Designing your family home – things to think about

designing your family home

I think being house proud is something that comes with age – and of course, the responsibility and pride in owning your own home. I certainly was never house proud in my student days and my mum for one will concur when I say that I was a pretty messy teenager.

In rented accommodation in my twenties I tried my best, but it’s hard to care too much when you’re lining someone else’s pocket with any improvements you make – and anyway I had better things to be doing with my time like earning some money to fund my Topshop habit and all those bottles of Pinot…

Tips for designing your family homeAnyway, I in my 30s I would say that I’m quite houseproud. Don’t get me wrong, I can still be a tad messy and I’m no cleaning fanatic, but I like my house to (at least appear to) be clean and tidy. I’d rather spend money in HomeSense than Topshop and I’m a fan of redecorating areas of our house probably more than is necessary.

But keeping on top of the mess is much easier said than done with a toddler and a dog in residence

IMG_3083If it’s not the toddler constantly emptying the entire contents of my kitchen cupboards, it’s the dog running through the house with wet paws from the garden. And both have an obsession with shoes. I find them all over the house – Taylor wants to just put them on (mums, dads, hers) and Max thinks that if he steals my shoe I’ll take him out for his walk quicker (go figure).

So to say that it’s a challenge keeping the house clean and tidy is an understatement. It’s a bit of a miracle when it happens actually (usually once a day just as Dad walks through the door asking me what I’ve been doing all day).

However, there are so many steps you can take to help manage the mess and create a more harmonious environment for the family. I was recently contacted by Atlantic Shopping to contribute to their home design ideas for families and pets. Here are some of the things that have worked well for us and which you might like to think about when designing your family home.Designing your family home - things to consider

Tips for designing your family home

1. Create large, open spaces

We moved into our house in 2014 and last year we knocked down three walls to make a large kitchen diner for the whole family to enjoy.  The hubby will often sit at the centre island catching up with work emails whilst I’m cooking and Taylor’s playing. We also have adjustable stools at the island, which means that Taylor can sit up there with us – we often have our breakfast sat next to each other when she wants to be all independent!

We weren’t sure whether to keep the utility or knock through when we had the building work done. We decided to keep it and I’m so glad we did. As well as keeping all the laundry and clutter from the garden in there, it’s also where we keep Max’s food bowls, so we can shut them away from those pesky toddler hands!

Light grey and charcoal shaker kitchen units

2. Go carpetless

We have vinyl Amtico flooring throughout our kitchen diner and wood throughout the hallway and into the lounge. The wood was already fitted before we moved into the house and I thought I would miss the feeling of carpet underfoot. I really don’t. Hard flooring is so much more practical for spillages and dirty paws and I find it really easy to keep clean. Our lounge also backs onto the garden, so carpet just wouldn’t have worked in that space. I find that mopping every evening after Taylor’s gone to bed makes the house feel instantly clean!

3. Give everyone a space to call their own

You don’t need a huge house but if you try and give everyone in the family their own areas it can help to contain the mess and stop your whole house being overrun with toys! As a family we all congregate in our living room in the evening. Taylor has her own corner where she plays with her toys and knows that she has to tidy them away. Our dog Max always sleeps on the end of our sofa where we have a throw to help keep it clean.  Max isn’t allowed on our beds and likewise, we tell Taylor that she can’t get in Max’s (she’s tried multiple times!)

It’s not about being overly strict or having separate rooms, but setting natural barriers which still enable everyone to feel part of the family.

creating a family home

4. Have a place for everything

You really never can have too much storage. And storage within storage for that matter. I’m a big fan of having baskets within our wardrobes, in our draws and on our shelves as it means that everything has its place.

Normal everyday routines can turn chaotic if items go missing and you can’t easily find what you’re looking for. I used to get away with hiding everything away behind the cupboard doors before I became a parent – it’s really not so easy now!

5. Think carefully about your choice of sofa (or use throws!)

Most people said we were crazy when we bought our cream sofa last year (thanks Ebay) with a dog and a baby. And perhaps they were right. But we’ve managed to get away with it so far by having throws to help protect it from the mucky paws and sticky hands. I bought throws in the same colour as the sofa so it doesn’t just seem like it’s constantly covered up, and we only have them on the section where Max seems to favour. Taylor hasn’t reached the stage yet where she spends that much time on the sofa though – we may have to buy some more (and regret buying a cream sofa) when that time comes!

designing a family home


What worked for you when designing your family home?

Atlantic Shopping is currently running the I Fits I Sits competition – all you have to do is visit click here and share a cute or funny picture of your pet sitting on your furniture. The winner will receive an Atlantic Shopping voucher to the value of £300, plus a pet parcel full of goodies picked specifically for your pet. 

