Amping Up the Kid-Friendliness of Your Home

As the mother of four young kids, I’ve found that there is a distinct difference between the inspiring effect of a stylish décor photograph and the implementation of said style into my own space and life. Often, the two (photo and reality) are completely separate. But there are certainly attainable ways to avoid sacrificing style while still encouraging and involving your kids into the space. Things go much smoother, at least in my household, when the needs and natural tendencies of children are considered in the design of our home.

Stone Under Bar Counter.

Stone island

Not only does putting stone into the kitchen add a great textural element into a space where things tend to be flat and shiny, but it is a fantastic functional decision as well. Having stone installed under a bar counter (or an island or any sit-in counter, for that matter) helps to minimize scuff marks when children sit on stools around the breakfast bar. Painted walls show off scuff marks and chipped paint over (a very short amount of) time, but this stone option will last, and look great, for years.{found on brooksandkendra}.

Heavy Duty Craft Table.

Colorful chairs

This cozy little play area is enhanced by the addition of a substantial craft table, front-and-center. Mismatched but brightly painted chairs, signal that the space isn’t to be taken too seriously (which the heavy table might seem, on its own), and plenty of supplies are stocked on the table, organized and at-the-ready. This is a purely welcoming environment for an all-day project or a few quick minutes…and everything in between. Creativity is also encouraged via several other areas in the room (e.g., the wall map, large mirror, spiraling topiary). What a great space for a child’s imagination to run free!

Backyard Chalkboard.

Outdoor calckboard

With a simple plywood sheet and some outdoor paint mixed with chalkboard-colored sanded grout, you could spruce up the kid-friendliness of your backyard space in just a few hours. This is a perfect way to keep the chalk dust off your indoor upholstery while letting kids explore their artistic side, and because the chalkboard is designed to be outside, it should hold up for years to come. The hanging chalk bucket is a charming touch.{found on projectdenneler}.

Oversized Floor Pillows.

Oversized pillows

Whether in a child’s bedroom or in the main living room, a few large, comfortable floor pillows are both inviting and stylish. Children will feel at home when they have something soft to sit, lie, and/or lounge on, whether in their private independent play or amongst adults and whole-house hubbub. Bonus: They can move around easily and can be put back into place just as easily! A nice touch would be to throw in a nearby basket of a few select toys or books for easy access.{image from tara}.
Canvas Drop Cloth Slipcovers.


Spills and stains are an unavoidable part of having children around. However, a wonderful way to minimize the stress for everyone involved is to implement slipcovers on susceptible furniture (e.g., dining chairs). Canvas drop cloths, sold at regular hardware stores in the paint section, are inexpensive, sturdy, and bleachable – a trifecta of kid-friendliness, wouldn’t you say? As an added bonus, the drop cloths are easy to sew together, unlike some thick upholstery fabrics. What a lovely way to help everyone relax around the spillable dinner table.