We envy anyone with a statement-making home, but none more so than parents. Having children certainly shouldn’t prevent anyone from having a stylish home, but it’s daunting to decorate when you have dripping ice cream cones and muddy soccer cleats in your midst.
The trick to decorating a family home is not to be precious. Actually there are a lot of tricks. Use performance fabrics, and remember that busy prints are forgiving. Choose easy-to-clean finishes. Avoid sharp corners and breakable materials. Set ground rules—have a kid-free zone if you like. Use slipcovers.
Looking at the following family homes, we noticed a theme. Beyond being incredibly, incredibly stylish, they’re also notably inviting. There are few chairs you’d be afraid to sit on and rarely an accent a rowdy little one might break. Scroll on for inspiration and a few lessons.
Julia Chaplin’s Rock-and-Roll Approach
In her historic Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, house, author and journalist Julia Chaplin has opted for a rock-and-roll approach; in fact, the entire home is modeled after one major pop-culture moment: the Rolling Stones’ recording of Exile on Main Street. Made of well-worn leather, a low-slung ’70s modular B&B Italia sofa in her living room is the perfect height for her daughter to dance, climb, and play on. An antique rug can stand up to all sorts of antics.
Jodie Patterson’s Eclectic Victorian Style
In skin-care entrepreneur Jodie Patterson’s turn-of-the-20th-century Brooklyn brownstone, anything goes, but you wouldn’t know it at first glance. While the beautifully preserved architecture lends a formal air to the mom-of-four’s home, low-slung, durable, and modern furniture is casual and inviting. The balance of antique elements and eclectic moments creates a posh bohemian vibe we totally envy.
Kim Bachmann’s Playfully Posh Mood
In her 1920s Beaux Arts home in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood, fashion designer Kim Bachmann has crafted a stunning atmosphere to suit her playful personality. From Barbie pink to eye-popping yellow, Kim doesn’t shy away from bright colors when it comes to her walls. In fact, it’s an easy way to assert her style, which allows for more-neutral and kid-friendly choices in furniture and decor.
Sue De Chiara’s Fun, Traditional Vibe
With a classic blue-and-white palette, ginger jars, and layers of toile, ikat, and zebra print, it’s clear that Sue De Chiara, founder of lifestyle blog and shop The Zhush, has an affinity for traditional decor. However, her family-friendly home feels like the sort of place you can put your feet on the coffee table and perhaps even crash on the couch. She chose an ultraplush blue velvet sofa to set the mood for her living room, while bright artwork and fun animal-inspired accents further liven things up.
Amory McAndrew’s Feminine, Fairy-Tale Atmosphere
When designing this New York apartment for mother-of-two Amory McAndrew, interior designer Lilly Bunn says, “We began by thinking, ‘What’s durable? What’s indestructible?’ And then we tried to make everything as beautiful as we possibly could.” With the exception of her hand-painted wallpaper, everything in her garden-esque dining area—the Tulip table, the chairs, the rug—can easily be wiped down or washed. A sunburst chandelier and oversize topiaries seal the deal on the fairy-tale vibe.