How to have the home you want with the family you love

How to have the home you want with the family you love, without covering it all in bubble wrap?

Isn’t that the trick, though, a happy medium of nice furniture and finishes that stand up to the hoards, which can sometimes get totally out of hand.

I have a large family and being a designer, it  has definitely caused some friction between my wants and desires and the reality of a life, where you can’t run around telling everyone NOT to touch or NOT to sit there.  Well you can do this, but you won’t win any popularity contests.

First, things first.

1. If at all possible buy classic and quality for the larger pieces that will get used and abused.  Like the family room sofa, because after the kids have grown to the point that they don’t wipe their dirty hands on it, yes, this will actually happen.  It can be easily reupholstered and given a new lease on life.

2. Use a good quality, washable paint for the walls, this will be a life saver.  And make sure you have extra paint left over, because believe me, you will be touching it up, if you are anything like me, just before a dinner party.

3. Hard flooring is easier to clean and perhaps, disinfect (you know it, it happens) … than carpeting,  Porcelain tile, stone and even hardwood (as long as you can embrace scratches and think of it as patina) will all be worthwhile in the end. A note on hardwood, light and mid toned floors will show less dirt, dust and scratches than that ebony stained floor.

4. To soften the hard flooring use area rugs, just make sure the one you pick is cleanable.  And I am a big fan of the Flor floor tiles as if something disastrous happens you can just replace the tile or tiles that are affected…how wonderful..a do over.

5.  For smaller pieces, like coffee and end tables, this is the place to have fun and add some whimsey. Use second hand or vintage pieces, paint or stain them to suit and if they get banged up, you have an excuse to redo them.   Another tip with case goods, is to use distressed pieces, so any extra dings or dents just look like they are supposed to be there.  I have used this many, many times in my own home.

There you have it, some tips for having the home you want, with the family you love.



  1. You are a wise woman, Lisa! Great tips.

  2. Love this post! Great tips Lisa!

  3. Joanne Labadie says

    Great article! As a mom with 3 kids And two dogs, I have learned to lower my expect ions in the home decor department. Learning to work a room to suit all needs and uses is key!
    Best purchase ever? Leather sofa from exclusively leather! It is 15 years old and is just getting broken in!

    • Thanks for stopping by Joanne. Absolutely, you have to have realistic expectations or you will make everyone unhappy. Form always follows function, and the key to a great space is that it works for the people who use it.

  4. Andrea Gowsell says

    Such great tips Lisa. I was just washing the smudgy fingerprints off the staircase wall this afternoon! I am planning some redecorating in the family room this summer and will keep your tips top of mind.

    • Oh yes, the washing walls of fingerprints, that is a never-ending job. Good luck with the family room, Andrea and let know if you need any help.

  5. FLOR tiles. Yes! I have thrown out one too many rugs to not invest in these. Have a great weekend Lisa!

  6. So true on choosing lighter colored hardwood floors….I learned the hard way!

  7. Great summary of tips Lisa. It’s true those two worlds don’t always mix well!

  8. You hit the nail on the head, disinfect! I have a toddler boy running around and I love my laminate for it.

    • Oh yes the toddler years, the years of disinfecting and moving everything out of reach. However, also the years of great snuggles and cuddles.

  9. Great tips, ours are generally centred around what won’t the cats ruin and how badly will it show fur

  10. Great tips, Lisa. I love #5. 🙂

  11. Love the title of this post, and what a great post, Lisa! Excellent tips… off to share on Google+

  12. Great tips, thanks! I’m staying away from glass for the time being. I do want a glass coffee table and glass cabinet – some day. That’s okay though, I’d rather watch the kids have fun than watch my glass!!

    • And that’s exactly what you should be doing Heather. Somethings are better to wait for and not wish away the precious time with your wee ones.

  13. Great tips and I love the decor in the photo you posted – beautiful mix!

  14. Great tips! It’s always that fine line between beauty, durability and kid friendly. 😉

  15. These are great tips, and I wish I had internet in the 80’s to learn what I do now! We have 5 kids (now adults…with 9 grandkids) that were kinda tough on stuff. I learned to live with it and not fret, and now I deal with a husband who has gotten worse than all the kids were! (Or maybe I didn’t notice until they all left? I was blaming the wrong people?? lol)
    Debbie 🙂

  16. Great tips! I’m still in that zone really, even though our youngest has now flown the coop too… hubs is and was the worst offender! Grease monkey, shoes on in the house, oh you name it! Hmmm, was looking at Flor tiles today, maybe just maybe! 😉

    • Lol Laurie. Why is it that they can just walk across the floor with dirty boots on and not think twice? And FYI, I’m will be testing out some Flor tiles in my entryway very soon and I’ll let you know how they work out.

      Thanks for stopping by.