Blog Sidebar

Marie Forleo introduction


I'm Avital.

You want a present, peaceful and playful family life? I'm here to help you make that a reality.

read more

10 Design Tips for Parents

Join the Reclaim Play challenge

Buy things with longevity, that are more adult-looking and that match your decor. All of that will increase the sophistication levels in your home.via @ParentingJunkieTweet This

We’ve all been spending more time at home than we perhaps ever thought possible.

And I have a question for you: when you look around your home does it feel soothing and lovely? 

You may be wondering: How can my home look lovely when my kids draw on the walls? Why would I buy nice things if my kids will just ruin them?

I believe that our home “talks to us” — our surroundings subconsciously influence our mood, our thoughts and our vibes. So, a huge part of loving parenting and parenting from love is creating a high-vibe home we enjoy — even on a tight budget. (Pssst, it’s often more about getting rid of stuff than about buying more).

Today, I’m sharing 10 design tips for a sophisticated home, even with little kids in tow. Hopefully, it will give you some ideas that you can translate into your space, budget and lifestyle!

  1. Toy Storage
    Often, I see toy storage containers filled to the brim and never properly closed. If you have a massive toy chest or lots of bins and baskets, they might not match each other or even be very functional. Storing toys in a way that looks great and is easily maintained is a great place to start. The actual containers can be anything that suits your taste — nice baskets, boxes, containers or furniture. If you want it to look a little more sophisticated, then perhaps choose natural materials and neutral colors. The storage containers must also be functional and contain all of the toys that you have out. My personal favorite for toy storage is the Ikea Trofast. But it could be a beautiful chest of drawers, piece of furniture, baskets or boxes — nice containers that you enjoy. Once you have your storage taken care of, you can get to work creating the 3 play zones every child needs!
  2. Kids’ Artwork
    A lot of people feel compelled to hang up their children’s artwork all over the house. These impromptu art galleries tend to clutter up the house and make the walls look messy. If you want a home that feels a bit more minimalistic and slightly more sophisticated, my recommendation is to create a dedicated spot where you showcase kids’ art, and then you rotate it frequently. You can take pictures of each piece before you throw it away or you can keep it as a keepsake in a binder or box, but it doesn’t have to be all over your walls. Really consider what goes on your walls because it creates the atmosphere in your home. If you want a gallery of your kids’ art, you could have a beautiful magnet board, cork board, or even a dedicated wall where you switch out artwork over time. But my recommendation is don’t let it be everywhere all the time.
  3. Family Photos
    The same problem often happens with family pictures. They get thrown up all over the house, stuck to a million magnets on the fridge or in lots of little frames that don’t work together. Instead, why not have a gallery wall where you display your most prized family photos or albums in a beautiful way? Or you could have a digital photo frame that rotates thousands of pictures without cluttering up your walls and fridge. Try and keep your surfaces and walls clear or at least be deliberate about hanging pictures that you truly love.
  4. Your entryway
    Wherever you come into your house, by the hall, the mudroom or the front door, there’s usually not enough storage space for everyone’s items. Maybe you have a small cupboard, a few hooks or coat rack, and often this leads to having shoes everywhere or a pile of knapsacks, coats and gloves on the floor. All of that stuff just tends to accumulate and doesn’t feel streamlined or manageable. In my home, we had just a small coat cupboard for all 7 of us. I finally ordered a couple pieces of furniture from Ikea and it has completely changed the way the entryway looks. It feels so much more calming, sophisticated and beautiful. Now all of those items are behind closed doors. That’s a place where I would really take care to put the right storage. If that requires an extra cupboard, even in a small space, I think it’s worth it rather than having the stuff lying all over the place. 
