Decorating a home with children in mind can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. With some thoughtful planning and design, you can create a space that is both beautiful and functional for your kids. The key is finding the right balance between aesthetics and practicality. Follow these tips to decorate a family-friendly home that encourages creativity, engagement, and fun.
Choose Bright, Vibrant Colors
Don’t be afraid of color when decorating for kids! Bright, bold hues create an energetic, playful environment. Opt for primary colors like red, blue, and yellow or go for a rainbow palette. Use accent walls or decorative items in vibrant tones. Just be sure to anchor bold colors with neutral hues so the space doesn’t become overstimulating.
Kids learn by touching, so bring in materials with diverse textures. Layer rugs over carpeting, use textured bedding, and add pillows and blankets with different fabrics. Expose shelving to display tactile toys. Paintable wallpaper adds dimension. Textures spark the imagination and make neutral spaces more interesting.
Design Flexible Spaces
Children’s interests are always evolving so the ideal kids’ space adapts as they grow. Choose furniture that can serve multiple purposes like storage ottomans that double as seating. Use large open shelving to display a rotating collection of toys and books. Leave plenty of open floor space for spreading out.
Add Elements at Kid Height
Make decorating interactive by placing decorative items where little hands can reach. Hang mobiles and artwork at their eye level. Use wall decals and chalkboard paint for doodling. Put baskets of toys within reach. Add a play kitchen or easel. Having engaging features at their height makes children active participants.
Define Activity Zones
Help kids focus their play by defining activity areas. Add a cozy rug and pillows to make a reading nook. Use shelving to box out a Lego corner. Bring in a small table and chairs for arts and crafts. Use area rugs and lighting to designate the spaces for different activities.
Display Their Artwork
Nothing inspires pride in young artists like seeing their masterpieces on display! Hang art on the refrigerator or get frames to showcase their creations. Paint canvas drop cloths for easy rotating galleries. Set up a craft station for making art to ensure fresh projects. VALUE their artistic expressions by giving them places of honor.
Choose Durable, Easy-Clean Fabrics
Kids can be tough on furniture and fabrics, so choose materials that can withstand their active lifestyles. Look for indoor-outdoor textiles that repel stains and liquids. Microfiber is soft but durable. Leather wipes clean. For carpeting, opt for stain-resistant, synthetic fibers. Washable slipcovers protect upholstery. Prioritize function.
Add Pops of Color
Incorporate bright, fun accents that spark joy. Vibrant pillows liven up a neutral sofa. Bold prints make whimsical wallpaper. Paint an accent wall a cheerful hue. Vivid artwork brings energy to any room. Let your child pick a favorite color and add complementary pops. Colorful details make spaces feel playful.
Use Child-Size Furniture
Outfit kids’ spaces with pint-sized furnishings suited to small stature. A miniature play table and chairs sized for little bodies encourages creative activities. Sturdy storage bins at their height help organize toys. Cozy child-size armchairs provide a reading nook. Beds fitted for kids, step stools, and kid-friendly lighting foster independence.
Include Plenty of Storage
Effective storage solutions keep kids’ spaces neat. Baskets neatly contain toys and books while open shelving displays favorites ready to grab. Cubbies offer designated homes for backpacks and shoes. Media cabinets hide electronics and games. Dressers provide ample clothing storage. Add hooks for bags and jackets. Clutter-free spaces feel peaceful.
Childproof your decor by securing furnishings, covering outlets, using cord shorteners, installing safety gates on stairs, and anchoring heavy items like shelves and TVs to the wall. Select furniture with rounded edges and look for toys labeled non-toxic. Window treatments should not have dangling cords. Prioritize safe materials.
Embrace Their Interests
Incorporate themes and décor that tap into their special interests to create spaces kids love. If they love transportation, add road rug and wall decals. For young scientists, create a curiosity nook with specimens and science posters. Budding athletes would enjoy wall graphics of their favorite sport. Personalization promotes pride.
