Home Design

5+ Tips To Making Kid-Friendly Spaces Even Adults Love

Katie Sullivan
PHOTOS BY J. Alan Paul Photography

Just because you have kids doesn’t mean you have to give up on adult style. A tastefully designed home that both kids and parents can enjoy is within reach. Read on for my secrets to creating a family friendly home while keeping your children and design sanity in check.


Carve out areas in your home dedicated to your kids. In our home, there are no off-limit rooms, but we do have rooms that are more adult. Without going overboard on kid decor, we have found ways to make sure our two-year-old, Eva, has room to play and explore throughout our home.

Home Office kid-friendly
Rug – The Vintage Rug Shop | Desk – Restoration Hardware | Bookcases – DIY from Ikea’s Billy Bookcases | Art – To-the- Trade. Available through McNeal & Friends.

For example, we minimized the amount of furniture we have in our family room so she has room to run around and created a little desk in my office so she can color while I work.

living room kid-friendly
Sofas – Room & Board | Rug – Jaipur Rugs. Available through McNeal & Friends. | Large Art – DIY. Similar available at Pretty Domesticated Shop | Rocking Chair – Pottery Barn Kids | Blue Ottomans – Target | Pillows – Various, including Room & Board, Pottery Barn and Studio McGee | Throws – Home Goods | Toy Piano – Target

We are fortunate enough to have a playroom dedicated to Eva’s fun, but even there we didn’t forget the grown-ups. We have a sofa to relax on and even brought in a Keurig. Playtime is more fun for everyone when mommy is well caffeinated.


My No. 1 secret weapon is closed door storage, followed closely by baskets. Clutter is inevitable in life, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be out in the open.

Closed door storage
Buffet – To-the-Trade – Available through McNeal & Friends | Rug – Room & Board |Chairs – Restoration Hardware | Accent Table – Vintage | Fur Throw – Home Goods

I can convert our family room from playroom disaster to adult meeting space in 10 minutes flat by throwing everything into the cupboards. Open anything with doors and you will find toys. Lacking built- in storage? Do yourself a favor and invest in a buffet, then throw all your kids’ stuff in it.

For home tips and glimpses into my family’s daily life, visit my blog at prettydomesticated.com.


Studies show children establish a connection to their world through sensory play. Choose textured pillows and colorful art to keep children stimulated.

PlayRoom kid-friendly
Bulldog Art – Home Goods | Basket – Ikea | Sofa – Slumberland | Hanging Pictures – DIY | Anchor Light – Target | Side Table – West Elm | Round Table – Target | Tent – Tnee’s Tpees | Rug – Lulu & Georgia | Pillows – Target | First Birthday Poster – Pretty Domesticated Shop


Everyone knows I have a child, so instead of hiding it, I flaunt it. Most of our home is decorated with pictures of our family, bright art and even Eva’s own masterpieces.

DIY Pictures Kid-friendly

Art – DIY. Custom Framed at Michaels. | Frames – Michaels, West Elm & Pottery Barn

I’m not the mom who is going to keep every drawing my child creates. However, I’m not ashamed to frame her best work and display it in unexpected places like the laundry room and the kid’s bathroom. Thanks to the modern art trend, most visitors don’t even realize it’s finger paint. I do and it makes me smile.


When decorating with kids, nothing in your home should be too precious. However, that does not mean your home can’t be well accessorized and that all antiques or sentimental pieces are off limits. Our home has a mixture of high, low and well-loved hand-me-down pieces, but all of them can either handle the love or can be replaced without tears.

DIY Pictures Kid-friendly
Hanging Photos – DIY | Sofa – Slumberland | Lamp – Vintage | Anchor Light – Target | Pillows – Target

Invest in Durable Furniture

Children are hard on furniture, so it may seem stupid to invest in it. It’s not. Well- made furniture, in durable materials can stand the test of time, even if your children use the couch as a trampoline. Pick classic shapes and upgrade your cushions to spring down so they can handle those tiny, jumping feet. Spring for leather or the fabric that wicks away liquids. Down the road, once your children use the sofa for strictly sitting, you can reupholster. Cheap furniture will likely end up broken, battered and quickly replaced. Save your Target card for accessories and accent pieces.

For hard surfaces, like tables, opt for rounded corners to prevent black eyes, bruises or an expensive trip to the ER.

Choose Forgiving Rugs

Spilled milk is nothing to cry over until it ends up all over your new living room rug. Spare yourself the heartbreak and choose easy-to-clean and forgiving rugs. Just say no to viscose and silk and opt for hides, Persian and natural fiber are great options. While these rugs might not scream kid-friendly, believe me, they are. Persian rugs forgive many a sin with their patterns, and hides clean off as easy as washing your own hair. My wool rug has seen many tipped glasses, and it still looks like the day we put it in place. By the way, it’s white.

Closed door storage

The No. 1 thing to remember when decorating with children is that a mishap is always lurking around the corner. Carefully select your furniture and accessories, keep cleaner in a high, locked cupboard nearby and, as Elsa would say, let it go.

For more information, contact:

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Katie Sullivan

[email protected]
Facebook: Pretty Domesticated
Instagram: PrettyDomesticated


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