How to solve decorating dilemmas with children - Michelle Canny
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How to solve decorating dilemmas with children

I have always been a lover of all things interior. I love creating beautiful spaces using soft furnishings and decorative pieces such as picture frames, vases and other special finds that I often buy on my travels. I am that person who buys too many cushions (as my husband says and I answer as if you can ever have enough!) and I have somewhat of an obsession with indoor plants.

Before having a child countless people told me, “once you have a child it will change everything. You won’t be able to have nice things around and forget about having a clean house.” I often smiled and nodded thinking that won’t be me. As if my son would have any interest in what my husband calls my “interior shit”. Well I’ll admit I was wrong!

Before now or in fact before 7 months he had no interest in my things, happily admiring them from afar. But then he decided to crawl which has led to climbing and suddenly everything I love is his new obsession and I’m sure on his I must trash or eat list!

I decided just because my child doesn’t respect my interior styling choices (and why would he) it doesn’t mean I can’t still create beautiful spaces. I just have to be a bit more realistic about where things go or potentially glue everything to the ceiling!

So I thought I’d share some practical solutions that have allowed me to create the look I want without having to worry about the prying hands of my son or other destructive children.

Floating shelves – these are a great idea for keeping your possessions safe and creating a focal point on some unused wall space. You can create co
ol vignettes using your favourite things of different shapes and sizes and if you choose to use wooden shelves it adds instant warmth to a room.


Fake plants – although they sound tacky and a little 1980’s I promise you they’re the bomb when you want to add some greenery to your space and not have to worry about your child eating soil. There are some fantastic replicas of popular plants out there. From fig trees to succulents they look identical to the real thing and the best thing is you don’t need to do anything to keep them looking fab.


Double sided rugs – When I was originally thinking about the interiors for our new house I had a light coloured rug in mind, however in hindsight I am so glad that I changed my mind because any light colour with a child is a recipe for disaster. Solution – a double sided rug where one side is dark which is ideal for covering spillages when kids are young.


Once my son is a bit older hopefully he will respect my rug bit more than he does now and I can turn it over to the lighter side for an instant update to the room, but let’s be honest I’ll probably be waiting until he’s 25!

I know over time he’s going to get more mobile and the chaotic mess will increase tenfold. There will probably be dint’s in a lot of the walls and food smudged into most of the furniture; I may even want to paint the inside of the house black just to cover it all, but I’m ok with it. I realise now that when you have children, the house isn’t meant to be pristine and perfect all the time, and would you want it to be?

I recently read a beautiful quote that I felt summed up a home with children perfectly, “it takes hands to build a house but only hearts can build a home”. As much as kids may not have the same level of appreciation or respect for our interior styling choices it’s not the decorative things that make a home, it’s the love with in it.

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