Article written in collaboration with Atlantic Shopping


Linking up with #KCACOLS

You Might Also Like

Previous Story
Next Story

18 Comment

  1. Emma
    August 7, 2016 at 9:58 am

    What works for us is having our main living space (kitchen/living/dining) all open plan. Like you it is carpetless and it is fab and makes such a difference. #KCACOLS ps I love your kitchen!
    Emma recently posted…Green People Beauty Innovation For Skin CareMy Profile

  2. Emma me and b make tea
    August 7, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    we did very similar with our leather sofa with four cats – used throws. it protected it for a bit but its scratched now 🙁 we just moved and open space and hard floor is ideal for us now! #KCACOLS

    1. Natalie Mudd
      August 8, 2016 at 10:13 am

      Throws definitely work for a bit but if your cats are anything like our dog they always find a way onto the part of the sofa they shouldn’t be on! X

  3. Cathryn - Little Paper Swans
    August 7, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    Great post. We’re going to be moving next week so this is super helpful. I second buying things from Homeware shops rather than clothes shops! A little bit addicted to Homeware.


    1. Natalie Mudd
      August 8, 2016 at 10:09 am

      It really is addictive isn’t it! I love homesense at the minute!

  4. Helena
    August 8, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    My children have their own toy section in the living room too which gives them independence and I agree throws are great for keeping furniture clean. #KCACOLS

  5. OddHogg
    August 8, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    Some interesting ideas. We’re currently waiting for our planning permission to be approved for the modifications to our house. We’re taking down 2 walls to create the open plan living/dining/kitchen space we want. We are also lucky enough to have a 2nd living space which we are keeping both child and dog free (in theory anyway) so we can have our own toy free area in an evening – and when unexpected visitors pop round! #kcacols
    OddHogg recently posted…Our WeddingMy Profile

  6. Sarah - arthurwears
    August 9, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    I am house proud now I’m in my 30’s – but my husband definitely isnt and the lack of space in my house doesnt really allow for it – id love to have a space for everything, but at the moment we dont even have room for everything! lol! i’d love to be able to afford my ‘forever home’ now, but at the moment we just have to settle with what we have and try to make it work…We were looking into a small one storey extension as a playroom for Arthur, but it has come back so expensive and a conservatory actually came back costing even more so still in two minds about that. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday
    Sarah – arthurwears recently posted…Children Changing Careers p:13 – Gemma from all by mamaMy Profile

  7. Geraldine
    August 9, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    I am ridiculously house proud too. We moved last year and loved setting up our house #KCACOLS
    Geraldine recently posted…Table Time Look and Learn: ReviewMy Profile

  8. Madeline (This Glorious Life)
    August 11, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Fab post, and I’m so jealous of your kitchen, it’s gorgeous! x #KCACOLS
    Madeline (This Glorious Life) recently posted…8 years laterMy Profile

  9. The Speed Bump
    August 11, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    Fantastic post and great pictures! I’m still in that “not houseproud at all” stage unfortunately (I’m 22 so I think I get a few more years of not caring before I have to start making my home look nice 😉 #KCACOLS
    The Speed Bump recently posted…Will You Still Need Us?My Profile

    1. Natalie Mudd
      August 19, 2016 at 3:41 pm

      Definitely – enjoy not being house proud in your 20s- it creeps up on you in your 30s! X

  10. Pen
    August 12, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    I love your kitchen. It is simply beautiful. Unfortunately there are no walls that I can knock down in my two bedroom flat.

    I have recently done a lot of decorating. I also have a 2 year old boy who likes to run his cars along my walls – lovely! I keep a jam jar full of the paints that I have on the walls and in the evenings every so often I touch up the areas where tyre marks and such like have appeared. Its a never ending battle. Thanks for showing us your home. Pen x #KCACOLS
    Pen recently posted…Happiness levels increase after divorce – FACT!My Profile

    1. Natalie Mudd
      August 19, 2016 at 3:40 pm

      Haha thanks so much – if you look closely you’ll see the handprints and crayon marks on my walls too 😂 x

  11. Morgan
    August 17, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    I totally agree with you! We removed the carper from every room in our house, and it has made a world of difference. It’s so much easier to keep the house clean, as well! Nicely done! Thanks for the pointers!

  12. Emma
    September 18, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    We’ve just bought our first house after years of renting and I totally agree that owning the house makes it so much easier to keep it looking great! I’ve suddenly become cleaning obsessed to keep it looking beautiful where I was a little more slovenly in my little rented flat!
    Emma recently posted…My new house cleaning scheduleMy Profile

    1. Natalie Mudd
      September 25, 2016 at 8:29 pm

      Totally! Especially since you work so hard for it! X

    2. Natalie Mudd
      September 27, 2016 at 2:05 pm

      I was exactly the same in rented accommodation! It’s so much more fulfilling when you know it’s all yours! x

Comments are closed.