Can adults live sanely with tots and toys? The answer is a resounding yes! Here is a collection of completely adorable and highly functional spaces to inspire you for your next makeover. Think baskets, floating shelves, cushy furniture and colourful carpets!
Just because you have kids doesn’t mean your house has to be trashed all of the time. In this pristine living room featured on Love It or List It Vancouver, Jillian Harris brought in two white cabinets for toys – you would never know four kids live here! Pro tip: toy storage doesn’t have to look like toy storage.
Kids’ designer Vanessa Silva of Be in Wonder Design turned the unused area under her basement stairs into a sweet play area complete with shelves, a magnetic chalkboard and cushy furniture. Realistic touches – from the roofing tiles to the address numbers – give the house real attitude. Kids inside the grey house, parents on the outside. Win-win.
If you’re a neatnik and have kids, a great way to stay organized is with one large dedicated unit. This modern library/living area is anchored by a gorgeous two-toned shelving unit from California Closets. A tulip table, dynamic rug and toy rocker are a nod to mid-century modern styling.
Create an arts-and-crafts centre in a jiffy by laying drawing paper on a table – just make sure the table is toddler height – then store the craft supplies in the sofa. The end bit of this IKEA sofa lifts up to reveal a nifty storage nook.
Airy and fresh, this living room/playroom makes great use of the often-neglected space under the stairs. Fill a basket with toys and slide it into the bookshelf or scatter baskets on the floor for extra storage. Then, teach the kiddos the tidy-up routine.
The smallest spot in your living room can be converted into a home “office” for older kids (or younger ones). Kitted out with a pegboard and artwork, this desk-for-two by kids’ designer Vanessa Silva of Be in Wonder is so stylish that it’ll blend right into your living room – though we can’t promise it’ll get the kids to do their homework.
Contemporary, cozy and kid-friendly: it’s a hard mix to pull off, but the Property Brothers do it brilliantly in this family-friendly makeover. Bright artwork and stylish boxes for toys seamlessly blend into the living room, anchored by a herringbone-clad fireplace. Pro tip: choose muted-tone storage boxes for a modern space.
Chalk It Up
Children need distraction. What better way to keep them busy than a chalkboard wall like in this room from IKEA? The wall is great for endless doodling, learning the ABCs or as a place to keep track of your kids’ schedule. Add kid-size furniture for crafting and eating meals, as well as mounted cubbies up top and storage with baskets below.
Here’s another chalkboard idea kids will love: behold the coffee table chalkboard! Linda of Burlap & Blue made the crafty piece out of a thrifted table she found on Craigslist. She treated it with a sunshine-yellow spray paint!
This family-friendly basement hangout by the Property Brothers was brightened by a splashy mural and colourful furnishings, making it welcoming for both adults and kids.
The kids can build a fort, haul out the toys from the bottom grey cabinets or sprawl along the bench with a book – this is one multi-purpose living room/playroom tucked into an attic. We love how the mess gets neatly tucked away in that colourful unit by California Closets.
Whimsy is everything when you’re designing with the mini set in mind. Melissa of Winter Daisy had fun designing this basement play area and hangout for a family with three little kids. You have to see the rest of this amazing space in detail. This part of the room features extra large bins for speedy storage (a MUST with kids), a cute slide and a tot table.
Kids and colour go together like hot dogs and buns. This happy hue makes the other pieces in the IKEA-designed room pop, from the kid-size table to the white storage cabinets. Storage is so important when kids are in the picture. For an interesting, eclectic look, choose a variety of storage options – the wall strips below the yellow clock have room for pegging up a toy or two.
Save My Reno‘s Sebastian Clovis and Sabrina Smelko turned a nondescript basement into a beautiful family-friendly living room for adults and kids. Sabrina created a cute little corner nook for the kiddies with a rug, fun storage baskets, bright artwork and a charming star-patterned hideaway.
Thalita Murray of The Learner Observer knows kids. She’s got twins. So, when it came to her living room, she made sure to include toy storage. Instead of cute bins everywhere (which are totally great in the right setting), Thalita continued her living room’s cottage vibe by cleverly rejigging a dresser to make it look like a built-in. Shelves above hold pretty things, while toys live below.
Most play areas morph into cereal-laden chaos zones when a toddler cyclones through. This serene photo showcases the calm before the storm. Fashioned by Reena Sotorpa In House Design Group, a large bookcase keeps the toys neatly tucked away and acts as a display for the mini Picassos in the house. The simple easel encourages creativity and melds nicely into the room.