How To Design A Child Friendly Living Room

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There are number of ways to ensure your living room is a space that both you and your children love to spend time in, without either of you compromising style and space. You can have a living room that incorporates child friendly elements, while still retaining sophisticated style and function.

Safety is a key concern for your children in every room of the house, so these ideas keep in mind security for your child – at any age - as well as fun and function.

As your child grows and changes, so too will the things they need to ensure a room is safe and fun, so keep in mind the age of your child when adopting these style ideas. If you plan it well, your children and the adults in your home will enjoy a living room that fits all of your needs, creating a living space you all like spending time in together.

Safety Elements

- Make sure potential hazards are removed from the easy grip of children. These include electrical outlets and cords, cords from blinds or drapes and small objects that can be swallowed. There are child resistant plastic plates available at many home improvement stores to cover outlets, and you can easily tie up cords with a hook to keep them out of a child’s reach. Make these changes immediately to prevent some of the most common accidents.

- Make sure any breakable items are out of reach of children. While small items may prevent choking hazards, larger items can easily injure or crush a child if pulled down from a table or shelf. For example, wall mounted lights are safer than table lamps as kids can’t reach them and pull them over. Consider installing ceiling or wall scone lighting wherever possible.

- For an accurate view of what your child may encounter in your living room, get on their level. While it may seem silly at first, sitting on the floor and observing décor pieces will give you a better perspective of what is and isn’t within reach. There is no better way to see the potential dangers in your home than viewing them from a child’s perspective.

- Keep constant watch over items in your living room to ensure they don’t fall on the floor and into a child’s path. A coin, pen cap or other small item could be just the thing to hurt them without you noticing. It’s easy to have things innocently fall out of your pocket, onto the couch and into their grasp.

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- Make sure your tables, chair edges, etc. have covered corners so kids can’t bang their heads. Also, make sure you don’t use glass tables as kids can easily hurt themselves on such hard edges. While the covered and padded corners may not look as stylish as your uncovered furniture pieces, they won’t be permanent and are well worth avoiding the potential risk.

Fun Elements

- Depending on your child’s age, have toys for them to play with easily available in the room, but in a designated space so they doesn’t take over the floor. Again, you want them to enjoy the space while keeping it a room adults enjoy as well. An easy idea for toy storage is to purchase or repurpose a stylish trunk for toy, movie and book storage. Teach children to place their items in the trunk after every playtime.

- If your children play video games, keep consoles off the floor and in your entertainment center. Bundle the cords to prevent tripping hazards and unsightly clutter.

- If you have a television in your living room, you may want to designate one area of the living room so your kids can enjoy a movie while you sit and read or play a game on another. A living room space can host different activities at the same time with the proper planning and organization. Situate chairs and couches in both areas to ensure all occupants are well suited to their entertainment.

- Include children’s’ books in your living room bookshelf, or place a smaller one in the room designated for their reading material. Like toys and gaming consoles, books and reading material can easily end up on the floor, creating clutter and the potential for tripping.

Your kids should enjoy your living room as much as adults, but you do have to keep in mind safety when decorating and purchasing seating, lighting and entertainment pieces. Lamps, cords and outlets can all be major safety hazards, so design your living room with kids in mind. Proper storage and cleanliness can go a long way to prevent harm.

Last Updated: December 19, 2011
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About Leah Gillis Leah Gillis has worked for several major news outlets, as well as a television series on home buying and decor. Having grown up in New England, she has lived in New York City, Los Angeles and Milan. When not trying to get a great deal, she is often found reading something, writing something or talking to someone.

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