Stylish kid-friendly living
20 homes featured in <i>Style at Home</i> that prove kid-friendly design can be just as stylish as it is fun and functional.
While some may define a kid-friendly home as being one big spill-proof space that lacks hard corners and luxe fabrics, these homeowners prove you can, in fact, maintain your design style. Whether that style is colourful and whimsical, sleek and modern, or serene and neutral, these homes, apartments and cottages demonstrate thoughtful (and durable!) decorating ideas for family members of all ages.
No need to worry about spills here, thanks to the easy-wipe plastic chairs and hard-wearing fabric on the bench cushions. Tour the rest of the home here.
In lieu of a tiny kids’ desk, a large coffee table offers more space to spread out. The massive dispenser on top offers all the art paper an imaginative child could hope for. Tour the rest of the home here.
With little Hana in mind, designer Ami McKay relied on a combination of furnishings that would accommodate the needs of the young family and still offer beautiful ornamentation. This, of course, includes the furry bedroom stools in the master bedroom. Tour the rest of the home here.
With a comfy lounge and nook just off the kitchen, this kitchen overhaul created a functional hub for this family of five. Tour the rest of the home here.
Girlie girls may love pink, but their bedrooms don’t have to be saccharine. This design blogger created a little lady’s room that’s as mature and glamorous as it is sweet, and destined to suit her daughter’s style as she grows up. Tour the rest of the home here.
In the family room, an inexpensive sectional echoes a custom-made version that sits in the living room. Abstract artwork, toss cushions and colourful pouffes complete the easygoing design. The rug adds both texture and functionality: "It's key for acoustics, especially in a modern space," says designer Denise Ashmore. "And it's cozy enough for the kids to hang out on and read or do a puzzle." Tour the rest of the home here.
Beyond the oversized foyer with tons of storage to keep the kids’ sports gear and backpacks organized, the entire rear of the house is a huge informal family room/kitchen/dining room, where furnishings and built-ins define various areas, making each one cozy but not claustrophobic. Tour the rest of the home here.
Monika was careful about choosing pieces that could grow with her son. Practical decisions, such as using a dresser as a change table, mean that the room will work, with only a few minor alterations, as the baby boy grows up. This includes the easy-to-remove star decals (an affordable alternative to wallpaper). Tour the rest of the home here.
Mellow, modern and uncluttered, this family home provides plenty of floorspace for mom and daughters to spread out during their all-day drawing sessions. Tour the rest of the home here.
The kitchen's eating nook is stain resistant thanks to the kid-friendly laminated linen seat cushion on the banquette, which also stores the kids' toys and placements. Win-win! Tour the rest of the home here.
"Family is really important. I always look for ways to facilitate togetherness in my designs." Tour the rest of the home here.
This family home is all about being happy and welcoming that features pops of colour and "layers of coziness" - clearly evident in Wren's fun and fab bedroom. Tour the rest of the home here.
While these homeowners wanted a glamorous organic look for their home, they knew it had to work with toddlers. With this in mind, they chose salvaged and reclaimed pieces, "which are beautiful precisely because they're weathered," making them the ideal choice because "they withstand the wear and tear of kids." Tour the rest of the home here.
During the home renovation, these homeowners knew they had a baby on the way, so in making their decor choices, they put "an emphasis on using soft, durable fabrics for all upholstered furniture." Tour the rest of the home here.
Requiring a home that would be just as kid-friendly as it is fabulous for entertaining, this homeowner knew the furniture needed to "stand up to sippy cups and red wine alike." So black leather sofas were changed out for a cozy grey one and an upholstered ottoman replaced a traditional coffee table. Tour the rest of the home here.
A country cottage getaway from the family must be, if nothing else, extra cozy. And this linen sofa with plush cushions looks like it hits the nail on the head. Tour the rest of the home here.
The tufted ottoman and upholstered pieces in this far-from-boring neutral home make this space extra toddler-friendly. Tour the rest of the home here.
This family bungalow adheres to the "trifecta of good living: barbecues, basking and beverages", so you can assume that the space is laid back and comfortable, with plenty of room for this family of five (plus a dog and a cat) to lounge together. Tour the rest of the home here.
