By Jane Blanchard

When a new baby joins your family, you see your home in a whole new light. What used to be a harmless power strip is now a potential hazard for curious little baby fingers. As you peruse your space with scrutinizing eyes, keep in mind you don’t have to sacrifice style for safety. While your child’s security is most important, you can create a safe haven for your little one to play without forfeiting your home’s classy design.

Use Complementary Baby Gates

Baby-proofingCraftsman Kitchen by Fernie Doors River City Woodworks

For a baby’s well-being, some areas of the home are better left unexplored. As a simple solution, a baby gate is an easy way to block off perilous areas. While effective, some baby barriers aren’t exactly the most fashionable gadgets. As seen in this picture, however, you can find or make one that blends in perfectly with your decor. Baby-gate designs have come a long way, and you can easily find one that enriches the surrounding area. If constructing your own, remember to treat the wood for a smooth, splinter-free surface.

Install Stylish Stair Coverings

Baby-proofing stairsContemporary Staircase by New York Architects & Building Designers Axis Mundi

Stairways present a unique falling hazard for infants and toddlers. To prevent any accidents, set up a protective siding for your staircase. This picture highlights a modern glass style that offers clear and valuable sight lines. Other options include rustic wood and wrought-iron rails to suit your specific style.

Use Furniture to Block Outlets

Baby-proofing nurseryTransitional Nursery by Edmonton Home Builders Infiniti Master Builder

As an alternative to those cheap, and often pesky, outlet plugs, consider methodically placing furniture to block the outlets entirely. You can position the furniture so that the outlet is near the edge to make it easier to reach when you need it. For outlets that need to be used often, invest in safe plates that feature spring-loaded covers for easy access. While most covers are plain white, you can find colored varieties to match the room’s decor.

Enclose bookcases

Baby-proofing bookcasesTransitional Family Room by Knoxville Interior Designers & Decorators Stacy Jacobi

While you may hope to raise a bookworm, their pint-sized hands aren’t ready to flip the pages of “Moby Dick” just yet. For now, your wee one is more fascinated with how easily paper tears. The bookcase featured in this photo offers an elegant solution for protecting your book collection. The glass covering and clever lighting put the finishing touches on this display, and they make it feel like a high-end gallery piece.

For more tips and tricks, head to Modernize.com.

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