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Affordable Tips for Kid and Family-Friendly interior design

5 Tips for affordable, kid and family-friendly interior design and home decor

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Photo and home staging credit: HER Staging & Interiors LLC

5 Tips for Affordable, Kid and Family-friendly Interior Design and Home Decor

My mother has always had impeccable taste.

From event decor and fashion to landscaping and interior decor, mom always pushed passed the comfort zone and produced a final product that would blow your mind.

She’s always had a vision for beautifully designed finished spaces.

I remember when I was a kid (back in the early 80’s) we had WHITE furniture. Not cream, not beige or tan… it was WHITE.

Stark white.

And it had these big plushy pillows that begged you to come sit on the sofa or lay on the chaise.

As a child, I always felt like that sofa was literally calling my name, so I would stand at the edge of the living room and stare at it wondering if I sat on it for just a second, would she know…

You see, I was raised in one of those homes when children didn’t DARE step foot in Mama’s (or grandmama’s) living room.

The living room was just OFF LIMITS.

Mama didn’t do affordable kid and family-friendly interior decor, so that room was only for show. And getting caught in there would surely land you in a world of hurt.

It was even a taboo place for some adults. At 65, my Dad still doesn’t know why he can’t sit in there.

A Living Room of My Own

I carried my mom’s sense of style with me into my own places as an adult.

I was partial to modern, high-end furniture and shiny metallic accessories as table accents.

In my early 30’s, I lived in a three-story condo downtown Indy with a roof-top patio that overlooked the city.

And guess what? I had WHITE LEATHER furniture.

I also collected these tiny crystal bottles of expensive perfume that I proudly displayed on the fingerprint-free mirrored dresser like {this one} in my bedroom.

The miniature bottles cost more than the perfume itself and I LOVED them.

Obviously, there were no kids in my space. And my miniature schnauzer was just as froo-froo as her luxury dog bed. We were a match made in Horchow.

Tables Turned

I became a mom unexpectedly at 35 and one of the first mom-moves I made was giving up that three-story condo. It was on a busy downtown street and the width and height of the bars on the roof-top patio were definitely NOT kid-friendly.

And my swanky white leather furniture?

Sold it.

I was determined that my son would not re-live my childhood nightmare of gazing into the living room wondering if a moment on the sofa was worth a butt-whoopin, so uhmmmm yeah…

The sofa went to a twenty-something bachelor who swore to love it as much as I did.

Hello Motherhood…

Goodbye beautifully-styled home. Au revior mirrored-dressers. Arrivederci crystal perfume bottles.

Or so I thought.

Kid-friendly interior design and home decorBy the time my second son came along two years later, my trend-setting interior decor days were long gone. I had become suburbanized living in a 5-bedroom, two-story home with plenty of space for the little guys I lovingly referred to as my WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.

My dreams of having a super chic, well-designed home seemed so far-fetched living with two little boys, but the designer in me longed for a way to express my own style.

While I knew the white leather furniture and shiny metal objects within reach of little fingers wouldn’t work, I was determined to recreate a “kid-friendly” chic home, and I was sure there were other moms who wanted the same.

Affordable. Functional. BEAUTIFUL.

Having a home with magazine quality interior design style is close to the top of every girl’s list. I mean, it ranks right up there with the Cinderella wedding gown and the perfect job with banker’s hours. Most moms dream a family home filled beautiful decor that stays clean and is the envy of all her friends.

And then we wake up…

In reality, all a mom really wants is a safe, peaceful home where her family can live comfortably.

Having it be well-designed with affordable, kid and family-friendly interior decor (and clean most of the time) would be a dream come true.


So, what EXACTLY is kid and family-friendly interior design/home decor?

In my opinion as an interior designer and mother of boys ages 3 and 5, kid-friendly means my home is safe and enjoyable for the littles to live in and be their rambunctious selves, and it also has a cohesive design that reflects my personal style. Kid-friendly means they can spill chocolate milk on the sofa, smush Playdough into the floors and touch the things within their reach without fearing for their lives.

