At some point, every parent finds themselves looking for kid-friendly living room ideas to get ahead of the game.

Having a kid brings a lot of changes into your life – some wonderful, and some scary. And while your kid’s bedroom has been taken care of, your living space is likewise not immune to these changes.

So you better get on top of “kiddifying” your family room before it is too late and the living furniture is ruined, wallpaper is covered in crayons, foreheads are bleeding, and there’s glass everywhere.

The “4 S” method of making your living space kid-friendly

When introducing kid-oriented aspects into your living room it is important to be conscious of the “4 S”:

  • Soft means making the living room kid-friendly not only by child-proofing the heck out of it. You also need to make the space comfortable for playtime, naps, and even more playtime when your little ones are feeling particularly rambunctious.
  • Safe goes beyond child-proofing and focuses on making sure your wallpaper, furniture, drinks, and valuables are safe. It also means creating a space where young kids can feel free to explore without making you worry.

  • Storage is key. Kids have a lot of stuff, so you’ll want to make sure that there’s plenty of space for all of their toys and art supplies.
  • Separate is the best way to keep your living room in order. By creating a separate play area for your kids you can stop all their toys from taking over your entire living space.

With these in mind, you’ll be able to make smart decisions while building a kid-friendly living room.

Now let’s dive in!

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Storage ottoman instead of a coffee table

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Coffee tables are the bane of every parent’s existence with their dangerous sharp edges, little to no storage space, and easily damaged surfaces.

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One of the best kid-friendly living room ideas is to switch out your regular coffee table for a storage ottoman. Not only will you have more hidden storage for the myriad of toys, but you’ll also have fewer sharp corners in the room. A well-chosen ottoman will be hard enough to hold drinks and books but also soft enough to prop your feet up.

Chalkboard accent wall

chalkboard living room wall for kids

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If you’ve ever come home to find your child’s artwork splattered across your living room walls, then you know the importance of having a kid-friendly space in your home.

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One way to create such an area in a family-friendly living room is to DIY a chalkboard accent wall. This will give your child his or her own space to express their creativity, and it will also help to keep your walls clean!

We’ve covered the 3 ways you can create a chalkboard accent wall here, from actual paint to easily removable decals.

Protect walls with removable decals

removable wallpaper for protection

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Speaking of decals in a kid-friendly living room. If you’re looking for a way to keep your walls and overall home decor safe, decals are the way to go.

colorful flowers decal wallpaper

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You can easily cover your walls with decals and just as easily change them in case someone draws on them or dirties them with tiny hands covered in baby food.

geometric living room decals

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Plus, if you ever decide to sell your house, you won’t have to worry about repairing any damage that was done by your little ones. So, decals are not only a great way to protect your walls, but they’re also a great way to save yourself some trouble in the future.

Slim table behind the sofa

slim coffee table behind couch for kid-friendly storage

It is important to create more storage for “adults only” stuff. And before you get your mind into the gutter, we’re talking about drinks, favorite books, family photos, or documents that would normally lie on the coffee table.

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One great option for a family-friendly living room is to place a slim table behind the sofa. This way, you can safely store your valuables in your main living area out of reach for your kids. Plus, the functional yet slim design won’t take up too much space in your living room.

A non-white rug

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As any parent knows, kids tend to be little mess-makers. It seems like every day there are new spills and stains to clean up.

And while you’d want to keep all of your furniture and decorative items safe, even a kid-friendly living room can’t guarantee it. So it is important to invest in items that you can easily clean or those that can mask dirty stains well.

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A patterned rug is one of those items. Even if it gets dirty and you can’t completely wash out the stain, it’ll blend in with the pattern. Plus, it adds a touch of style to the room.

Pick the right fabrics…

kid-friendly sofa

If you’re in the market for a new couch and you’re also looking to create a kid-friendly living room, consider yourself lucky. You can find a sofa that is both stylish and appropriate for a kid-friendly living room. The key is to pick the right material for the upholstery.

leather sofa

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Leather, vinyl, and other types of faux leather usually require only a simple wipedown. Microfiber upholstery is also easy to clean with just a bit of soapy water (and it is resistant to claw marks if you’re looking for pet-friendly living room furniture).

velvet sofa easy to clean

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For something softer yet even prettier, every interior designer will recommend velvet upholstery. Last but not least, any patterned fabric upholstery can feel welcoming while also being able to conceal old stains.

Or turn to furniture slipcovers

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But if you don’t want to have your upholstered furniture professionally cleaned every time it falls victim to a drink spill, you can turn to furniture slipcovers. You can buy these for both your sofa and extra seating.

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These can keep your beautiful family-friendly living room furniture safe from tots (and paws) as well as hide child-proofed sharp corners. Win-win-win all around!

