If you have kids or pets then you know it can be difficult to keep your home neat and tidy. I tackle this using two broad strategies to make sure that your dream home remains your dream home. Planning for your storage needs and choosing the right finishes are the two areas I concentrate on when it comes to designing with kids and pets in mind.

Functionality

Let’s face it, the little ones in your family always seem to have a lot of stuff. Whether it’s the pram, walker or high-chair when they’re babies, the sports gear, scooter or lego as they get older or the pet feeder and toys for the pets; there is always a lot of paraphernalia that goes hand-in-hand with children and to some extent your pets. Storage is going to be king when it comes to living with children and pets in the home and building this into your renovation or new build design based on what you need now and what the future holds will make your life a whole lot easier. Look to include both short-term and long-term storage and think about including both small and bulk storage. Whilst hidden storage and custom joinery will cost you more in the short term, the long term benefits and the ability to customise this to suit your family cannot be underestimated.  Having the right storage for your family means that everything has a place, reducing your stress and improving your every experience of your dream home.

Finishes

When it comes to kids and pets it’s important to consider the long-term wear and tear of finishes, ease of cleaning and how each finish looks with daily use.  Consider using extra heavy duty or commercial grade flooring and washable low VOC paints. Avoid high gloss floor finishes and use enamel paints on doors, skirtings and trims. And if your budget can stretch consider using anti-fingerprint surfaces in your kitchen and vanities.

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