Children and Decorating


Children and Decorating!
Does this seem like and impossible combination?

All of us want a nice looking home but sometimes with the array of toys, and children’s books our decorating gets lost.
Does this sound like your house?

Have you discovered that you have no adult space left in your home that every room shows evidence that children have been there?

I’m asked all the time to, “help me get some adult space back!”

I want to share with you some tips and ideas to help you enjoy your home just as much as your children do.

Think about one room in your house and make a mental list of all the functions performed in the space. EX: Watching TV, games, homework, eating, entertaining, hobbies, reading or sewing. Then think about who uses the room and what time of the day or evening it is used. All of these answers will help you make decisions about furniture placement, lighting and accessories.

If you have a larger home, designate areas of your home for play, homework and rough-housing. Keeping this rule consistent will help in training the kids now and as they get older. Toddlers, however, want to be where Mom is, right?

I do want to share a story with you:
During one of our transfers, we had a moving van catch fire. It was 8 months before we settled the claim and could get normal new furniture. In the interim I would let my daughter play in the empty living room and ride her hot-wheels around from empty room to empty room. BIG MISTAKE. What a terrible time I had trying to change the rules and explain that now the room has furniture and is no longer a playground. A three-year-old doesn’t handle rule changes easily. Keep that in mind when you move into a larger home, with some temporarily empty rooms.

Okay so let’s talk about decorating with kids in mind.
Having a stylish home and kids does not have to be a problem. Depending on the age, one simply has to make the home safe and usable for everyone in the family. The degree of safety will change as the children mature.

I suggest you start with a good paint. (With paint you truly get what you pay for). So, my suggestion is to get the most expensive paint you feel comfortable buying. Believe me when I tell you that paint does not cover in one coat whether the wall is primed or not, professionally done or DIY. The reason being as you roll on the paint you are taking microscopic dots back off! Two coats will fill in those ‘dots’ and give you the true color you chose. Paint usually take a full 2 week to ‘cure’ so don’t start scrubbing it the next day. There are many high-quality low sheen paints that are very durable, you do not need ‘shinny’ walls!

All of you with small children know that they crawl, run, and bump into things, drop chocolate pudding and spill milk on regular basis. That’s their job and they do it well. With that in mind you need to consider the clean-ability of fabrics and walls. Rounder corners and non-breakable pieces are a must.

Helping the children understand what they can and cannot touch is very important but let’s be realistic… you would not put a precious Llardo on a table that can be reached by a child, the same goes with lit candles and other breakable accessories.

Many accessories today are made of wood and resins that are fairly durable. Look for accessories you like but keep them as unbreakable as possible and keep in mind that if the accessory did not cost a fortune you will not be as upset if it does get damaged.

Check in next time for some furniture and placement ideas.

Client Endorsement

Many thanks again for all of the great information and advice that you gave us. It is empowering to look at your home from the perspective of being a seller. Or, in my case, of preparing to be a seller just in case something in my life changes that forces me to become a seller. One thing I know now is that I am nowhere near ready to move.
Take care and enjoy the almost Spring weather.


Shock? I could not believe my living room/dining room could look so good. I now have more floor space and the rooms are balanced.

Betty L., Naperville, IL

Creatively “out of the box” thinking. I was a little skeptical, but now I’m a believer.

Dave S., Burr Ridge, IL

This was the easiest and best experience I have had with someone helping me decorate any part of my house!

Wanted you to know that we had put out house on the market on Monday this week and had 4 offers by Tuesday. Thank you!!! A job well done! Now we are working on an offer for our new space. Which I will be calling you for help in arranging!

Diana B.

Thank you GraceAnn! Your feedback was critical in us getting a contract within 6 days of listing!!

Staging Client