Joanna Linberg

photo by Thomas J. Story

Writer and blogger Jody Brettkelly has four kids, so when it comes to designing with tough materials, she's an expert. She shared the three most important tips she learned while remodeling her Oakland home, plus her top six near-invincible fabrics, floors, and stone.

Think two years ahead.Jody originally planned to build a play structure in the backyard since her kids were young enough to enjoy it. But thinking two years ahead (to now--when her kids are 11 to 17 years old) helped her ditch the playground and install a large patch of artificial grass for soccer games instead.

Set aside space for just kids.When kids are young, they want to be with you and you want to be with them, Jody told us. But as they get older, a little independence is a good thing for everybody. She converted an attached garage into a rec room that holds a ping pong table and TV for movie nights.

photo by Thomas J. Story

Use the most durable materials available.Jody jokes about her quartz countertops being able to take a bullet. That durability helps her be relaxed about sometimes having up to 15 kids running around the house. Check out her complete list of kid-proof materials (all pictured above).



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