How to decorate a child friendly home

How to decorate a child friendly home

Today I wanted to do something a little different, let’s just chat for a second. Today I am talking about How to decorate a child friendly home, and I want you to chime in too!

Last week I shared a picture of my daughter Nora on my personal Facebook page, she was reading on the sofa. One of my cousins asked me “How do you keep your home so white and clean?!” I went into a little explanation on how I am able to do this, but it got me thinking that this would be a great blog post.

This is not a cleaning hack or organizing tips post, just a bare bones explanation on the little things I do in my home to decorate it and have it be child friendly. Or as I like to say “when my professional mess makers are home.” This is a home for everyone, my three kids, my husband and myself. I need it to be comfortable for all of us, usable, relaxing, calming for my husband and I after a long day. I need it to be low maintenance enough to allow my kids to run and play in it. My home also needs to have space for homework, viola practicing, dance parties, nerf gun wars, and places for my kids to read or draw. A lot is packed into this 2,000 square foot home.

Don’t even get me started on the space for me to work at home, fold laundry, make lunches, entertain family and friends…. a lot goes on in our home.

bright living room

The biggest thing I have done is be very mindful of my furniture choices. We purchased an IKEA Ektorp sofa years ago, in fact this one has latest over 10 years! This is no way a sponsored post, I am just name dropping furniture that has worked for us. The biggest draw for this sofa was first and foremost the price. It was the lowest cost sofa I was able to find. Being a young 20 something couple with a baby fresh out of college we had to get creative.

Next appealing factor is that it is slip covered. I knew I wanted a white sofa, I knew we would have kids, I also knew that those two things do not typically go together. Every single inch of fabric on this sofa is slip covered, which means it can be removed and washed or bleached if needed. Which we have done, A LOT!

This removes the stress of my kids putting their feet on it, my dogs rubbing against it, people eating on it. No one has time for that kind of stress, including this home decor blogger and Mom. A spill or dirt happens and I pull off the slip cover, wash it and put it back on. Good as new!


Decorating a child friendly home does not need to compromise on style. That was one goal of mine, I wanted a home to work for both kids and adults. We have all been to the house with baby gates everywhere, or what looks like a toy store being held in someone’s living room. There is nothing wrong with this, each home is personal and what would annoy one may feel cozy and comfortable to another. I know that for me I want our home to be a safe haven, where we go to quiet the noise of life. Where we relax, make memories and come to at the end of the day. I cannot do this with toys on the floor, bookshelves overflowing with kids books (that are never organized) art supplies on the dinner table, stuffed animals on the sofa.

simple storage bin ideas

So I have created little ways to hide these things. I do stay on top of the clutter and mess, for the most part we have a rule of toys in my kids bedroom. They are old enough now to play in their rooms. However, we still have to pack art supplies, some books, flash cards, school supplies like rulers, calculators and more into my living area.

DIY decorative storage bin

We also have board games and puzzles all in the family room, living room and dining room. How am I able to do this? Bins, baskets and hiding things in drawers.

Dining room decorating ideas for Spring

It allowed items to stay organized, in one place but out of sight. Which keeps the clutter down to a minimum.

furniture redo for TV stand

Our TV sits on a dresser that I purchased from a garage sale. I took out one top drawer, painted the inside and that is where out TV stuff sits. The rest of the drawers are filled with kids items.

We have puzzles, board games, paper.

Coloring books, and other art supplies are stuffed in these. Sometimes they are clean and organized, most of the time they are not. When I become a couch potato at the end of the day and watch TV I do not see the mess and that is what matters to me.

I have baskets for hats. Right now they are filled with winter ones, along with mittens, gloves, and scarves. In summer I put sun hats, baseball hats, sun screen, sun glasses and anything outdoor friendly here. They are by the front door and easy to grab.

Which means they are also easy to put away. Kids are fun with always throwing things, no matter how much I say otherwise they walk in and remove anything in their hands or on their body (other than their clothes, we put a stop to that in the toddler years). So my kids come in the house and throw their hats or other items in these baskets.

mudroom in hallway

They kick their shoes off in the bins that I made for the mud room. I have a ton of wall hooks for coats and backpacks, but since they cannot throw these items guess what I find all the time….? If you said the coats and backpacks on the ground you are right and obviously have kids too! It is still a struggle and process but I have worked towards staying on top of it all.

blue and gray living room

Another big struggle is dirt. I have two dogs and three kids, things get messy and dirty fast. The rugs in my main living area are indoor/outdoor ones. This means I can literally take them outside and hose them off. It takes the pressure off of me when my kids come barreling into the house from outside, I know that worst case scenario I have to hose off the rug.

small family room

My throw pillows are all pillow shams, which means I can remove the pillow cover and throw them in the washer.

large dining room decor ideas

We don’t even have a light colored dining room table for the sake of kids. The darker gray stain allows for scratches, homework pencil marks, or food stains to be a little more hidden. I mean, my dinner table is still a sticky mess once they leave but that is just life with kids.

kids art table

The art table I made from an old and broken bookshelf. I painted the top of it with chalkboard paint. This has been used and abused with my little artists since my daughter was 4, so 6 years of art projects and the top still looks pretty good.


