Saturday, August 24, 2013

76 Awesome Ideas to Make Your Home More Kid-Friendly

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Hello!

By a kid-friendly home I'm not talking about painting the nursery pink or blue, nor baby-proofing the coffee table corners.  And nope, not about buying more plastic toys.

I'm talking about creative ways to adapt your home to kids, and creating age-appropriate spaces they can call their own. Places for play and exploration, where memories are made and imaginations can run wild.

Where it's okay for things to get a little messy.







While I'm not advocating blowing your wad on an overdone space that your kid(s) might outgrow a few months - or dwelling too heavily on passing fads (Dora bedroom, anyone?  Not that there's anything wrong with that!  As our friend Seinfeld would say) - I do think it's important that kids really feel at home in most (if not all) areas of the house, not like they're guests passing through.

My ongoing quest to make our own home more kid-friendly has led to some pretty cool finds, which I've been collecting right here on Pinterest.  Below are some of my favorites!  Hopefully these ideas inspire you to dream up clever ways to make your home more kid-friendly too.

I'll tell you one thing: if any of my friends had any of these spaces growing up, I would have packed my Rainbow Bright suitcase and moved right in ;-)

PLACES TO READ


love this children's reading nook
via LaLole Blog


Just wonderful.



Reading nook tutorial
via The Lawrence Girls

Be still my beating heart!  A reading tent.  I feel like if I had one of these in my youth I would have read a lot more actual books and a lot less Coles Notes.

Cute closet-turned-nook. Adorable. I have the perfect spot for this. via http://original.littlehellraiser.com/2010/04/25/owen-and-dylans-room/
via Little Hell Raiser

A closet full of books for hiding out and reading the night away.

So pretty!  Would make a lovely reading space!
via Sulia

Uh.  I'd never come out of this tent. Look at it!

Book #Nook with twinkling lights | #kids #reading
via Tip Junkie

This little lit-up nook perks up a regular bunk bed.  And the curtains are a nice touch too.

Or, quite simply, big pillows on the floor:


pillows on the floor - great for a sleepover or reading spot
Fabulous reading nook or sleepover area | via One Clair Day



PLACES TO BE ARTSY & CRAFTY


Kids Art Space on a Budget www.ciburbanity.com
via ciburbanity



This one has an art display area built-in, which I love.


Flip down kids' art desk | 40 Brilliant DIY Organization Hacks via Brit + Co.
Flip-down kids' art desk, for a small space | via Brit & Co. (Ana White)


Great for those tight spaces and/or making use of an otherwise wasted wall.



kidsartstation
Discarded vanity turned art station | via Tatertots & Jello


Upcycled furniture is right up my alley.  You can find a bunch of furniture makeovers right on this site!
You don't have to go out to buy an art table, just repurpose something you already have!


2 shelves and a piece of wood = large-scale kids art table with plenty of storage.  #playroom #crafts #kids
Full Tutorial at this link:  via Martha Stewart


Or make a simple one with storage included, like this one from Martha Stewart.


What a fun craft area. I would love to do something like this in the playroom. How cool is this? Love the bookshelf too. <3
via Treefall Design

This table is nice and low for the kidlets.  Real cute.

kids' #craft station
via Houzz


Man, I wish my desk was this cool!  It's all about having all the supplies within arm's reach.

Our self-serve creativity zone not only helps develop my children's confidence and independence, but it makes clean-up time easier because my kids know where everything goes. Lot of links at the end of the post to how the space evolved :: Tinkerlab.com  #organize #kids #art #creative
via Tinkerlab


I just love the idea of anything self-serve for kids.  (Except maybe powertools and cleaning products...)  ;-)


I love this as a mini craft station or kids' desks
Dual crafting station or homework desks | via Angel Campbell


Crafting (or homeworking) for two please.  Clever idea.  I'm thinking one side of the bookcase has shelves and the other can have a bulletin board.

PLACES TO SLEEP & DREAM


Ahhh, the bedroom.  My favorite room in the house.

Great idea for #string_lights, why didn't I think of this?
  Absolute Genius!!  | via imgfave
Made from tube Christmas lights!  If you want to try making something like this, here is an example of tube lights from Amazon:



(Tip: One thing to keep in mind would be to look for "warm white" rather than regular cool-white LED's as they can be quite cold-looking, a bit like office neons.)

And while we're on the subject of string lights, this is also brilliant:


Rope light under cabinet in bathroom= nightlight for kids


String lights tacked under the bathroom counter = easy nightlight.

And now, back to bedrooms!

Doesn't this little girl's room just make you want to lie on the floor and have a giggle-fest?  It's so warm and inviting - and what stands out for me is that everything is l-o-w...  just perfect for this little darling:

that room!
via Turbulences Deco





The thing is this: kids' bedrooms are an entire post unto themselves... which I'm working on now.  So more on those shortly.

