Every young family dreams of having it all – a chic home that does double duty as a kid-friendly environment. But for most bustling households, a sophisticated design aesthetic can often be overlooked in favour of elements that can survive the wear and tear of a family. It may be a daunting task to try and combine the best of both worlds – fashion and function – but it is possible to create a family-friendly living space that is sophisticated and still accommodates a range of ages, activities and interests.
How can a growing family create a sophisticated and stylish home environment that is sippy-cup friendly? Scavolini Toronto’s design team takes us through a recent redesign that is chic, liveable, and highly functional, and shares their top designer tips for replicating the look at home.
1 Consider a multi-functional open floorplan
Apart from making a home look more spacious, the benefits of an open floorplan are endless. To accommodate a bustling family’s lifestyle, an open concept kitchen and living area can serve as a multipurpose space. It’s great for weeknight cooking and dining, playing and after school homework, and can also easily transition into hosting and entertaining mode on weekends.
In order to ensure this kitchen was highly functional, two separate seating areas were designed to offer flexible dining areas for various occasions. A large island takes centre stage here, creating a place to entertain, relax and gather as a family – or for parents to sip wine while dinner simmers nearby when guests visit. A beautiful stone bench was also added to offer more casual seating, while a formal glass table is nestled along the kitchen wall to host both sit down family-style dinners, or dinner parties.
The integrated living room helps extend this transitional space, creating a nearby lounge area for TV watching or a play area for the kids, and then can transform into a cocktail or hosting space after bedtime. By bringing in design elements of the kitchen, like keeping the look of the cabinets consistent, extra storage is added so the living area can be multi-functional, while hiding clutter in a flash. Flexible, hardworking cabinetry is a great way add style and conceal mess.
Thanks to an open concept living and kitchen area, a family really can do it all in a space that is sophisticated enough to host social gatherings, yet functional enough to withstand playtime.
2 Choose a colour palette and decor that can transition and grow with you
Keeping your colour palette, furniture and decor minimal help to maintain a great looking space that is organized and clutter-free – and ensure that it can transition well as a family grows and needs change.
Deciding on your colour palette should be one of your first considerations when renovating or redecorating. From old world charm to a more modern look, a neutral colour scheme is timeless and can survive constantly evolving trends. It is also easy to retouch in the event of an occasional crayon or marker drawing incident.
Our top tip? Start with a neutral base and add in smaller colour pops through accents or accessories – like the bright yellow chairs in this dining area. These accents can be easily swapped in or out as your style needs grow and change, or as your children age. Plus, neutral walls and floors can be paired with beautiful artwork, helping to highlight favourites in your collection, or even your child’s own work.
To add in an element of old world charm, this kitchen’s backsplash and an entire wall was clad in brick, which was whitewashed to keep it feeling fresh and modern so that decor accents could take centre stage. Stainless steel accessories, including faucets and appliances, add cool factor while rich wood flooring and shelves add warmth and personality.
With accents of personal style and pops of colour, a home design can have a neutral, kid-friendly colour palette, yet still incorporate some edgy finishes. Crisp white walls reflect natural light and help make a space appear larger, while biophilic elements can provide a lively – and wellness improving – mood boost. Add in treasured accessories, like kids’ artwork or collectibles, to create stylish eye-catching accents.
3 Create smart storage solutions
Storage can make or break a family home. Not only can strategic storage solutions create a really specific and custom space, it can also ensure that clutter is non-existent. There’s no catch or loophole – it is possible to have kids and a clutter free house without going full Marie Kondo!
Struggling with where to start? Begin by taking an inventory of everything you own, especially toys, and ask yourself not only what types of things you need to store, but also how you want to live with them. What toys do you really need out in the open for easy access every day? What toys can be stored away for later use, and how much space do you need to do so?
In this particular space, a large grey and white island becomes a focal point in the kitchen, but also does double duty as a genius storage solution that clears clutter thanks to concealed shelving. The kitchen appliances are all built in, which makes for a far less bulky appearance as well. Table wears are stored in sleek drawers rather than hidden away in enclosed cabinets, and toys can be whisked away in a flash thanks to the cabinetry in the living area.
We’re big believers that having little ones doesn’t mean you have to give up your individual style – or get rid of fancy decor items (unless they have sharp corners – then you may need to compromise). Rather, it just means you may have to make some keen design decisions to create a space that’s both chic and family friendly.
By Roxane Lolos, Senior Designer at Scavolini Toronto