Quick tips to make a family-friendly designed home

Sitting room with mustard velvet sofa in a family-friendly designed homecredit

Feel the need to redesign the look of your home? Start with the practicalities – have children or pets for instance? Then it’s probably not wise to put a delicate glass collection arranged in a cabinet for starters – it will end in tears. However, you wouldn’t like a home that looks like a day-care centre either. There is a middle ground: an attractive, comfortable and unique home that can withstand the rough & tumble of family life.

Colourful children's area with world map muralcredit

Moving in soon? This advice is even better if you’re looking to purchase a new home in a fresh location since you’ll have more freedom with regards to design and greater influence over the look of each room in your house. Start by looking at expertly-built homes in a good development beforehand. The houses for sale in Adelaide, Australia are worth considering during your house-hunting expedition.

Now, read on to discover the dos and don’ts when creating a home with family-friendly design.

Blue & green decorated family spacecredit

Consider your family’s lifestyle. Each room in your home might look beautiful, but if it doesn’t take into account the unique demands of your family, life will quickly become frustrating – and a little dull too perhaps. To avoid this, adapt your decorating style to stand up to the rigours of daily life – vomiting babies, sibling food fights, messy pets, indoor rugby matches, and even slobby spouses. Take into account everyone who’s living with you and decorate accordingly.

Colourful, built-in children's play areacredit

Don’t put off decorating. Many families hold off decorating their homes until their children are older – making the family do with tired furniture and household accessories many years after they’ve passed their best. It’s not necessary with a bit of thought. A fresh look gives everyone a lift! Even your youngest kids can benefit from the new, beautiful scheme. You can even get your kids involved in the process – asking what they’d like to have in their room when redecorating – and showing them how they could help. They’d learn skills that they might actually enjoy – and perhaps develop a sense of ownership. They might think twice before messing up rooms that they’ve helped to create!

Pop-inspired family roomcredit

Make it simple and sophisticated. There is beauty in simplicity. A clean-lined, but casual and comfy look is always a good way to go for family life. Avoid over fussy furniture and unnecessary detailing – real dust traps. Choose materials that can stand up to those dirty shoe prints and pet hair. Vintage and well-loved items survive kids better than precious antiques or the pristine new – a bit of extra wear & tear can even add to the vintage charm. Whatever you choose, low maintenance is a must! Once you have kids, you’ll have little time to plump up cushions, dust surfaces and constantly clear clutter.

Family-friendly boot roomcredit

Choose indestructible finishes and materials. Look for the toughest materials around. For the walls, choose a wipeable paint. You can also have a chalkboard paint or graffiti board for your little artist. For hallways, install kick boards and paint it with gloss or semi-gloss paints. For the windows, opt for simple, easy-clean roller blinds or good roman shades – those made with natural materials such as bamboo are also great – they’re durable, stylish and add a bit of texture to all the smooth paint. For floorings, look for surfaces that can be cleaned up with a damp mop. Wood, laminate, rubber and linoleum work well.

Well, we’ve covered the basics, just focus on function over form, and you’re well on your way to creating a family-friendly designed home. Know any other techniques? Please share them with us below!


How many hours is a good night’s sleep?

Bedside table with alarm clock, pot of flowers, cup & saucer, teaspoon and bananacredit

Sleep is something that many people take for granted, but that should not be the case. If you don’t get enough sleep then you can end up experiencing difficulties in your life. You can find it difficult to concentrate when you’re working or studying. You can even cause danger on the roads if you attempt to drive your car while you are tired from lack of sleep.

The average adult needs between seven and nine hours of sleep each night to remain healthy; even missing out on as little as half an hour’s sleep can make you feel really tired. You shouldn’t experience any major problems if you do not miss out on sleep very often, but if it starts to happen fairly often then you can find yourself starting to feel irritable and stressed out. We’re going to take a look at some things you can do in order to try and ensure that you get the seven to nine hours sleep you need each night.

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Making sure your bed is comfortable

One of the most important things you can do in order to try and ensure you get a good night’s sleep is make sure you have a comfortable bed on which to sleep. The idea of comfort varies from person to person; some people prefer their bed to be soft but others need a firmer level of support. This is often especially the case if a person suffers from back or neck pain.

The most important thing to do is make sure that the bed you have is comfortable for you. Do you need a firm mattress? Could a new mattress topper provide you with the support you need? You can take a look at online advice from experts such as Sleep Judge to get further information on how to make sure you’re comfortable when you sleep.

Laptop backlight shining on a bed at nightcredit

Switching off the lights

Most people switch off the lights in the room when they go to sleep but that is not always enough to ensure that you get the good sleep that you need. You need to make sure that the room you’re sleeping in is as dark as possible. Any light that is present can disrupt your sleep pattern. This is especially the case with the blue light that is emitted from electronic devices such as laptops and smartphones. You should never attempt to fall asleep in a room where one of these devices is switched on because you will find it difficult to fall asleep and remain asleep.

The amount of sleep you need to remain healthy varies depending on the individual but it normally lies in the seven to nine hours per night range. Making sure you have a comfortable bed to sleep on, and ensuring that you sleep in a dark room, are both important factors in determining whether you’re able to get the sleep that you need.


