Interior Design How-to Guide: Creating a Family Friendly Home

In Accessories, Artwork, Design Planning, How To Guide, Interior Design, Residential Design by wpx_seedbaco

Christina Toole Sr Interior Designer

By Kendra Contreras,
Sr. Interior Designer
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As a mom myself, I know how hard it is to make a house a home some days.  The toys are everywhere.  The kitchen table is covered in food.  And there is always a trail of cheerios or clothes across the room at any given time.

While it can at times feel impossible to have a beautiful space and raise little humans at the same time, I promise you it IS possible.  As a professional Interior Designer, I would also like share a few ideas to consider for home whether you have a new family, or a few years under your belt.

Washable Fabrics Creating a Family Friendly Home  Residential Design Tribe Online Interior Design

Washable Fabrics

These are a must. Some options might include pillow covers that are washable and removable or throw blankets that are kid friendly (think less tassels and poms, and an open weave). And for seating, you may want to keep any white seating at bay, but it doesn't mean you have to settle for black and brown. Other neutral tones such as camel, blues, and grays can give the room visual interest without showing every stain or mark. Using fabrics with lots of pattern or texture for pillows and seating with a small-scale pattern can also help disguise anything that needs the help.


I’ve always thought a room isn’t fully anchored and dressed without an area rug. It's also a must for a for a family if the space has hard floors. I don’t know about your little ones, but mine always find themselves on the floor. A great thing to do here is to either use an outdoor rug indoors (hello durable!), find a rug that has a lot of pattern, and is either wool or a synthetic blend (for cleanability). Also make sure the rug size fits the room and furniture size. Too small and it feels awkward and an afterthought, and too large you can't appreciate the negative space in the room.

Layer Accessories Residential Design Tribe Online Interior Design


When I first became a mom, we were always drowning in new toys. My clients who have young families also ask for lots of help in the toy arena. You don't always have the space or want to segregate the kids to another space.

The answer is storage! And lots of it. Generally this happens in a living room space where the family tends to congregate. With that comes tons of options! Pretty baskets for bigger toys, smaller baskets on open shelves, closed cabinets that you can actually use the space on top for family photos or pretty objects (dual-use), storage ottomans, separate seating space for play.



My favorite thing in my living room used to be a pretty wood tray and chrome bowl set. It sat in the middle of my coffee table. And guess what? It was my daughter's favorite too. We had many bowls of string and puzzle soup and played music with them as they clanged together. 5 years later, they are still in pretty decent condition! Keep this in mind for any accessories you have in hands reach. Pick items that you don't mind showing up in dump truck every once in a while. And for those items you don't want used, keep them out of reach and strategically placed.

“Investing at the forefront will also help you teach your littles the value of taking care of things we live with.”Kendra Contreras


This may sound backward, but stick with me.  I don't mean that you should buy a piece for the room that is a gold plated and dainty.  You do have kids present. And Ikea may last a couple years, but then you're having to reinvest again.  That's really money down the tubes long term.

Instead consider items like leather, pieces that are easy to spot treat, or have a wood finish that be easily touched up. Think pieces with fine joinery, solid components, and sturdy metal finishes.  Investing at the forefront will also help you teach your littles the value of taking care of things we live with.  That and you shouldn't have to live with a broken dorm room coffee table for another 10 years.  You deserve better than that.



Here's a few things I tend to avoid when designing for a client:  Glass tops, sharp corners (I love round coffee tables), when styling shelves – I keep the heavy items on the bottom. Be sure to secure cabinets and TV's to the wall.  Use heavy bottom lamps and secure art and install it at eye height and not lower.

I hope these tips can help you take your room to the next level.  And if it at all feels overwhelming, I would recommend hiring a professional like myself!  With my years of experience and personal knowledge of a family haven, I would love to be the person to walk you through the process of creating a family friendly home design. Please feel free to REACH OUT AND SCHEDULE AN ONLINE DESIGN CONSULTATION.


Kendra Contreras was formally educated at Colorado State University with an accredited degree in Interior Design. She is NCIDQ certified and has spent the majority of her career designing for high-end hospitality brands, including Wynn Resorts, Marriott, Hardrock, Harrahs/Caesars properties, multi-million dollar vacation homes, and mid to high-end home design remodels.

Areas of Specialty:
Residential Design
Airbnb Vacation Design
Restaurant and Hospitality Design

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