This entrepreneurial mom designed her home studio with her three-year-old in mind, putting a table in the centre of the room where they can spend time together colouring and painting. Tour the rest of the home here.
With a toddler and twin boys, this home renovation started with the kids' rooms. And, thanks to a comfy sofa for three, the evenings tend to end there too, as the kids gather together to curl up and read before bed. Tour the rest of the home here.
Rustic-meets-refined condo design
Blogger and decorator Tim Lam adds his signature style to this 800-square-foot condo in Waterloo, Ont.
“Never underestimate the power of paint and fabric,” says decorator Tim Lam of the caned barrel-back chairs he upgraded from garage sale finds to favourite pieces in the living room. On the flip side, the sophisticated sofa is a Sarah Richardson original found on Kijiji that needed only a quick cleaning.
Where Chris is a little bit country, Tim is all city. “Chris likes rustic simplicity, and I gravitate to more polished and refined spaces,” says Tim. And who better to steer you in the right decorative direction than the one you love?
Tim insisted that the kitchen’s brown cabinetry, brown granite countertop and blue glass backsplash, which homeowner Chris Gabriel inherited with the condo, had to go. Though upgrading the countertop, replacing the marble backsplash, updating the faucet to a showpiece and adding the slide-in range was a bit of a splurge, the couple cut costs by simply repainting the existing cabinetry and applying a DIY barnboard treatment to the peninsula’s base.
Though country charm isn’t exactly in Tim’s wheelhouse, he wanted to indulge Chris’s style throughout the space – and that’s especially visible in the dining room, which doubles as an office. “That door is hands-down my favourite piece in the room,” says Tim, who found it at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore for around $100. “And I got it just like that – I didn’t have to refinish it or anything.” He did, however, tape Alanna Cavanagh’s silk-screened artwork in the window to hide the stuff inside (which includes pantry and office staples).
The sideboard in the living room offers a nod to one of Chris’s desired elements: natural wood. Above it, the gallery wall displays artwork and travel mementoes the couple has amassed over time, including a quirky cuckoo clock that references the couple’s shared affinity for birds.
The bedroom’s soothing grey, yellow and white palette allowed Tim to play with pattern, from diamonds to stripes to polka dots. Asian-inspired elements like the faux bamboo nightstands and pagoda-shaped table lamps add elegance to the geometric look.
A tiny cheater ensuite with doors leading to both the living area and the bedroom left little wall space, so Tim had the bedroom door replaced with a wall, which now accommodates artwork and a towel bar. The builder-basic vanity was cleverly customized with a brass-coated toe kick for a floating effect, while the glitzy cream and gold bird wallpaper casts a glamorous glow.
The high-gloss dark grey wall paint in the bedroom acts as a luscious counterpoint to the suble texture of the grasscloth on the feature wall behind the bed. The herringbone throw is a souvenir from Chris’s hometown in Germany.
Chris (left) is from Germany and had planned to return there, but he met and fell in love with Tim and hasn’t looked back since.
We've scoured the Instagram of Meghan Markle, actress and girlfriend to Prince Harry, and rounded up the 'grams that give us a glimpse into her abode.
When she's not playing Rachel Zane in Suits or roaming around London with a prince in tow, Meghan Markle can be found in a soothing Scandi-inspired sanctuary that she calls home. From white textiles to fluffy throws, vintage-inspired accents to vases of colourful blooms, Meghan's created a cozy retreat perfect for playing with her pups, working on her site The Tig, and, presumably, enjoying some paparazzi-free time with everyone's favourite ginger prince.
White sofas, a tan throw, black and white pictures and white orchids keep her living space cool and calm.
One of photographer Gray Malin's cult-favourite photos of a beach hangs on her wall, and the umbrellas in the photo are complemented by the colourful blooms on her marble table.
Marble subway tiles line the walls in Meghan's bathroom.
Neutral walls, neutral curtains and neutral seating is the theme throughout Meghan's home.
Aside from the gorgeous blooms that are placed on many of the tabletops in Meghan's home, beautiful books are also scattered about.
By Meghan's bedside, Grace Coddington's book "Grace: A Memoir," a scented candle and bright pink peonies.
Meghan's love for pretty books and blooms continues—she teams black and white books, photos and accents with cheery pink blooms on a rustic wooden table.
