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Four ways to create a kid-friendly space in your home

Materials that are safe and can stand up to sometimes messy kids are important so that the space continues to look good for the long term. (iStock)

Children, just like their parents, have spent more time than usual at home this year. Interior designers have some suggestions for parents to make their kids’ bedrooms and play areas attractive and functional.

Get playful with color

“Kids love color,” Vicky Serany, founder of Southern Studio Interior Design in Cary, N.C., wrote in an email. “Allow them to be part of the process but place the colors strategically. A small color swatch is magnified exponentially when placed on large pieces such as walls, doors, furniture and area rugs.”

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Serany mixed neutral colors with bright colors in the third-floor playroom and bunk rooms in a beach house she designed.

“The color palette of neutral walls highlighted with splashes of navy blue, bright orange and turquoise blue provide a whimsical gathering space for kids,” Serany wrote. “The sleeping bunks are separated by barn doors painted a lively turquoise sea blue.”

While some parents and kids gravitate to pastels, Susan Jamieson of Bridget Beari Designs in Richmond suggests bold colors help generate creativity in children.

Choose the right materials

Materials that are safe and can stand up to sometimes messy kids are important so the space continues to look good for the long term.

“Kid-friendly no longer has to mean disposable, especially in the age of performance fabrics that are ‘juicy juice’ proof,” wrote Chad James, founder of the Chad James Group in Nashville. “I find that children’s spaces usually lack quality materials and create a disconnect from the rest of the home. Now we have the resources to provide quality and durability.”

Acrylic materials including fabrics, interior carpets and rugs can be a good choice, James says.

“Repeat after me: ‘Acrylic is our friend’,” James wrote. “On the other hand, try to stay away from anything that might be too sharp or cause injury. I found that upholstery is king! Keep everything plush and soft.”

Glass, metal and stone tend to be materials to avoid when designing kid-friendly spaces, James wrote.

“We used performance fabrics on the furnishings spaces that can withstand abundant play without worry in the playroom and bunk rooms in the beach home we designed with a third floor devoted to kids,” Serany wrote. “Try adding an indoor-outdoor area rug for an additional splash of fun, too.”

Arrange the space with kids in mind

Jamieson suggests kids’ spaces should be designed to encourage creativity along with quiet, imaginative fun such as reading and drawing.

“Keep furniture kid-friendly by using chairs and tables that fit their size and height,” Jamieson wrote.” Don’t fill up the space with too much furniture — kids need room to play as well. Use super soft rugs and keep furniture edges round for safety’s sake.”

Make room for storage

Storage is a priority in any kids’ space, Serany wrote. She recommends incorporating space for kids to tuck away their personal treasures such as storage drawers under their beds and built-in storage cabinets.

Whether you’re redoing a room from top to bottom or just sprucing up your child’s bedroom or playroom for a new school year, think about storage, the size of furniture, choosing durable materials and opting for a few bright colors.

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