Game Plan | Creating a Stylish, Kid-Friendly Home

Game Plan | Creating a Stylish, Kid-Friendly Home

  • Kathy Sexton
  • 05/10/24

Creating a Stylish, Kid-Friendly Home

Your Home & Lifestyle Magazine

If you have young children, decorating your home may feel like a battle of function versus style. There is the basic need to childproof sharp corners, electrical outlets, and heavy furniture; then there is the more complex task of selecting finishes that will stand up to messes without looking messy. Keeping house with kids might not be easy, but creating a safe and inspiring space for them to grow has its rewards. Read on for some clever ways to infuse your home with decor that strikes a balance between kid friendly and grown-up approved.

Work from the ground up. A comfortable foundation will help create spaces everyone can enjoy. Carpet or mat tiles (ideal for bedrooms and playrooms) allow room to grow with changing, modern styles. Check out House of Noa for mats that are soft on the eyes, hands, and feet. Hardwood and laminate flooring is easy to clean but isn’t known for being cozy. If you prefer hardwood for longevity, layer washable or high-pile area rugs with patterns that mask stains. Continue patterned flooring with tile or laminate in kitchens and bathrooms.

In addition to hiding a multitude of sins, pattern introduces a playful element that marries whimsy and sophistication. Consider patterned or mural wallpaper for an entryway, dining room, or bedroom. Today’s washable wallpaper and paint options make it easy to clean small (and large) handprints. If you fall in love with the design of a delicate wallpaper, apply it to the ceiling for longevity and visual drama.

Furniture covered with performance fabrics will help keep your home looking its best, longer. Turn to brands such as Revolution Performance Fabrics, iClean by La-Z-Boy, Nuvella, Kid-Proof by Rowe, and Sunbrella. Indoor-outdoor fabrics are easy to clean, help repel spills, and are softer than ever; they are also readily available in styles more suited to modern interiors than traditional outdoor spaces. Designer Max Humphrey’s design-trade line (Max Humphrey x Pindler x Sunbrella) is infused with classic Americana motifs such as gingham, floral stripes, bow ties, and other nostalgic patterns that are family favorites. Keep things comfy with a variety of floor seating like oversize pillows, poofs, and ottomans. Layer pillows and blankets for cozy reading or a rainy-day fort.

If you love knickknacks, employ open shelves with brass railings to showcase a few of your favorite things while keeping them out of reach. To keep little ones away from high shelves, offer plenty of distractions on their level. Build special spaces for small people, like a reading nook under the stairs or a hall closet turned outer space–themed hiding spot. In any room where kiddos spend time, install low, floating bookshelves filled with a library of age-appropriate books they can access anytime without assistance. Books are beautiful styling pieces for any home; update or rotate the books on display to fit your favored aesthetic.

Of course, basic safety will play an important role in kid-friendly home design. Instead of low-hanging chandeliers, opt for semiflush mount light fixtures. Whether streamline or statement, these fixtures will help reduce bumps on the head. Motion-activated night-lights keep shared spaces illuminated, while toilet nightlights make the bathroom easy to navigate in the dark (and might just be the oddest thing you never knew you needed). Today’s design options for outlet covers go beyond plastic prong pieces; chic boxes, paintable plates, and sleek covers with hidable extension cords are designed to keep kids safe without drawing attention.

Finally, help give children a sense of ownership by selecting a prominent place to display their artwork. Add a few paintings, collages, or drawings to an existing gallery wall. Or, give kids a wall in the house where they can host their latest creations. Changeable frames or art cabinets (with the frame front and glass or acrylic on hinges) make it easy to rotate artwork with each new masterpiece. Gallery rails or ledges look a bit less finished, but allow for plenty of flexibility with art shapes, sizes, and mediums. Framed photographs of animals offer a lighthearted way to make your home both stylish and inclusive for varied ages and interests. Rest assured—modern, kid-friendly decor is anything but juvenile.

YHL/Written By: Maresa Giovannini

Photo By: ozgurcankaya/E+/Getty Images

Work With Us

We're committed to finding the home that's right for you, in the community you deserve to be a part of. In the meantime, take advantage of our website—everything you need to buy or sell a home, or even learn about your home's market value, is right here.