A vintage-looking windowpane mirror lends a whimsy element to Meghan's all-white bedroom.
White furry throws can be found swung across many chairs in her home.
White linens, a simple wooden bedframe, a tan throw and black and white artwork complete Meghan's bedroom.
A gold vintage-inspired mirror, tall potted plants and standard Scandi must-haves lend an eclectic hand to her living space.
Colour-coded piles of books are topped with succulents in her bedroom.
An animal-skin rug and antlers on the wall give this room a Scandinavian feel.
The best part of Meghan's home? Her two roommates: Guy and Bogart.
Follow these tips for hosting the perfect outdoor party.
Consider this your go-to source for hosting warm-weather soirees with ease and flair.
It’s summer, and you want to be outside, hanging around with friends, eating garden-fresh fare and sipping refreshing drinks. Let our guide be your go-to for hosting warm-weather get-togethers with simplicity and style.
1 Ambient lighting: To keep the party going beyond sunset, simply hang strings of lights along the fence and among tree branches. Make sure to also include lights above your entertaining zones (lounging and eating areas, for example) to create an intimate atmosphere. We recommend café-style string lights with elegant rounded bulbs that give off a warm glow and lend a casual bistro vibe. As for running cords throughout the yard, be strategic: Choose strands that can plug into one another so only one extension cord is needed; don’t run the cord across high-traffic areas (tuck it along the fence line instead); and select a cord that coordinates with your surroundings (white to match your trim, for example).
Task lighting: Illuminate sitting and dining areas with pillar candles set in glass lanterns. In spots where more light is required (such as the drinks station or buffet table), include a grouping of three or more lanterns. Keep mosquitoes at bay by using citronella candles in lounging zones (but never place scented candles on the dinner table). Be sure to light up stairways and footpaths for safe movement throughout the backyard.
GlucksteinHome Edison Bulb string lights, 11', Hudson's Bay, $30.
Metalic Dipped string lights, 9', Pottery Barn, $79 US.
Canvas Montmarte string lights, 34', Canadian Tire, $90.
Clear cafe string lights, 10', The Home Depot, $20.
2 Drinks station: A general rule of thumb when serving drinks: Unless you’re a pro mixologist, keep cocktails simple. Always have chilled beer and wine at the ready and master one or two refreshing mixed bevvies that are easy to put together.
Bar cart must haves:
1 Outdoor-safe glasses: Choose shatterproof ones for barefoot-friendly entertaining
2 Spirits and garden-fresh garnishes: Bring out everything you need to make your signature cocktails.
3 Ice bucket: Keep chilled wine and beer close at hand.
Marilla goblet in Blush, Anthropologie, $6 US.
GlucksteinHome Tritan martini glass, Hudson's Bay, $5.
Stemless wineglass, Crate and Barrel, $6.
Hobnail wineglass, West Elm, $9.
Chenco Edge cocktail glass, Wayfair.ca, $44 per set of 4.
3 Party prep: If it can be done ahead of time, do it. Do you have enough plates and cutlery? Bags of ice? Do you need to dig out a few platters from the backs of your cupboards? Have you calculated how many drinks you’ll need? Here’s some handy party math: assume each guest will have at least one drink per hour (10 guests over two hours equals 20 drinks); there are approximately five glasses of wine per bottle; a 750 ml bottle of liquor contains enough for 24 mixed drinks.
4 Bottle service: Eliminate the flow of guests moving in and out of the house by keeping refreshments near the action. With two sturdy galvanized iron tubs, this stand keeps alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks separate and allows partygoers to help themselves (so the host can sit back and enjoy the festivities). Double beverage tub with stand, Pottery Barn, $159 US.
5 Lawn games: So adult guests can kick back with a mojito, have some distractions for the little ones: plenty of lawn games (and ice pops, of course).
Must-try summer lawn games:
1 Badminton Set, Crate and Barrel, $200.
2 Bocce Set, Lee Valley, $159
3 Wooden 6-player croquet set, Lee Valley, $239.
4 Sterling Games Lawn Bowling Set, Wayfair.ca, $49.
5 Sunnylife Play on Ping Pong Set with portable net in Pineapple, Indigo, $52.
6 Yard dice, Snake Eyes Yard Games, $50 US per set of 6.