Remember before you had kids and you used to do things like inviting friends round for dinner? You could host guests in your elegant dining room for drinks and some delicious home cooked food. It was all very sophisticated. But then kids happened and now your dining room is less elegant hosting space and more of a feeding area, if you even use it at all.
A lot of new parents find that their dining room gets neglected because the idea of inviting people round to your home seems so crazy when every surface is covered with toys and your house is in constant chaos. So the dining room is used for family meals or storing junk. Maybe you dream of creating a fancy dining room with the best glassware, but that’s not ideal when you have a family. Instead, you should look for ways to create a kid-friendly dining area so you can get more use out of it. It’s time to give up on your dreams of a fancy dining room and make some of these simple changes instead.
Always Use Durable Materials
There’s nothing in the world that cannot somehow be broken by children. Any time you put something fragile in your home, it’s going to get smashed. So, give up on any ideas about glass dining tables or fancy designer chairs. When you are designing a kid-friendly dining room, durability is the key. You need to pick hard-wearing materials that can’t be scratched or broken or drawn on easily.
Wooden tables are always a good option because they look great and they’re tough enough to withstand a lot of wear and tear. Get some nice tablecloths by Richard Haworth's to bring out when you want it to look a bit fancy. Some posh tablecloths will make the dining room look nicer but they’re also great for covering up any scratches or bite marks or whatever else the kids might do to the table. Your guests will never even know that the table underneath has been at the mercy of your family. If your kids are particularly destructive, you could even consider getting tables designed for the outside because they’re even more durable.
Plastic chairs might not be the most attractive option, but they’re super easy to wipe clean. The last thing you want is an upholstered fabric chair because, even though it looks great when you first get it, it’s not going to look nice when it’s covered in stains from spilt food and drink.
Get A Sideboard With Solid Doors
A sideboard is great for adding extra storage but don’t go for one with glass doors. You want one with solid doors because nobody can see what’s inside. Got people coming round and the house is in a state? Scoop everything up, shove it in the sideboard and close the doors. Voila! It’s a problem for later now and to the untrained eye, your dining room looks nice and tidy.
The other big problem with glass doors is that they get covered in sticky finger marks and if the kids are charging around the dining room, you could end up with a big disaster on your hands when one of them goes hurtling straight into the glass. So, stick with solid doors and you should be fine.
Use Melamine Instead Of China
Everybody has those fancy plates that they keep for special occasions but, in reality, never use. If you want to show your home some love and you’ve put a lot of work into your new dining room, you might decide that it’s time to finally bring out the fancy plates to add a finishing touch. That’s a great idea, if you want one of them to get dropped within 5 minutes of reaching the table. Leave the good plates for those rare kid-free evenings and get some melamine plates for everyday eating instead. Melamine is a great material because it’s tough and it won’t smash if it gets dropped. It’s also really cheap to buy and there are so many great printed plates out there, so it still looks great. If the kids decide that they want to frisbee their plates around the room instead of eating their dinner, your plates will be able to withstand it.
Dining room design tips are always about creating a relaxing, sophisticated space with delicate champagne flutes and intricate centrepieces. But that’s just unrealistic if you have kids because, as every parent knows, you can’t have nice things. If you want to create a dining room that actually works for families, follow these tips.