Furniture with extra storage is a game-changer
Part of the rite of passage as a parent is taking your house from adults-only to a kid-friendly home. Before you start having nightmares about living room furniture that looks like it belongs in your kids’ preschool classroom, rest assured that there are plenty of kid-friendly living room ideas that feel welcoming to everyone. In hopes of helping you achieve that balance, we reached out to top design and organization experts and got some great tips and tricks. Feeling like the first step is just figuring out where to store all the toys? We’ve got you covered there, too.
Invest in an Open Floor Plan
This design trend allows family members to see each other without being in the “same” room. Suzi Dailey, Luxury Coastal Realtor at RealtyONE says, “The previous trend was to have two steps down into your family room, but now people want one large level. They're looking for level, open floor plans, and many people want a larger island that opens up to the other room.”
Choose the Right Area Rug
Your living room is a high-traffic area. Consider buying a rug that’s easy to wash (think Ruggable or Lorena Canals) or an indoor/outdoor rug. They’ll be able to withstand all the running, playing, and, inevitably, all the spills, and you still get to choose from hundreds of colors and patterns.
Make It Colorful
HGTV highly encourages going bold when it comes to kid-friendly living room ideas. Whether it’s a coat of paint, living room furniture, or a color-coordinated bookshelf, color is a great way to make a room feel warm and welcoming.
Utilize Empty Wall Space
Jaime Hord, owner of Horderly Professional Organizing says, “Don’t forget that empty wall space can turn into an amazing storage space for everything and anything from decor, family photos or additional containment. We love using The Container Store’s Elfa System to create custom-designed storage spaces for our clients.
Opt for a Wooden Dining Room Table
Not only will a wood table be able to handle kids’ dents and dings, but it also will give your eating space a laid-back vibe instead of feeling like a super-fancy environment. We love this one from Wayfair; it’s the perfect size for a cozy kitchen nook.
Purchase Furniture with Extra Storage
This is also a must for Hord. She says, "If space is limited, think about getting furniture with built-in storage options. Whether it’s a storage bench, storage seat, or a sectional with a secret storage compartment—get creative when staging your space to make it beautifully functional for you and your family. These hidden storage options are not only handy, but they’re comfortable for the kids to hang out on too!"
Create a Space Just for the Kids
A great way to create a kid-friendly living room is to give them their own space. This way, you can keep all their toys, books, stuffies, and art supplies in one space, and the kids know that the space is safe. We love the idea of an indoor fort or reading nook!
Create a Gallery Wall with Their Art
According to Michelle Manske, owner and organizer at Henry & Higby, this is a great way to create a kid-friendly living room. She states, “Create a gallery wall in your living room for children’s artwork with vintage frames from flea markets or the ones sitting in your grandmother’s attic. The variation in frame types and sizes will create a natural focal point to display artwork. The mismatched open frames make rotating artwork pieces very easy and create an easy juxtaposition between youth and adult worlds.”
Do Cut the Corners
No one wants to see a new walker take a nosedive toward the corner of the coffee table. And, those plastic corner buffers aren’t what anyone would call chic. Here’s a compromise between safety and style: consider buying a round table or a pouf. There are dozens of styles and colors to choose from, and some are even big enough for board games! If you must have something square, consider an ottoman with soft fabric.
Use Decorative Storage Bins
Hord says, "In your living room, remember that containment is key to restoring order to your space. However, you definitely don’t need to sacrifice beauty for functionality. Use decorative storage bins to put on open shelving or inside cabinets to contain different types of categories like electronics, games, toys, or books."
Give Them a Space to Write on the Walls
Instead of waiting for the inevitable, give the kids their own space to write on the walls. Not only is it a great creative outlet, but if there’s a real artist in the house, it’s a way to constantly give your living room an update! We love this peel-and-stick chalkboard decal from FancyWallsStore on Etsy.
Buy Kid-and Pet-Friendly Foliage
Plant expert Amber Guetebier, offers this advice, “Having plants in your living space is not only great for mental well-being, but they are also helpful in purifying the air. But it's important to make sure the plants are non-toxic to kids and pets since we all know both are curious. Many easy houseplants are kid-and-pet safe, including the Money Tree (Pachira aquatica) and the Parlor palm (Chamaedorea elegans).