Rugs and carpets can make a big difference to the feel of a home. They’re gorgeous, but with a young family finding stylish options that the kids can’t destroy can be challenging. Washable cotton rugs or other durable synthetic options provide more practical solutions – but they’re not intended to be heirloom pieces! If you’re dying to get rid of those ugly old foam mats, we have some good news for you. Rebecca Simpson finds out about an exciting new soft flooring option from Japan that’s perfect for families – and super stylish too!
The baby-proofing challenge
I remember when I was pregnant, a creative director I worked with gave me a piece of parenting advice. He said, “Put all the beautiful things you care about into storage for the next five years. Kids ruin everything. They don’t mean to, but it still smarts.”
Looking back, it was a very wise piece of advice, which, of course, I ignored. Bringing home a newborn marks the beginning of a whole new era. If we are completely honest, it’s an era of marks – on furniture, carpets and everywhere else little hands and feet explore. For this reason, becoming a parent can be frustrating for those of us who value a beautiful home aesthetic.
For the design-conscious, baby proofing your home can be a little heartbreaking. There is nothing stylish about corner protectors and foam mats, no matter what pattern is printed on them. “It’s very challenging to baby-proof a home in Hong Kong,” says Wendy, a Canadian expat mum with two young children. “Generally, the spaces are very small, with lots of corners and edges. That means it’s hard to keep your eye on little ones and ensure they’re safe.”
Wendy and her husband are in the throws of renovating their flat. “We’re at a stage now where the kids are getting a bit older so we’re trying to make our space reflect more about us, as opposed to two people who have kids.”
A new solution for families
Instead of foam mats, they’ve upgraded to a new soft-flooring option from Japan, a soft touch tatami mat by Momomi. These mats are now in Hong Kong and offer all the protection of foam mats, but they feel and look like a regular rug, plus they’re stain-resistant. It’s a brilliant design hack for families with young children.
“The kids loved the Momomi mat right away,” says Wendy. “They could roll around on it, they played blocks on it and we also had a cuddle and story-time. It was great because we got rid of the ugly foam mats and we introduced this mat to our home that fits in aesthetically with what we want.”
Find out more and purchase Momomi mats online at momomijapan.com.
See more in our kids section
This article first appeared in the June/July 2019 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.