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How to Create a Child-Proof Tablescape

By 07/16/2012January 28th, 20178 Comments

This was the view from the kitchen and into the living room at my sister Elizabeth’s house. The ottoman covered a pile of wires that stuck out out of the wall from the last owners’ stereo system. The flat screen is mounted above the fireplace on the right (not shown).

When I found this small entertainment cabinet (all of this–except the books– is from HomeSense) I also arrived with the lamp, art and accessories for the tablescape on the top. It has looked exactly like this (below) since the day it arrived. My nephews are three and five years old.

How to Create a Child-Proof Tablescape
It’s simple but so much prettier than what was there. A few colourful kids’ books, a carved, wooden turtle and a plant pot with a faux green ball. Easy maintenance!

If your kids are even younger it would be easy to find a plastic pot instead of a ceramic one.

Photos by Maria Killam

Simple and easy! Using books as a pedestal always elevates (literally) what’s sitting on top.

A great way to decide where to start decorating in any room should be whatever you see first when you walk in.


When you walk into any room and see something that bugs you, that’s the first area you should focus on.

It’s an easy way to decide what to do first.

My sister’s living room is full of black leather furniture which will stay for awhile longer because of the kids, but at least this most visual corner of not only the living room but the kitchen is now happy!

Related posts:

10 Ways to Save Money Now by Creating a Focal Point

Colour & Condoms

How to Create a Tablescape 

Download my eBook, How to Choose Paint Colours: It’s All in the Undertones, to get colour to do what you want.

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact me.

To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!

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  • Rhonda Sievert says:

    Yes, Maria, happy rooms are important to have, even with children in the house! Little kids can easily be taught to respect their surroundings and help take care of them. I have five children, ten years from the oldest to the youngest, and a house full of antiques and breakables. I never put anything away when we had toddlers, and only one thing was ever broken. They understood rough housing was an outdoor or playroom activity, and they grew up appreciating the lovely things we had. Thanks for encouraging young moms in this direction!

    • That’s so true Rhonda! I have five kids too, also within ten years. I’ve always had a good mix of decorations on display. I think it blends in to their environment and they almost don’t even notice it. With the exception of the really small climbing toddler stage it was always okay. I love the cabinet and the idea of elevating special things.

  • Eleanor says:

    “A great way to decide where to start decorating in any room should be whatever you see first when you walk in.” That is such excellent, simple advice Maria. So often people are just overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, this is great way of breaking it down into that first bite-sized chunk 😉

  • Great solution, Maria. I remember back in the 80’s having a wall unit that was filled with books – my toddlers packed and unpacked those books hundreds of times before they got through that stage. I also never put anything away – believed that they needed to respect their surroundings. Once the toddler stage was through I never had any problems. That is until my stepsons came into my life – at 15 & 16 they broke 3 very cherished Christmas ornaments rough housing. But their parents (my husband) childproofed their house right up until they left home – “boys will be boys”.

  • Shawna says:

    I love the wooden turtle! That is something I would display even though my child is nearly 18 now.

  • My son was so active, he ended up breaking things no matter how I tried to protect them. I still have a lovely butler’s tray table that’s secretly held together with super glue since he once pulled it over to the TV and used it to climb on. I tried to be reasonable when he was little, but still had nice things out and about.

  • Karen says:

    Maria, thank you for providing an opportunity for “me” time. As a mom and a teacher, I covet the opportunity to learn from your ideas and wisdom each week. However, I no longer have the articles you sent when we registered for the newsletter. Is there a chance you would send a link? I looked for them here but couldn’t find the entire articles, just teasers….I’m re-reading everything! Thanks.

  • Lazy Gardens says:

    Now … how about a cat-proof tablescape?

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