, sports equipment, and of course the messes that come with a family on the go. Is it even possible for your idea of a beautiful home and your kids to coexist? Don’t despair, because it is possible to balance stylish interior design with child-friendly design. Just take a look at some of our interior design tips.

Invest in quality.

Huntington House furnishings for families

(via Huntington House)

A common refrain from parents is, “I can’t buy that, it’s too nice- I’ll have to wait until my kids are older.” But as we’ve discussed in a previous post, investing in quality pieces is actually quite important when designing for a family with children. You may think you’re saving money by choosing cheap furnishings, but low quality also means easier to destroy. You could end up buying 3 low quality couches that quickly deteriorate from child-induced abuse over the course of 10 years, when you could have chosen a sturdy, well-crafted sofa that can handle a little rough treatment.

Stainproof your furniture.

Related to buying quality furnishings, you should absolutely pay the extra money to have your furniture coated with a fabric protector when you order it. Though you will have to pay extra for this feature, it is sure to pay for itself many times over if you have young kids (and notorious spillers) in the house. The best part is that if you have had your furniture treated with a protectant and it still stains, the warranty will usually cover the replacement of the stained cushion. It’s basically insurance for your furniture!

Work with the flow, not against it.

create a drop zone for backpacks

(via Houzz)

One of the most important ways to keep your home looking nice despite your children’s tendencies to the contrary is to work with the chaos. That doesn’t mean surrender to the chaos, but it does mean that you need to evaluate it and figure out how you can outsmart it.

For instance, many families have a problem with school supplies and backpacks spread all over the house. To combat this, create a “drop zone” where your kids can store their school bags, jackets, etc. Even if you don’t have the space to create a full-fledged mud room, you could hang some attractive hooks over a storage bench to corral the clutter.

Ultimately, you can have a beautiful, kid-friendly home with a little creativity. Contact MJN & Associates Interiors for assistance choosing furniture, finishes, and accessories that will work for your family.