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Keeping home stylish even when kids take over |

Keeping home stylish even when kids take over

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Turning your bedroom into a luxury retreat, begins with layered bedding.

Gone are the days of the multi-colored puzzle play mats, the loud paint colors and the mountain of toys piled into a corner.

Out with the crayon-covered walls and in with the technology-enhanced washable paint. 

When it comes to kid’s bedrooms and shared spaces throughout the house, trends are leaning more in favor of the chic and stylish. With clever storage methods, durable materials and long-lasting furniture, Southwest Florida designers say there are ways parents can keep their own styles and tastes.

Whether it’s in the kids’ bedrooms or throughout the rest of the house, we asked the experts how to appease the little ones without turning the entire house into a real-life cartoon.

In the bedroom

Color me neutral

Trends are shifting in children’s bedrooms, said Diane DeWald, owner of Mega Kids, a children’s furniture store.

“It used to be where children’s rooms were more fun and colorful, and I’ve noticed over the past five years because of the trend of more contemporary the world has gone gray in every way shape or form. We have everything with gray under the sun,” said DeWald, who has been in business in Naples for 23 years.

Parents are now pairing grays with blues or natural tones like taupe.

“We went through a trend where we were doing gray and orange, gray and mustard, gray and red, and gray and aqua,” she said. “And now we’re seeing those colors transform with the creams and whites again.”

But it doesn’t always have to be about the parents’ tastes, DeWald said.

If a child’s favorite color is lime green, she suggests using it in accessories — an embroidered pillow, a lampshade, a trashcan — items that can be easily changed as the favorite color does, too.

Accessories and furniture

In all things, it’s about making things last, says Kim Grimes, a senior interior designer with Beasley Henley Interior Design, with offices based in Naples, Orlando and Winter Park.

As kids age, so do their tastes, so Grimes suggests artwork and accessories that aren’t too juvenile but still maintain a youthful innocence, like a dragon-pattered pillow and splashy, colorful artwork for the walls, that can easily be swapped out.

Consider an upholstered headboard for a safety net for kids’ jumping and pouncing on the bed, Grimes said.

Storage is also key. Keep modern-looking trunks with clean lines at the end of the bed to store toys when your child isn’t using them.

“Keeping everything as concealed as possible definitely makes things look nicer when you have company,” Grimes said. “Less clutter is always good.”

Customized, built-in furniture is another option to easily transition with a child’s age. Gregory Pascale of Southwest Florida-based Paradise Design + Build advises his clients to hunt for ideas online. Inspired by a find on Pinterest, one of Pascale’s recent clients wanted to sleep six children in bunk beds in their Marco Island condo.

The custom bunks combine luxury and practicality with a coastal chic look. The bunks have individual lighting and shelving, pull-out trundles, floor-to-ceiling shiplap and a wide staircase.

Even with his own son, Pascale designed a modern nursery collection with a changing table turned storage piece. His dresser and hutch went from being full of stuffed animals and baby clothes to Nurf guns, fidget spinners and now, 10 years later, is a complete entertainment center.

“The versatile storage allows for family and friends to feel comfortable in their unique spaces,” he said.

In the rest of the house

Even when parents are outnumbered by kids, Frank Randazzo offers tips for keeping shared spaces stylish.

The Clive Daniel Home interior designer recently renovated a Pine Ridge Estates home for a mother of eight.

“She likes nice things, she likes her home, she lives sort of a contemporary lifestyle and wanted to incorporate that into her home,” Randazzo said. “We wanted to have a clean look but with all these kids running around.”

The open-floor-plan great room and kitchen is entirely kid-friendly, from the washable paint that repels moisture and stains in a broad span of colors, to the spill-resistant outdoor fabric on the indoor sofa and chairs.

“A kid can dump his ice cream on that soft and it will come right off,” Randazzo said.

He also designed floor-to-ceiling cabinets for added storage.

“There’s unique things you can do to create storage,” he said. “It’s all kitchen cabinets but it’s got kids’ clothes.”

Consider a child’s eye-level, Randazzo said. Accessories within reach should have low centers of gravity so they are tougher to knock over — nothing that’s tall and lengthy. Coffee tables should have rounded corners, while parents can splurge on things like light fixtures that are out of reach.

Instead of those gaudy puzzle mats, companies like Comfort Design Mats offer pretty, geometric patterns that are still safe and durable for children.

The mats are free of latex, BPA and PVC, hypoallergenic, non-flammable and anti-slip. They sell on Amazon.com for $119.95.

“Our concept is to create designs that mimic area rugs so that parents can use our stylish floor mats not only in the kids bedroom or playroom, but also in the living room,” Comfort Design Mats founder Linda Tong said. “Kids’ toys and things are already colorful so our play mats will help balance that shared space for children and grown-ups to enjoy.”

Home owners are increasingly taking more ownership of their personal space, but kids can, too. Just as designers talk to parents about their preferences, it’s important to ask the same of the children.

It’s about finding the balance between both.

“They still like nice things in their home,” Randazzo said, “and you can still have a house that looks like a million dollars and still be for a family.”

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