I’m not a big childproofer. However. Several mood-boards and three kids later, it has occurred to me that childproofing actually begins BEFORE you have kids. When you first move into your new house and attempt to make it your ‘dream home.’ Here are some things to consider. It’s too late for me, but who knows, if you’re just starting out or are in the midst of redecorating, it may save someone.
1. ‘Farrow and Ball or Dulux? Battleship Grey or Charcoal Slate?’ There are so many paint colours and shades to pick from. Where DO you begin? This decision is actually a lot simpler than it first appears. The thing you want to consider is THIS. What colour is going to look best with a giant sized penis on it? Which your three year old will kindly draw for you FREE OF CHARGE in the prime spot of your hallway, for all to see. Wipe-clean paint. That’s the only factor here. (Unless they use a biro and press HARD, in which case not even Dulux Diamond Matt can save you.)
2. ‘We must replace that AWFUL red carpet.’ No. You mustn’t. Live with it for at least 10 years after having your LAST child. Because no one will spill ANYTHING on it. Probably because it’s hideous. But the minute you rip it up and lay that lovely cream or grey wool carpet you’ve been lusting after? Your kids will suddenly feel the urge to puke all over it. Paint it with nail varnish. And bleed all over it. Just because they can.
3. ‘Look at this amazing feature chair! That would look perfect in our lounge!’ Sorry to burst your bubble but a beige feature chair has no place in your life. If your life involves (or is going to involve) children. Of course, if by ‘feature’ you mean some child-interpreted Banksy scrawled all over it, go ahead. (You’ll get over your child’s ‘creativity.’ Probably about two years after you’ve finally finished paying for it.)
4. Anything glass. Floor to ceiling bifold doors may be on trend. BUT. Forget the obvious dangers. Glass looks rubbish when you have children. It’s always covered in snot, fingerprints and chocolate. The more glass YOU have, the more fun THEY have. You’ll clean it once. And then never bother again. Because, really, what’s the point?
5. Anything nice. Kids find a way to ruin everything you have. The more you value it, the more likely it is to get trashed. Save yourself a small fortune and hang a (wipe-clean) sign on the front door instead. ‘We have kids. Sorry for the s***hole.‘ (This also means you don’t have to clean. And cold callers probably won’t knock either. Job done.)