arranging furniture, furniture arrangement, arrange furniture, redesign business, decorating business

Blending Child Safety and Style I

faux textures, faux texturizing, how to faux texture Following is the text for a question and answer segment for an article I was asked to write. It will appear in a decorating magazine soon.

1. Your full name and name of your biz?

Barbara Jennings, Author/Consultant/Artist

Name of Biz:

2. How long in business? What do you offer?

I've been doing redesign and art consulting since 1983. Prior to that I was in graphic design for 12 years.

I offer training in how to professionally arrange the furniture and accessories you already own, just the way an interior designer would do.  I also offer training in how to start your own redesign business, how to start a corporate art consulting business, how to design wallgroupings, how to hang art, how to decorate for parties and have a long list of free decorating tips available.

3. Are you a designer or a decorator?

I am a decorator, corporate art consultant, author of 6 books and a published artist.

4. How can parents decorate their home with style and have kids at the same time?

Having a stylish home AND kids are not a problem. Depending on the age, one simply has to make the home save and usable for all in the family. The degree and nature of safety will change as the children mature.  This may be revolutionary, but I believe it all starts with proper training and discipline of the children and includes some common sense precautions on the part of the parent.

I was very careful to let my children know, kindly and lovingly, about what they could touch and what was off limits.  However, I have seen many homes where discipline was totally lacking.  i.e. parents letting their children jump on the sofas, chairs and bed; parents letting children run in the home, along the pool; parents leaving small children in a room unattended.  My children did not bother my accessories too much. Those that seemed to be too attractive to them were either removed totally or placed up high where they couldn't reach them. Velcro was sometimes placed under an accessory to keep it in place, especially if up high.

5. Are there certain types of furniture to look for?

Casual furniture that is rugged is great for children. If it gets dinged (and it will), it just adds more "character" to the piece.  Wrought iron legs on tables are very durable and ding free.  Wood is ricky.  Wicker (not rattan) furniture is pretty great too as it is multi colored and textured anyway and will hide a multiple number of dings.  Look for rounded styles that don't have sharp edges

Stay away from?

Stay away from leather sofas and chairs and cloth too. Get vinyl. It can be wiped easily and is pretty durable. Be sure that the vinyl is thick, however.  If very thin, it will not hold up.

Watch out for chests with heavy lids. If a small child gets one open and the lid falls down, it can be disastrous.  If you do have chests, put locks on them.

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(2004-05 Copyright Barbara Jennings)

Barbara Jennings
is the West Coast Pioneer in Redesign, author of 7 decorating books, a published artist, corporate art consultant, and furniture arrangement consultant. For training in professional furniture and accessory arrangement, or to start your own redesign or art consulting business, please visit: