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Designing Kid-Friendly Spaces with Style

wide angle shot of tween bedroom

Kids are crazy! They take over your life and your home and I have two, so I understand the challenges that come with stylishly designing kid-friendly spaces. Although mine are past the “grab everything in sight” stage (Cassidy just turned 16!), I still find myself thinking of their early years when designing other people’s homes. So, whether you’re a new parent or a seasoned pro, I’ve got the best solutions to turn your space into a kid-friendly oasis.

Start With a Neutral Palette

A neutral palette is a great way to design kid-friendly spaces because let’s face it, your children’s toys represent a crazy combination of colors. In the kid’s rooms, sticking with neutral walls allow you to add color where you need, whether that be Marvel posters stuck to the wall or the multitude of Lego figures you WILL inevitably collect. There is also more flexibility to implement additional colors and patterns in creative ways, such as through ottomans, rugs, or throw pillows. A neutral base will also definitely serve you well down the road when kids grow out of the hardcore toy stage and your family’s needs evolve.

Credit: Winter & Daisy

Be Intentional in Your Furniture Choices

Kid-proof furniture means not fragile, overly expensive, or sharp. For coffee tables, we like to use fabric-covered ottomans or wood tables in a round shape, which eliminate sharp edges. Leather couches and chairs age beautifully and are practically stain-proof, making them excellent choices for families worried about sticky fingers or spills. If leather isn’t your vibe, don’t worry – there are many other fabrics designed to be stain-resistant. All in all, you should approach home decor with comfort in mind, because who knows when a quick nap on the couch will be needed!

Count on Rugs and Carpet

As I mentioned earlier, my kids are active. All parents knows that active children come with falls, bumps, and bruises and having rugs and carpet in your home will help combat this issue. Aside from safety, rugs and carpets add a sense of coziness and comfort to a room, allowing your children to feel more relaxed. Polyester blends or 100% wool rugs are great go-to choices for durable rugs, and don’t forget to include anti-slip pads for added cushion. Designer tip: we prefer using 1/4″ felt rug pads.

Creative Storage Solutions for Kids Toys

While studies show that most children have too many toys, it’s no surprise that our kids don’t agree. Nevertheless, those toys have to go somewhere! Take advantage of creative storage solutions and organize everything that belongs to your children in a way that makes sense to you, whether that be by toy type or child. Utilize storage ottomans, built-in cabinets, fun baskets with lids, or simple cube storage to keep the majority of toys off the floor. Many of these storage solutions are available in multiple color ways, so it’s easy to match them to your other decor. Whatever you do, make sure it is all accessible to your children because it’s never too early for them to learn how to pick up after themselves.


Add a “Kids Only” Space

If your child has a particular hobby or interest, it’s worth it to create a “kids-only” space in your home. Remember, your child doesn’t have a lot of input when it comes to the home they live in, so having their own space to foster their interests and creativity is a great way for them to feel more comfortable. This space doesn’t have to be elaborate – I’m talking about a small reading nook or corner with a toy chest and soft mat. Take a bay window, and add soft cushioned seating and wall-mounted shelves with age-appropriate books. In an oddly shaped corner, place a toy chest that matches the rest of your decor and a soft mat or rug for your children to play on.  If you have the additional space, a dedicated playroom can go a long way. You have the opportunity to create different zones for arts and crafts, building blocks, reading, and more. We’ve even gotten extra creative and utilized space under the stairs as a “kid-only” space!

Credit: Chango & Co

Use Your Vertical Space Wisely

Children in the “grab everything” stage are small, and that lends itself to maximizing the use of your vertical space. Elegant shelving or display cabinets installed at higher levels on open walls allow you to display collectibles, decor, or other valuables without the fear of curious little hands. There is also the option to implement decorative wall panels instead of artwork or paintings that can be easily knocked off a wall. Vertical space doesn’t always mean walls, however. Adding elegant pendant or chandelier lighting can add out-of-reach sophistication to rooms with higher ceilings. Implementing these few uses of vertical space can really help bring a space together while keeping children out of danger. 

Credit: Studio McGee Windsong Project

Remember that despite the challenges, a well-designed home can be both kid-friendly and stylish. Have fun with the process! Your children are only little for so long and you won’t get these moments back.