No parent wants to put their child in danger for the sake of style. However, if you’ve spent years creating and cultivating your home so it reflects your style, it’s understandable to balk at the plastic and foam eyesores that come with babyproofing.
Unless you have a perfect child – who never even dreams of opening a cabinet, running in the house or touching anything without your express permission – chances are you will have to make some design sacrifices in the name of babyproofing.
Thankfully, that doesn’t mean you have to completely overhaul or sacrifice your grownup style for the sake of baby and toddler safety. In fact, there are plenty of methods you can employ to keep your home safe and stylish:
Match Your Home’s Aesthetic
Baby gates are hard to miss, and – if you have a multilevel home – they’re hard to avoid. However, you’re no longer restricted to one or two cringeworthy options anymore.
If it’s in your budget, search for a stylish gate that matches your decor. There are plenty of mid- to high-end options available that will blend with your style, whether that’s traditional or modern, rustic or romantic.
Are you an old hand at DIY? Consider building a custom baby gate created out of natural, baby-safe materials and finished to blend seamlessly with your existing decor.
Great Excuse to Redecorate
Don’t look at babyproofing as a death sentence for your decor, look at it as an excuse to try something new or invest in fresh pieces.
Coffee tables are a major source of injury for young children. Glass tops, sharp edges, precarious stability: The opportunities for injury are numerous. Use baby as an excuse to swap an unsafe table out for a custom made storage ottoman. Match your decor with spill-resistant fabric. Relax and kick your feet up, knowing that your new storage piece is both sturdy and soft.
Don’t stop there. A baby is a great excuse to swap breakable decor pieces for lightweight, unbreakable options. Ever consider wall mounting your TV? Now’s the time to do it. Nix a wobbly floor lamp for a showstopping wall or ceiling-mount fixture.
Out of Sight
Not all babyproofing has to be obvious. Many babyproofing measures can be hidden within furniture or behind closed doors.
Pick cabinet locks that mount on the interior of the cabinet instead of over the handles. Anchor furniture – like dressers or standing mirrors – to the wall with hidden straps. Add matching cabinet doors to lower bookcase or media shelves instead to keep sticky fingers from crushing and tearing your favorite books, movies and music.
Don’t be afraid to designate a few rooms as no-baby zones. Keep those doors closed and locked, if possible. Guest rooms and home offices are logical choices, and you can revamp those spaces by adding in breakable decor displaced from other rooms.
Babyproofing can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be a chore. Instead of viewing it as a restriction on your home’s style, take it as an opportunity to boost your home’s appeal and try something new.