  5. Household Items
    When you’re shopping for pretty much anything in the home, try and choose things that are slightly more elegant. This does not mean more expensive. I’ve bought some really inexpensive items from Target or Ikea that look really nice, but are also kid-friendly and not breakable. Think about this when you’re choosing dishes, sippy cups, food containers — you don’t need all the characters, slogans and bright colors. It’s just not necessary. If you want it to be a little bit more sophisticated and easier to manage, you can choose things that look even more grown up or refined. The bonus is that you don’t have to get rid of items simply because you child isn’t interested in that particular character anymore. They have more longevity.
  6. Child-Specific Items
    Think about child-specific items such as diapers and put them in a beautiful container. Rather than having the diaper container and packaging, you can keep the diapers in a nice wide basket, for example. Any area that might accumulate stuff because you’re consistently using it, like a changing table for example, consider organizing it as if it were a beautiful table you were setting for guests — like something that is more for your adult eyes than for your kids. Having a changing table that has beautiful colors, natural materials and nice storage really makes sense.
  7. Declutter Regularly
    Kids bring home all kinds of stuff — knickknacks, stones, rocks, toys, artwork, gifts. All this stuff comes in and if you don’t have a habit of regularly decluttering, then it starts to pile up. The design won’t matter very much because it will be super cluttered. Set up a routine where perhaps once a week on the weekend, you do a sweep of the house and pick up all the weird little things that have made their way in and put them where they belong, or in the garbage or recycling. Start being more routine about it and a bit more ruthless about getting stuff out of your home.
  8. Adult-Like Furniture
    When you’re buying kids’ furniture, consider buying furniture that behaves more like adult furniture in its shapes, colors, textures and materials. Things like your highchair, crib, bed, stroller, rockers, ride-on toys — consider materials and shapes that look more adult-like rather than primary colors and plastic materials. This doesn’t mean it has to be more expensive. I bought a beautiful bassinet for my baby secondhand. It was highly affordable. Maybe it’s wood or more durable plastics. Maybe you buy things in white to fit in with the rest of your decor. If you buy one of those baby swings with bright colors and flashing lights, it’s going to look disjointed compared to the rest of your space, and that will influence how sophisticated or how beautiful your space looks to your eyes. You can do this artwork as well such as hanging a beautiful ABC poster or finding a playmat that fits in with your current rug or couch. You don’t have to go for a completely different look and feel just because they’re kids.
  9. Future-Proof Furniture
    When it comes to things like buying a child’s bed, a lot of people will buy a really cute, colorful one with characters, but the problem is children outgrow this stuff so quickly. If instead you buy a bed that could last them into their teenage years and make it safe with a guardrail, or get a baby crib that can grow with them into the toddler and preschool years, you get a lot more longevity. If you’re buying your child a desk, it doesn’t have to be a bright colored kiddy desk. It could be just a regular desk that has an adjustment for their height, and they can use that for the rest of their life. It doesn’t have to be something that’s catered specifically to little children. Beyond the ergonomics and function, the look and feel can be much more adult.
  10. Linens
    The same is true for things like linens, mattresses, towels. You can get things that are playful, sweet and functional, but that are still slightly more sophisticated. For example, I have a set of linens for my kids’ beds that has these tiny little brown dinosaurs on them. It’s a white sheet with a delicate, subtle pattern. My kids love it, I love it, and it can last for years and years.

