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How to design a living room with the whole family in mind

Designing a living space during your bachelor/bachelorette days is one thing—designing for a partner, kids, and pets is another thing entirely! Is it possible to design a family friendly living room that meets everyone’s needs and still offers the style you love? We asked some of our favorite interior designers to weigh in, and here were the tips they offered:

  1. Consider investing in “low” furniture.

When you’re designing for a family with young kids and dogs, you may want to consider choosing furniture pieces which sit lower to the ground. When you purchase a couch or sectional sofa with Sofa Creations, you can customize the dimensions of your seat to meet your height preferences. Choosing a sofa or sectional with a seat positioned near the ground can:

  • Help babies pull up and cruise.
  • Make it easier for young kids to climb up and down.
  • Reduce the risk of your pet hurting its spine by jumping up and down from a tall surface.

You can also choose a coffee table which sits lower to the ground to make it easier for children to play with building blocks, color and draw, and engage in other fun activities on its surface.

  1. Look at furniture options which include storage space.

Maybe in the past you had coffee and end tables with a simple table top, but now you may need more storage with all those people and pets running around! Look for furniture with built in storage for the items you typically find laying around your den. For example, you may like:

  • A hollow ottoman with storage space for shoes
  • A coffee table with storage drawers for toys
  • Side tables with space underneath for magazines and books
  • Shelves or cabinets with hooks for jackets, backpacks, and computer bags
  1. Think about the functions your living room serves.

Your living room is probably more than just a sitting area. Does it double as your child’s art studio? As a play room? As a movie theatre or other type of entertainment space?

Depending on the functions of your living room, you may want to set up different stations within the space. For example, you could designate one portion of a wall to display your child’s artwork, or outfit one corner with a stuffed animal organizer.

  1. Don’t forget your fur babies!

Unfortunately, many pets shed a lot of fur wherever they decide to get cozy. We recommend choosing non-fabric furniture materials which are less likely to accumulate pet hair, such as leather. When you do prefer fabric upholstery, try to choose colors and patterns which will more easily hide your pet’s fur.

If you want your pets to have their own lounging space, we recommend finding a pet bed which coordinates with the rest of your decor. Some specialty furniture pieces, like end tables or shelving units, are outfitted with a pet bed underneath or inside. The Bay Area also has plenty of luxury pet boutiques with a wide range of pet bed styles that are sure to complement your interior design scheme. One local store we love is P.L.A.Y. based in San Francisco, which offers an extensive selection of pet beds in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, patterns, and styles.

  1. Prioritize safety.

There are basic child proofing steps you can take in your home, such as covering wall outlets and locking cabinets containing household chemicals. But there are less obvious ways to help keep your children safe as you design your living room. For example, we recommend securing any furniture or decor pieces which could significantly injure a child by falling. Many shelving units come with hardware to secure the shelves to your wall, and TV sets can be mounted to your wall or secured to a stand with safety straps. You can also find furniture with rounded and soft corners if your children like to be active and run around the room.

  1. Decorate with durable materials.

Kids and pets can be tougher on furniture than we are! Before starting a family, you may never have thought to research your furniture materials, but it’s important to do so now.

Here are some tips for choosing durable materials which will stand up to stains and damage:

  • Materials like aluminum, stainless steel, iron, and manmade materials (such as polyethylene, resin, and fiberglass) are great for use outdoors because they can stand up to all kinds of weather conditions.
  • The most durable types of wood include maple, oak, and walnut.
  • When selecting fabrics, tighter weaves are more resistant to wear and tear.
  1. Don’t forget the protection plan for your sofa or sectional.

Even when you purchase ultra-durable furniture, it’s impossible to prevent all types of accidents. This is why we offer five year protection plans for our sofas and sectionals. The Sofa Creations Protection Plan provides peace of mind for families with kids and pets in case of spills, stains, pet messes, and other damage which may blemish your couch or sectional.

Contact us for more information about our family-friendly furniture selection, or stop by one of our local Bay Area show rooms to take a look for yourself in person!