Keough alfresco

Design tips & trends

Child-friendly home design ideas for the whole family

When it comes to designing a new home, the most important thing to consider is how it will suit your lifestyle, both now and in the future. If you’ve got young children, or are planning a family, making your home child-friendly should be near the top of the to-do list.

From safety, supervision and non-smear surfaces to play spaces that can grow with your family, there is plenty to consider if you want to make your home suitable for the kids at every stage of their lives.

1.  Embrace an open floorplan

With its promise of light-filled, spacious, multifunctional spaces for families to gather, it’s easy to see why so many families are steering clear of individual rooms for cooking, dining and lounging and embracing the concept of open plan living.

An open-plan kitchen, living and dining area allows parents to supervise the kids while cooking or relaxing, while giving everybody in the family space to spread out and do their own thing.

Metford living

But open floorplans require careful planning to make them work. The lack of internal walls can make a home feel vast and uninviting and many families find the reality of cohabiting one large space feels cramped, cluttered and noisy.

Zoning your open floorplan by varying ceiling heights, introducing screens or positioning furniture will create a sense of intimacy while allowing you to keep an eye on things. Factoring ‘breakout’ or study spaces into the planning of your home can also be helpful as the kids grow older as they bring the family together, even if you’re spending time apart.

Consider adding a second living area that can serve as a playroom for younger kids and then be turned into a media or rumpus room for teenagers.

2.  Design a clutter-free kitche

For most families, the kitchen is the heart of the home and often the most-used room in the house, which means it requires careful design, future proofing and plenty of storage.

If you have the space and the budget, a butler’s pantry is a great way to conceal mess and keep the main kitchen looking clean, tidy and functional. Make sure to include plenty of storage and bench space for food preparation and power outlets so that you can keep appliances such as the toaster and kettle off the main bench space. Our Balmoral home design is intelligently designed for families with the butler’s pantry and laundry positioned next to each other as service rooms off the main living hub to keep clutter at bay.


Functional storage spaces in the main kitchen are also pivotal so consider drawers with built-in dividers to keep things organised and integrate pull-out rubbish and recycling bins into your cabinetry to keep sticky fingers out of the rubbish.

3.  Plan a practical laundry

There’s no doubt that the amount of time you will spend doing washing increases dramatically when kids are involved, so anything you can do to create a functional, efficient and well-equipped laundry will lighten the load.

Kymira laundry

Even if your laundry is small, make sure to prioritise plenty of bench space and keep it clear by allocating built-in hampers for dirty and clean clothes. Slide-out work surfaces are a great option if you need more room to fold or sort clothes and retractable ironing boards and drying racks are also good space savers. If you’re likely to be doing multiple loads at once, consider a separate washer and dryer to keep things moving as efficiently as possible.

4.  Double down on storage

We’ve mentioned storage a couple of times already but that’s because it’s pretty much essential when it comes to designing a home that is stylish and child-friendly.

For young families, factor in storage for toys and play equipment in the living room or rumpus room, bathroom, and outdoors. Families with teenagers may want to consider including a study nook with shelves and drawers for books and stationary.

Novera rumpus

In the kitchen, look for clever spots that can accommodate additional cabinetry such as overhead bulkheads or underneath the island benchtop, and make sure the garage is appropriately fitted out with shelves and racks for shoes, sports and outdoor equipment.

5.  Opt for hard-wearing finishes and furnishings

Durability is key when it comes to selecting finishes that will withstand the chaos of everyday life with young kids.

Design Studio

You might have fallen in love with the idea of natural stone benchtops but the reality is that they’re easy to stain, expensive to replace and unlikely to survive the morning rush unscathed. Instead consider a composite product such as Caesarstone, which is a composite product containing quartz and resin and is virtually indestructible.

The same goes for carpets (darker colours conceal a multitude of spillages), curtains, sofas and soft furnishings. If you have young children, you might want to consider choosing pieces with rounded edges – fewer hard edges may result in fewer bumps and bruises


You may also like...