You and your family spend a lot of time in your home. Whether sleeping, eating or relaxing, your home is an environment that needs to be comfortable, enjoyable and functional. Though decor is not always seen as a functional matter, the decor choices you make in a child-friendly home can have some very useful practical implications.

The rough and tumble of family life can be hard on your home and can quickly lead to very clear signs of wear and tear. Styles that contain elements comprised of delicate fabrics and luxurious decorations will not withstand the exuberant lifestyle of young children, for example. However, there are a number of home decor styles that are harder wearing and will have the ability to withstand the tougher effects of family life. Here are a few examples:


Inspired by cabin living, the current farmhouse style is the modern equivalent of a simpler lifestyle, with rough elements, such as solid beams, that lend a warm and welcoming feeling. It is a style that is rustic and straightforward, ideally suited to a family lifestyle. Furniture in a farmhouse-style home is characterised by distressed surfaces and tough-wearing fabrics, with chunky wooden elements. Though this style will have some brighter colours, the earthier feel of these will make your home a little less vulnerable to the dirt kicked up by family life.


Homes designed and decorated in an industrial style are very popular and can have a very contemporary feel. Industrial styles have liberal use of exposed steel and wooden elements, and often feature exposed brick walls, which will be very good at withstanding anything a family can throw at them. The industrial style in your home can vary from some carefully placed but very ornate design elements to simple and sleek lines, depending on your taste. As long as you take care to keep decorative items child-safe, the industrial style can serve to be both family-friendly and to impress trendy friends.

Shabby chic

A style that hit the market with roaring success and is clearly not going away, shabby chic is a very family-friendly approach to designing your home. The vintage elements give a classic appearance to your home, while installing full height window shutters is a practical and easy way of obtaining privacy and keeping excess light out. Though linen textiles are very popular with this style, you could opt for slightly darker colours to reduce the effects of wear and tear, or choose to entirely skip fabrics where possible. The pre-worn look inherent in the shabby chic style is also an excellent way of camouflaging the wear and tear that family life will cause.


Modern design styles are typically not associated with a family-friendly home, but it is possible to achieve a sleek, modern look while keeping your home practical for family use. For example, white walls can easily show marks but if you make use of quality washable paint, you can easily clean any mess. The same goes for smooth, white floors – so long as they are of the tiled variety, cleaning will be frequent, but unproblematic. Modern furniture can also be particularly hard wearing, if you avoid glass items and light fabrics on seating. You could also simply opt for very modern but cheap and replaceable furniture, which will let you regularly refresh the look of your home while keeping costs minimal.

American colonial

This style is characterised by ample use of woodwork. Wooden furniture is hard wearing and can be restored when needed, while lending a sense of homeliness and comfort to rooms. American colonial interior decorations feature many natural elements and are suited to a family that places a high value on lowering their environmental footprint. Though ceramics are popular, they should be kept in locations where they will not come into contact with everyday family life. It is a minimalist style, leaving your home feeling airy and clutter-free.

Just because you have a family home does not mean that it should appear bland and uninspiring, or that you will constantly spend time and money to keep your home in reasonable shape. By opting for a family-friendly decorative style, you can achieve a desirable look for your home while making it very comfortable and easy to live in. For families, a comfortable home is best described as one that is easy to maintain in good condition, so base your design decisions around that and you will have a very liveable house.


kate sutton

*  This is a collaborative post

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