When a baby comes along, “style” is often thrown out of the window. The little one dominates everything, as feeding times, nap times and “please stop crying I need to sleep” times take over decorating concerns.
But say you do want to maintain a somewhat stylish home (minus all the baby toys thrown everywhere). How can you do it considering all the safety concerns you now have? And is there a way the decorations can even help your baby? Well, there are a few things you can do that satisfy both needs.
The following tips vary in usefulness depending on the child’s age. We are covering babies all the way up to toddlers, and maybe even beyond. They are small changes, but they have noticeable results.
This one is most applicable to babies. As their eyes are developing, harsh fluorescent lighting can discourage them from opening their eyes. Think about when you first wake up – it’s never nice to have bright lightbulbs on, is it? So making a switch to softer lighting carries a lot of benefits.
Benefits that aren’t just limited to encouraging the growth of your baby, either. Soft lighting bulbs are often energy efficient, which will save you money. Also, as they mimic natural sunlight a lot closer, they can actually enhance the aesthetic of your house. In fact, you may wonder why you didn’t switch to soft lighting before!
Little kids love to grab hold of everything within arms length. Having no appreciation of value, they won’t think twice about hurling the family heirlooms across the room! Even babies, when they are lying down, will be flailing all over the place. So for the time being, all of your ornaments are going to have to move up off the ground.
But that doesn’t mean you can repurpose them while they spend the next few years higher up. It might be worthwhile installing a shelf or buying a display cabinet in order to show them off. Maybe the oft neglected top of the fireplace can be their home for a little while. If this isn’t to your taste, try moving them to a different room for the time being. And if none of these work, why keep hold of them anyway? Store them in the attic!
While we’re on the subject, you should also avoid buying any small pieces of furniture, as these too could be hazardous. As your baby becomes more mobile, they’ll be grabbing on to anything for support. Smaller pieces of furniture, like nested tables or stools, are easily pulled over, so should be avoided. If you already own these, you have the choice of moving them to a room the baby or toddler won’t be in unsupervised, or storing them away for a few years.
An often overlooked part of interior decoration, curtains are also in the firing line when your little one starts to learn to walk. But they present a different problem than small pieces of furniture. A curtain falling on top of them isn’t likely to do any damage, but it can be a real headache to have to reattached them to the pole they hang from (that’s if they aren’t torn all together!).
So a switch to short curtains, well out of the way of grasping hands, is called for. If you have full length windows, however, you’ll have to tie up the curtains instead. This can be a good excuse for a curtain refresh though. We are just entering the summer style season, so there will be plenty of new designs and styles to choose from. You can even go as far as choosing light coloured ones that let in some sunlight, providing soft lighting during the day before the soft light bulbs take over at night.
Finally, it’s time to protect them against hard flooring. You may have made the choice to install hardwood flooring before the baby came along, so you definitely won’t want to rip it up and replace it with carpet any time soon. As a safety compromise, you may have to install some non-slip throw carpets though.
They won’t provide 100% protection from a fall, but they take the edge off falling onto wood. And as with the curtains, we are just about to enter the summer style season, so stores will be awash with new concepts and styles. It may be a little compromise, but that doesn’t mean it has to be anything but good looking!