Modern style tends to be clean, spare, and free of clutter and “visual noise.” That looks great, usually, but this style doesn’t accommodate families very well. How do you have a comfortable, modern living room that’s welcoming for both youngsters and adults? Read on for our tried-and-true ideas for creating a kid-friendly space that adults will also love to use.
Glass-Free Living Room
First, furniture with glass surfaces should be avoided in a home with young children. Glass surfaces van break or chip, leaving sharp edges. It can be tough to spot a chip that can potentially cut a child’s hand, lip, or whatever they hit against it. Little hands tend to touch every surface they can reach, usually the surfaces you most want them to avoid. Plus, glass and mirror surfaces require a lot of cleaning to look good. Most require daily cleaning to look good. When you really think about the time it takes to keeping those surfaces clean every day, getting rid of them becomes an easy decision.
Furniture with Round Corners
Sharp-edged furniture is also a poor choice for homes with young children. Keep in mind, toddlers fall a lot, especially when they’re learning to walk. And playful children run through the house, even when they’re not supposed to. Bare wood surfaces on furniture can also be dangerous, leading to bruises, cuts, and abrasions. Upholstered furniture, by contrast, is comfortable, durable, and much more kid friendly.
Secure furniture, such as bookshelves, to walls
Tall items like bookshelves usually come with safety kits to secure them to the wall. If your furniture didn’t include this sort of safety kit, purchase one at your nearest home center, along with some “L” brackets and wall anchors. This relatively easy to do project can prevent a bookshelf from falling over and injuring a little adventurer who thinks climbing furniture is like scaling a rock wall.
Slippery flooring is usually an easy fix. If your home has hard floors, put down rugs and runners, and secure them with carpet tape. A slipping rug can be dangerous for anyone, including grandparents and dogs. Remember how slippery a wet bathtub can be, too, and add sticky traction strips if needed.
Electrical safety is an urgent safety need and is one of the easiest to tackle. Anytime you replace an outlet, use a child-safe outlet. This type of outlet blocks the ports, so it requires more force to plug an item into the outlet. Kids can’t do it, but adults can. It can’t fail, and there are no parts to misplace. The outlets don’t wear out, and always do their jobs. If you can’t install child-safe outlets. Then use child-safety plugs everywhere.
Extension cords can become damaged or frayed, so inspect them all regularly for wear. If anything looks sketchy, don’t take a chance—replace it immediately. To minimize trip hazards and avoid little tykes from playing with extensions cords, put some tubing around it, or try to run the cord away from high traffic areas, or better yet, out of sight.
Most of these ideas are DIY friendly, but if you want some help making your living room as kid-friendly as it can be, your local Mr. Handyman is happy to help. Hiring a pro can help streamline your next project, save you time, money, and ensure the job gets done professionally.