My new binge-watch on Netflix is Dream Home Makeover. I just love the stunning "modern traditional" decor, the neutral palette, and the natural materials.
Shea and Syd McGee (the two presenters) have two young kids too, and most of their clients also have young families. So they have lots of great ideas on how to keep your home on-trend but child-friendly.
The first thing I noticed when watching the show is that most of the sofas Shea chooses when designing a sitting room (or "great room" as she likes to call it). They are all made of fabric, and are light in colour. I was slightly bemused by this as we (like most young families I know) have a dark leather couch that is easy to wipe.
I have lusted after light couches but decided that they’re simply not an option; not our kids are past the ‘sticky fingers’ stage at least. However, after looking into this further I’ve realised there are loads of options out there. You can clean, protect, or even change the cover of your fabric sofa depending on the season!
Our sitting room is currently lacking a coffee table. Well, we do have one but it’s been relocated as my 20-month-old pulled off the corner protectors and decided it was a climbing frame. We have therefore resorted to leaving cups of tea on the mantlepiece and having to perch our Friday night pizza on our knees.
But seeing what the McGees and their clients use in the series has been a revelation. Using an Ottoman in the centre of your room makes perfect sense. There’s no issue if the kids decide to sit on it; the corners are soft, and by putting a tray on top of it you have a flat surface for your drinks and nibbles. That is, once the kids are tucked up in bed of course.
Although I’m a fan of the grey trend, after watching Dream Home Makeover, I’ve been convinced that it’s good to incorporate natural materials and tones in too. As we are now a family of four, we need a larger dining room table and I now think oak is the way to go. As the McGees say, it ages better, is more durable (and therefore safer), and imperfections are less obvious.
I find wooden and laminate flooring much more practical than carpet when you have young kids. And they are so much easier to keep squeaky clean. The problem is that hard floors aren’t very comfortable to sit, roll or make dens on.
In Dream Home Makeover they use vintage or natural-looking rugs everywhere. As well as being easier to care for than carpet, they are soft underfoot and also make rooms look warmer.
I think I may now have a rug addiction and am determined to add one to every room. There’ll be no cold toes on Christmas morning here!