{If you are decorating for baby's room, you can check out this massive collection of Baby Room and Nursery ideas.}

But before we move on from bedrooms, check this out:

Metal #mailboxes spray-painted...  outside/inside #kids bedrooms.  Leave them little notes, any mail they get, some treats, etc. Then they can hang their backpack and coat on the hooks...  Genius.
via Polka Dot Chair

Spray-paint an ordinary mailbox and hang it outside (or inside) your kids' bedrooms.  Leave them little notes, any mail they get, some treats, etc. They can also hang their backpack and coat on the hooks... Genius.

Doesn't have to be in the bedroom, either!



PLACES TO HIDE & MAKE BELIEVE


Really cute idea (playhouse slipcover to put over a small table to make a fort).
 | via Hawthorne Threads

Playhouse slipcover for a small table.  If only I was any good at sewing.

playhouse under the stairs.  SO Cute!!
| via Dot Coms for Moms

A little house in that space under the stairs.  Is this not just so adorable?  It's the shingles and carriage light that make this so real.

Best idea for a child's play room. A second-hand armoire repurposed as the secret entrance to a child's play room! Just take out the back and place in front of the doorway. Great way to keep a child's play area organized and so fun too!  I ALWAYS PRETENDED I HAD A ROOM LIKE THIS THAT I GOT TO THROUGH MY CLOSET...so neat!    DIY NARNIA!! xP
Hidden Room Through an Armoire | via Apartment Therapy

This makes me think of when the kids go through the armoire and end up in Narnia.  My imagination would have gone ba-na-nas when I was a kid.  Heck, it still would today.

Just think of all those abandoned armoires you see at the thrift shop that make you think, what the heck would I put in there?

A lost world, that's what.


PLACES TO PLAY & EXPLORE



http://designremix.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/img_15052.jpg
Tiny Little Corner Stage | via Design Remix

I mean a tiny stage is really all you need, right?  I remember practicing and perfecting "shows" for my parents and our family friends until the cows came home...  To then perform it on a real stage would have just taken things to a whole other level.

Speaking of a whole other level...  If you have a whole room to devote to play time, you've got something golden!

Playrooms are so much fun.  Here are a bunch of really great ones:

fun play space
via Mrs. Boho

I just want to lie on that plush grey rug and color in coloring books.  Don't you?



Designing Playspaces: Our Playroom from Fun at Home with Kids
via Fun at Home with Kids



Hanging rings indoors?  I cannot think of anything more fun.  I also love that there's absolutely nothing on the floor, everything is kid-height.  These parents must have a PhD in Kid-ology.

P.S. Here's another version of the Dream Big wall art on Etsy.


i would love to have a spot like this in my future house for my kids. (:
via Red Online UK


This excellent room is all about the colorful striped rug and chalkboard wall.  The rug is from Ikea and if you're lucky you can sometimes still find them for sale on Craigslist or Kijiji.  It is called 'Vemb'.

And if you have lots of stuff to put away in your play areas, how about this idea for box labels?

free printable storage labels
via BHG


You can find free printable storage labels like this one right here.



DISPLAYING THEIR PRIZED STUFF



Take a picture of your child's favorite toys, convert picture to black and white, and then have it blown up.
Terrific idea from I Am Momma Hear Me Roar


Wow, blow-ups of a kid's absolute favorite toys?  Genius.  So simple and yet so personalized -- which for kids, means it's super special.  And I hear you can print giant black and white prints really inexpensively at Staples.  Haven't tried it yet, but plan to.  Have you tried it?  How did they turn out?


adorable dinosaur display above the bed | Pottery Barn Kids
 | via Pottery Barn Kids

A dinosaur collection gets a proper display above the bed.

10 Fun Ideas For Playroom Walls
Toy Car Showcase Wall | via Thrive 360
This toy car collection gets some respect on a feature wall.  Ikea picture ledges would be perfect for this type of display!




Or how about this next way, hung on a magnetic strip?


great idea (use an IKEA magnetic knife rack to hold your cars).
via The Style Files




INCORPORATING KIDS' MASTERPIECES INTO EVERYDAY LIFE


Kid creations get a place of honor with these ideas:
Hanging photos of your kids along with their framed artwork.
 | via Real Simple

Here in the kitchen, mixed in among beautiful photo portraits.


Chair rail of cork, chalk & magnet boards for kids art.
 | via Design Dazzle

On a special multipurpose display chair-rail made from cork, chalkboards & magnetic boards.


How great do these frames look on the fridge! #kidsartwork
 | via How Does She?

In big frames right on the fridge.


bulldog clip art display
 | via edit 423

On a bulldog clip gallery wall, which makes for easy artwork rotation.

