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Blending Child Safety and Style IV

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9. When can parents stop worrying about decorating with the kids in mind?

I think it's always good to remember that the home is for the ENTIRE family.  It should reflect as much as possible the family personality, not just the parents.

Having said that, I only consulted my children regarding their bedrooms.  But I had a strong understanding of what we all seemed to like in common, and I let that be my guide.

Our home is a "global" home with furniture and accessories from all over the globe, which also reflects our bi-ethnic family. It is the color blend that pulls it altogether. It is very eclectic which I believe is far more interesting than a definite "style".

Males tend to care less about decor than females. So they're not too likely to care no matter what you do.

A certain age?

When the children are little, they couldn't care less about color and style.  By the time they reach teens, they just want it to look "cool".  Obviously you can eliminate many of the safety precautions by then and before, but this is the time to be especially careful to make sure the home is neat, orderly and a nice, welcoming place to be. Your teens do not want to be embarrassed in front of their friends.  If your teen isn't inviting any friends over, chances are he/she is embarrassed, so get it fixed up!!!

10. Please add anything else that you think would pertain to the article.

Consider changing your furniture around periodically. Everyone enjoys the feeling of having something new. It's amazing how a total rearrangement of a room can make all of the furniture "feel" new and the space feel like a "new home".  Most rooms can be arranged 2-3 different ways, all equally nice.

Watch out for thread bare carpeting, dead plants, broken glass in frames, mold and mildew, heavy dust, urine or animal feces.  These types of things can be harmful and cause unpleasant odors and really ruin an otherwise attractive space.

In the end, work to achieve something that is both functional for the family and attractive to the eye.

Put toddlers on a "leash" when shopping for your decor, lest you get distracted by all those lovely products.

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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: