How to Arrange an Open-Plan Living Space to Include a Children’s Play Area?

April 18, 2024

Navigating the world of interior design is not always a straightforward task, especially when trying to create inclusive spaces that cater to the needs of every family member. A particularly challenging task is arranging an open-plan living space to incorporate a children’s play area. This might seem like a daunting task but with the right mindset, a dash of creativity, and a few practical tips, you can transform your open-plan living space into a family-friendly haven.

Choosing the Perfect Spot for the Play Area

The first step in creating a children’s play area in an open-plan living space is choosing the right spot. This area should be one where your kids can freely play with their toys without interrupting the flow of the rest of the space, but also a place where you can easily keep an eye on them.

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Place the play area near a natural source of light if possible. This will brighten up the room and create a lively and energetic atmosphere for the children. You could use the space near a window or under a skylight. However, make sure the area is safe and away from hazards like sharp furniture corners, or electronic devices.

Houzz, a popular platform for home renovation and design, suggests that the play area should not be too isolated. It’s important for kids to feel a part of the family activities even when they’re engaged in play. A corner of the room is an ideal location as it allows for a designated play zone without separating kids from the rest of the family.

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Incorporating Storage Solutions

One of the main challenges of having a play area in a living space is the inevitable clutter of toys. But don’t worry, you can easily tackle this issue by incorporating clever storage solutions in your design.

Invest in furniture that doubles as storage units. A coffee table with a hidden storage area, or a sofa that opens up to a toy box, are examples of the kind of multifunctional furniture you might consider. Small storage boxes that fit into the existing shelves or under the table can also be used to stow away toys after playtime.

Remember, the storage solutions should not only be functional but also aesthetically pleasing. Choose boxes or baskets in colors that match the rest of your living room decor. This way, even when the toys are cleared away, the playroom decor will blend with the overall living room design, maintaining a cohesive look.

Designing a Kid-Friendly Area

When designing a kid-friendly area, safety and comfort should be your primary concerns. Ensure that the furniture is child-sized so that the kids can comfortably sit, play, and move around without risk of injury.

Rugs and cushions can be spread on the floor for kids to sit on. These can be easily cleaned or changed in case of spills or stains. Furniture with rounded edges is a safer option in a kid’s play area. Avoid glass tables or furniture with sharp corners which pose a risk for children.

Furthermore, wall decorations or art placed in the play area should be hung at a height where it won’t accidentally get knocked over by boisterous play.

Integrating the Play Area into the Living Space

The key to successfully integrating a children’s play area into an open-plan living space is to create a balance between the adult and child spaces. The play area should not overpower the living space, but also not be too small or insignificant.

One way to accomplish this is by using room dividers. These do not have to be physical walls. They can be bookshelves, a sofa, a rug, or even a change in the wall color or floor material. These subtle markers can help visually separate the living area from the play area.

Another way to seamlessly integrate the play area is by coordinating the color scheme of the play area with that of the living room. This will create a harmonious look and make the play area look like it’s a part of the living space instead of an addition.

Making the Space Evolve with Your Kids

It’s important to remember that as your children grow, their play needs will change. The play area you create should be able to evolve with your kids.

Invest in furniture and storage units that can be easily transformed or updated. For instance, a play table can be later used as a study desk. Similarly, storage boxes for toys can later store books or craft supplies.

Another smart idea is to use removable wall decals or wallpapers in the play area. As your child grows, their preference for certain characters or themes will change. Removable decor allows you to easily update the look of the play area to match the child’s age and interests.

Arranging an open-plan living space to include a children’s play area requires careful planning and a good understanding of your family’s needs. However, with the help of these ideas, you should be able to create a space that is not only fun and engaging for the children but also stylish and cohesive with the rest of your living area.

Creating a Dynamic and Interactive Environment

To design a family-friendly living space that caters to both adults and kids, you need to create a dynamic and interactive environment. This would help to ensure that every family member is engaged and satisfied with the shared space.

When selecting toys for the play area, prioritize those that encourage creativity and interaction. These might include a play kitchen where your kids can pretend to cook, or an art station where they can explore their artistic side. You could also include a reading corner with a selection of your child’s favorite books to encourage a love of reading.

Interactive toys not only keep the kids engaged but also help in their development. According to experts in child psychology, interactive play helps children understand the world, develop language skills, and learn social norms.

Ensure that the interactive environment you create is also flexible. Allow your children to rearrange the toys or furniture in the play area to suit their current play needs. This gives them a sense of ownership over the space, which helps them feel more comfortable and secure.

Remember, a successful open-plan family room is one that caters to the needs of all family members, while also being flexible enough to adapt to changing needs and preferences.

Making the Most of Your Open-Plan Living Space

Creating a playroom-living room combo is a great way to make the most of your open-plan living space. Doing this effectively, however, requires a good understanding of your family’s needs and a careful balance between the adult and kids’ areas.

When designing this space, think about how different areas will be used and by whom. This will help you determine where to place furniture and storage units, and how to arrange the play area.

Consider the flow of the room. A good open-plan living space should allow for seamless movement from one area to another. Avoid placing large furniture in high-traffic areas, as this might disrupt the flow of the room.

Above all, strive to create a harmonious and cohesive look by using similar colors, materials, and styles in both the living and play areas. This will help to visually tie the two areas together, enhancing the sense of unity and balance in the room.


Designing a child-friendly open plan living space is all about finding ways to seamlessly incorporate a play area without compromising the aesthetics or functionality of the room. By following these tips, you should be able to create a family-friendly living area that caters to everyone’s needs.

Remember to focus on safety and comfort when designing the play area, and to use clever storage solutions to deal with toy clutter. Don’t forget to make the space dynamic and interactive to keep the kids engaged, and flexible enough to evolve with your children’s changing needs.

With the right planning and creativity, your open-plan living room can be transformed into a space that beautifully blends adult sophistication with child-friendly fun. Whether it’s a cozy reading nook, an exciting play kitchen, or a relaxing family room, your open-plan living space can be all this and more. So get creative and start designing your perfect family-friendly living room today!