#Artwork display for #kids with #chalkboard
via Mom 365


A bit of kid art, a bit of word art, a bit of chalkboard...  This is the best of all worlds.  Way to make the most of an otherwise lost hallway wall!


great way to display kids' artwork! Painted frames, burlap and a clip.
Frames, burlap and a bulldog clip | via Little Nanny Goat


I'm working on my own take on these upcycled old frames as I write this!  More on that soon.

Scan children's art work and then print out in smaller size. Frame. Now make art gallery in hallways of your children's art:). #kidart
via Kiki's List


To make this type of display, just scan your children's artwork and print it in a smaller size, then frame it in a simple grid.  This one shows 5 rows x 5 columns of artwork so it looks even and tidy.

Or, when it's all said and done and time to take it all down, you can turn it into a book:

Scan #projects and #artwork, create a #photobook at the end of the school year. #kids
Scanned artwork book | via Zig and Zag


Cause sometimes you're just not ready to part with it forever.


FEATURING THEIR NAME


What kid doesn't get excited seeing their name on something?   Get a load of these BIG ideas...

Name Shelf-  great inspiration to make one for your kid's room. Paint some wood letters or another idea could be to paint some paper mache letters and use as book end too!
Personalized bookcase  | via The Kids' Window

Although you'll need lots of shelves for a Charlotte or a Sebastian ;-)
With letters from Michael's available in so many shapes and sizes, you can totally DIY this.

Love the letters and bed placement!
Giant letters | via Pottery Barn Kids

How cool is the way the name Jack is done in a corner?  They had a window in the way of putting the name over the bed, so they got creative.  Really neat.

Nursery Update: The Prettiest Monogram Ever - Decorchick.com
Huge Monogram | via Decor Chick

The cool thing is, monograms never go out of style so this can be something your little one hangs onto for many, many years.  Equally cool in a baby nursery or in a dorm room.

IN THE KITCHEN


BRILLIANT!! Magnetic Cups - no more using 50 cups a day for drinks of water. GREAT for KIDS!
Magnetized cups  | via Dana Made It

Magnets glued on cups means everyone has their own, and it's always on the fridge!

One word:  brilliant.  No more half-drunk glasses and sippy cups all over the place?  That's just goodness wrapped in bacon wrapped in awesomeness.

Why not go one step further and add names on those cups?


Allocate a few shelves solely for kids' (big or small) go-to favorites repackaged in see-thru containers. To make packing lunch a snap, divide large bags of pretzels, chips etc. into single-serving containers.
Self-serve station for snacks and lunches | via Family Circle

Allocate a few low pantry shelves solely for your kids' go-to favorites, repackaged in clear containers. To make packing lunch easier, divide large bags of snacks single-serving containers.  Storing unbreakable snack bowls right on the spot just adds to the genius.

Repeat after me: autonomy is a good thing.

Here's another twist on the idea, where items are sorted by type:


Organized lunches for the kiddos!  Self serve.
Self-serve lunch station | via Canadian Free Stuff

I'm doing this for certain.  This is so clever.



HANGING SWEET & KID-FRIENDLY WORD ART


I am fearfully and wonderfully made by LostBumblebee on Etsy, $5.00 #lostbumblebee
on Etsy


See you later alligator
via Technology Rocks. Seriously


Playroom.
via Etsy


FREE PRINTABLE For all you Mommies out there! | Oh how I love this!!
via LostBumbleBee

Cute! #Wash your hands #printable #kids
via Etsy

This Dad illustrates stuff he's had to say to his kids and I love it:

A dad illustrates the weird things he finds himself having to say to his children... Awesome.  #mustdo
Hilarious. | via 22 Words

Ha ha, the look on the penguin's face just cracks me up!

Or better yet, how about some art made from things the kids have said?

Make art out of quotes the kids have really said
via Stitch Craft Creations

You smell that?  That's the smell of another project coming on.

IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS


Of course a treehouse/playhouse of any description and tire swings are totally amazing and make for great imaginative play and childhood memories.

But here are some more equally cool ideas for the backyard:


Backyard scrabble
Gigantic Lawn Scrabble | via Constantly Lovestruck

Want to play.  Now.

Backyard Chalkboard--less mess and the rain washes it away! such a great idea!
Giant Outdoor Blackboard | via Project Denneler


Want to color.  Now. (The link under the photo shows how they did this)

Boat for a sand box. That is a great idea!
Old boat sandbox | via Design Empire

Want to...  Well you get it.

Fort made from hula-hoop and shower curtain, just hook the rings on the hoop!!
Hula-hoop hideout | via Alanna George


51bc3eafdbd0cb1f4a000b06._w.540_s.fit_
Shade and Sand - a winning combination for hours of fun ;-) | via Apartment Therapy


EMBRACING THE SILLY

My rule is: any time you can have a laugh, or some small thing amuses you (or your kids, of course!) work it in.  Life is too short to be serious!

