Family-Friendly Family Rooms

Living Rooms that Work for Kids and Pets

Let’s face it, kids and pets live life with reckless abandon.  They don’t have the restraint to take it easy on delicate items.  Whether two legged or four, these little housemates that we love so much tend to run and bounce and get rambunctious.


No matter how gorgeous they look, unforgiving fabrics, breakable room accessories and delicate finishes just don’t make sense in a room frequented by pets and kids.  They run through the house leaving tufts of fur and messes in their wake.

Gone are the days with a formal living room that is off limits to half the household.  Today the whole family lives in every room of the house.
Gone are the days with a formal living room that is off limits to half the household.  Today the whole family lives in every room of the house.

With a strategic look at your living room furnishings, it is easy to make sure it is as family friendly as it is stylish and comfortable.  Here are some of our favorite and most implementable tips:


Stain Resistant Fabrics


Make your living room kid and pet friendly by choosing seating that is upholstered in material that can handle some spills, drips, scribbles and scrapes.


Leather is a resilient and stylish pick.  Durable and stain resistant, it can handle most accidents and spills with just a quick wipe up.  Rough play with edgy toys or pet claws will typically glide right across the surface without leaving a mark.  If an occasional scratch sets in it easily becomes part of the patina of this long wearing material.

If leather isn’t in your style profile or budget, look for performance fabrics that are water repellent and stain resistant like Microfiber.  Not only are today’s performance fabrics durable, they are soft, cozy and irresistible.


Or opt for seating sets with slip covers that can be removed and tossed into the washer whenever there’s a mishap.


Choose medium to dark fabrics for your furnishings, and possibly even a pattern.  These will better disguise any oopsies that become permanent.  Then lighten things up in the room with paler shades in your area rug and toss pillows.

Seating for All

Need to seat a crowd?  Look for a sectional.  With plenty of configuration options these roomy sofas provide your family the seating space you need to gather together for movie night or snuggle up for story time.



Lots of choices that work well in a playroom will also provide your kids comfort in the living room.


Consider pint sized chairs that fit your kiddos or poofs and ottomans that provide cozy close-to-the-ground seating.  A few extra oversized floor pillows are handy if your gang likes to spend time together on the floor.


A comfy pet bed or sofa is a great choice if you’ve got a furry friend that likes to curl up or sprawl out on their own.


Durable, Family Friendly Rugs

For busy living rooms that feel like a thoroughfare, many families find that an indoor/outdoor rug provide a perfect compromise offering style, softness and durability.  Families spend a lot of time on the floor and having a soft surface to land is a must.  But so is holding up to daily play and any number of spills and accidents.

Many indoor/outdoor rugs have a look and feel that would never betray their robust nature.  They tend to wipe up easily.  And when a vacuuming or spot cleaning won’t do the job, simply take it out back and hose it down.


Room to Play

Make some space for family fun and games.  Oversized coffee tables are great for board games, cards, puzzles or train tracks.  Its best to avoid glass tops and even consider round tables for tots or smaller (or add bumpers until the kids get bigger and more stable).


Cushioned oversized cocktail ottomans make another great choice.  And if you can swing it, opt for storage.  A few drawers help keep items safe from grabby fingers and swinging tails.

Casual Art

We all know that art and décor add interest, personality and color to your room.  Often families find it fun to personalize their living room with photo collections or portraits of their kids.


Sometimes your kids will come up with fabulous abstract art that can be framed and put up on the walls. So hand your tots a paintbrush and a smock and let them channel their inner Picasso.  Everyone loves a room that they feel a part of. And it doesn’t get much more personalized than that.

Storage, Storage and More Storage

With a house full of kids comes a house full of stuff.  There is no end to the number of toys, games, and accessories involved.  Look for accent items that have drawers, baskets or bins so that you’ve got places to put things away.  This will help keep the space livable for both kids and adults.

Opt for the Lived-in Look

Pick tables and cabinets that have a distressed or weathered finish.  They will come with some purposeful nicks and chips already — new dings won’t be as noticeable.

Resilient Lamps and Accessories

With little feet pattering around, arms flailing and tails a-waggin’ it is smart to look for durable lamps and accessories that can handle getting knocked over once in a while.  Look for wide, weighted bases that don’t topple easily and materials that won’t shatter if they hit the floor.


Keep some Open Floor Space

Don’t pack your family room with furniture.  Leave some open space.  Not only will it give you room to stretch out, play and easily navigate around the room, but kids need space to let their minds explore and create while their bodies move.  Extra floor space encourages active play, movement, dancing and even putting on shows.



Creating a living room that works for kids and pets can give you license to have a little fun and not take your decorating too seriously.  It’s easy to pull together a room where each member of the family feels comfortable and welcome.  And that’s the perfect way to create a space that becomes a backdrop for lasting family memories.