It’s not an impossible dream. Here’s how you can create a kid-friendly home that’s safe, comfortable and stylish for all to enjoy.
17 June 2021
Text by Janice Seow
Having kids does not mean that design and style go out the window. On the contrary, have little ones means more attention has to be paid to designing a home that functions well and that looks good (daily mess is permitted, it can be cleaned up!).
It’s not an unreachable dream, and I speak from experience. Here are some ways to attain a home that’s kid-friendly, safe and stylish.
Generally, having a home that’s open plan means parents can keep an eye on the kids as they go about their business. However, privacy is still essential and appreciated, more so now as work from home becomes part of standard work practice and families spend much more time together in a confined space.
So if you work out of your home and have the advantage of a spare room, turn it into a convertible office with see-through glass doors that can slide open or be shut depending on need. You’ll also get to watch your kids while at your desk.
It could also be turned into a kid’s playroom when not in use. Why not? Just have private drawers for your documents.
Kids love to draw, paint and express their creativity. To avoid unsightly scribbles getting on your pristine walls or floors, have avenues for them to do so that will in turn beautify (or at least personalise…) your space. Have a chalkboard wall where the kids can write, draw and send you messages, and vice versa. There are even kid-friendly appliances that specially cater for this, like Miele’s Blackboard Edition refrigerators.
The Blackboard Edition by Miele
It’s not really about having more storage, but rather, designing storage around the needs of the family, and anticipating how that might grow or evolve. Even couples starting out with their first home should factor future plans into their renovation at the start.
Sleek and hidden storage solutions are great as they keep the home neat and spacious looking. Also, don’t discount small corners. These little pockets of space can be turned into nifty storage as well.
Project by HEI Architects
The best way to design a nursery is to think about how the space can be adaptively reused as the child grows.
In this project by HEI Architects, the crib and nursing couch can be placed in the open space while the nanny would retire behind the screens. As the child grows, the open space can be used as a play area, and the bed will be his, effectively making the room an individual child’s room.
A recessed storage area and changing counter space have been factored into the design. There is even a little hanger space for frequently used attire. The screen offers some privacy and is also used to display the child’s favourite things.
Again, adaptive design a great way to go, and choosing quality furniture from trusted brands does give peace of mind.
This 4 in 1 Bed by Lifetime Kidsrooms is made in Denmark, and uses non-toxic materials and paints. As the name suggests, this bed can take on four different configurations. At Stage One the bed starts low on the ground to ensure safety; at Stage Two the bed is raised to fit a growing child; at Stage Three the bed can be turned into a loft design; and at Stage Four, it can be converted into a single bed to take your child into young adulthood.
Available at Kuhl Home
When it comes to flooring, vinyl and laminate are popular kid-friendly options. Besides being softer underfoot, there are many choices now in the market that are durable and easy to maintain.
Vinyl flooring from Floor Xpert (above) are made in Belgium and are phthalate-free, meaning they do not contain harmful chemicals. They are also stain-, scratch- and slip-resistant, waterproof, and easy to clean.
Project by Adroit Interior Design
Curves are trending at the moment, but you don’t need a trend to know that soft edges – while certainly not 100 per cent full-proof – are a safer option to sharp-edged furniture.
Consider kid-friendly furniture designs and carpentry with rounded profiles, especially in areas like the living and dining areas, and kitchen, where children might spend more time in.
Does your heart skip a beat every time your kid races across the room? Kids are prone to falls, and a hard floor offers little cushion when this occurs.
Anti-slip rugs and mats can help cushion this, and also makes the room feel warm and oh-so-cosy.
Grown-ups and kids alike desire their own space. And if you get your private study, entertainment room, or walk-in closet, your kids deserve a place where they can let their hair down too.
If yours is a small apartment, opt for a flexible room that can be used in multiple ways (above). Or carve out small multipurpose areas that do double-duty, like this platform for play that also neatly stores a mattress, which can be pulled out when the kids need to nap (below).
Even if there’s no room for a proper play area, simply choosing conducive areas or ‘safe zones’ where the kids can call their hangout space is great.
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