We move frequently. In our short seven years of marriage we’ve moved a total of nine times. I wouldn't say it’s an ideal situation but, for us, it’s been a necessary part of the journey. An endless quest to capture timeless design.
Nowadays, our adventures in homebuilding are shared with our three boys, whose constant energy and sheer physicality put our design ideas through their paces. To work for everyday life, our home needs to be a place where everyone feels like they belong, a place we love coming home to, a place that invites easy connection, and a place that isn’t cluttered with toys. Sound like a tall order? Perhaps, but over the years we’ve tested a lot of ideas and landed on a handful of essential tips for creating a home that’s both kid-friendly and well designed.
1. Multipurpose Storage
You really can never have enough! Especially with little ones in the house. Choose a storage solution that looks beautiful in your home, is easily accessible for the kids and allows you to neatly store those rainbow colored toys away at the end of the evening.
To keep their books, dedicate one or more easily accessible bookshelves to your kids. Not only will this help keep your home neat, it’ll also help teach your kids how to tidy up their collection on their own. Bookcases with closed storage accessible to the kids and hidden from view is a great way to design with kids in mind.
2. Impact Lighting
An easy way to create a big impact in your space is through lighting. By installing sconces or a dimmer to your dining or living room’s light fixtures you can seamlessly transition the spaces from family game night to intimate dinner with friends.
3. Durable Furniture
Our kids are physical. They love to wrestle, build forts and practice superhero moves. Inevitably, all of these activities tend to happen on our living room furniture. Not just our home? Rather than shooing them out of the room and robbing ourselves of the joy that comes with watching them, we invest in furniture that can cleaned easily or will look better with age and wear.
4. Kid-Friendly Decor
Fill the spaces the kids can reach with small collections that you both enjoy. The
coffee table is a perfect spot for a basket full of wood turned objects, for instance. It will lend your space interest and texture and give you peace of mind if the kids want to tinker. Even better, hit the antique stores or flea markets and choose your collection together!
5. Kitchen With the Kids In Mind
The kitchen is the hub of the home, which means we spend a lot of time there with our kids. To help them grow in independence and keep my sanity, I reserve a few pullout drawers just for them. I store all of their cups, plates and a few rubber kitchen utensils that I know our youngest likes to play with in this easy-to-reach space. When they ask me for water or want to “help” make dinner, I encourage them to find their cup or utensils in their drawer.
The kitchen is also a great place to display kids’ artwork! It’s an easy way to pay tribute to the changing seasons. Their handprints, crafted christmas ornaments, and halloween pumpkins make the space feel so cheery and special.
Brett and Kara Phillips are the owners of the home design company Phillips House Co and Fort Worth-based design-build construction company and real estate brokerage High Street Homes. Partners, parents and design-obsessed serial homebuilders, the Phillips are on a mission to master timeless design and help people design their everyday along the way.
The Phillips’ call their unique blend of casual West Coast style, new traditional design, and vintage finds “California Southern.” The style is characterized by an abundance of natural light, clean lines, flowing floor plans, classic silhouettes and finishes, layered textures and collected pieces that hint at a family’s history and personality. Never cluttered or overstyled, the finished effect is bright, effortless, refined and inviting.
Their life is mostly lived just outside of the city limits with there three boys (ages four, two, and one). Follow along as they share their everyday adventures in life, style and design @brettandkara.