Updated: Sep 4, 2021
As your family grows, so does the concern over having nice things around the house. Do you remember visiting your grandmother and either all of her furniture was covered in plastic or a whole room that you weren't allowed in because everything in it was for adults ONLY?! No longer are the days, and we can thankfully laugh about those crinkly sofas now!
The way families live now has changed, and luckily, lots of pretty nerdy tech advances have changed the way materials like fabrics, rugs, and stone are treated and developed. This means that us designers (also pretty nerdy here) are able to look at design in a totally different way. A functional family friendly home is totally achievable through use of smart materials, and more importantly, can check the boxes for easy but luxurious family living. Let's face it, our lives are too busy to worry about keeping the kids off the furniture - homes today need to perform.
a peek into our process
Let's start with the basics, what makes furniture in particular family friendly? It’s all about designing smart and functionally to fit your family's lifestyle. Our M.O. is to gather as much info up front as we can about you and your family. We go deep on your daily routine, weekends, evenings, preferences, and lots more to figure out how our design can support your family's lifestyle. How do we choose the best family friendly items, you ask??
We're going to let you in on our process, regarding a living room staple - the coffee table! Here's an example: when designing this basement family room, we knew the upholstered ottoman was the perfect coffee table. Based on the family's lifestyle, not only did they want to use the space as a casual place for friends to put their feet up and chill, but also as a play where kids could play, without worrying about bumps and bruises.
The coffee table is the heart of the room, it forms a natural gathering point to share conversation, it's where you rest your feet, it's where your kids draw pictures that go up on the fridge. We all know said kiddos can be walking bumper cars (mine spills something at least twice a day), so why not take a few simple steps to keeping your space functional, comfortable and beautiful? Here's the checklist we follow when choosing a coffee table.
the coffee table checklist:
Minimize sharp edges or corners. Aim for rounded or upholstered if you can. No point in “asking for” the bump on the noggin!
Reduce glass or easily breakable materials. This feels like a no brainer but it is easy to be tempted by all the gorgeous glass top tables.
Choose a material that will hold up to your future Picasso - as beautiful as it is, marble takes on marker stains oh-so easily....sigh. We may be speaking from personal experience ;)
Storage, storage, storage, there never seems to be enough. Hide toys in a pinch when you have convenient places to put them!
Go for a solid base, or for the overall material being heavy enough to not tip over when it becomes a stage for your kids to sing and dance on.
This list isn't a hard and fast set of rules to go by, more like guidelines you can follow. But know that you can have a home that says "adults live here! kids do too, and it's still safe, comfy, organized, and prettaayyy."
We had the opportunity to design the same family's formal living room, and you bet we made lots of family friendly choices. Yes the coffee table we chose had squared edges, but the reclaimed wood is indestructible so they didn't have to worry about any major damage. This was the right option for this family since they had a dedicated, separate family room. We were able to make their living room more formal for entertaining, while making sure to include pieces that would hold up.
a few of our fave coffee tables
Ready to see a few of our faves? They each have their own unique benefits, but you really can't go wrong with any of them!
How about this beauty made of concrete, it's totally indestructible! Natural materials are not going out of style any time soon, plus they hold up to anything thrown at them, literally.
Talk about craftsmanship! Bone inlaid into mango wood and a brass-finished base lends a modern vibe to your space, while being sturdy enough to take on a few feet running across.
This eye-catching handmade concrete gem will only better over time, and can more then withstand "the elements". How could you pass up the beautiful color as well?!
storage for days
Storage you say...we all need it. How about a place to hide toys that conveniently get strewn around the living room? This coffee table is a gem, and can provide reassurance that a quick clean up is only seconds away.
We just love the curved edges on this family friendly table. The detailed carving on the sides bring an element of modern glam to an already glama-licious piece.
This beauty's round contemporary style is the ideal place to store your favorite books or an extra throw to keep you and the kiddos warm during movie night.
the only glass we need are wine glasses
We just love the soft, rounded edges of this hammered wood table, plus it's super sturdy. Bonus - it adds a gorgeous texture!
Need a bit more glam, this grey oak top with chevron pattern fits the bill! The perfect amount of style with a cup full of kid friendly.
Be still our hearts! This Boho coffee table only needs a tray to complete it. You can bet your first aid kit will be collecting dust.
plush, chic, and bump free
This coffee table is our upholstered leather dream! If this modern vibe is what fits you best, you're in luck because leather is easily wipeable and very kid and pet friendly.
Grey velvet, yes velvet! Suuuurprise, this is a family friendly material. It cleans rather easily, especially if you go with performance version of the soft touch fabric.
If square edges don't fit your lifestyle then this upholstered coffee table is perfect and the fabric choice is totally customizable!
Aren't they all beautiful?! Do you have any favorites from the ones above? Let us know in the comments below :)