When interior designer Chris Roughan puts together a design plan for her clients, she keeps function in mind along with aesthetics. “Every client lives differently and to me, great design is not about something that’s simply pretty—without function it’s useless,” says Roughan, a mom of two girls. The importance of listening to a client’s needs, and developing something that works for their lifestyle, is especially important for families. Greenwich Moms spoke with the founder of Roughan Interiors about the essentials of kid-friendly design.
What does the term “kid-friendly” or “family-friendly” décor mean to you?
When a parent says it, it brings up safety concerns. I think no glass tables, no sharp corners. From a design perspective, I think materials that are really durable and are going to last. I think a kids playroom should be friendly and fun and colorful and stand the test of time.
What are some common misconceptions about designing for families?
I think when some people say “child-friendly” they don’t have a visual sense to envision something that’s still really great design. You can create beautiful, safe storage options. I always loved to do built-ins because it’s easy and they’re not going to fall on children. There are vinyl wallcoverings, or with paint alone, adding a stripe—it’s so fun. Finally, people are afraid to use white but if you can take a white fabric off of furniture, you can bleach it!
What are some mistakes you see clients making?
Those accordion style window treatments! You can go higher end or go to Pottery Barn and make something simple and cute. Or putting in carpet or a rug that doesn’t fill the room properly. Also. when people do things that don’t transcend the test of time, so it looks like a school rather than an actual kids’ playroom. Or they stick with baby pink and blue which are traditional but kids grow out of that when they’re infants. There are more sophisticated colors that can transition into the the teenage years.
Do you have any tips for controlling the endless clutter?
The first thing I tell my clients is to edit, and then to get cool bins that can sit on shelves. They sell them at Land of Nod and Pottery Barn. So you walk into a room and you don’t feel so overwhelmed that you shut the door. Everything should have a home—otherwise it’s just mass mayhem.
For a Roughan Interiors design consult, contact Chris at 203 769 1150 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Roughan on Instagram @roughan interiors.