15 Chic Family-Friendly Living Rooms to Inspire You
As tricky as it may be to live comfortably in a small one-bedroom or studio, decorating a big family home has its hurdles, too. There are so many questions to ask: What fabrics are kid- and pet-friendly? Which coffee tables won't take my toddler's eye out? How can I give myself a little privacy? Once you figure out what works best for your brood, the next big thing to consider is how to do it all in style. Luckily, we've seen countless family homes that don't sacrifice style for function. To inspire you, we've rounded up some of our favourite chic kid-friendly living rooms.
To see more of each home, just click on the photo for a full tour.
Amanda Chantal Bacon, founder of popular LA juicery Moon Juice, anchored her living room with a rare leather sofa from the '70s by Alessandro Becchi that folds out into a daybed. Topped with soft sheepskin throws and pillows, it's a cosy place for her young son to hang, yet it's also totally edgy, unique, and the epitome of Venice cool.
In the Buckhead, Atlanta home which she shares with her husband and two-year-old son, abstract painter Sally King Benedict used a round coffee table with few sharp edges, low (read: kid-height) ottomans, and a plush shag rug to make her living room toddler-friendly. The sectional sofa also offers a great place to lounge during family hangouts.
Bright pops of colour make Australian artist Mirana Skoczek’s Sydney home, which she shares with her son Harper, engaging to young eyes, and a cushy modern sofa is a relaxing place to unwind. We love the idea of using vintage Persian rugs in a family space. The busy patterns make them spill-friendly, and they actually getting better looking as they age and wear.
The shabby chic look of fashion designer Rebecca Taylor’s Park Slope living room, which she shares with her artist husband Wayne Pate and their three children (twin girls and a boy), is a great choice for a young family. Her white and blue slipcovered sofa is easy to wash, and her ikat sofa hides stains easy—practically kid-proof!
Measuring only 540 square feet, the tiny Portland-area home of interior designer Jessica Helgerson is a lesson in small space living. The main “great room” houses a kitchen, dining room, and living room with large sofas that double as twin beds for guests. Underneath the sofas, drawers hold her children’s toys, and a wall of shelves holds books for the whole family.
Sophisticated yet welcoming, the West Hollywood living room of Kelly Sawyer Patricof—creative director of LA boutique Satine and co-president of nonprofit Baby2Baby and mother of two young daughters—is a model of family-friendly home design. A wooden coffee table and side tables are durable and timeless, while a busy kilim rug and dark upholstery make inevitable spills not so disastrous. We also love its spirited, playful details like its animal accents, pop art, and vintage poster.
Interior designer Lilly Bunn has mastered the art of elegant, preppy family homes. This New York City in apartment in Carnegie Hill has a touch of glamour thanks to a crystal ship hung high away from harm and a beautiful colour palette, but it’s easy-to-move x-base ottomans, bookshelves brimming with games, and concrete table (perfect for kids’ crafts) were designed with children in mind.
Fashion designer Jenni Kayne’s South Lake Tahoe, a summer escape which she shares with her sister Saree, is clean in simple with lots of blue and white. “It’s OK if you come in with sandy feet,” she says. A bowl of sea glass collected over the years brings a sense of family history to the space, and a large comfortable sectional sofa has plenty of room for little cousins.
Jean Pierre Verger for Marie Claire Maison
Reinventing his childhood home to house his wife and children, as well his expansive canvases, French painter Benjamin Chasselon has created an inviting modern family home. Using the space’s high ceilings to display his art, he’s added personality without clutter—a common dilemma for families everywhere.
French photographer Pascal François transformed a former waffle factory into a sprightly home for his wife and children. With low-slung sofas (great for jumping on!), round coffee tables (free of sharp corners), and giant floor cushions, his living room might be the perfect family space. His children enjoy it; that’s for sure.
Teaming up with interior designer Kishani Perera, model Molly Sims and film producer Scott Stuber created an inviting family living room with upholstered armchairs, a grand sectional, a round coffee table, and piles of throw pillows. Their toddler Brooks has plenty of soft surfaces to cosy up to.
Actress-turned-blogger Shiva Rose sought to create “distinct little worlds,” in her Pacific Palisades home, which she shares with her daughters Charlotte and Colette. By dividing her lofty living room into various seating and reading areas, including this window seat and floor pouf nook, she allows them a bit of both privacy and togetherness.
Sprightly colours, dueling sofas, a central fireplace, and a beautiful mix of pattern make this living room designed by Frances Merrill of Reath Design an ideal family hangout. There’s nothing too precious in this space, yet beautifully chosen fabrics and feminine button-tufting give it an air of formality.
As much as we love them, rustic modernist spaces like the Nantes home owned by Annabel and Jerome Gueret, whose daughters are aged 13 and 8, rarely feel family-friendly. Rather, they tend to take on a edgy bachelor-pad vibe. But a playful arrangement of seating and surprising mix of furniture makes this family space feel like theree’s a place for everyone. Who wouldn’t want to curl up for movie night beside one of those big floor cushions?
Young design firm Tilton Fenwick turned a cold artist’s loft in downtown Manhattan into a warm, kid-friendly environment for a young family by employing bold colours and patterns, and creating various seating areas for different tasks. The main open-plan room includes a kitchen, dining room, and living room, and we can easily see a handful of family members doing their own thing in the communal space.
Which family living room is just your type? Tell us in the comments below.