Home & tech | Wednesday 23 August 2017

Can a home with kids be a home with style?

No matter how houseproud you may be, small children have a funny way of disrupting your decorating plans. Take a tour of Sarah Akwisombe’s flat to see four ways she beats the clutter and makes family-friendly living fun

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It’s a fact: if you have kids, the way your home looks will change. But instead of regretting the décor that once was, you can get clever about how to make the chaos work for you and your family.



Storage is your friend


‘Don’t bother arranging your kids’ toys into categories, sections or plastic bags – it’s futile! Instead, find a storage solution where toys can be quickly scooped up and hidden away. For children’s rooms, I love stackable Lego-brick storage boxes, while in adult rooms, a few neutral-coloured storage boxes or baskets on a bookshelf at a low height will conceal the clutter.’



My daughter will still bring ALL her toys to the living room, but at least there’s a place she can stash them at the end of the day.



Streamline the laundry


‘My daughter starts school in September and I’m expecting a few night-before panics about having her uniform ready. But I’m going to adopt a simple solution to keep on top of the laundry: three colour-coded clothing baskets for dark, white and bright clothing. Brabantia’s clever boxes are attractive enough to stay on show and can also be stacked if you’re short of space.’


Don’t look under the sofa

‘When fellow parents check out the living room in our small, two-bed flat, they usually ask me in an astonished way: “But where is it all?!” Well, you’d be surprised how much you can stash under the sofa – especially if it’s one on legs. This storage technique works particularly well with slimline products, such as books and board games. Buy yourself five minutes of peace by challenging your kids to fish out the ones at the back.’




The best thing about leggy chairs and sofas? That space underneath is perfect for storage.



Give yourself a back-to-school present


‘September is a time of new beginnings, so treat yourself to a little home makeover – you deserve it after six weeks of summer holiday antics! I love wallpaper and the way it immediately transforms a room. Graham & Brown always has inspiring designs, like its marbled wallpaper. It’s impactful without being “in your face”.’

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