Friday, October 3, 2014

design rule to break : separating kid + adult spaces

If you have a smaller home without a bonus room to fully dedicate to toys/kiddos stuff you may be tempted to sacrifice one of your "adult rooms" (dining room, main floor guest room, office) to make way for a convenient "play room." 

Parents want a room near their kitchen to spend time in (talk to other adults, get stuff done) while the kids play.  A room that houses an unspeakable amount of toys, that perhaps does not have to be fully cleaned up.  Ever.  It tends to be an "all or nothing" situation.  Explosion of toys or fancy adult room.

I have to challenge this.  Do we really need to completely eliminate a main adult space to make a giant space for kid play?
Through creative design can we make our living rooms do double duty - in a stylish way?

Can a living room be adult chic and kid-friendly?

Yes to all of this!

The modern furniture store Modani Modern Furniture is currently featuring 'design rules to break' -- and this is mine: You don't need to separate you adult spaces + kid spaces.  Make one space do both! 

A living room can be a fun, modern, playful, yet chic spot for everyone. One that still reflects your adult decor style while housing a copious amount of toys. (Well, maybe not. You might be over-run by toys.  It happens.  Perhaps consider keeping the majority of toys in their bedroom...or if you truly feel you need an entire room - besides their bedroom - to house toys...consider a purge!  Donate, have a yard sale, or sort everything into bins and keep some bins in storage, rotating them on occasion to keep things interesting for your little ones.)

We are currently working on making our back living room a double-duty, kid-friendly space.  This post shows how far we've come in the dream home with transforming it.  We still aren't using the room fully as we need to over-haul the built-in cabinet so that it can house the TV and become our main family space...but, it is close. 
The kids already have a TON of fun playing here.  They go crazy wrestling/throwing pillows on the sectional. They love the soft rug to tumble on, and of course have various bins of toys that get strewn everywhere most days.  That is just life when you stay at home with two kids.

I love that my little ones adore the room already -- it is bright and cheerful and I want to keep it colorful and fun!  However, I also want it to be stylish and reflect my decor style/personality.  

Here are some of my picks from Modani for combining the current black + white trend (which I adore, clearly!) with playful pops of color that work in a playroom...while also mixing curves and straight lines.  You know, for all you artful types that notice stuff like that.

paris print // bright pillow // LOVE pillows // coffee table
I think any of these could work in our space, and prove that even if you love sleek and chic you can still have a kid-friendly vibe.

Here is what needs to happen (and some things we've already done) to accomplish this in our living room: 
  • Toy storage . That will be in this built-in cabinet that will be re-done to house the TV + toys/games.  I think to quickly convert the space to adult-chic you need to be able to quickly stash all the kiddo stuff away out of view!   
  • A play tent - I really want a fun play tent for the kids...that can house (hide!) more toys and/or be taken down easily if needed.  I love this striped one!
  • A play mat (again, can be easily put away) for extra "tumbling" space.  If your space is carpeted this is not as crucial, but we have hardwoods throughout our home, so I am always on the hunt for fun + reasonably-priced rugs.
  • Lots of fun pillows!  Kids loooove to throw pillows and build forts in living rooms.  (Or at least mine do.)  So just mentally prepare yourself for this and buy pillows you are okay with getting thrown everywhere.  I am going with black + white right alongside bright teal + chartreuse solids and prints.  I like the bright color and playfulness of these as well:

  • Bold artwork.  I need to fill that blank wall so I plan combining more black and white photography with pops of color and some large letters in a mix of materials.  It is interesting how observant kids are about photos and art.  It really does matter what you put up - they will ask questions and be influenced by it all!  Make it fun!
  • A coffee table for family games (and adult game nights, too.)  The plan is to make one our of reclaimed barn wood from the farm I grew up on...but this one is pretty cute and only $99 right now.  I love the glam + fun legs on this!
  • A sectional for maximum seating - and playing!  We definitely considered "kid-friendliness" when furniture shopping for this space.  Pushing that ottoman up next to the chaise creates a large "bed" for family snuggling during movie nights...or just a large area for the kiddos to wrestle!  If you are creating a kid-friendly space in your living room I suggest maximizing seating with a sectional!!!  Then during adult entertaining the ottoman can be moved for an extra seat in the arrangement.  We got our couch at Macy's Home after scouring every furniture store in the Cincinnati area.  Make sure when you go looking you have exact measurements of your space and take into consideration floor registers and whether or not you want room for end tables.
    yeah...this happens a lot.
    the look of a kid who adores whacking + burying his sister with pillows...boy bliss!
Do you have a room that does double duty as a kiddo 'play room'?  What are some ways you keep your home both "kid-friendly" and "adult chic" ?


  1. We have no toys in the bedroom and limit the ones in the living room. We have an extra bedroom that has the toys, and its closet is for out sized clothes. We are working on upgrading the toy room to include computers as the children grow.

  2. although i LOVE the idea and your room turned out so precious we're kind of doing the exact opposite right now. hahah we're dropping our dining room for an office/craft room/playroom. i guess it will still be an "adult space" with my office and craft stuff in there, but not AS nice and normal as a dining room. we kind of just had to say "what is practical and useful for us right now?" and go for it. i don't throw dinner parties much but i do have kid and office crap everywhere so bye bye large table and hello bookshelves! still want a house tour and will be calling you on our next visit!!


I adore comments. So leave one. Or two. Or as many as you want.