5 Expert Tips to Design Your Baby-Friendly Backyard
Jasmine Roth of HGTV shares her best advice for decorating an outdoor space that's both fun and safe for little walkers.
It's finally summer, schools are out, and the entertaining season is in full swing. If you're parenting young kids, you know how important it is for their sanity and yours to get outside as much as possible on warm summer days. That means your outdoor space has to be kid-friendly and baby-safe. Jasmine Roth, the host of HGTV's Help! I Wrecked My House and the mom of 1-year-old Hazel had this top of mind when she was decorating the backyard of her new home in Huntington Beach, California.
"Babyproofing is huge," she says. "When I started to redo my yard, I wanted it to be an extension of my living room. Hazel is not walking yet but I looked for outdoor furniture that is as comfortable and safe as what's inside my house so Hazel can just play."
Roth, whose book House Story is out in September, worked with Marshalls to source the furniture in her own yard. She shares her favorite pieces to help you prepare your home for summer.
1. Comfortable Seating
Picture yourself sitting outside, lemonade in hand with your baby on your lap or toddler waddling around the yard. To make this scene a reality, you want furniture that you can lounge on, but also items that can be hosed off and easily dried by the sun. Not only can the elements cause furniture to need a cleaning, your baby's spills and drool will need to be hosed off. Roth chose three lounge chairs and decorated them with outdoor cushions.
2. Furniture That Moves
When you're hosting a playdate the last thing you want is to feel locked between heavy furniture without any open place for the babies to sit or roll around. Roth opted for furniture that's easy to maneuver and when she hosted some of Hazel's friends for a playdate, she moved her chairs to create a large open patch of grass where the kids could play. Once the kids go to sleep, the table can become the main attraction for dinner.
3. Outdoor Rugs
"A rug makes a big difference in creating a cozier and softer space for babies," Roth says. Just make sure you choose one that is made of material that you can hose off or use dish soap to clean.
"Every space should have green in it," Roth says. If you're decorating a patio, use planters to bring nature into the sitting space. Roth even suggests buying some faux plants—they're not as heavy and won't get soil everywhere. These are especially great for decks and balconies that might have an increased risk of wind tipping the plants overnight.
5. Outdoor Dishes
"The thing I got for my patio that changed my life is melamine plates, bowls, and wine glasses that aren't glass," Roth says. "These have been a game-changer in terms of having friends over and eating outside with Hazel. I don't have to worry about glass dishes that are heavy and will break. The wine glasses feel just like regular wine glasses."