Family-Friendly Spaces That Don’t Sacrifice Style
Need to cater to the kids’ needs but still want your home to look design-forward? We understand. These homes prove that you can have comfy, cozy and child-friendly rooms with a grown-up aesthetic.
A child-sized table and chairs give homeowners Rock Huynh and My Le Nguyen’s kids a spot to eat breakfast and draw in the living area, while the small aquarium —one of two in the home — houses some of their 30 fish. “The living room cubbies are a baby play station, book bench and extra seating for guests, in one,” says My Le.
Two large white slipcovered chairs are perfect for lounging in designer Samantha Sacks’s sunroom. A beaded chandelier, camel leather pouf from Morocco and vintage side table give the airy space personality.
In this family room, two large sectionals give it a loungey feel, while drum tables and a colourful patchwork rug have a mod Moroccan vibe. Samantha Farjo designed the discreet built-ins on either side of the TV to house electronics, board games and other essentials.
Over in the kitchen, homeowner Andrea Armstrong selected the polypropylene chairs and leather-look vinyl banquette in the breakfast nook for their modern lines and resilience to spilled food. Like all of the art in the house, the photographs of colourful fishing lures that hang above the banquette have personal significance. “My family is full of avid fishermen, so it seemed appropriate and fun,” Andrea says.
See the rest of this family home in our video tour.
Senior Design Editor Sally Armstrong created a wall organizer as a tidy solution for storing sunglasses, keys and mail when she walks in the door. She hung her organizer in the mudroom, but you could also use one as a hub in a busy kitchen or in a small front entryway.
To make your own, pick sheets of birch artist’s panel and balsa wood (available at craft and art supply stores) that are substantial enough to support the weight of papers and phones but thin enough to cut easily; Sally’s are ¼” thick.
The kids’ activity area shown here is used almost every day by Sally’s daughters. The table and chairs were Sally’s old dining set; she gave them a playful twist with colour-blocked white and hot pink paint. Artwork is taped to the wall with Japanese washi tape, making rotations easy. An inexpensive Ikea bookshelf and trolley hold craft supplies.
Black chalkboard paint turned Sally’s basement powder room into an unexpected design moment and encourages users to indulge their inner graffiti artist. A rustic wall-mounted sink suits the casual design. “It was less expensive than updating the vanity and takes up less space,” says Sally. A round mirror and X-shaped handles add graphic punch.
Homeowner, Toronto artist and textile designer Virginia Johnson set the tone for play with vibrant tile in her kids’ bathroom. Art feels fun stuck up with washi tape, and an old ladder-back chair is a warm foil for the crisp palette.
This basement media room is decorated with notable modern furniture, including a Bend sofa by Patricia Urquiola for B&B Italia, a Saarinen Womb chair and a Twiggy floor lamp by Foscarini.
Find more inspiration and ideas in our Playful Design & Decorating Guide.