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Is It Possible to Have Home Décor That Is Friendly to Both Kids and Adults?

Don’t look so surprised when I say yes to that, ok? Just because you have children who are into everything doesn’t mean your home accessorizing should consist of the blue, red and yellow plastic world of kids’ playthings. Your home decor should look like adults live there, too!

I’ve actually walked into a friend’s house to see her entire living room floor encased in a primary-colored plastic fence in order to keep her daughter occupied without giving her access to bookshelves, the entertainment centers and sofa pillows! It was beyond crazy — not to mention it was not winning ANY style points, either. Here are a few ways to accessorize and furnish your home in a way that is safe for small kids, but pleasing to Mom’s eye as well!

Island Retreat Storage Bench

• Look for patterns that hide stains on couches, pillows or rugs. Look for plaids, floral and paisley sofas or for a leather sofa, and Oriental-style rugs (but not ones that are valuable.) The patterns will be so busy that they will hide some spills and dirty fingerprints. (In fact, you may want to check the color of your most frequent stains on your sofa before choosing a hue for the next one!)

• Designate a “clutter catcher” area. It’s much better to go ahead and sacrifice one area for clutter, rather than spreading it through the whole house. Use large stylish baskets or bins in an unused corner to serve as a toy storehouse that is both quick access and easy pick-up.

• Go vertical! High shelves and mantles are great for dressing up a space while keeping little fingers at bay. Keep your nicer accessories up top (but do make sure your bookcases or display shelves are bolted to the wall). Dress up lower shelves with several matching baskets or boxes for papers, colors, DVDs, toys and games.

• “Durable” doesn’t have to equal “ugly.” There are some really beautiful accessories available now made out of materials that are lightweight, durable, and stylish! (It’s true!) Think really cool bamboo bowls, trays and stools that add style and versatility in any room but are totally durable. Some other ideas include Moss-covered balls in a pewter bowl, chunky wooden candlesticks, iron picture frames with the glass removed, and metal vases — in other words, things that look pretty but aren’t going to be destroyed. (Check out Ekobo or cool accessories from World Market.) Save your antiques and heirlooms for high shelves or the tops of cabinets or armoires.

• Make your furniture work for you, too. Choose a double-tiered living room table (and/or entertainment center) that can hold toy baskets on the bottom shelf, or opt for a table with drawers. Use these to keep the clutter at bay so that your beautiful accessories stand out.

Got any other ideas for stylish accessorizing that can withstand some rough play? Let us hear them with your comments!

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