That wraps up my 10 tips for having a sophisticated home with kids. Think about buying things with longevity, that are more adult-looking and that match the decor in your home, and keep everything well-stored and organized. All of that is going to increase the sophistication level in your home.

If you enjoyed this episode, I’d love to hear which tip you think would have the biggest impact for you. Leave a comment below or join me on Instagram @parentingjunkie!


You may also like...

Imagine that instead of brushing your kid’s teeth every day, you decided to wait until they’re 16. ⁣

The side effects of this choice would be…⁣
😝 Bad breath⁣
😬 Plaque build-up and discoloration⁣
🦷 Toothaches and cavities… ⁣
and eventually, BIG $$$$$ at the dentist for treatment.⁣

Of course, this is not a good plan!⁣

I'm going to assume you would rather create a small, manageable daily habit that invests in our child’s oral hygiene to last a lifetime.⁣

Because we know: ⁣
It might be a pain to get started and stay consistent, but over the long haul, it will save you so much pain, $$$, and grossness.🤢⁣

And it's the same with, independence.⁣

If you invest a little bit in your child’s independent play right now - taking small, manageable steps every day to maintain and establish healthy habits - you will reap the benefits over time.⁣

A tough-love moment here - it’s not realistic to wait until your child is 16 and then suddenly expect them to be independent enough to drive or get their first job or figure out a plan for the summer.⁣

These are skills you’ve got to build slowly and gradually.⁣

It’s also not desirable to spend the next decade suffering through burnout, exhaustion, clinginess - because you’re not making the little investment that it takes to establish healthy independent play habits (just as it’s not awesome to endure cavities, toothache, and bad breath for years - rather than invest in establishing healthy brushing habits early on).⁣

So I guess my message is: Don’t wait with this. ⁣
When we neglect our child’s need for independence - it gets worse, not better.⁣

But when you take the time to follow along with the small, daily, doable actions that are outlined in the Reclaim Play Challenge - it will pay off in spades years later! ⁣

That’s why you’re here.⁣

You can do this. 💪⁣

It’s SO worth it. The small actions you’re taking now are going to pay back dividends... forever.⁣

Reclaim Play is all unlocked! Link in bio

“𝗗𝗿𝗮𝘄 𝗺𝗲 𝗮 𝗵𝗼𝗿𝘀𝗲!” my daughter said. Not gonna lie, I draw a mean horse. 🐎 So I did. She watched me, wide-eyed, so impressed. So excited. So grateful! A beautiful moment, right?⁣

I thought so. “𝘎𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘈𝘷𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘭!” I thought, patting myself on the back.⁣

After she colored it in she said: “𝗖𝗮𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗱𝗿𝗮𝘄 𝗺𝗲 𝗮 𝗺𝗲𝗿𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗱 𝗻𝗼𝘄?” 🧜‍♀️ ⁣

“𝘞𝘩𝘺 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘥𝘳𝘢𝘸 𝘪𝘵, 𝘮𝘺 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦?”⁣

“𝗜 𝗰𝗮𝗻’𝘁 𝗱𝗿𝗮𝘄 𝗮𝘀 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘁𝘁𝘆 𝗮𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂.”⁣


My heart sunk just a little bit. 😟⁣

In my well-meaning attempt to answer my daughter’s sweet request - I had undermined her own creativity. ⁣

I had shown her that I, the adult, was more developed, more skilled, more capable - so much so that she might as well not even try. ⁣

Why try when she could never measure up to the mermaid that I can produce? ⁣

Look, it’s not a big deal. I’ll still draw for my kids from time to time - but I really try not to. ⁣

I try to say, 'No', to playing with them or for them - because I want to say, 'Yes', to something else...⁣

I want to say YES to their: ⁣
❤ Creativity⁣
❤ Independence⁣
❤ Personal Satisfaction⁣
❤ Development⁣
❤ Resilience⁣
❤ Problem-solving⁣
❤ Focus⁣
❤ Attention⁣
❤ Concentration⁣
❤ Inner World⁣

I want to step out of the way of THEIR self-expression, curiosity, exploration. And as an adult, if I interject myself (even if they’re begging me to!), I’m totally likely to overshadow and overpower - even with all my best intentions!⁣

So, my friend, if you ever feel guilty for letting your kids play independently, for saying “no”, stepping away, or becoming less involved, know this:⁣

𝗜𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝘆 𝗶𝘀 𝗸𝗶𝗱𝘀 𝗯𝗶𝗿𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁!⁣

We owe it to them.⁣

I hope this is a liberating thought for you, as it was for me. ⁣

#reclaimplay #independentplay⁣
#childhoodunplugged #motherhoodthroughinstagram #letthembelittle #playpandemic #presentplay #intentionalmotherhood #intentionalparenting #loveparenting #enjoyparenting #parenthood #parentingwisdom #childdevelopment #playisimportant #playislearning #playisachildswork #independencebaby #toddlerdrawings #toddlerdrawing

Want results like Stephanie? Want to look back in a few years and think: I did it! I became the parent I knew I could be and showed up for my kids’ childhood.

Then I hope you’re taking the first (tiny, easy, doable!) baby step and follow along with Week 1 of the challenge! *Simplify*

Do you believe your kids are capable? Do you believe you’re capable?

Remember: “Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t: you’re right.” (FREE #reclaimplay #presentplay

Add a Comment


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *