A Modern Design for Family Living

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Interior design can be a real challenge for moms looking for that special balance between chic apartment living and keeping a child-friendly environment. This was brought to my attention recently when I received this comment on a post: “simple modern beauty is just not practical when you have twins!” To help families wanting to create that magical combination of modern and practical, let me introduce you to the smartly-designed Paris apartment of the King and Queen of Modern, Gaël and Hélène and their two princes, Nataniel and Vadim.

Royal Floors

The chevron patterned hard wood floors in this apartment not only evoke those in the Queen’s Guard Room at Versailles, but also make a great base for showing off all the terrific furnishings and art this couple has. And when one of the boys gets crayon marks all over the floor, there’s no need to worry: moms and dads have been cleaning childhood masterpieces off of wood floors for hundreds of years. Plus, a coat of high-traffic polyurethane helps stave off wear and tear—and wooden flooring can always be refinished.

Modern Design for Family Living

Amazing Chairs

I have a feeling that Hélène’s royal dowry may have been paid mostly in chairs. Among the modern classics found here: Marc Newson’s Embryo Chair, the Bertoia Side Chair, the Platner Lounge Chair, and Bertjan Pot and Marcel Wanders Carbon Chair. It’s true that exposing some expensive chairs to your kids can be a risk, but as someone who grew up surrounded by awesome chairs and then went on to bring you these design tips, I can attest to the positive influence of learning to appreciate great design from an early age. Let’s hope the message gets through to Nataniel and Vadim.

Modern Design for Family Living

Preventative Paint

But the true genius of this space is the very smart paint job--someone should get a knighthood for coming up with this idea. Notice how there’s flat black paint surrounding all the doorways, the windows, the bookcase, and other places where boys just love to grab on and leave handprints? The right paint makes those surfaces easily scrub-able and helps keep this modern masterpiece clean.

How do you make your modern home kid-practical?

Photo Sources: The Socialite Family


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Dave Hime, founder/curator of JapaneseTrash.com, has been an interior design addict for as long as he can remember. In 2005, he bought a house-in-progress and missed several opportunities to have an influence on his own home decor–leaving him wanting more. With design heroes such as Blake Dollahite (ruraltheory.com) and Robert & Cortney Novogratz (thenovogratz.com), Dave began seeking out online resources that would exemplify the interior design practices he's most drawn to: using color, texture and simple materials well. Bringing all of this together, along with his specific focus on providing interior design inspiration from a man's point of view, is Dave's mission: masculine design.