Built-in storage…

living room furniture with extra storage

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In today’s world, space is at a premium. So in a small family-friendly living room, storage furniture is your best friend. One fantastic example of this is the ottoman coffee table we’ve mentioned before. It provides both functional and stylish storage for toys that will no doubt litter your living room.

In the future, try to prioritize furniture that has built-in storage. Instead of a side table on thin legs get a table that sports several drawers, you get the gist. You can also look into our list of space-saving furniture that is currently available on the market.

As long as this storage furniture has rounded corners you’re good!

Or make your own storage

diy living room storage

Of course, not everyone can simply wake up one day and buy a completely new set of living room furniture that has all the best nooks and crannies for storage.

So you can always get a bunch of cheap plastic containers and slip them underneath a coffee table, desk, or your couch. If need be, you can stack them in a corner, throw a pretty blanket on top and use it to prop up plants, books, and whatnot.

While this might not be the same, it will still do the job of concealing everything that needs to be hidden and keeping your family-friendly living room looking neat and fresh.

The open shelving roast

open shelving

Open shelving is often suggested as the one true solution to the cluttered kid-friendly living room. But the problem with shelves is that they don’t hide the mess, they simply allow you to shift it somewhere else. Nothing will ever be as neatly organized as in the picture above. And the clutter will still sit there out in the open, collecting dust.

This doesn’t exactly make your room look less messy and only adds the cleaning workload to parents’ already busy day.

Bins, baskets, cubbies

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In a kid-friendly family room, it is important to prioritize storage solutions that not only contain the clutter but also help conceal it.

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Plastic bins often wind up on lists of great tips for creating kid-friendly rooms. But if we’re prioritizing concealment, clear plastic bins are not the best solution. So either store kids’ toys in matte or solid bins or look into other items that’ll give you more room for organizing.

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Cubby storage is a great option for a family-friendly living room that you can easily assemble on a budget. We’ve also talked about creative ideas for toy storage in this article that not only do their job but also manage to look amazing.

Mini play area

kid play area in a living room

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If your family-friendly living room can afford it, create a mini play area for your little ones. Open floor plans can be easily divided into areas using a few kid-friendly living room ideas.

kid-friendly living room area rug

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First, area rugs. It can be one of the regular rugs we’ve mentioned before or something cuter to cheer up your little one.

bean bag chair for kids

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Second, extra surface — be it bean bag chairs, activity tables (here’s an amazing selection), or a coffee table for board games.

kids teepee play area

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Third, add vertical definition to the area. We’ve mentioned before how tulle canopies can significantly add to a kid’s bedroom or define a beautiful sitting area in a living room. A teepee like this is also a valid choice.

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Add a few baskets or cubby storage and voila! — you’ve got yourself a nice play area for your little ones.

Kid-themed wall decorating

kid artwork in living room

Oftentimes, the problem isn’t so much that you don’t have enough room, but rather that your toddler’s endless supply of toys and other paraphernalia is quickly taking over the entire apartment.

But if you decorate your living space with kid-themed accents, you can actually turn this frustrating situation into a fun and clever design choice. For example, you can take your child’s art and put it together in nice frames to create an eye-catching gallery on your walls.

Not only will this show off their creations in an attractive way, but it will also help to liven up the small space and keep their masterpieces from getting lost in the bottom of a toy box or cluttered closet.


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Needless to say, baby-proofing is key to a kid-friendly living room. There are many hazards that can pose a threat to your little one, from electrical outlets to furniture corners.

The topic of baby-proofing a kid-friendly living room has been around forever, and you can find extremely detailed checklists online.

Still, here are the main baby-proofing areas you need to consider:
  • Mount the TV on the wall or secure it in place
  • Install safety plugs in all of the electrical outlets. This will protect your child from shock and prevent them from sticking their fingers or other objects into the outlets.
  • Secure the windows from opening with one of these gadgets.
  • Pad the living room furniture corners for avoiding bumps and bruises
  • Conceal or babyproof cables to keep your child from chewing or pulling on them
  • Minimize clutter to reduce the risk of your child tripping, falling, or ingesting something.
  • Hide window cords to prevent your child from accidentally getting tangled in them.
  • Attach tall bookshelves and other furniture to the walls to keep it from tipping over in case your child decides to climb it.

In conclusion

Creating a family-friendly living room that is both stylish and doesn’t look like a disaster zone can seem like a daunting task. However, as you can see, with a little bit of planning, it is possible to create a space that the whole family can enjoy.

Don’t forget to pin this article for future reference and let us know about your own kid-friendly living room ideas you’ve incorporated into your living space.

kid-friendly living room ideas