That said, here are my 5 best pointers for affordable, kid and family-friendly interior design and home decor.

Design tip #1 – Choose a home with an open-concept floor planAffordable Kid-Friendly Interior Design and Home Decor Floor Plan

An open-concept floor plan is a great way to keep your home family-friendly.

For instance, my home’s floor plan features a kitchen that flows into the sunroom and the family room. This space arrangement is great for when we have family gatherings because the kids can watch TV and relax in the sunroom, while I make dinner and entertain my girlfriends at the kitchen island and the guys chill on the loungers watching football on the big screen in the family room.

The open-concept room design allows everyone to be in the same place, but not the same space and it still feels like family time.

Decor tip #2 – Decorate immediately

Moms often make the mistake of putting off buying nice furniture and accessories until the kids get older… And then it never happens. However, purchasing the right type of home decor items immediately allows you to enjoy living in your home with your kids right now.

The FIRST thing you have to do is be honest with yourself about who is living in your home and HOW they live. Then you can choose home decor items that make sense and decorate accordingly.

I’ve learned that filling a home with affordable, functional and beautiful items right away teaches littles to appreciate your home’s decor and makes them want to take care of things. So if that means you purchase some live edge floating shelves and install them 47 inches off the floor, then you get that beautiful heirloom vase you love, put it up on that new shelf and show it off, girlie!

Being able to decorate now is ALL about the right types of home decor pieces for your family. Keep it affordable by shopping the home decor sections of some of our favorite stores like:

Shop World MarketWayfair logo






Now see tip #3…

Decor tip #3 – Choose durable materials and finishes as often as possible

Ok friends, repeat this with me: Performance fabric.

Girls, this stuff isn’t your mother’s scotch-guarded white sofa fabric… Believe me.

Today’s furniture is made with fabric designed to go the distance.

“Performance Fabric” was created with moms who desperately want a white sofa, but have six school-aged kids, two shedding, drooled dogs and a pregnant cat living with them. This fabric breathes, repels water, resists stains (even red wine), is easy to clean and offers long-lasting durability. It features color fastness to stand the test of time, and it’s designed as a workhorse fabric so you don’t have to work like a horse to own it.

One of my absolute favorite interior designers Carla Aston wrote an article about a brand of performance fabric called Crypton mothers have dreamt about for years. Don’t just take my word for it, check out her piece {here}.

The only thing that could make it better, is if it came packaged with SuperMan, himself… to clean it, of course.

Now this part of the tip is going to sound a bit strange, but just trust me, you’ll thank me later…

Use the area rugs you purchased for outside on the INSIDE of your home.

Yes, please!

Area rugs like these that are made with polypropylene or a blend. These rugs have incredible endurance, making them perfect for your busiest spaces like kitchens, mudrooms, kids’ spaces, hallways and even bathrooms.


They’re fashionable enough for a dining room, but tough enough to take a red wine spill – a win-win for every mom I know.

Other durable materials to keep top of mind include flat scrubbable paint – we love Home Depot’s Glidden Diamond paint. It is one of the most affordable paint products that actually works like its premium competitors.

For flooring, you’ve got to check out luxury vinyl plank flooring. This stuff is AMAZING because it is virtually indestructible. It’s water-proof, pet-proof and lasts forever. 

Design tip #4 – Let the kiddos have a space to call their own

Creating a dedicated kid’s space is an interior design feature you don’t want to skip.
A play space separate from their bedroom welcomes your kids and their friends into a shared area where everyone can be comfortable and have a good time. So whether it’s a loft meant for teenagers with gaming chairs and a study desk or a music room with a practice area, a Lego table and some board games; giving your kiddos free reign over their own little part of the house will allow you to express your interior design style freely in the main spaces.

