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Planning for Play | How to Design a Kid-Friendly Space

Brooke Cleaver     April 15, 2024

When we think of children's spaces, our minds often go to bright, colorful rooms with fun, playful décor. But what about the elements beyond that point, or how those features may evolve and change over time? If you're looking to design a space that's not only stylish but pliable for growth and development, follow along as we explore some child-friendly design practices.

1 | Design with Growth in Mind

As cliché as it may sound, kids really do grow in the blink of an eye. One moment, they're wrestling with diapers. The next? They're kicking off the ground on their first bike. Children grow at an alarmingly fast rate. Which is why it's best to account for these changes sooner rather than later. So, let's explore some design strategies that will help to usher them from one stage of life to the next.

Keep it Simple

When designing your child’s space, sometimes less is more. In the world of children's décor, trends come and go faster than you can say the word "Disney." While it's tempting to deck out your little one's room in the latest fad, it's important to remember that what's cool today might be passé tomorrow. That's why simplicity is key. Opt for timeless colors, patterns, and themes that can adapt to your child's evolving interests (think stripes, plaids, and herringbones). A neutral backdrop not only provides a canvas for self-expression but also fosters a sense of ownership over their space.


That said, that doesn't mean your child's room has to be boring. You can still inject personality through temporary elements like bedding and wall decals. The key is to strike a balance between fun and flexibility.


room_for_growthPhoto: Courtesy of Aleksandr

Invest in Flexibility

When it comes to furniture, think long-term. While child-sized beds and desks may seem cute now, they'll quickly become obsolete as your child grows. Instead, invest in adaptable pieces that can evolve alongside them. A convertible crib that transforms into a toddler-sized bed will ensure that your furniture grows with your child. Similarly, an adjustable desk can accommodate your child's changing needs as they transition from coloring books to textbooks.


By designing with growth in mind and embracing simplicity and flexibility, you can create a kid-friendly space that nurtures your child's development at every stage.

2 | Enable Independence & Exploration

Every parent hopes to foster a sense of independence in their children. But is your space set up to enable such growth?


When was the last time you saw the world from your child's point of view? Steel yourself for a moment and imagine sitting on the floor of your child's favorite room. Take it in and look around. What do you see? Is it bare and boring, or is there a world of adventure and exploration to be had? If your answer is the former, don't fret. We can help you transform their space into a den of independence. 


One way you can nurture autonomy in the home is by making sure the world is accessible at their height. Do you want to teach your child to hang their coats after a long morning outside? Install some height-appropriate hooks and storage solutions. Do you want them to put their dish away after their afternoon snack? Leave a stool in the kitchen for them to move and climb as they please. There are tons of creative decisions you can make to ensure the design of your house caters to your children’s needs as well. It's just a matter of looking at the world from a different perspective.


designing_for_autonomyPhoto: Courtesy of Pixel-Shot

3 | Foster Safety

Now, we know what you might be thinking. How do I foster independence without sacrificing safety? That's where these next design features come into play. When it comes to designing spaces for children, safety should always be top of mind. Still, that doesn't mean that you have to surrender style.

Upgrade your Windows with Child-Safe Treatments

Children are naturally curious about the world. As such, windows can quickly become a hot spot for tiny hands and feet yearning to catch a glimpse of the outside world. It is for this reason that you'll want to ensure that your windows are outfitted with the latest and safest options.

Thanks to the valiant efforts of the Window Covering Manufacturing Association (WCMA) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), starting June 1, 2024, nearly all window treatments must be cordless, have inaccessible cords, or present a non-hazardous cord loop. This decision is a massive win for households across the country, but it still doesn't protect children from pre-existing, outdated treatments that could pose a threat.


Accu-Rise® Cordless Operating System  

The Accu-rise® cordless system is a safe and practical solution for adjusting your blinds and shades. It eliminates the need for operating cords, giving your windows a neat and clutter-free appearance. To operate, simply use your hand to gently pull or lift the blinds in a controlled, straight line. With this seamless system, adjusting your window coverings has never been easier or safer.



Photo: Courtesy of Lafayette Interior Fashions


CareRING™ Cordless  

Available on all of our Roman shade products, the CareRING™ Cordless system eliminates the use of dangling cords for added safety and confidence. Each CareRING™ shade features a discreet, hidden ring on its bottom back hem. Grabbing this ring allows you to effortlessly lower and raise the shade to its desired position. 



Photo: Courtesy of Lafayette Interior Fashions


Lift & Lock™  

Lift & Lock™ is a budget-friendly, child-safe option for horizontal blinds and cellular shades. Raise and lower the blind with the press of a button or simply tilt the blind with the twist of a color-coordinated wand.



Photo: Courtesy of Lafayette Interior Fashions


Motorized Options  

Another way to ensure your child’s safety is through motorized window treatments. Much like cordless operating systems, motorized systems remove the risk of strangulation while optimizing your home. Control the ebb and flow of light and schedule naptime with the sound of your voice, the press of a button, or the swipe of an app.

Final Thoughts

We’ll be the first ones to admit it, designing for little ones can be a daunting task. But when it’s done right, it’s worth its weight in gold. We’d love to hear from you on social media. What child-friendly design practices have you employed? Who knows, maybe your ideas will help to inspire others? Shows us your designs on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram! Together, let's create spaces where every child can thrive.

Lafayette Interior Fashions is a family-owned, to-the-trade manufacturer of blinds, shades, shutters, draperies, and other custom-crafted interior fashion products. To learn more about our products, Find a local dealer near you.

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