Even the most stylish living room can take knocks once children come along – toys on the floor, kids scribbling on the walls, glitter all over every surface in the house…
But sorting out your storage can change everything, says architect George Clarke.
“Take toys, for example. It’s not just a question of throwing everything into a big basket, but if there are fewer toys out in the first place, it’s a lot easier to keep things under control,” he explains.
George recommends putting their current favourites in small baskets on the floor, and keeping the rest boxed away. Then just rotate them every so often, letting the kids choose new toys from the box and putting some more away at the same time.
Why not use a points system to reward your kids for throwing their toys in the baskets after playtime?
Of course, shelves aren’t just for kids' toys. George advises using boxes and baskets to store the really boring stuff, which will give your favourite art pieces space to breathe.
Do remember to go through your ‘stuff’ boxes regularly, though, so they don’t get out of hand.
“Multi-tasking furniture can help too, like a lovely old vintage trunk doubling up as a coffee table,” says George.
Light and bright spaces
Of course, storage isn’t the only factor in a beautiful living space.
“The clever use of colour, textiles and lighting can make a space feel bigger and brighter,” says George. “Limiting your colour palette around the house, from white and pale grey to black accents, will create a sense of height and space.”
You can add colour with throws and cushions, which are flexible enough to change with the seasons.
So there you have it. A place for everything, and everything in its place, to give you a living room you can really love again.
P&G SAVVY TIP: if you find crayon scribbles on your clean walls, Flash Magic Eraser will easily remove them, while a spritz of Febreze Fabric Refresher Spray will blitz pet and kid-related smells, keeping your sofa and cushions fresh.