With divorce rates remaining high in the United States, so does the number of single dads and moms raising children in a co-parenting scenario. A report issued by the US Census revealed: “An estimated 13.7 million parents [have] custody of 21.8 million children under 21 years of age while the other parent lived somewhere else.” The report went on to say that 26.3% of all children under age 21 live with only one parent while the other lived elsewhere. While mothers everywhere are often praised for their ability to create a child-friendly living space, single dads may find themselves struggling to strike a balance between a bachelor pad and a child-proof home.
Considerations for The Single Dad Who Gets The Kids on Weekends and Holidays
Single dad or not, if your bachelor pad really is a bachelor pad except on weekends or holidays, your choice in apartments is likely to reflect your own sense of style. Therefore, you’ll want to find great pieces that can be both functional as well as fashionable. Throughout the week, you may have the guys over to watch the big game. Further, you may choose to entertain a special lady while the kids are with their mom. You’ll want to be conscious of the widely varied use of your living space as you begin decorating.
If you are downsizing from a much larger home, the first thing you will need to do is declutter. Old clothing, shoes, toys, electronics and small appliances can be donated to your local thrift store. Next, you’ll want to consider the room dimensions of your living space. Many times you can find apartments for rent that feature high ceilings or accent walls. These provide a perfect opportunity to utilize shelving. You can also use stackable drawers or a curio cabinet which can display attractive art on its top shelves while stowing smaller items in hideaway drawers at the bottom of the cabinet.
Dads of younger children can easily incorporate a stylish cubby (or two) across the living room. This way, you can tuck away your child’s toys and games in an attractive manner. Coffee or end tables in your living room can easily become storage spaces; in fact, there are several on the market built with storage underneath. An art deco trunk can be a fashionable mid-century home furnishing, as well as a perfect place for storage in the living room or in one of the bedrooms. Loft dwellers in New York City and trendy South Boston renters frequently adopt these styles as an extension of the retro / art deco feel.
If your kitchen counter has run completely out of space, a wheeled kitchen cart will give you extra surface while providing a hub for kitchen tools or items from the pantry.
Closets can be optimized with stackable drawers and shelves. Outdoor closets (like those in apartment patios) can also be a great area to store sporting equipment as well as smaller items your child doesn’t use very often. Today’s apartments feature a number of functional cabinet and sometimes closet spaces in the bathroom. If you’re running short on closet space, find some kind of behind-the-toilet shelving. This will act as a great little area for some artwork and a few extra hand-towels.
Beds and Bedrooms
As a single dad, while you are likely to choose an apartment with an extra bedroom if your child is a bit older, sofa beds may work well for younger children. Hideaway beds are another great option. If you have an extra bedroom, the space underneath the bed is great for items that are bulky or out of season.