Allow for Messiness
Kids play hard which often means messes. Set realistic expectations for neatness. Provide bins for quick clean-up. Use washable items like tablecloths. Designate art and craft areas for controlled clutter. Add a chalk or white board for coloring on walls. Allow kids to enjoy creative, engaged play without worrying about perfection.
A touch of whimsy brings fun to kids’ spaces. Incorporate playful patterns like polka dots, stripes, or plaids. Lively wallpaper or painting accent walls in a bold print adds interest. Decals like flowers or animals add a whimsical element. Mobiles and soft sculpture inject motion and fantasy. Display a collection of figurines. Whimsy delights active minds.
Provide Display Space
Kids take pride in showing off prized possessions and newfound skills. Make them the curators of their space. Upload digital artwork to screens and tablets. Designate a family gallery wall. Help them arrange favorite items on shelves and tables. Displaying their rotating treasures builds confidence.
Connecting kids to nature brings health benefits while also stoking creativity and imagination. Add plants and greenery to clean the air. An aquarium with fish fosters learning. Use natural materials like wood and fibers. Images of animals or nature scenes inspire. Terrariums are easy, enclosed ecosystems. Let the outdoors in.
Stimulate the Senses
Engage all senses with interactive decor. Hang a wind chime to hear pleasant sounds. Cut fresh flowers for fragrance. Texture adds tactile diversity. Taste-safe play dough or finger paints incorporate taste sensations (safely!). Colored lamps cast colorful glows. Sensory stimuli engage young minds.
Provide Arts and Crafts Storage
Foster creativity by providing well-organized arts and crafts supplies. Use shelving and bins to store paper, markers, paint, glue, fabric scraps, safety scissors and more. Add a dedicated table or set up a craft station. Proper storage keeps supplies accessible, not lost. Rotating materials refreshes interest.
Add Mirrors at Kid-Height
Seeing themselves reflected builds self-awareness. Plus, mirrors seem to double the space! Mount unbreakable acrylic mirrors low on the wall or incorporate into furniture like dressers. Add fun mirrors like acrylic shapes, frames that can display photos, or even a two-way mirror for silly faces. Mirror play encourages self-discovery.
Design for Multiple Ages
If you have kids of different ages, design rooms that meet everyone’s needs. Add toys for varied developmental stages. Use gender-neutral themes. Create zones for older kids’ homework and younger ones’ play. Choose durable furniture that adapts over time. Flexible, multifunctional spaces accommodate growing, changing families.
As kids grow, nurture their sense of independence. Add hooks low on the wall for self-hanging jackets. Use storage they can access themselves. Place a clock they can read. Night lights allow bathroom trips. Sturdy ladder-back chairs promote self-seating. Select toys and games for new skills. Spaces that allow autonomy instill confidence.
Promote Active Play
Physical play is important for kids’ growth and development. Bring active play into interior spaces. Designate an open area for movement. Add soft balls and cushions for safe indoor play. Sturdy indoor swings or climbing structures encourage activity. Rotate toys to maintain interest. Unstructured active play sparks creativity.
Set the Scene for Imaginative Play
Enhance spaces with decor that sets the scene for pretend play. Addition of child-size play kitchens or grocery stores fosters dramatic games. Dress-up clothes and costume trunks encourage role playing. Toy figures and miniature scenes like train tracks or doll houses spark narrative play. Imaginative environments boost creative thinking.
Embrace Open-Ended Play
Allow kids to lead play activities based on their own imaginative whims. Simple toys like blocks, balls, cardboard and art supplies spark endless games. Avoid over-structuring. Add toys and props to various areas and let them direct the narrative. Child-led play develops executive function, adaptability and problem solving.
Use Lighting to Set the Mood
Lighting dramatically impacts the look and feel of a space. For bright energizing play zones, use overhead lighting. Add lamps for cozy reading nooks. Blackout curtains allow mid-day movie screening. Night lights or string lights create a relaxing ambiance for bed time. Use dimmers and layered lighting for flexibility.
Choose Washable Fabrics
Kids can be messy, so select fabrics that can handle spills, stains, and dirt. Cotton, microfiber, outdoor textiles, leather, and performance fabrics clean up easily. Add stain-resistant fabric protection to upholstery. Use washable slipcovers. Stay away from delicates like silk or velvet unless just for display.
