When you have children, it can be difficult to strike a balance between beautiful aesthetics and practicality. Your priorities change when it comes to interior design, but that doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice a stunning home in favor of something more functional. It is possible to check both the style and substance boxes. In this guide, we’ll explore some simple ways you can make your home more family-friendly. 

Create distinctive zones

Our homes have evolved. They are no longer just bases to sleep, eat and spend time with family members. Today, our homes are multifunctional spaces, where we rest, work, exercise, socialize, study and indulge our hobbies and interests. Designing a home that works for everyone is one of the biggest challenges facing parents. 
One brilliant idea is to create distinctive zones. Set up areas or designate rooms to children and adults that provide space for different members of the family away from social areas where everyone comes together. From playrooms, messy areas in the kitchen for creative activities and chill-out zones in the living room to curl up with a book for kids to home gyms, studios or an adults-only bathroom with an oversized tub for the grown-ups, you can make your home work for everybody. You don’t need to have a huge house. If you don’t have extra rooms you can use for relaxing, reading, being creative or watching TV without worrying about stumbling over toys, section off zones within your living spaces. You can do this by using furniture, adjusting the layout, or adding screens, partitions, curtains or sliding doors. 

Enhance versatility

In an ideal world, we would all have houses that are big enough to provide space for every purpose or activity, but for most of us, a lack of room is an issue. If your family is growing, and you need your home to cater to new additions and a change in lifestyle, enhancing versatility is key. If you don’t have the luxury of spare rooms, or the option to add an extension or convert a basement, there are solutions. 
Buying multi-use furniture is a great idea if you’re short on space or you want to design rooms that can be used for different purposes. Many of us are working from home now. If you don’t have an office or studio, investing in versatile furniture will enable you to create a workspace without losing part of the kitchen, living room or guest room. You can use extending kitchen and dining tables as desks, or add a sofa bed to a bedroom to create an office that doubles up as a guest room, for example. You can also use screens to create private areas within living areas.
If your family has grown, and there’s a lack of space indoors, it’s worth thinking about how you can use your outdoor space to solve problems. As working from home has become more common, options like adding a garden room or conservatory have become more popular. You can use garden rooms, log cabins, large sheds and summer houses as home gyms, offices, art or yoga studios, bars, or sanctuaries to unwind and relax after a busy day. It’s also a fantastic idea to explore options like buying an outdoor playhouse. Your kids will get hours of joy out of their playhouse in the summer but they can also retreat to the garden and take shelter when it’s raining or cold outside in the winter. Creating more usable space outdoors will enable you to make your yard more flexible and functional while freeing up space indoors. 

Modifying the layout

Most modern homes have an open layout. Open-plan living is often beneficial for families because it enables parents and children to hang out together while also providing space for different activities. If your kids are doing homework or playing, for example, you can keep an eye on them or help out while you’re making dinner, watching TV or preparing lunch to take to school or work the next day. If you have an old house, which has smaller, separate rooms, and you like the idea of larger, open spaces, get some quotes. You may be able to knock walls down to merge dining rooms and kitchens together or remove a partition to open up a living area. Adjusting the layout will allow you to spend more time together and make your home more practical. 

Savvy storage

Every parent knows that kids have a lot of stuff. Whether you’ve recently welcomed your first baby, or you have older children, you’ll find yourself on a mission to find a home for a whole range of items. From books and toys to clothes, strollers and outdoor toys, it can be difficult to keep on top of tidying and prevent clutter and mess. Savvy storage offers a solution. If you have sufficient storage, it’s much easier to keep your home tidy. 
There are all kinds of tricks you can employ to improve storage in your home. Start by having a clear-out once a year to make sure that you’re not hoarding anything you don’t want or need. Use containers to house toys and shoes and make a feature out of your storage to enhance aesthetics and functionality. You can choose from wall-mounted units, open shelving, floating shelves, or furniture, such as TV units or coffee tables that have storage space. Make use of every inch if you’re short on room. Use hooks to hang coats and racks that hang on the back of the door to keep shoes tidy, for example. You can also have fun with furniture in kids’ bedrooms and playrooms. If you have creative talents, there are some amazing upcycling ideas and projects online. Why not turn old, worn wardrobes into a new unit that looks like a medieval castle or a beach hut?
It can be challenging to create a family-friendly home that looks fabulous. As a parent, you want your kids to be safe and comfortable, but you also want your house to look and feel like home. If you’re keen to make your nest more family-friendly, embrace versatility, design distinctive zones, make the most of your outdoor space, consider adjusting the layout and use savvy storage solutions. 


Daria Brown