After years of waiting for your own children to be old enough to have outgrown bikes, football boots, chocolate milk spills and other such activities that can potentially damage luxury floors – you can finally enjoy a few years of decorative bliss by way of polished hardwood and creamy white carpet – before the grandkids come along.
As much as you adore them, they can be messy little beings, so how do you provide them with comfortable, relaxed spaces to eat and play in – whilst protecting your luxury flooring? The greatest trick of all is rugs. They can provide a soft place to sit, and a designated place to eat and/or play. You can colour coordinate with your current colour palette, or go the other way and buy something bright and fun, which will attract the children (My pick for coloured patterned rugs include the ‘Argentina’, ‘Baker’ and ‘Hive’ ranges from Bayliss. Though, if you’re buying for an infant and softness is the biggest criteria, try the sumptuous ‘Latitude’).
It’s best to buy rugs small and light enough to manoeuvre easily as you want to be able to shake out and roll up when not needed. Even if you have quite a big area to cover, small rugs are best, just buy a few and layer them. Keep them clean by shaking or vacuuming regularly, and now and then, call in a company who will pick them up and give them a thorough clean off-site.
Comfort is paramount, which is why sisal and hemp won’t do – however, the other natural fibres such as wool, silk and cotton are perfect for little ones to play on. You can also buy synthetic rugs, which are among the most affordable but the chemicals can cause irritation in some children (in fairness, some kids can also be allergic to wool, so it’s best to investigate a little further if you have a grandchild with asthma or allergies).
And it’s not only the inside of your home that you need to protect whilst providing a welcoming place to play – expensive tiles and hardwood decks can be strewn with fabulously colourful outdoor rugs, which you could team with bright bunting to create an outdoor play ‘room’. When the weather is warm and sunny, serve the kids their favourite ice-cream treats without one concern for mess, as the rugs are so hardy they can be simply hosed down!