Kid-Friendly Great Room

Kid Friendly Great RoomQuestion:

Hi! My name is Becky and, oh boy, do I have the perfect room for you! We recently took down several walls in our home to expand our 1970’s 10 x 10 kitchen. Now where there was once a hallway and spare bedroom, we have a “great room”. We love it, but don’t know the best way decorate.

I’ve considered a breakfast nook, but our home is small and we do not really need any more eating spaces. A den-type set up would be nice, but we have 2 small children whose toys have to be part of the space, again due to the size of our home. We would also love to have a TV viewing area in the space, but not as the focal point. We want to replace the furniture in the room and hopefully soften the room with some type of rug. Your ideas would be terrific.

Thanks for your consideration!

Kid Friendly Great RoomAnswer:

Dear Becky,

Opening up your living space was a great idea. With two small children, it gives you full view even when you’re busy in the kitchen. We do think we can make a few suggestions that will help with the storage issues as well as placing furniture.

When you have small children, covered storage is the most effective. Your room will always look less cluttered when toys are under wraps. The wall to the left of the window would be a great place for our Abbeville Stacking Cabinets in Rubbed Black. They come in a variety of styles, and the basket storage will help keep things neat yet readily accessible. You can add to the units as time and money permits. To the right of the window, we recommend either our Cooper Media Console or our Dawson Media Console. Either one would provide additional storage, as well as space for your TV. We chose the Turin Rug in Tan for its durability and softness for playing on the floor. It is available in a wide variety of sizes.

As far as furnishings, we recommend our Baldwin 3-piece Corner Sectional (either in the Loveseat Sectional or the Wedge Chair Sectional) in the Toffee Check or Sage Check Slip Covers. Place against the back wall and turn out into the room to provide adequate seating and define the space. The beauty of the slipcovers – they are washable! Two Leather Cube Ottomans in Ponderosa will work well as tables in front of the sofa and provide additional seating. You could choose to place our Martin Console in Old World Brown along the back to finish the look and provide additional storage for toys.

We feel that the window could use some drapes to provide some softness. Our Charlton Bordered Panels in Butter w/Caramel (for Toffee Check Slip Covers) or Butter w/Celery (for Sage Check Slip Covers) would be perfect. It looks as though lighting is limited in the family area, so you may want to add the Amiel Wood Table Lamp with Seagrass Shade on the Martin Console behind the sofa. Some prints above the sofa would really look great, maybe a series of the Italian Alphabet Prints.

You have the beginnings of a great space that can provide your family with a cozy family room and the bonus of additional storage. Please send us pictures when you finish the project. We would love to post them on Style Studio.

Best Wishes,
The Style Studio Team

Posted 10/6/09

Kid Friendly Great Room

Featured Products:
1 Abbeville Stacking Cabinets
2 Cooper Media Console
3 Dawson Media Console
4 Turin Rug
5 Baldwin 3-piece Corner Sectional
6 Leather Cube Ottomans
7 Martin Console
8 Charlton Bordered Panels
9 Amiel Wood Table Lamp
10 Seagrass Shade
11 Italian Alphabet Prints

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply

    Style Studio Team

    November 11, 2009

    Dear Cheryl: Thank you for your recent question. We think your choices for a “kid friendly” room are great! Microfiber cleans very easily, and of course our black linen stripe should hide those little hand prints too. We would like to make another suggegtion for a sofa. Although the Arlington Leather Settee is durable because of the leather, as another option,we would like you to look at our Baldwin Sofa slipcovered in our Small Black Check fabric. A slipcovered sofa would be a great choice for anyone with small children. You can remove it and it is machine washable. You can also order another slipcover in a wide variety of fabrics, changing the whole look of the room. We do think the Small Black Check will give a “country feel” to the room. It is just another option for you. If you can send a copy of the floor plan (including measurements) and a couple of pictures, we would be more than happy to help you with furniture placement. Sounds like you are off to a great start with your family room. Please let us know if you need any further assistance.
    The Style Studio Team

  2. Reply


    November 8, 2009

    I bought Shaded Path Giclée painting and Winston Corner Desk and was interested in buying:
    1. Castered Tufted Storage Ottoman
    SO149 Fabric: Black Microfiber
    2. Louis XV Salon Chair
    UC101 Finish: Distressed Black
    Fabric: Black Stripe Linen
    3. (2) UL031 Arlington Leather Settee
    UL031 Color First: Chestnut

    My question is on the coordination of the fabric and how to place in my family room. I should mention that he kitchen is next to the family room and has a ditressed black table wih cherry top, maple cabinets, with cream coreon ( not sure how to spell) counter top and a cherry hard wood floor.I have a china cabinet that is distressed black with cherry accent. It has a county look. Any help you can offer would be great.
    I can send picture if you give an email to send to.

    I have two small children with a baby on the way so I want furniture that can withstand children and their often dirty hands. Thanks Cheryl