Get their look: light-filled kitchen diner

Light-filled kitchen diner

We glanced an envious eye over this light-filled kitchen diner. Even at the hight of summer, our kitchen diner only gets direct light from around 4pm when the sun journeys round to the back of the house… if it happens to be a sunny day, that is – not guaranteed in the Pennines!

The long bank of skylights along the open corridor helps zone  the kitchen and dining areas and lead you into the sitting room and garden beyond.

It all feels so fresh and airy. There’s a calm palette of natural wood, grey and shades of cream flowing through these various zones, thus unifying the whole huge space. Fresh flowers and the large seed head light shade bring the outside in.

It all looks so practical too. Cook and chat, dine at the table – then move to the comfy chairs for a glass of port!

  1. Buster + Punch Heavy Metal ES pendant cord ceiling light, steel
  2. Painted high chair
  3. IKEA PS MASKROS pendant lamp
  4. Toledo style vintage stool – rustic finish
  5. Eames Eiffel-inspired DSW chair
  6. Munnar Dining Table by Ethnic Elements

Get their look: Light-filled kitchen diner | H is for Home

Vintage Tour de France magazines

Vintage Tour de France magazines | H is for Home

One of last week’s main purchases combined two areas of interest – namely, vintage ephemera and cycling. This huge quantity of 1950s cycling memorabilia appeared at a local auction and we couldn’t resist.

Tour de France magazine from 1954 | H is for Home

We haven’t done much cycling ourselves in recent years as our big dog provides all the exercise we need, but we still follow it keenly – particularly the Tour De France at this time of year. We’re often distracted from our work when it appears on TV. We love to follow the riders on their journey, both in terms of taking in the stunning French scenery and the sporting competition itself. We went to watch Le Tour when it passed through Yorkshire (and previously Brighton when we lived there) – and we’re determined to follow the race in our camper van when we eventually get one (we’re still saving up! :-)).

'Le miroir de tour 1954'

Back to the ephemera though. It’s mainly in the form of French magazines and brochures – many relating to the Tour de France.

'Miroir sprint' | H is for Home

They’re packed full of interesting historical photographs, artwork, advertisements and features on riders from the era – famous names such as Louison Bobet, Fausto Coppi and Jacques Anquetil.

Vintage cycling ads | H is for Home

Quite a treat for cycling fans!

Vintage Unis Sport Tour de France map | H is for Home

Some of the magazines even have their original route maps intact which is very rare to find…

Vintage Lambretta Tour de France map | H is for Home

…unused and neatly folded inside.

Portraits of twelve 1950s Tour de France cyclists | H is for Home

They’re perfect for framing and very sought after in themselves – a fabulous find!

Vintage Tour de France magazine feature of Fausto Coppi | H is for Home

We’ll be sorting through them in the coming weeks, having a good browse and then listing them for sale. We might allow ourselves to keep a few pieces, but the majority will be available to buy – watch this space if you’re interested.

Designer Desire: Alain Grée

mosaic of Alain Grée illustrations | H is for Home

In this week’s Designer Desire, we’d like to introduce you to Alain Grée (if you’ve not heard of him already, that is). Eighty years old this year (2016), Grée is an illustrator, mainly known for his children’s books and board games.

Grée is an enthusiastic sailor – he’s crossed the Atlantic on his own ships – which can be seen in his very detailed educational books about ships, boats, the sea and sea creatures.

Luckily, Grée has had a very prolific output; his books (over 300) have been produced in large numbers and in 25 different languages. This means you can find examples of his work easily from outlets such as Etsy and Amazon.

His work is still being produced by RicoBel based in Ghent, Belgium who own the rights to his works. Button Books, based in the UK, stock a large stock of his early-years books, activity sets and flash cards.

Here’s a short film of the designer himself talking about how he created his books.

Image credits

Alain Grée | Sam Smyth | Flickr | Pinterest

Price Points: Orange maxi summer dresses

Trio of orange maxi summer dresses | H is for Home

It’s August, the kids are off school, the Olympics are in full swing (Go Team GB!), the central heating hasn’t been on in months… I’ve realised in the past few weeks that there are gaps in my summer wardrobe. I have lots of summer shorts, T-shirts and walking gear but nothing slightly dressy.

I was thinking that I’m in need of a few maxi summer dresses – white, patterned, floral… but I’d really wanted to find one in orange – one of my favourite (and most summery) colours.

Surprisingly, when I went searching, I couldn’t find that many orange maxi summer dresses online and only a few midi ones. Of the ones I did uncover, one stood out head & shoulders above the others. There was a little hint there! 🙂

Number 1, the strapless example with a frilled bottom, is my favourite. The colour is perfect, a bright tangerine orange that looks great against tanned skin. I love its simplicity and blousy layering. I’d team it with chunky jewellery and a pair of strappy silver sandals.

  1. Strapless belted maxi dress: £29.00, JD Williams
  2. Frill maxi came dress: £40, Topshop
  3. Halterneck maxi dress: £49.99, H&M