A lot of changes occur when you become a parent – From the physical changes within your body, to your almost non-existent social life and depleting bank balance too. Before you know it, dishes are piling up, you can’t move for all of the toys scattered across the floor and up the stairs (just me?) and mount washmore seems to be taking over the house and life! In all of this, and what I can only describe some days as chaos, it can often feel like your house will never look the same again. 

I have a really distinct and bold/funky home style, and there sat day in day out in our neutral lounge, I reached a point where I felt I needed a bit more style to it. Our bedroom is just about done now (post coming soon), and the kitchen too, once I add some prints, but the place where we spend most of our family time just doesn’t have the exciting homely vibe I want from it. As a result, this weekend we cracked out the paint and have begun working on sprucing it up. Whilst we can’t yet afford to fit the much desired wood burner and flooring, painting and a new rug, curtains and accessories mean that it already is feeling a brighter and happier space for us all to enjoy. 

With DIY and home style on my mind right now, here are some simple ideas to keep your home stylish when you have kids trying to undo everything.

Choose a dark colour scheme

When you have a house full of little people, choosing the right colour scheme becomes extremely important! Whether you’re raising a nutty, sticky-fingered toddler, or a careless six-year old (not referring to our kids at all there!), it can be hard to protect your furniture and flooring against the constant mess and spillages they somehow manage to create. I find that no matter how many times we say don’t eat in the lounge, or “take your shoes off” muddy prints and sticky fingers appear in those places.

However one thing I have discovered to help with this is a darker colour scheme  – it can help you to disguise those accidental spills and stains and it is also very on trend and daring (win win)! 

Darker colours such as navy, dark greens or darker patterned wallpapers and dark floral-patterned sofas and chairs, will expertly hide the daily mess kids can create. We recently did this in our kitchen, and I love the navy blue with dark tropical feature wall we went for. It not only brings style and personality to a plain country style kitchen, but it is easy to keep fresh with a young family! 

Invest in clever storage

When raising kids, spills are not the only thing you need to worry about. If you are not careful then clutter also becomes a major obstacle in keeping a home looking stylish, whether this is from all of those toys strewn all over the floor, crafty bits and puzzle pieces everywhere, or just the usual clothing scattered around the house. I find that keeping it tidy can prove extremely difficult if things don’t have a place, and that’s where clever storage comes in useful.

In our old house we had a huge basket hamper in the lounge for all of the toys and it was so useful. Now however they have the Killax storage from Ikea in their rooms with toys themed in various boxes inside. Looking out for stylish decorative storage baskets in thrift shops, homesense or at car boots, are also a great idea to keep toys and books organised, or fold in tights and socks on a shelf.

For the porch or bedrooms then you can also invest in stylish clothes rails and stands from a company such as Cox & Cox , and we find our wooden chest really useful to lob in all the shoes in the porch!

Whatever your home style though, you are sure to find lots of stylish storage options out there which can help keep the home looking neat and whilst bringing a piece of style to the room too.

Pay attention to materials

Fabrics are a quick and easy way to bring style and personality to a home! I currently have a few metres of dalmation looking fabric in my sewing box, awaiting to be made into new cushion covers for the lounge. Its is thrifty and effective and I love how personal it feels to make things for my home!

More recently I dyed the kitchen blind navy and added pink pom-poms. These small and cheap things really bring style to a family home on a budget!

If you are not that crafty, then I would advise that when choosing decorative fabrics and materials, it’s best to stick to things that more resilient and easier to clean than others. Vinyl flooring for example or a leather sofa are especially great choices for the busy family home due to their easy maintenance, affordability and stylish design, and if you can simply wipe away spills, or throw fabrics right in the washing machine, it’s going to help to keep the home looking stylish, clean and lovely with minimal effort.

Rugs are another way to add style and cover up stained carpets or protect wood floors with kids around.

Add some plants

Plants in funky plant pots or baskets, along with succulents, are very stylish right now. You can buy them all over (I just got one on Saturday in Lidl for £1.99) and I have a few in each room (and are on the hunt for more – provided I can keep them alive), but I find that plants are a great way to bring style and joy to any home.

These are just a couple of tips you can follow to keep your family home more stylish and clutter free. The best thing about them is that they require very minimal effort and are thrifty ways to make a huge difference to your life and environment. 

*This is a collaborative post

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This Summer I am more than a little skint and so haven’t really had the opportunity to do some major SALE shopping as I would have hoped to. I usually look forward to getting a few new tops and dresses around this time of year to update my wardrobe for Summer and enjoy sale shopping. As I don’t have much surplus cash to spend on these items and because I don’t technically “need” anything, I am trying my best to resist the temptation to check out the ZARA sale (that would most likely be dangerous territory)!!

I couldn’t however hold back from my second fave shop and consequently had a little snoop around H&M last week where I found myself a top and Alice a few 2-3 extras. I have found that from almost all of the shops local to us in Beverley (H&M, Topshop, DP and RI) there are some really great bargains to be had. Here in this post I shall share with you the few things I did end up buying, that were both lovely and very cheap, and that would update mine and Alices wardrobe for Summer!

Sainsbury’s

Sainsburys was my first SALE shopping snoop. A couple of weeks ago in Manchester on our way back from the Bryan Adams concert, I eyeballed it for my orange mules I wanted in the 25% off they had. I also looked in the sale section and found myself a lovely peachy, tie blouse with embroidered flowers – it was £18 and 1/2 price in the sale – a bargain yes, but even more so because it had the extra 25% off! I love it with shorts and skinny jeans!

ASDA

Supermarkets stock some lovely things that turn out to be complete bargs during sale season, so again I had to have a quick look in George when I was in ASDA 2 weeks ago. I bought Alice some Summer pumps for £3. Unfortunately we now have one missing and I have to go buy her a pair of sandals today!

But for £3, they were good whilst we had them. I am hopeful the other shoe will turn up soon!

H&M

By far my weakest spot, I simply love H&M for me and the kids! In this sale I got myself a gorgeous orange Tshirt with ruffle bottom – it was £8.99 to £4 and a Jumper out of the Mens section for £6 from £29.99 I believe it originally was.

I love the top and already have it in black which I bought in the January sales for £3 – I find it super comfy, versatile and a little fancy! The jumper is great because with it being a mens it is longer and the arms are really long… I bought a small and think it will be fab for not only Autumn/Winter with my jeans, but for cooler nights on the beach and hanging out when we go camping. Its ace to throw on over my jeans/shorts and Ts!

For Alice I bought her a pack of long sleeve tops – 1 Black, 1 White – they were down to £2! I also bought her a lovely little blue pinafore for her birthday, complete with white TShirt under. It was a lovely bargain at £4.

River Island

I rarely shop in River Island, but discovered a few bargains today in their Sale. I got myself a long, multi fabric T-shirt with frill detail for £4 from £24 and also a yellow tie waist blouse for £2!! I had my eye on a chunky cardi that was £30 down to £6 but I don’t think that beige really suits me!

In the kids section the deals continued with kids pumps and boots as low as £6, and I almost bought Alice some glitzy pumps, but sadly she threw a hissy fit when I put them anywhere near her! Instead we went for a summery little playsuit that was £4 from £10!

I am really impressed with this seasons sales. There are some huge savings around if you are willing to have a little rummage and, whilst we don’t have a huge amount to spend in them, I am really please with my 4 new tops, jumper and the little outfits I got for Alice! I didn’t do half bad and Mr Smith barely noticed the expenditure 😉 Its a winner!

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