I'm so excited because today is the day where 16 expert bloggers (myself included) give their best advice to answer some of the most sought after design questions! Just to give you an idea about how this works: each blogger has asked the other 15 bloggers a design question and each blogger has given their unique answer. Each of these lovely ladies has created a post where they post their question along with each of our answers. Links to the other questions have been included at the end of this post, so make sure you scroll all the way till the end to check out what other topics might interest you.
Plus, everyone has their own unique style so you may find another blogger whose style you really love!
As you know, I have 3 small children and I find that keeping a stylish and organized home can be pretty hard, so I decided to ask these ladies how they do it and here are their responses.
Question: What's your best tip(s) for keeping your home stylish and organized with small children?
Nicole Corr of Green Isle Landscapes
It was a huge learning curve organising my home with the birth of my daughter 3 years ago. Here are 5 of my top tips for keeping our home stylish and organized with small children: 1. move your precious items up high or just put them away for a couple of years. Once you are ready to dress your rooms up with them again it will be like unwrapping a much treasured present. 2. enjoy the change you must do like cosy floor covering that are great for babies or wooden floors which are great for toddlers. 3. Use a lot of natural like to brighten up rooms. Bright colours or white, darkened curtains for naps to block the light. 4. Storage is a must, keep this tidy and educate your little on helping to keep tidy, little ones respond well to this we have progressively updating my daughers storage and she loves having a tidy room. 5. have messy days, get the paints out, chalk and mud pies..... eating dirt didn't kill me haahaa.
Susanne Stewart of Life on Pearl Street
Keeping your home stylish and organized is hard when you have littles in the house, we have grand littles living with us and it has been quite a challenge to come up with ways to keep all of their toys in one area and have the room still look stylish! First you need to designate a kid friendly zone where their toys can live and they can play. Wether it’s a separate room or an area of a room, make sure they know that is their space. Incorporating storage that fits your decor style is a great way to corral all of that stuff and hide it away when you need to. Baskets, shelves, crates, so many things can be done to make the storage stylish. I added wheels to a large three section crate and all the toys go in there, someday it may even have a lid…maybe.
Jessica Devlin of Jessica Devlin Design
Can you have a stylish well decorated home and have toddlers? Of course you can! A few things we've done is limit his toys that are in our living space to his favorites. They all fit in a cabinet so we can hide them easily. He has a playroom upstairs that is a perpetual state of inihalation but our main living areas are generally neat and tidy. Havign proper hidden storage is key, whether that's a cabinet or baskets but some way to quickly clean everything up is best. I will say some of it has more to do with habit than decorating. My husband and I take turns getting Tuck to sleep, so the other one spends that time tidying up. Since we do this every night it never seems to get so bad that a quick clean doesn't work. Something we have been struggling with is accessories, those beautiful decorations that you put on your shelves. They are like beacons to my son. IF IT BREAKABLE HE MUST TOUCH IT! So far I've been using wood pieces and plastic items that look ceramic. At least it's cheaper? Good luck!
Sarah Foote of The Project Pile
At home right now, I’ve got both a 7-month-old who’s just starting to become super mobile, and a very active wild-child three-year-old, so this is a very real, everyday challenge for me! BBHS is my very best tip for keeping your home stylish and organized with small children running around… Bins, baskets and high shelves! Try to keep a bin or basket of toys in each room that you and your little ones hang out in. This will help to prevent toys from being dragged back and forth all over the house. It will also make it a little easier to tidy up the different areas in your home. When your children are done playing, just grab the nearest basket or bin, and throw it all in! Oh, and the high shelves, keep some baskets up there too… These baskets will be for things like lipstick, Vicks-vapor-rub and diaper rash cream. This will help to prevent your children/my wild-child, from smearing things like this all over your halls, windows, couch, bookshelf, books, carpet, Barbie car and Barbies, and themselves, when you are looking the other way for a split-second. (Yes, that last tip there, is definitely based on a true story! I always have to learn the hard way… At least three times!)
Kimm Boes of Reinvented
When our kids were little we used plenty of open storage in the forms of baskets, crates and wood boxes to keep toys in check and stay true to our rustic farmhouse style. We found open storage more practical than boxes or baskets with lids as our kids loved turning toy pick up time into an inside "basketball" game and would see how far they could throw the toys and still make a "basket." Of course we had to limit this game to soft and sturdy toys. 🙂 We also invested in a leather couch and loveseat and have never regretted that purchase; they are easy to clean and durable and we've had the same set for 12 years. Adding a rustic style sure helped us not worry about tiny dings and scratches; tables and chairs just look better with age. I think I could have hired out my children as professional furniture "distressers!"
Christy Harper of The Harper House
My kiddos are older now (13,11, and 9) but when they were younger, our living room quickly got taken over by all the lovely primary colored plastic toys. Seriously, why can’t they make toys in pretty colors? lol But the best thing is to try and keep them out of sight, but still within reach. Store toys in large baskets and bins and invest in closed storage pieces that are child friendly. You can often find inexpensive bookcases and dressers at garage sales and flea markets and repurpose them into cute toy storage that will coordinate with your other furnishings.
Pam List of Momma Can
I keep my home stylish with kids by allowing them a space in each room for them to be free to play and create. We have baskets on shelves at child level in the den, a designated drawer near the kitchen, a play area on the landing upstairs, and of course, the family room has bookshelves and the beloved video games. As soon as they can pick something out of a basket, they can learn to put it back, and when they are young, they only need a few items for play and of course their books. Less is more for family peace and keeping our home neat and stylish.
