Design Ideas For Three Busy Traffic Areas Of Your Home
Ask any parent and they will tell you that the three highest traffic areas of their home are: the mudroom, the playroom, and the family room. Keeping these areas clean and tidy, particularly if you have a crawling baby, is important and practically impossible at the same time, but we’ve got a few ideas (courtesy of Lorena Canals) that will help you get organized and maintain style and design that your family and friends will love, too. You will also notice our awesome new machine washable 5×7 rug that we received from Lorena Canals. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing this rug has been, but read on for more.
Rule number one for all three spaces is to manage the clutter. Clutter can be tamed but it takes a little organization and some old fashioned discipline. The rule needs to be that everything needs to have a home and if it’s not in its home, it’s not in the right place. I tend to get a little “mean mom” on my kids and if things aren’t in their homes by the time we go to bed, they get thrown away. This really kicks everyone into gear and I get to wake up to a clean house in the morning.
One of the most depressing things to me is waking up to a sink full of dirty dishes, a dirty floor full of dog hair, snack crumbs, and tiny toys. When everyone works together in the evenings, we can tackle the majority of the mess in a short amount of time.
Playroom Design & Organization
Pick a style and color scheme and run with it! Whether that’s a pink princess room, primary colors, a galactic space room, or a nautical theme, you can find furniture and decor to enhance the style while still staying organized. I recently decided to go with a bit of a bohemian theme in our playroom, which was previously full of a hodge-podge of colors.
As far as organization goes, toys are the single biggest cause of clutter but good habits can be formed, even with smaller children. We chose to limit the playroom to just books, art supplies, and stuffed animals. The girls have to keep their other toys in their rooms. Here are some easy organizational ideas for your playroom:
● Create a ribbon board for the wall to showcase important artwork, school papers, and photographs without using tacks or pins. We personally used the temporary 3M hooks and twine and set up the artwork “ribbon” in our hallway leading to the laundry room/mudroom. I keep all of my girls’ seasonal artwork on the twine and either toss it or save a small box once that season is over.
● Have boxes or bins for toys and label them so that the kids know what belongs in each one. If your kids are really young, paste photographs of what goes in each on to the bin or box: one for figurines, one for LEGO, one for… You get the idea. We purchased a 9 cube organizer from Target for $39.99 for our books.
● Are you being overrun by stuffed animals? There are some very fun ways to keep them in check, aside from not buying anymore:
○ Put a piece of fabric in a hammock style across a corner of the room that can hold some of the zoo.
○ I purchased a medium sized black wire basket from Target for around $16 and put all of my girls’ Beanie Boos and stuffed animals in it. I use it as a piece of decor, but the girls love that they have easy access to their stuffed animals.
● Do a monthly purge of toys that aren’t played with anymore. They refuse to let go of anything? Go ‘Mission Impossible’ on the playroom when the kids are at school. If you’re worried about a meltdown, place a bin of toys in the attic for a month or two to see if they notice the items are missing. If they do, the toy that is suddenly so near and dear to their hearts can be miraculously ‘found’ and returned. I admit that I have done this numerous times with my kids’ toys and often times out of anger. A mom can only take so many toy-bucket-dumps before she snaps.
● Regardless of what flooring you have in the playroom, putting a machine washable 5×7 rug like Lorena Canals over it will not only add a dimension of warmth and style to the room, but will make it easy to clean up any accidental spills, crumbs or other messes. In addition, you don’t need to worry about your kids’ health and safety while playing on this all natural, handmade rug that’s completely free of toxins or chemicals.
In the mudroom
The key with what is often a relatively small space is to keep things OFF of the floor.
● Have hooks for bags, scarves, jackets and hats. Even better if each member of the family has their own hook or storage box, so they can get into the habit of always putting away their things rather than dropping them on the floor.
● Shelves and storage boxes are excellent for the little items like gloves, mittens, and scarves. Make sure you have a place for umbrellas, too.
● Cubbies or mats for wet shoes and boots will prevent unpleasant puddles from forming all over the floor.
● Other useful things in a mudroom?
○ A bench for sitting and changing shoes
○ A laundry basket for wet mittens and dirty socks
In the family room
Accessories are what make the room. Virtually any family room will have a sofa, a coffee table, a side table, or some lighting. The accessories that you add are where you can put your stamp on the space.
● Pillows and cushions: These are the ideal accessory for a family room because they decorate the sofa but will also create a comfy sitting area on the floor for family movie night or the walls for an epic fort. Think beyond the traditional square pillow and add a bit of playfulness to your decor with heart, star, or dot shaped pillows. Even better when they are washable like Lorena Canals cushions so they can truly be functional and not just fashionable.
● Ottomans and benches that open to reveal storage will give you extra seating when you have guests over and are perfect as a designated space for stray toys. Keep a hard and fast rule: when you’re done playing for the day, the toys go away. Your space will be tidy and comfortable, even when your mother-in-law drops in unexpectedly.
● Get prints made of some of your best family photographs and have them framed. They are the most beautiful and personal accessory you can add to the family room.
● The key to a great family room is functionality. The space should be designed to truly be used by everyone in your household. So if your family loves board games, movies, books, or gaming, create a space for that activity and add storage to accommodate if necessary. Additional decor should be low maintenance and designed to be used, not just looked at.
Busy spaces don’t have to be messy spaces: a few stylish pieces and a little organization will help you create functional and beautiful rooms that you can enjoy.
Lorena Canals is a home design expert and the founder of the Spanish home design brand of the same name. Lorena Canals’ Spanish lifestyle brand is making its mark with chic designs, eco-friendly materials and exceptionally-made, machine-washable rugs and cushions in stylish shapes, designs and colors for every room in the house. They are also all natural, hypo-allergenic and functional. Visit http://lorenacanals.us/
*In collaboration with Lorena Canals. This post contains affiliate links to some of my favorite products and stores. Clicking on these doesn’t cost you anything but helps For The Frill Of It earn a little extra cash (or Target money, but don’t tell my husband).