How to Create A Kid-Friendly Home Without Sacrificing Your Personal Style

Kids’ sticky hugs, gummy smiles, and belly laughs are the best parts of your family’s home. Their oversized and generally clunky colored gear, however, is not so endearing. Whether you are settling in your new home, or you are staging your house to sell, avoid letting the space become overrun with brightly colored plastic. These tips will help blend your children’s belongings into your home’s aesthetic, without compromising your personal style.

Nursery Furniture

Just because they are small, doesn’t mean you need to only buy children’s furniture for your kids. For example, instead of a changing table, secure a changing pad top to a dresser they can grow into and you can repurpose later in life.

Family Room Must-Haves

With a young family, an indoor/outdoor rug is a smart alternative to a traditional area rug. With nearly limitless designs available, you won’t compromise your home’s style and will also benefit from the easy wipe-off material.

For little ones who aren’t yet mobile, a playmat is a great way to explore the world around them. Don’t feel relegated to mats made of brightly colored squares. Alternatives such as Little Nomad’s foam playmats can easily be mistaken as an heirloom rug, or the Skip Hop Playspot Geo Foam Floor Tiles in a classic gray and white design. If you are staging your home to sell, these mats can easily deconstruct, to prevent potential buyers from walking on your baby’s play area.

With sharp edges and glass tops, coffee tables can be a safety hazard for new walkers. Use a soft, plush ottoman instead. An ottoman is ideal for little ones to hold on to as they maneuver around the room, and perfect for you to rest a glass of wine and throw up your feet after the kids go to bed. Consider upholstering the ottoman in outdoor fabric. It may seem expensive initially but will pay off when your children are older and you can reupholster in an adult-friendly fabric.

Just because you’re sharing your space with kids, doesn’t mean you need to hide all the items you love. You may not want them crawling all over your cream throw pillows, so buy washable or stain-resistant covers you can use for this fleeting period. If you’re selling your home, prior to showings remove the temporary washable covers to create a more adult-friendly vibe.

Kitchen Seating

Replace several kitchen table chairs with a bench to provide extra seating for your growing family, and to serve as a base for a toddler’s booster seat. Securing a booster seat to a bench will make the seat more inconspicuous, will offer more chair availability when you have company over.

There are many sleek high chair options available, so there is no need to have a clunky, colorful high chair front and center in the kitchen. The OXO Tot Sprout chair comes in a streamlined design with rich wood and neutral colors. It can easily blend in with the rest of your kitchen tables and look like it’s purposefully part of your design scheme.

Storage Solutions

Whether you are staging your home to sell, having company over, or simply need organization for your own sanity, don’t underestimate the power of woven baskets. These inexpensive lifesavers can store (read: hide!) everything: toys, books, clothes, blankets. To make them look less like an afterthought and more like an intentional part of your design, group smaller baskets in threes or flank the ends of your sofa with two large baskets.

To keep your family room and playroom cabinets organized, line the shelves with smaller baskets. This is also helpful if you’re selling your home; potential buyers will inevitably check out what’s behind closed doors, and you will have an organized, streamlined display.

Safety Contraptions

A standard part of baby-proofing is locking kitchen cabinets so little hands can’t access cleaning supplies, glass, cutlery or any other harmful items. Avoid the clunky external door locks by installing magnetic cabinet locks. Simply attach a magnet to the inside of the door, and use the magnetic key to open it.

Keep your curious child out of off-limits rooms with inconspicuous door locks. Avoid succumbing to bulky door knob covers with this subtle, out-of-the-way Child Proof Deluxe Door Top Lock. It will keep your kids safe, and you will barely know it’s there.

General Decor Tips

Whether it is a full playroom or a corner of the family room, create a special kids space and make sure all their equipment stays in that area. Particularly if you are staging your home to sell, this helps delineate a distinct children’s space, so buyers with kids can imagine their own family growing in your home, and buyers without kids can easily mentally separate that space from the rest of the home.

Painting is one of the best ways to give your home a quick, inexpensive facelift; if you’re preparing to sell, it’s a top way to provide a fresh, neutral base to appeal to potential buyers. Be sure to select a paint in an eggshell finish; this finish is the easiest paint surface area to wipe away sticky handprints, splashes, food, and crayons.

Your kids are only little once, so take advantage of this special, fun, hectic, and let’s be honest, sometimes frustrating time. Create a gallery wall with their artwork by following a few tips. Either group their work by colors to create a uniformed look (i.e. only framing the blue and green colored art), or selecting their favorite pieces and making black and white copies on high-quality paper to create a more sophisticated look. The key to making this gallery wall more deliberate and less like a children’s art display is using a uniformed style of frame and upping the appearance with custom matting. If you’re selling your home, a one-of-a-kind art display will definitely make interested buyers do a double take!

Whether you are settling into your forever home, or are staging your home to sell, blending your children’s equipment and toys into your design aesthetic is an important part of a balanced, well-designed home. Incorporating their items into your home’s design can better help potential buyers envision themselves living in your home, and if you’re planting your own roots, can help you create a more harmonious space.

Written by Deanna Kane
Deanna Kane is an interiors, home decor, and real estate writer. She enjoys taking on her own home renovation and design projects, and staying current on the local real estate market.