Hello there,

When I first decorated my own house, it was in a haze of pre wedding romance with no little hands present whatsoever.  The result was cream couches with loads of scatter cushions in my sitting room and a lovely buttermilk coloured couch in my sun room with a very expensive cream rug to complement it (didn’t want the sun fading it!!!), not to mention bookshelfs to the ground, a relaxing neutral pallet on the walls…lovely……. and a perfect teak kitchen table….gorgeous!!!!  There should be pre-children interior police out there who check houses prior to the arrival of busy little fingers!!!

Beautiful CREAM living room

Then it happened, I had 2 gorgeous little BOYS in the space of 21 months.  All was fine for the first year as my eldest was a lazy thing who took his first step at 18 months and then arrived the lightening ball that is his younger brother who certainly wasn’t waiting that long!!!  My house was taking a bashing and was it up to the task, certainly not!!!
 

Two very busy little men:-)

Big changes were needed so I will share with you my top tips for still having nice interiors with busy little hands at work:

Oilcloth

You must have realised at this stage that we love Oilcloth at The Home Barn but I have to say it has been my saviour on the aforementioned teak table.  This is the type of table that we were told by the shop should be oiled periodically.  Oiled, it was lucky to get wiped with a cloth and was starting to fade, get food stained and suspicious grafitti was appearing on it also so on went the oilcloth and we never looked back.  Not only did it brighten my kitchen, which had at this stage been stripped of all items under 4 feet, you could wipe it clean and my table is still perfect underneath…result!!

Cupcake Oilcloth

Enamel

It’s not for everybody but the gorgeous hand made fruit bowl from Spain  had to go and  as I’m just not the type to have a bare table a lovely shabby chic enamel jug was purchased and artificial flowers were housed in it. I kid you not, these flowers look like they’re straight out of the ground and it amazes me where people think I am sourcing my bluebells in December!!!  Enamel flower pots, bread & biscuit tins and bits and bobs holders also followed and they definitely took that bare look from the house and even if little men get their hands on them it isn’t the end of the world.

Enamel Jug

Enamel Jug with Flowers

 In The Kitchen

There are lots of durable kitchen accessories available now that look great.  Cool salad bowls don’t have to be breakable and can look great on your table whilst being friendly to little hands as can serving dishes, plates and glasses

Lovely unbreakable salad bowl

 
Pictures

As mentioned everything under 4 feet was gone so compensation had to be made somewhere.  I am a big fan of pictures and prints on walls and the beauty of them is they are ususally over the 4 foot threshold and I find they tend not to go near them anyways so I went mad with pictures on every available wall.  I usually pick up prints and get them framed myself.  You can get very affordable options in frame shops and at street stalls home or abroad so keep an eye out.  Also some event posters, especially for artistic events, can be gorgeous and will look great framed in a downstairs bathroom

Kitchen Picture

 
 Stencils

I haven’t tried them yet so will need major feeback on this one.  I think stencils are a great way of decorating your home in a durable fashion.  I will try them in the near future and that will be another blog!!  It’s just like another wall hanging but can be put lower down as there is very little small hands can do to them (famous last words!!!)

Stencils going up a stairs

I’m no expert, but the following are my top tips for durable interiors (Most of which I have learned the hard way!!)

  • Smallies and scatter cushions don’t mix unless you are happy to replace them 100 times a day
  • Ensure all cushions have removable covers
  • Ensure your painter is using washable paint
  • Oriental or patterned rugs are great with children
  • Cream couches and rugs are not
  • Cover your table with an oilcloth
  • Swap all breakables with enamel and other durable alternatives
  • Invest in some nice prints / pictures to take the bare look from your rooms
  • Give stencils a try (and please tell us how you get on)
  • Swap real flowers and plants for fake options.  There are amazing ones out there now so shop around.
  • When purchasing book shelves go for dresser style options with presses underneath that can be locked.  Built in furniture is also a great option in playrooms or living rooms as it is bespoke.

We’d love to hear how your got your love for nice accessories and interiors around the arrival of little fingers:-)

Olive

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