As a parent, designing a beautiful home can feel like a real struggle. You want a space that is safe and welcoming for kids, but you also don’t want to feel like you live in PeeWee’s Playhouse (no offense to PeeWee). The struggle is especially real for high-traffic rooms, like your living space or family room, which see a lot of daily use by both adults and kids alike.
If you’re looking to design a kid-friendly living room that balances style and function, you’ve come to the right place. We’re big believers in the idea that beautiful design and a home full of children are not mutually exclusive. We’re here to arm you with a few practical and stylish design tips that will help you make your living room the ultimate kid-friendly (and adult approved) hangout space.
Keep scrolling for 5 of our favorite kid-friendly living room design tips!
1. Find a Forgiving Rug
First things first: When designing a kid-friendly living room (or any room, for that matter) a forgiving rug is a must.
Keep your family and your home happy by choosing a rug that’s durable, easy to clean, and free of toxic chemicals. Skip silk and synthetic fibers, which stain easily and can be expensive to clean, and opt for a wool or natural fiber rug instead.
We love natural fiber rugs because they come in large sizes at affordable prices, but if you’re not a fan, consider an indoor/outdoor rug instead. Available in a range of colors, patterns, and sizes, these rugs are made to withstand heavy wear. A great option for family homes or households with furry friends too!Shop This Room
2. Choose Fabrics That Do More
When it comes to a kid-friendly living room, your sofa, chairs, and pillows will all be subject to climbing, jumping, spills, and even become the canvases for various arts and crafts projects. Give your furniture a leg up on the competition by picking fabric options that balance comfort and practicality.
What to look for:
- Durable Fabrics: For upholstered furniture (like sofas or chairs) look for fabrics with tight weaves and high rub counts. These are sure signs of durability and mean these pieces can take more wear and tear than your average furniture.
- Leather: If you’re willing to spend a bit more, leather is a great option because you can easily wipe away spills. No need to worry about scratches, as these marks and scuffs will blend right in as your leather sofa develops a patina over time.
- Patterns: Pieces with busy patterns or multi-tonal fabrics will also help to disguise blemishes. So, don’t be afraid to choose a chair, rug, or even pillows sporting a bold or graphic print!
- Slipcovers are another great choice for your family’s home. When spills happen, simply pull off the cover and toss it into the wash.
Fun fact! It’s a common maxim that white sofas are an automatic no-no in homes with young kids. But, after designing many kid-friendly living rooms, we’ve found many parents actually advocate for white sofas. Why? Because unlike any other color, you can bleach a white slipcover and it’ll come out good as new. How’s that for low-maintenance!Shop This Room
3. Cut the Corners
Create an “owie-free” zone by avoiding any furniture or decor with sharp corners and edges.
This is especially important if your kids are just learning to walk. Consider nixing pieces with sharp corners or anything made of glass.
Instead of a coffee table, try swapping in a large ottoman—or even two poufs—to keep your seating area totally void of sharp edges. Some options also offer interior storage and double as a comfy footrest.
If you don’t want to forgo a coffee table completely, consider a round option. This is a great way to eliminate sharp corners and still enjoy the function of a coffee table. If you go this route, opt for wood surfaces, which hold up to scuffs and scratches and are less sharp than glass, metal, or stone tops. Or, get the best of both worlds, and choose a plush ottoman with interior storage (which is great for easily stashing away games and kids’ toys).Shop This Room
4. Get Strategic With Your Storage
There’s no denying that kids have a lot of stuff. From toys to art supplies, to books and backpacks, a kid-friendly space should always incorporate plenty of low-maintenance, kid-approved storage.
We say, opt for enclosed or stashable storage which easily conceals clutter and helps keep your space looking neat with minimal effort. AKA you’ll spend less time cleaning/organizing and have more time to play with your family.
A credenza is great for storing toys and small knickknacks and can do double-duty as a TV stand. An ottoman, coffee table, or bench with interior storage is another great option. A few pretty baskets lined up against the wall are also great for stashing toys and clutter in a pinch (and look much cuter than plastic bins).Shop This Room
Stylist Tip: While open shelving and storage options are lovely, they do require constant upkeep to keep them looking great. If you don’t want to commit to high-maintenance storage a great alternative is to opt for closed storage pieces.
5. Make Room for Play
All practicality aside, spaces designed for kids should feel welcoming for your entire family. Mix in some fun, colorful artwork on your walls to give your space a less serious note that your kids will appreciate.
Consider incorporating a play corner into your living space. This way, adults can supervise from a distance while kids have fun nearby.Shop This Room
Stylist Tip: Choose a few nice frames and put up artwork by your kids next to your decorative pieces. Sometimes it’s these small personal touches that make gathering spaces feel perfectly relaxed for everyone in the family.