Best Kid-Friendly Fabric for Sofas & Tips for Family- and Pet-Friendly Designs
Back in the day, living rooms were only used for special occasions. Your mother or grandmother’s living room displayed delicate collectibles, proudly showcased atop pristine tables alongside beautiful yet uncomfortable chairs and sofa as well as carpet with vacuum marks, upon which no one was allowed to walk.
Fast forward to today, when living spaces are designed, well, for living! In the homes of today, the trend is family-friendly, a space designed to blend comfort and style, a space that can handle the kids’ antics and survive, while still looking attractive.
How do you achieve this sought-after family-friendly style? Let’s explore the best tips for family-friendly (and pet-friendly) design, including how to choose kid-friendly fabrics for your furniture.
How Do You Live?
It’s important to consider you and your family’s lifestyle to achieve your unique family-friendly style. You must approach the subject realistically, thinking about the demands your family will place on your living space. Do your kids play ball inside or eat food all over the house? These are crucial considerations when determining how to decorate your space.
Decorate Now with the Future in Mind
You’ve likely heard friends say they are waiting to do the real decorating when their kids are older. You may have even said it yourself. Honestly, why wait to love and enjoy your home?
Decorate now, design a home your entire family can enjoy, and teach your children to respect and care for the home. Kids can even be a part of the process, helping select fabrics and colors from pre-approved choices. In doing so, they will likely feel ownership and greater appreciation for items they helped select.
When planning your family-friendly design, keep casual and comfortable clean lines in mind. Avoid fussy skirts on couches or chairs and go for attractive exposed legs. Today’s trending vintage styles and contemporary looks are attractive and family friendly. Plan for aesthetics as well as low maintenance. After all, the point is to enjoy the space with your family, not spend all your time fluffing pillows, dusting, and vacuuming.
Patterns, colors, and textures figure strongly in a family-friendly style. Each can look great when coordinated, plus they also help hide spills, dirt, fingerprints, and other consequences of life with kids, pets, and family.
Combining rich hues and patterns with textures works well on upholstered furniture, as well as walls and floors. You can even choose a deeper hue for paint and flooring, as colors often look lighter when applied to large surfaces like walls and floors.
Choosing institutional-quality materials, goods, and finishes are also great options for your family-friendly design. For example, wipeable paint (semi-gloss, eggshell, or satin) is more costly but can withstand cleaning after sticky fingers, crayons, or ball marks. Here are a few more ideas:
- Washable flat paints, featuring a rich matte finish, are a good option for families with aspiring artists and athletes.
- A chalkboard paint wall can prove to be a positive solution in a family-friendly design.
- Semi-gloss is the optimal choice for high-traffic areas of your home, like entryways, hallways, and mudrooms.
Window coverings also pose a challenge in family-friendly homes. Obviously, those beautiful, long drapes may not be the best choice with kids and pets around. Choose attractive blinds or shades which can be wiped clean and secured out of reach as the need arises. You’ll find lots of variety from which to choose including bamboo, reeds, and more.
Obviously, you’ll also want flooring which lends itself to easy clean-up. There are lots of flooring types to choose from since wood, tile, laminate, and linoleum all have options to fit your budget, clean up easily, and still look fabulous. For area rugs, consider some of the new washable varieties that easily go from floor to washing machine to dryer and back again.
When designing your family-friendly spaces, you’ll want to buy the highest quality furniture within your budget. Go for heavy, well-constructed, hardwood design, complete with screws, glue, and corner blocks as well as upgraded cushions that can hold their shape no matter what challenges your kids bring. Plus, higher-end pieces can withstand the test of time and even be re-upholstered as the kids grow up.
Kid-friendly sofa fabric options are more plentiful than you might first think. Obviously, flat weaves and heavier fabrics are more durable choices, but adding Scotchgard or a stain-resistant finish is always a good idea, no matter what fabric you go with! Here are some of the best choices for family-friendly fabrics:
- Leather can complement any style and is a versatile choice. It wipes clean easily and becomes even more attractive and supple with loads of family love. A durable option, with a simple leather conditioner treatment bi-annually, leather can last for years and years. Plus, leather won’t retain the odors which often accompany spills and other accidents like other fabrics will. Leather tends to be more costly, but with its staying power, it should be considered more of an investment in your family-friendly design.
- Microfiber is available in a variety of textures (suede, corduroy, you get the idea), all of which are stain resistant. Most microfiber can be cleaned with water, but as with all fabrics, check the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning.
- Vinyl is among the easy-care, virtually stain-proof options and can offer the same beauty as leather at a more reasonable price. It is easy to clean; spills wipe away with water. Vinyl is durable as well, withstanding lots of kid-friendly fun and games.