Drill holes in plastic toys for toothbrush holder!
DIY Dino toothbrush holder | via All This for Them


pug wallpaper
Pug Wallpaper | via My Pug Obsession


In fact, here's some silly artwork we have up in our home.  (It actually puts me in a happy mood each and every time I see it.)



Bird in a pearl necklace @ ZenShmen!

Deer wearing gym socks @ ZenShmen!

Related:  A Deer in Gym Socks, Surly Bird and Other Arty Things We Love 

HONORING THEIR GREATEST LOVES



While I don't really dig all-out "theme rooms", I do like incorporating little details of what the kidlets love.  Here are a few cool ideas:

It's easy to switch to the Dark Side.
Make this with a Sharpie!


The dark side.  The light side.  It's not every day we see a funny switchplate.

1. Google any silhouette 2. Print on colored paper  3. Cut them out  4. Place in frame
Princess silhouettes | via Etsy

Another way to do silhouettes of just about anything, really, is to:
  • 1 ::  Google a silhouette image of something your little one likes (horse!  lion!  train!)
  • 2 ::  Print it on colored paper, and 
  • 3 ::  Cut it out and frame it.
Superman & Batman Bookends
Superhero bookends | via Inspiration Feed


Superhero bookends?  Super cool.




http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/ff/7f/ae/ff7fae8e7b17d6dd25efefc47039e6e7.jpg
Astronaut Bedding  | via Snurk


I mean come on.  This is just the coolest.




They also make other adorable duvet covers featuring a princess, a ballet dancer, a firefighter and a pirate among others!  You've got to see them!

USING COLOR FEARLESSLY



washi tape wall / ann kelle - so fun and playful
Washi Tape Wall | via Ann Kelle


Oh how I love washi tape!  This is so fun and easy to do.  You can even do something simpler like a row or two of color up around the door frame and windows.  Or try a non-permanent gallery wall by making a washi tape box around artwork and photos!

Find Tons of Washi Tape! right here!

More boys room ideas....
Color Pop Bookcases | via Channel 4


Colors tend to pop really well against very light (i.e. white) or quite dark walls.  We're rocking charcoal grey at our house and everything colorful comes out so nicely on it.

painted crates
Why not make a colorful crate wall in a bedroom or playroom?  | via Flickr


I'd personally do a wall where the crates are tighter together, in more of a straight grid, but the colors are undeniably wonderful and cheerful.


colorful!
just lovely | via Skonahem

This is just dreamy.  And there's that colorful Ikea Vemb rug again!  The bunting is just so happy.  Notice all the color but the room itself is white.


Playroom
Cheerful Storage | via The Mother Huddle


The first reaction I had when I saw this  was, 'my kids would never keep their toys that organized!', but in fact the post (linked above at The Mother Huddle) is about cutting down on toys.



Colorful #Floor #Tape!  for #playroom
via Apartment Therapy

Um, wow.  I want to make a hallway like this like, right now.

The type of vinyl tape needed for a flooring project like this is the specialty kind they use to mark gym floors in schools.



This is kinda awesome...
Amazingly fun Circus-Tent Ceiling Stripes | via My Lovely Things

Ok, it's decided.  If I ever live in a house with a ceiling like this, I'm painting happy circus stripes!


BONUS:  KID-FRIENDLY CAR


Beauty Bag used in car as seat back entertainment!
via My Thirty One


Try hanging a travel makeup case behind the front seats for little toys, snacks and books -- man, this is so clever.

Update:  I did this, but I got one where the zippers of each compartment come all the way down the sides, so when they're unzipped everything falls out.  (Which of course means that everything is permanently out.)  So do keep your eyes peeled for compartments that can actually hold little goodies even when unzipped.

Or try just a basket, like this:

Backseat baskets.  #kidtravel
via Tinkerfrog


Or, if you are very motivated and/or spend LOTS of time in your car, load it up to the gills and you will trek way less stuff back and forth in bags:

WHOA. Organized your car-kid style!  She even tells you what's in each compartment and why.
via Happynings
$1 shower caddy for when kids have to eat in the car. Good for car trips. This is genius!  #kidtravel
via Lookie What I Did


Super clever:  $1 shower caddy for when kids have to eat in the car. Good for car trips.

Oh, and one more thing:


Last but not least, you should have definitely a kid-friendly emergency kit at home!  This one was devised by a pediatrician mom, and at the link above she walks you through it step by step.

a pediatrician explains her #emergency kit. This is hard to think about but really good information.  #kids
Kid-friendly Emergency Kit | via Parents


To see more stuff for little ones, click on the Baby & Kids icon in the sidebar.


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Val


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