Here are some great, low-cost home decor items to include in your kid’s space: 

Design tip #5 – Include plenty of storage options in each of your rooms

You already know this one is true. Moms NEVER have enough storage. And as our kiddos get older, our storage needs get BIGGER. So, when toys, doggie bones, clothes, shoes, graded homework papers pile up, having a quick place to tidy up (or hide) things will not only give you peace of mind, but makes it easier for your littles to find and put away next time.

Built-in bookcases are super kid and family friendly and great for storage, but they can sometimes be pricey. Want the look of a beautiful built-in bookcase? Use IKEA pre-made shelves as an affordable hack to get the look for less. Use the shelves in the middle and above to store your favorite books and showcase your favorite (and fragile) home decor items.

Inside of furniture and cool accent baskets is a great place to store items that you want to grab regularly.

Storage sofa

Ottomans are great for storing blankets and games, while some sofas even come with storage for items like toys. I purchased this one (see image above) for my boys to keep in their play area. It’s awesome because not only is it comfy to sit on, it works for my decor when they aren’t playing and gives them easy access to their toys when they want them. When you’re in the market for new furniture, plan to include storage in pieces like ottomans, sofas and TV cabinets.

So there you have it! Five tips for affordable, kid and family-friendly interior design and home decor. I can’t wait to hear how you put these recommendations to work in your chic home. Send us pictures or post them here!

Bonus Tips:

Keep your items looking great! Skip the stress and eliminate the mess with these must-have quick-fix items for your home toolbag: Museum glueupholstery fabric paint and Goo Gone wipes.

We use museum glue for home staging projects when we have really nice accessories we know could attract sticky fingers (pun intended). We glue those babies down and never give them a second thought. I use it at home in the same way.

A bit of fabric paint to cover a permanent sofa stain right before guests arrive always saves the day. Paint the whole dang sofa when you want a quick change, but the budget is tight.

Buy a TON of Goo Gone wipes and stash them in every room of your house. Instantly remove sticky stains or stuck-on stickers. Sweet orange oil works too and smells heavenly.

Love our work? Want to book your interior design consultation with the HER Staging & Interiors team? Book online or call us at 317-744-9849 for a consultation or home staging review.

Keianna Rae Harrison, a busy mother of two little guys age 4 and 6, leads the interior design team as a principal with HER Home Design LLC. A residential interior designer and home stager specializing in affordable interior design and home staging, Keianna Rae often says her interior design “superpower” is finding BEAUTIFUL home decor items at affordable prices. She enjoys making the world more beautiful one space at a time. Keianna Rae has a passion for real estate investing and revitalizing communities. In her spare time, she’s an interior design blogger at and enjoys karate and Latin dancing.

This article has 11 comments

  1. Jenn

    I’m all about the furniture with multiple storage options. You definitely need it with kids !

    • Keianna Rae

      It’s totally been a blessing for keeping things looking decent and the munchkins happy!

    • Keianna Rae

      So true. Before I became a mom and a designer, I could never envision an ottoman could work for me as a coffee table. Now I have TWO storage ottomans in place of coffee tables. 😊

  2. Candy

    The open floor plan makes a HUGE difference. I also agree about durable, washable fabrics. I honestly would pay more to have something last then flimsy and break. My kids are brutal and don’t know their own strength.

  3. Jessica

    I like to change things around and redecorate from time to time. I love the colors you chose, they are so pretty, especially the blue in the rugs.

  4. Torche

    I love home decor that’s kid friendly! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Misty Nelson

    Great suggestions and advice. It’s always a struggle trying to follow your personal style aesthetic and also make sure things are child friendly and durable enough to handle everyday life with kids.

    • Keianna Rae

      Thanks Misty. You’re so right. It’s my mission to help Moms have beautiful homes with furniture and accessories that are kid-tested and Interior Designer approved. LOL!

  6. Diana

    Great suggestions and advice. I love home decor that’s kid friendly! Thanks for sharing!

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