6 Core Design Principles of Baby Chic Decor

Y’know that old saying “Where there’s a baby there’s baby stuff?” No? Oh. Maybe that’s because I just made it up. Anyway it should be an “old saying” because it’s true: Where there’s a baby there’s baby stuff. Babies are small and compact and take up very little space but their stuff is a whole other story.

When my husband and I bought our first house, I spent hours reading design blogs looking for decor inspiration. We’ve done lots of work on the house to make it feel like our own–we painted the walls and ceiling in every room (except the bathroom, which we hope to gut one day), tore up the smelly carpet on the second level and painted the floorboards white, and bought some new furniture. There’s still a long list of “to do’s,” but overall the place is getting closer and closer to how I imagined it would look.

Except…. except for all of the baby gear. While I was ecstatic about having a baby, plastic objects in loud primary colours weren’t exactly part of my decor daydreams. Maybe you can relate? If so, here are some tips for incorporating the core “design principles” of “baby chic” decor into your home.

1. Interlocking foam tiles double as an area rug in your living or family room. The colourful ones with animal faces are particularly “funky.” Delightful area rug, or baby’s play mat? You tell me.
Is it an area rug, or baby's play area? Super hard to tell right?!

2. Mismatched dining chairs are all the rage and who says one of those chairs can’t be a infant’s highchair? Totttaalllyyyy Pin-worthy, amiright?
Pin-worthy, amiright?

3. Embrace the industrial look by hanging a metal Jolly Jumper door clamp from an archway so baby can get her exercie on. That looks normal, I guess.
It's for the baby, honest...

4. Save money on living room furniture by replacing an armchair with an bouncy chair. You could put a boring adult chair in this spot, but the “baby La-Z-Boy” (as I like to call it) is “quirky” and “unexpected.”

5. Store toys and books in decorative baskets in each room–your baby will enjoy them and adult guests can entertain themselves if the conversation gets boring.
Could anything be more cheerful?

6. I never realized how much character an ExerSaucer adds to a kitchen. Everyone should get one, baby or no baby. I would’ve preferred a kitchen island with granite countertops, but, actually, the barnyard motif works.

Whenever I feel like I’m going to scream because there’s a folded stroller base in my dining room or a Bumbo chair in the bathroom, I just look at my dreamy, perfectly-turned-out “home” on Pinterest and feel instantly calmer. After a minute of fantasizing about living in a house that is so tidy (and without a single Fisher Price item in sight), I remember that these styled interiors look pretty in pictures, but in reality, it’s nice to have a home that feels lived in–a place where a family goes about their real, hectic, and often messy lives together, baby-gear clutter and all. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Image(s): iStock (feature image); Kate Drummond (all others)

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