Living In Style... With A Toddler
I am consistently asked how I manage to keep my home looking smart and presentable with an excitable and active 2-year old running around causing chaos. Everyone seems surprised when they come to my house given my busy lifestyle, which always surprises me…I am working in interiors after all so naturally, I am house proud.
Just because you need to child/safety proof your home, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on style. There is certainly an element of being organised to allow you time to do the rounds and tidy up. It’s about prioritising and delegating! Here is the routine I live by to ensure my house stays exactly how I want it…
KEEP EVERYTHING OUT OF REACH
Anything shiny must be kept far from reach – children are like magpies! Make use of shelving and consoles/sideboards to style and decorate as long as your toddler cannot reach – it’s safe. I put my vintage French brass and lucite coffee table into storage very early on and instead maximise the decoration in other areas.
CHOOSE PRACTICAL FABRICS
While hardwearing patterned fabric and leather are a much more sensible choice, I made a huge mistake and upholstered my sofa and occasional chairs in designer velvets – definitely not a practical child-friendly choice. So, to avoid catastrophic damage, I use soft and cosy sheepskins to cover the sofa which catches all spills and are so easy to wash in the machine. And they double as a cosy playmat for a young baby!
DON’T HAVE A GLASS DINING TABLE
This would stress me out far too much, permanent dirty finger marks! I opted for a natural marble top which is good at disguising grubby fingerprints and also is incredibly luxurious. I like to keep it bare and use the area by the wall for some plants, flowers and a candle.
TOYS OUT OF SIGHT
Have an area where you store all the toys and invest in a stylish box or basket. I keep these behind the door of my living room, so everything is out of sight and minimises clutter.
TEACH GOOD HABITS
My son goes to nursery three days a week, and they teach such wonderful habits to the children. Rafael puts his trash in the bin and wipes up his mess and gets very excited about putting away his toys. If you make tasks into fun games, it’s amazing what you can get toddlers to do, and I think it’s really important to teach kids to have pride in their home.
TIDY WHEN THEY SLEEP
I don’t bother with the proper tidying up till Raf is in bed. Then a quick 10-minute sweep and everything is ready for adult time. This stops me getting stressed about constantly tidying up only for a mess to be created immediately.
So how is it out there for other busy working mothers? I'd love to hear your feedback and any tips you have for keeping your home looking great.
Thanks for reading,