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the what & why of family friendly design

Updated: Jun 15

When Erin and I first founded Curated Nest Interiors, our game plan was – offer full service interior design, from renovations to that final accessory on the shelf; and focus on family-friendly design. Go!

We had plenty of theories on how to design for families, and plenty of experience with previous clients. But we wanted to test our ideas of course! With a fresh (and critical) eye, we sought to gather more real-life evidence, and we have our friends to thank for letting us poke around their homes and conduct interviews. We were just as nice and hilarious as the Queer Eye guys. No hard feelings, promise!

What we found in our research confirmed our thought that a traditional interior design approach of high-end luxury would not work for new or growing families, whose modern lifestyle realities meant juggling kids, babies, fur-babies, often two full-time jobs, and a household.

Credit: Danielle Guenther Photography


here's why we need family friendly design...


Clear trends emerged amongst our besties and associated guinea pigs ;)

  1. They resorted to the lowest common design denominator (“safe” stuff that didn’t offer the quality or personality they wanted), because “ain’t nobody got time for furniture shopping or dealing with contractors”.

  2. They simply left rooms empty or used them for storage due to analysis paralysis and not knowing what to do. Boom - toy takeover ensues! One family we spoke to literally had a real camping tent set up in their dining room.

  3. They wanted to wait till their kids were older before investing in design for worry that everything would get ruined.

  4. They tried doing it themselves but quit halfway or didn’t like the end result. Merp.

but, they still had the desire for a beautiful home that fit their lifestyle.

Sound familiar?!


If you live in NYC or surrounding areas, I am willing to bet you or someone you know is in this situation, juss’ sayin’....

so what is family friendly design?

At that point we knew we had something special to offer families by combining our background in high-end design and super cool kids spaces; our sensitivity as parents, and our real life research. We crafted an approach that combines:

  • Functionality first

  • Livable luxury

  • Materials with a purpose

  • Bespoke touches

  • Special knowledge of designing for kids


Click here for more kids design inspiration


Prioritizing functionality reflects our view that design should be intentional and solve problems (even the ones you don’t notice), and not just pretty to look at. Hold your Pinterest boards for now folks! We analyze how our clients circulate in the whole home, how they interact and flow through each room, and what the purpose is of each space. This helps us plan renovations, create furniture configurations, and decide which pieces are right for each space and each family. Sectional or sofa? Built-ins or storage piece? Breakfast bar or eat-in kitchen? Multi-functional room? What about safety for little ones? Lots. Of. Decisions. Come back to function.

Following that, family friendly design means considering materials (think stain resistant!), incorporating custom pieces and personal touches that reflect our client’s personalities, and bringing our unique expertise to kids spaces making them functional, durable, and promote independence.


Read more - Promoting kids independence through design - Curated Nest talks to HGTV

And finally, we gotta consider the dollahz! Our goal is to deliver livable luxury, and if you’re thinking gilded walls and opulent velvet drapes, it’s not that!

luxury defined:

a condition of

abundance or great ease and comfort.

For us, livable luxury means bringing the feeling of ease and comfort to a home, so it feels like a warm hug. We mix high and low pieces where it makes sense - you have new puppy? Toddlers? Let's stick with a value rug. But please, let's splurge on a gorgeous sideboard and wallpaper on the ceiling! ;)


When we bring all these ideas together, the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts. As parents ourselves here, we know that family life is messy, on many levels. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a functional, luxurious home you can actually enjoy!


Stop by again next week for how-tos and examples on the ultimate family friendly living room.

Xoxo,

Lina



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