Rotate Their Art
Refresh kids’ spaces by periodically rotating the artwork on display. Schedule time periodically to take down older pieces and put up fresh creations. Let them curate their own galleries. Not only does rotating keep the décor lively, it teaches caretaking. Value their masterpieces by sharing them.
Add Personal Touches
Personalization helps kids feel ownership of their spaces. Include favorite colors, patterns, and themes. Display photos or meaningful treasures. Monogram pillows, wall hangings or storage bins. Let them pick décor like new bedding or art. When children can put their stamp a space, they invest more in keeping it orderly.
Clutter quickly accumulates in kid zones, so stay on top of organization. Use bins, baskets and cubbies to assign everything a “home.” Shelves and hooks keep items visible and accessible. Purge toys and activities they’ve outgrown. Schedule weekly tidying sessions. Order fosters independence and makes play more focused.
Frequently Asked Questions About Decorating for Children
Q: What types of themes work well in children’s rooms?
There are endless theme options kids love! Some top picks include outer space, woodland creatures, transportation, superheroes, princesses and fairy tales, specific sports or hobbies, or pop culture like favorite movies or TV shows. Let your child’s interests guide the theme.
Q: Should I let my kids pick their own décor?
Absolutely! While you want the final design to be aesthetically pleasing, including your kids’ input helps them feel ownership of the space. Let them select a favorite color scheme, patterns, artwork, accessories or furniture within reason. Guiding their selections is a great learning experience.
Q: How can I make a kids’ room feel cozy?
Layering textures like plush rugs, soft bedding and window treatments makes a space feel warm and cozy. Incorporate ambient lighting like floor lamps, sconces or string lights for a relaxing glow. Add personal touches like family photos. Neutral walls with bright, fun accents also keep rooms feeling calm.
Q: What types of furniture stand up best to kids?
Look for durable materials like solid wood over particle board. Metals like steel and wrought iron are sturdy choices. For upholstery, performance fabrics, microfiber and leather resist stains. Avoid delicate materials like antiques or thinly upholstered pieces unless just for display.
Q: Should I invest in higher end furniture for a kids’ room?
Not necessarily. Focus your budget on a few key durable pieces like beds and storage. Less expensive items from big box stores are fine for things that will see hard wear like desks and bookshelves. Save splurging for adult spaces and hand-down items to kids when grown out of.
Q: How can I make decorating affordable?
Shop sales and budget-friendly retailers. DIY projects like refinishing or repurposing flea market finds adds character for little cost. Use wall decals instead of pricier art. Focus splurges only on key durable pieces. Rotate toys and books from a library or consignment store to refresh for free.
Q: How do I decorate for kids of different ages sharing a room?
Use gender-neutral colors all ages can agree on. Add toys and activities suited for each developmental stage. Use storage bins to corral smaller toys away from older kids. Add distinct reading nooks and study zones. Shelving with baskets divides spaces. Plenty of open floor space gives room to spread out.
Q: What are the best flooring options for rambunctious kids?
Durable synthetic carpeting in stain-resistant fibers can withstand spills, pets and heavy use. Affordable vinyl plank flooring looks like wood but is waterproof and scratch resistant. For hard surfaces, choose hardwood with thick protective finish or higher-end scratched resistant laminates.
Q: How can I make decorating easy to change as kids grow?
Opt for inexpensive accents you can easily swap out like throws, art prints and floral arrangements. Use wall decals and peel-and-stick wallpaper to refresh. Pick furniture with timeless silhouettes that work for years. Neutral backdrops allow injecting color through replaceable décor.
Decorating a home with children in mind requires balancing aesthetics, safety, durability, and functionality. Focus on bright colors, flexible furnishings, organization and personalization. Define activity spaces suited to their interests. Allow them to help select themes and showcase their creations. Prioritize safety and easy care. Most importantly, create an environment where they can learn through active, engaged play. With some thoughtful planning, you can design a home that nurtures their development while still looking beautifully pulled together.