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Turns out you really can have a Stylish Home with Kids

I’ve met many parents over the years – especially since blogging about interiors – who’ve alluded to the fact that they can’t have nice homes because they have kids. Or that it’s something that they dream about, but it’s not on their radar until their little ones grow up.

As an interior stylist, this saddens me, because I believe there’s a way to have both; kids and a home design you adore. It’s just a matter of finding the right mix of furniture that’s durable, safe and doesn’t ruin or stain easily (and of course, looks good too!). 

Today’s post is set to give you some kid-friendly living room ideas – as well as inspiration for other pockets in your home! Let’s do this.

Black Feature wall with marble bedside table on TLC Interiors

A Stylish Home with Kids – yes!

One lovely lady who’s managed to find a good balance between style and kid-friendly wares is Auckland mum Tarryn Donaldson. She’s been renovating and decorating the home you see in this post for over three years now and assures me that there’s a way to have her two kids and two cats play nicely with her decor.

I get comments all the time about the amount of white I have and how on earth I keep it all so clean with kids,” Tarryn tells me. “To be completely honest, the white walls don’t show up any more dirt than a different colour would”.

Tarryn goes on to explain that while she tends to buy whatever she sees that takes her fancy, she does consider how they work with her little ones.

I do keep the kids in mind when making our big purchases. For example, the fabric of our lounge suite is fantastic at hiding grubby finger marks or food remnants, cleans up easily and still looks good!

We chose a carpet for the bedrooms with a slight fleck throughout it, which doesn’t show every little bit of fluff and mud that gets dragged through the house. The wooden flooring is fantastic at keeping clean and was definitely chosen with the kids in mind”.

Ikea Lappland Juta Rug in Living Scandi Living Room Scandi Living Room Ideas white side table from the Warehouse

The no-fiddle Zones

One of the biggest things I wanted to know, though, is how she keeps the kids away from her precious vignettes.

“My kids have learnt not to fiddle with my fiddle leaf and touch mummy’s nick nacks,” Tarryn explains. “I’ve also created the most amazing rooms and a playhouse for the boys, where they can go get lost in their toys and imaginations without the need to play with mummy’s pretty things!”.

Tarryn, like myself, is a bargain shopper and admits to being on a tight budget. It’s so reassuring to know that you don’t need big bucks to create a home that feels light, bright, stylish and family-friendly.

Most of my pieces around my home area either DIY, Kmart finds, Freedom Furniture or believe it or not the good old Warehouse has had some great finds too!

Nursery ideas Mickey Mouse pillow case for kids White and ginger domestic shorthair catsKids room ideas Mint Green feature wall with geometric pattern

Online Inspo

Tarryn tells me that she’s also found a tonne of lovely stores on Instagram, which helps her put the finishing touches on her room designs, which she sums up as ‘inspired’.

“I take inspiration from a few different styles and make it my own. I have taken inspiration from Scandi and Nordic styles as I love the white, fresh looks with the blonde wood for the majority of my home”.

Tarryn also reveals that the key to keeping her house looking clean and tidy with two kids running around: storage! 

“In every room I make sure that it is not only stylish but also functional, creating storage wherever I can to hide the crap. When everything has a home there is no clutter and the place looks spotless (even if I haven’t actually cleaned in a week)”.

See more of Tarryn’s living room ideas and home decor inspiration via her Instagram.

And definitely check out here awesome blog here: iamtarryndonaldson.blogspot.co.nz

>>> What are some of your tips for keeping a home stylish with kids and pets to consider? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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4 Responses

  1. I have never agreed that children prevent you from having a lovely home. All it means is that storage is super important so that all those toys and important bits can be put away, and that keeping it tidy is a constant effort. My kids are pretty good at tidying up their play zones, I think if you bring them up that way they start doing it automatically. I don’t want them to be scared to be untidy when they play, it is their home too after all, but it is ok for them to know they need to tidy up at the end of the day.
    Also wooden floors and leather couches are fab – the messes that are bound to happen are easy to clean up and not catastrophes.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Monique. Isn’t Tarryn’s home simply stunning? It is so reassuring to know that you can go to the stores people consider ‘budget’ and still put together a family friendly space that looks super-stylin’ too. I’m in love with it!

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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