My children’s bedrooms are also filled with planned out ways to utilize their space. Allowing for organization, play, creativity and fun. I explained their bedrooms and how they work, you can find the information for my boys bedroom and my daughters room by clicking on the bold text for each.


I would say the last big thing I have done to decorate a child friendly home is to make sure it is comfortable. Kids do not simply sit on the sofa, they lay on it. They sit upside down on it, they sit on the coffee table, they put the pillows on the ground to protect themselves from the lava.

There are poufs, stools, ottomans and plenty of chairs around my home. These encourage that movement that kids constantly crave. If I were to take a picture of my living room and family room each day something would be changed about it. Kids are always on the move, two of the tree bark stools would be by the sofa one day and then stacked in a row the next day.

My kids use the art table to be creative but it is also the zone for homework. However, our dining room table and the breakfast bar have also become hubs of homework. Creating spaces for everyday use is key to decorate a child friendly home.  We do more than relax or entertain here. My kids eat Popsicle and then touch everything with their sticky fingers, they ride their scooters around when it is too cold to go outside, they do homework, bring out instruments and make a band, draw, cut tiny pieces of paper into shapes, relax, cuddle, throw up on the sofa when sick, and soooooo much more.

kids doing art

This is a home that needs to work for all of us, and figuring out How to decorate a child friendly home is the key to making everyone from the tall to the small feel comfortable. Or we can have those “formal” living rooms that only adults go in, kids banished to the basement play room, or even plastic on the sofa. But I know there is a better way to make it work for everyone.

What are some ways you make your home work for adults and kids? Keeping it stylish and functional?


Click on the link or picture for the tutorial to any of the projects featured within this post –






  1. Stephanie Bonds says:

    Emily, your creative mind is never ending. The ways you come up with to make your home warm and welcoming AND kid friendly are awesome! When you and your brother were young I wish I had someone to show me how to do what you do! I know the whole family loves what you do to make your home a “HOME” for all.

  2. Your rooms look bright and colorful. Those tree bark stools are super cute, I can’t tell if they’re covered with material or if they’re solid.

  3. I love that work/play station that has your kids pencils, scissors and glue can in the middle. We just recently got rid of our little kids chairs now that my youngest is 13 so it was a sad day. I give you credit for keeping things organized and white.

  4. Those tree stump pouffs are absolutely genius! When my kids were little, I avoided any form of coffee tables to create more space. Wish I thought of a pouff/soft ottoman back then!

  5. You are so darn creative! I am always looking for new ways to make the most of my space and love all of your ideas.

  6. I love all the colors you put in here. These are probably some of my favorite colors. I need you to come to my house and make it look pretty. Right now it is dark and blah LOL.

  7. What some great ideas, I love how you have managed to include so many different storage solutions! We have a small home so I might have to steal some ideas from you.

  8. I LOVE your home! You are so brave to have a light colored couch. I don’t trust my kids around light colored anything.

  9. Love your DIY storage bin. I try to make our home as practical as possible. Though the kiddos are not small anymore. I still have to make sure that it’s functional and comfortable for everyone.

  10. I love how child friendly your home is! It’s very bright and colorful and that’s what I strive for in my home!!

  11. I have all adults living in my house and my white couches are completely trashed. I have had them one year! I may end up buying slipcovers for now. I love all your creative ideas and how you have made a home that your kids feel at ease in.

  12. Your innovation and creativity are evident in every corner of your home. Maintaining such a spick and span house with 3 kids around is a testimony to your ingenuity and skill. Will take a leaf or two for our own home from here.

  13. These are all such awesome ideas. I love the upcycled boxes for storage. I can’t wait to try that!

  14. We used a lot of big boxes when my kids were little, they can write anything and as much as they want in it. Beautiful space you have for the kids.

  15. I wish I am as creative as you. You really had so many beautiful ideas stored. I love how the place turned out to be this gorgeous. I love the pictures all over the wall!

  16. You can really decorate I am so impress love all your creations. I love the tree trunk accent on the living room . So neat and cool to have, the neutral color makes every room so spacious and feel comfy. Keep up the good work!

  17. You’ve done a beautiful job coupling style and kid friendly function. I’m a huge fan of hidden storage. It’s nice to hide toys in a storage ottoman or table with storage when company pops up.

  18. I just love these ideas! I really need to organize our home better. I really like that art table.

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