Designing a home for yourself is hard enough, but taking the opinions of everyone in the house into consideration can be overwhelming. If you have or are thinking about having kids, making sure your home is family-friendly is important for a productive environment for everyone living there. Here are some tips for making your home the best place for both adults and children.

Noise control

Children are loud; it’s just a fact of life. After a long day at work, you need to be able to decompress at home while still giving your children a place to play and grow. If you have a home office where you work or a den where you go to relax, design your home so the play areas like the living room are far away and noise for you can be kept to a minimum. You can also consider adding pocket doors to separate main areas like the living room, so there’s a buffer between you on the armchair reading a book and your children playing video games on the TV.

Keep away clutter

Clutter stresses most of us out, and with the amount of toys and games kids have these days, it can quickly become an overwhelming environment for you and your family. Invest in some storage solutions for games, toys, and stuffed animals. Get an entertainment center that keeps game consoles behind closed doors while still plugged into the TV. Organize charging stations for the kids’ electronics so they’re not scattered around the house, which also keeps them safe in one spot so they’re less likely to go missing.

Contain the dirt

The hurricane of dirt and sweat that comes through your house after the big football game or a trip to the amusement park can nearly devastate your clean carpets and furniture. Wherever you may live, whether it be in the balmy city of Houston or the snowy mountains of Stowe, VT, your children will be tracking some sort of grit and grime into the house on a regular basis. Prevent sweaty jackets and dirt-covered shoes throw about your house by creating a mudroom where kids (and adults) can take off shoes and dirty clothes without leaving a mark on your beautiful home. This is especially simple if you have a laundry room that exits directly into your garage or a spacious foyer. Insert some inexpensive shoe storage and coat racks and keep the rest of the house spotless.

Shop vintage

Even the most well-behaved children tend to make a mess of things over time. Scuffs, marker, dirt, food, and many other substances can easily end up on furniture and on carpets over time. If you have kids, opt for that weathered vintage look and you’ll end up less devastated by what would be unsightly marks on pristine new pieces. Plus, second hand furniture saves money and gives your home a one-of-a-kind look.

Keep it simple

What kids really need is an open space to play and use their imagination. As much as you may want to fill your home with beautiful vases, good china, and expensive decor, this may not be the right choice if you have kids. With young children, you can usually use height to your advantage and keep your breakable home accessories in a safe location, but sometimes it’s easier (and cheaper) to keep it simple. Opt for furniture with less frills that can be broken, and keep as much open space as possible to accommodate the hectic activity of your growing family.