In my second installment of the Designing for Families series, I caught up with Darsi Floersch of Martha O’Hara Interiors in Minneapolis. She was kind enough to shed light on a topic she considers on a near-daily basis. She estimates that about 90 percent of her projects require some form of child-proofing and we’re fortunate to learn from her years of experience, a few tried-and-true tricks of the trade.
She’s mastered the art of selecting forgiving furniture and fabrics, perfected traffic patterns and creates custom bedroom retreats that can stand up to late night pillow fights. And she does so with the style and sophistication one expects from Martha O’Hara Interiors.
The home pictured below was designed for a large family and offers real-life examples of how to design beautifully with children in mind. Being situated on a lake, this home called for durable, easy-to-maintain furnishings with a style and color palette suitable for family getaways.
Our discussion quickly touched on area rugs, where she echoed the sentiments of Laura McCroskey as heard in our last post—praising the durability of wool rugs, especially in high-traffic areas. The natural tightness of each twisted fiber prevents stains from absorbing quickly and wears well, with a higher crush resistance than other fibers. When purchasing hand-knotted rugs, she looks for 100 knots per inch.
When it comes to wood furnishings, specifically dining and cocktail tables, that can stand up to frequent use, Darsi stays away from painted finishes, opting for distressed or antiqued pieces, easily masking those inevitable bumps and scrapes.
For an everyday dining table she likes a high-gloss, nearly commercial grade finish that can stand up to all large family suppers, wet glasses and spills.
Seen above, washable slipcovers are a great solution for breakfast room seating.
We discussed family-friendly fabrics, specifically poly blends for their durability, cleanability and price point. She frequently uses performance fabrics for their resistance to water, stains and fading.
Washable fabrics for bedding are a must, and she often opts for bold pattern and color on bedroom pillows to conceal wear and stains since they often perform double duty as floor cushions in addition to their role in the bedding ensemble.
Taking cues from Darsi, we’ve gathered a few solutions available through KDR Showrooms that marry form and function with families in mind.
The most recent collection designed by Thomas Paul for Duralee is a book of Indoor/Outdoor Prints accompanied by coordinating trimmings. Thomas has given new life to some of the most popular patterns from past collections, re-imagining them in a lively palettes with the addition of durability and water-resistance.
The Crosspoint collection of flatweave wool rugs employs unique construction techniques, offering a fresh take on traditional patterns. Available in five styles, six colorways and a choice of woven borders. Download your copy of the Crosspoint catalog here.
ALDER & COMPANY
Specializing in high-quality furnishings, Alder & Company is known for their exceptional finishes. Their Marine Finish requires a three-step process of sealing the wood surface that results in an unparalleled moisture resistance and is available in a low-sheen matte finish as well as high-gloss. An example of the finish can be seen on a table in the St. Louis showroom.
Many thanks to Darsi Floersch for her time and valuable insight.
All interior photos courtesy of Martha O’Hara Interiors and Troy Thies Photography.
Stay tuned for next and final post featuring expert tips and techniques from a St. Louis designer.
Don’t forget to send your family-friendly design solutions to email@example.com so that we may share with our customers and social media community.
Until next time…