August 10, 2010

Four Tips for Creating a Kid-Friendly (and Stylish!) Play Space

in Decor

new playroom

Without question, kids deserve space in your home to play to their hearts’ content. But that doesn’t mean adults have to stress out or sacrifice on style – far from it. Some of the most high-style living spaces are thoroughly welcoming to tots. Whether you’ve got lots of indoor acreage or you’re all sharing the communal living room, here are a few easy ways to creating kid-friendly living spaces that look and perform their best.

1. Kid-friendly Floor plan

The first rule is to keep the floor free and clear for spontaneous fun. That means selecting storage units, shelves, and wall hooks (such as the Hang-It-All, a classic design icon by Charles and Ray Eames) that are inviting enough to motivate everyone to use them. Putting things away means more room for everyone, and colorful, attractive storage tools help sugar-coat this important chore.

While we’re on the subject of floors, make sure whatever you cover it with is designed to take a beating and keep its good looks; patterned carpet is a plus, and modular carpet tile by FLOR accents the fun in functional.

2. The writing on the wall

For areas where kids are likely to spend time, walls should be coated with a wipeable-finish, non-toxic paint that contains no volatile organic compounds. The great news about VOC-free paint is that it’s not only safer, it’s also  more durable than paint that emits toxic fumes, so you’ll be saving money by re-painting less!

Check out Mythic Paint, which offers an impressive spectrum of dazzling color, and is safe to use even with kids and pets in the room. If you’re hesitant to experiment with bold color, a kids’ play space – or one wall of your living room – is a great way to test the waters.

3. Fun with fabrics

Fabrics are your friend when designing kid-friendly digs. Slipcovers ensure that big-investment furniture items – the sofa and easy chairs, for instance - sport a protective barrier against crayon-wielding fingers, sticky hands and muddy sneakers. And a machine-washable, microsuede throw like this one from Crypton is soft enough for nap time – yet tough enough to do duty as a pizza-party picnic blanket, a yoga mat, or even a go-anywhere, diaper-changing station!

Enter to Win a Crypton Throver and Pillow Giveaway – Over $200 value!

4. Seat of honor

Kids love to have a chair that’s scaled to their smaller size, and happily, there are many design options that accommodate both their size and your taste level. Philippe Starck’s Lou Lou Ghost chair is a great example: it’s beautifully sculptural in its own right, and the clear plastic material it’s made of won’t eat up precious visual space where it’s at a premium.

Julia Szabo is a journalist who covers culture and style; her articles, on topics ranging from elegant living to designing with pets in mind, have appeared in the country’s top newspapers and magazines. The author of six books, Julia’s latest title is “Pretty Pet-Friendly: Easy Ways to Keep Spot’s Digs Stylish and Spotless.” She is currently a contributor to Life on Crypton, the new blog from Crypton Fabrics.

image via Cary Walker

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