- Denim and twill are most often associated with pants, but they are sturdy, kid-friendly, attractive options. Coming in an unlimited variety of colors, denim and twill are great choices for family-friendly design.
- Wool and wool blends are also durable fabric options in kid-friendly design. In most instances, these fabrics can be spot cleaned, and are resistant to snagging, pilling, and wrinkling.
Pet-Friendly Living Room Furniture
Many of the same fabric suggestions for family-friendly furniture applies to pet-friendly furniture, but there are a few extra things you need to consider with pets compared to kids:
- Does your pet drool a lot? If you have a Newfoundland, Great Pyrenees, Mastiff, Boxer, or any other drooly dog breed, you will want to choose fabric materials that are easy to wipe off, like leather, vinyl, and some microfibers.
- Does your pet have incontinence issues? Whether you have a senior pet with a health issue, a puppy who isn’t fully potty trained yet, or a cat who tends to go outside the litter box, you will want to choose a stain-resistant furniture material.
- Does your pet shed a lot? If you have a hairless or low-shedding pet, you don’t need to worry about their fur getting all over the sofa. For everybody else, consider slick materials like vinyl or leather to make hair cleanup significantly easier.
- Do you have a cat who likes to scratch furniture? If you can’t get your kitty to stop scratching your sofa, you may not want to invest big bucks on leather. You might choose a cheaper fabric until you’ve convinced your cat to use a scratching post, instead.
The goal is family-friendly, and with these tips, you should be well on the way to creating your cozy, comfortable, and welcoming design for your beautiful Sky Cove or Sky Cove South home.
Schedule a Virtual – or Private, In-Person – Sky Cove South Tour
Sky Cove South of Westlake in Palm Beach County has the perfect home for you and your family, including kids, pets, multiple generations under one roof, or all the above. Our floor plans include a spacious, luxury kitchen with quartz or granite countertops, hurricane impact glass windows, an oversized backyard, and more!
Plan your visit and see what the community has to offer family members of all ages. Contact Sky Cove South today for a private, in-person or virtual tour!
Family- and Pet-Friendly Furniture FAQs
1. What Is the Best Material for a Couch When You Have Kids?
When you’re looking for the best sofa for kids, it’s hard to go wrong with microfiber fabric, which reduces the appearance of wear and tear. In addition to being one of the toughest upholstery fabrics, it can mimic the feel of velvet, suede, or corduroy depending on its weave. Additionally, water beads on top of microfiber, making it easy to clean and difficult to stain.
2. What Is the Most Pet-Friendly Furniture Fabric?
The best option for a pet-friendly sofa is genuine leather (synthetic leather doesn’t have the same durability). Most people with fur children know just how difficult it is to get pet hair out of many fabrics – it usually requires a combination of frequent lint rolling and vacuuming. With leather, you can brush the pet fur off with the swipe of a hand.
Also, anybody with a drooly dog, incontinent elderly cat, or potty-training puppy will appreciate how easy it is to wipe leather clean and how resistant it is to stains. While cat claws or sharp dog nails may scratch or puncture the surface, there’s an argument to be made for blemishes adding character to leather without looking neglected or ratty.
Can’t afford leather? Try outdoor furniture fabric. If they can survive thunderstorms, they should hold up pretty well to pets.
3. What Factors Make Furniture Kid- or Pet-Friendly?
While you could theoretically go your grandmother’s route and wrap all your upholstered furniture in plastic to make it pet- or kid-friendly, some factors help certain materials stand up better to the demands of living with kids and pets, like being:
- Easy to clean
It’s easy to get wrapped up in finding furniture that can withstand the beating your kids or pets may provide, but don’t forget to make sure the couch is comfortable! After all, what good is a kid-friendly sofa if it’s so uncomfortable nobody wants to spend time on it?
4. Is a Polyester Sofa Kid-Friendly?
Polyester is a relatively good fabric choice for kid- and pet-friendly sofas. It’s waterproof and stain resistant and will stand up to dirty paws and sharp claws better than many other materials.
However, polyester does have a few drawbacks. It isn’t as breathable as some other materials, so the cushions may tend to be hot or cold depending on the ambient temperature. Additionally, static electricity can cling to polyester couches, so the sofa might shock you or your kids when you sit down.
5. Can You Have a Fabric Sofa with Kids?
It depends on the type of fabric, but yes, you can have a fabric sofa with kids (or pets). In fact, microfiber is one of the best kid- and pet-friendly furniture fabrics you can find. Wool, twill, wool blends, and denim are also good sofa fabric options.