One of the wonders of children is the endless joy and curiosity they display for the everyday. They’re adventurers with an eye for a sofa fortress or a couch cubbyhouse, bouncing from cushion to cushion, chair to chair. In all this revelry, you’re likely to see the spoils of such energetic playtimes – ripped upholstery, stained linens and dented woods.
With damage minimisation (and fun preservation) in mind, here are 5 ways to protect your furniture from children – without calling in the fun police.
Cut From Good Cloth
Protecting and repairing your upholstery should be considered a necessary skill when navigating life with children around. Luckily, there are plenty of wonderful options for refreshing and restoring the life of your furniture; Wortley Group are Australia’s most trusted upholstery suppliers, and they’ve been helping families fix their flimsy furnishings for over 60 years.
With trusted expertise, you can consider different fabrics, finishes and fixings to help make-over your problem pieces, while creating a piece of furniture ready to handle anything your family throws at it (quite literally).
Play It Safe
Another tactic to lure children away from valuable furniture is to set aside a special area (or even better – a room) just for children’s activities, complete with appropriate-for-kids furniture, fabrics and entertainment devices.
This type of solution doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy; children are often more pleased with fun and innovative designs than with mid-century Scandinavian designer items. Think inflatable sofas, small brightly coloured chairs and tables, and surfaces covered in blackboard paint and craft supplies. You’ll be protecting your furniture, and fostering a love of art and fun in your children.
If you’re not interested or able to create a kids-only area in your home, you can opt to go in the opposite direction.
A formal dining and entertaining room could be the answer to all of your furnishing faux-pas. When creating a formal entertainment area, think about setting specific and well-communicated boundaries with any children, and let them know that the area is for ‘grown-ups’. Encourage good habits from your children by allowing them into the space for small amounts of time – in exchange for their best behaviour.
A further benefit of this type of solution is that it allows you to create interesting retro spaces where things like bars, buffets and lazy susans never went out of style.
Another way to keep your furniture in top condition is to invest in hard wearing materials, fabrics and designs which are design for more heavy duty use.
For example, dining chairs and tables can often be procured from hospitality wholesalers. When purchased directly, these items are often made especially for a commercial environment, and as such, are developed to be hardier and to wear through more slowly.
By paying close attention to the types of designs and materials you’re investing in, you will avoid making the mistake of purchasing easily damaged items, such as those covered in silk, linen or filigree.
A no-fail option for when you’re either extra-concerned about your furniture, or when your children are particularly insistent on wreaking havoc is to use furniture covers.
The days of saggy and dated high-shine plastic covers (just like your grandmother had) are long passed. Covers for most furniture items are now available in more livable fabrics, and in an array of prints. Large retailers (such as Sweden’s Ikea) market their furniture alongside images of available covers – meaning that you can change your furniture as your decor changes (or refresh your furniture in case of damage).
By employing some hard wearing fabrics and separation tactics, you can ensure that your furniture (and your children!) stay in their best and brightest condition for as long as you require.