Family Friendly Design for Homes that are Smart and Stunning


Wear patterns and dirt tracked inside from the backyard and the soccer field…rings on the table from sweaty glasses sans coaster…the chocolate stuck to the seat cushion (though no one will own up to how it got there)!

You would like to have a beautiful home with nice things, but you think you will need to wait until the kids are older, right?

Not necessarily! With a few smart strategies and the right materials, your home can stand up to the challenge of an active family and still look beautiful! Keep reading for family friendly design.


Tip 1: Opt for Performance Fabrics

High traffic areas can benefit from upholstery materials intended for heavy use, as well as performance fabrics like Crypton. True to its name, Crypton technology repels wet spills for hours, so that they will not be absorbed by the fabric. Treated leathers and outdoor fabrics like Sunbrella may also add longevity to your upholstered pieces.

Tip 2: Select Colors & Textures

Color, pattern, and texture in the right application can help to hide soil and stains. Avoid very light, flat fabrics on pieces that will take the most abuse. Adding pattern to rugs, pillows, and blankets will help to hide wear and soil. Texture in fabric, rugs, or carpet can help to hide spots or dirt, whereas very flat textiles can make every crumb visible!


Tip 3: Embrace Rustic Finishes

Light distressing, patina-ed, or weathered finishes can help to disguise a multitude of sins. Time and use simply add character!

Tip 4: Choose Washable Paint

Easily cleanable finishes can be a life saver. Talk to your paint store about the best quality cleanable paint options. Quality furniture manufacturers frequently offer extremely durable finishes or coatings for heavy use wood pieces like kitchen or coffee tables.


Tip 5: Pick Sturdy Rugs

Rugs are a great investment, not only for stopping dirt at the entry, but for protecting hardwoods throughout the home. Patterned rugs are especially helpful in hiding soil in heavy use areas like kitchens and family rooms. Fabrication technology in outdoor rugs has improved greatly! Many compete with indoor rugs in appeal, but with the clean-ability of an outdoor rug.

Tip 6: Invest in Quality Craftsmanship

Quality craftsmanship should not be overlooked in key high-use pieces such as the family room sofa and the kitchen table. A well-constructed table or frame will help to extend the life of  the piece for many years.  Well-constructed springs and cushions ensure that the cushions on your upholstered pieces hold their shape and remain comfortable, unlike their cheaper cousins.


The right combination of materials, construction, colors, patterns, and textures can extend the life and beauty of your finishes and furnishings. To-the-trade custom furnishings offer many options to stand up to the heavy demands of an active family.  By strategically prioritizing these highly practical, soil-hiding, high quality products and finishes, a family-friendly space can be as beautiful as it is practical!

Have a question about specific family friendly design features? Ask us in the comments below.

Until next time,

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