Does anyone else remember the days when grandma’s couch was covered in plastic? Kids were not allowed, let alone encouraged, to be rambunctious in the house and, above all else, the furniture was to be protected. The living room was a space designed for the adults, and the children needed to respect that. Grandma’s plastic-covered couch was reflective of the seen-not-heard mentality common of that era.
Gone are those days (bye-bye!) as we’ve moved to an interior design philosophy that’s more considerate of the entire family’s needs.
Now, we rightfully expect our spaces to be fully utilized by everyone under the roof, and our children are welcome to get comfortable. The living room is, and well should be, an area of the home that all ages can enjoy.
Whether you have your own children, grandchildren, or little visitors, there are easy ways to design your living room in a kid-friendly way so everyone can relax and unwind a little easier. Let’s dive in!
5 Essential Design Tips for a Kid-Friendly Living Room
- Avoid furniture with sharp edges or corners.
Any toddler has the bruises to prove that they will find every surface to bonk their heads on. Because of the rough-and-tumble play that children of all ages enjoy, it’s best to child-proof your living room with furnishings that will not cause more injury.
In lieu of a coffee table, try a couple of plush ottomans or poufs (even better if includes interior storage–more on that to come!)
Or, if your heart is set on a coffee table, avoid glass and try a round wood table. This gives you the best of both worlds as you’ve not only removed sharp edges but also swapped a fragile with a more durable material).
- Make room for play.
Who wouldn’t love a playful living room as a child? Make this space fun and inviting for all kids (and kids at heart) with a few thoughtful additions.
Consider displaying some fun, colorful, and quirky artwork on your walls to give your space a less serious vibe that your kids will appreciate.
Try incorporating a play corner into your living space. This way, adults can supervise from a distance while kids have fun nearby.
Choose a few nice frames and put up kids’ artwork next to your decorative pieces. Sometimes it’s these small personal touches that make gathering spaces feel perfectly relaxed for everyone in the family.
- Incorporate kid-approved storage.
From toys to art supplies, books and backpacks, a kid-friendly space should always incorporate plenty of low-maintenance, kid-approved storage.
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 and organizing and have more time to play with your family).
Examples of kid-approved storage include:
- A credenza: great for storing toys and small knickknacks and can do double-duty as a TV stand.
- A bench with interior storage: a clever way to add more seating and hide items.
- Woven baskets: great for stashing toys and clutter in a pinch–and look much cuter than plastic bins.
- Throw down family-friendly rugs.
While you may be quick to buy a fun, colorful rug as an easy way to add some energy to your space, make sure that you check the product details before purchasing.
You’ll want a rug that’s durable, easy-to-clean, and chemical-free. Yes, that’s right, even some household rugs are known to be toxic because of the additives made to color or bind the materials. And for kids who are drawn to playing on the floor, this is a big no-go.
Opt for rugs made from natural fibers like wool, jute, sisal, or organic cotton. Non-toxic indoor/outdoor rugs are another great option for their durability in this high-trafficked area of the home.
Make sure to avoid rugs made from silk or synthetic materials.
- Select appropriate seating fabrics.
To be fair, Grandma was right to be worried about her couch. Spills, tears, and scratches can easily happen on furniture with kids around. The key to success here is choosing materials that are durable.
When it comes to selecting fabrics for your living room couches and chairs, look for tight weaves and high rub-count fabrics (think Crypton or Revolution Fabric). Other great options include leather for its durability and timelessness, patterned fabrics for their ability to hide stains and use, or even slipcovers to add a fresh look to a well-loved couch or chair.
With just a few easy swaps and thoughtful additions, you can easily transform your living room into a sanctuary for adults and kids alike.
What steps have you taken to redesign your living space around your growing family?
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