Sam Franklin of A Happy Home In Holland
My best tip would be to incorporate storage, storage and more storage! Having a place for everything helps coral the clutter whilst still having everything to hand. Whilst I am the first to admit that my home often looks as though a bombs hit it, we do have a place for everything and it is always put back in order at the end of the day. Our home is tiny so it is important to be clever and incorporate multifunctional furniture pieces. I have a display cupboard with closed doors at the bottom (this is where we keep the craft stuff), a wooden coffee table with a drawer (where we keep the colouring stuff) and some pouffes with a removable lids (where I throw the toys that have found their way downstairs - I empty it once a week).
Emy Flint of Semi Gloss Design
Decorate in a practical way for your life. I loved white slipcovers when my kids were young because I could bleach the cheeto spots off. Give them spots to play, but also have some spots off limits to toys. I never minded toys in the living room, but they were off limits in my bedroom. Baskets everywhere were my trick to keeping the house tidy.
Yami Platero (yours truly!) of The Latina Next Door
My number one tip to keep an organized yet stylish home with small children is to purchase furniture wisely. By this I mean, always get furniture with storage. For example, I have a coffee table that has 2 built-in drawers so that I can store toys that the kids use regularly when we hang out in the family room. When they are done with the toys, they go back in the drawers and I don't have to make the trip upstairs to their rooms to put them away, plus they are accessible right away when they need them the next day. Consider side tables with a lower shelf to add baskets and don't be afaid to use decorative pieces for practical use. I have a blue entryway cabinet in my foyer that holds my baby's diapers and toiletries, but you would never know! Ha! I just shared the cabinet on Instagram too if you want to see what it looks like!
Jennifer Gainer of Jenron Designs
Well I do not have kids, but I find that my pets are quite messy too. I think the key is giving them their own space in the house to do whatever it is they do. This will contain the amount of stuff that overflows into the rest of your home. Which allows you to hide all the things you do not want seen when guests drop by. I recommend lots of cute storage bins, and baskets so toys find there way up instead of all over the floor.
Denise Bryant of My Thrifty House
Although my 4 children are grown it can sometimes be just as difficult to keep the house organized with grown children however I did implement several organization rules when they were younger that has stuck with them. I made the rule that toys were to be kept in their bedroom and I did not have a designated play area in the living room. They could bring out one toy to play with but it had to go back to their room and be stored there. I had a large basket by the front door to corral the endless amount of shoes. To help with the kitchen counter clutter I made a tray and stenciled on numbers and each person keep their water glass on their number. In the bathroom, each of the kids has their own basket in the linen closet and it holds all their hair products and bathroom toiletires.
Tina Bousu of Eclectic Twist
It's about the hidden and stylish organization. I have 4 kiddos ages 13-4 so we have LOTS of stuff around. Tip #1 keep the bulk of the kids toys either organized in their room or closet (via inexpensive units with tubs like ikea) Tip #2 Baskets or tables with hidden storage for the things they like to play with or have in the main areas of the home. We have a large coffee table BUT the best part is that it has 4 drawers for kids board games, books, magazines and toys. We also have a bench with 2 baskets underneath it for a blanket to snuggle with, toys and nintendo games. Easy cleanup and we don't have to look at it! Tip #3 Give the kids a space of their own (if you can) to be responsible for. We have a basement family room that's primarily a "kids domain" We have all of their dress up costumes, swords, nerf footballs, legos, train table, etc. down there and they are free to play with them as they wish, BUT they have to clean up after themselves when they are done. (I'm not always the best with the cleaning up part, but when I see it you better believe I put the smack down!) By placing their things in strategic locations it really helps to cut down on the clutter that can happen in the main areas of your home. Lastly Tip #4 Everything has a place. Every toy, blanket, lego, costume and game has a place this helps to eliminate any confusion or frustration when it's time to put things away as to where they should go!
Susie Kuc of Tiny House Giant Life
Throw your idea of a perfectly organized household out the freaking window; you and I are never gonna have it (sorry to burst the bubble). Have emergency spots to throw the unorganized mess when you have those couple of days where it ain’t gonna happen. Our living room has a basket of miscellaneous toys and printed on it in bold is “ Sorry about the mess, but we live here”. Organize all the serious stuff (Bills, & Paperwork) and then you don’t need to get too bent out of shape when the rest is out of order for a bit, in an emergency you will find the things you really need. Also, get those stylish things you love, yes the kids will probably break 90% of them over time, but why not have some time with them if they make you happy?
Sam Hay of Raggedy Bits
Lots of storage by using baskets and boxes. That way you can keep everything together and orgainised after a busy day. Labeling storage boxes and baskets can help keep things organised as well and easy to find.
Liz Elliott of Franc and Eli
Storage ottomans and baskets. Both are stylish and provide an easy way to clean up quickly (just throw everything in there!). Also use washable upholstry and always keep some Resolve on hand!
For more answers to design questions, don't forget to visit my blogging friends!
Jessica Devlin Expert Bloggers Top Home Decorating Ideas
Susanne Stewart Decorating on a Budget, 16 Design Bloggers Tell You How
Sam Franklin Home Decor Style & Trends; Design Experts Favorites
Denise Bryant Decorating With Thrift Store and Flea Market Finds
Susan Kuc Small Home Design; 16 Bloggers Tell All
Emy Flint How 16 Bloggers Use Color In Their Homes
Jennifer Gainer Ask the Designer-What is Your Style?
Christy Harper Grey Paint Colors - Top Bloggers Favorites
Liz Elliott Design Bloggers Top Design Tips
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