How to Design a Minimalist Home That Is Still Kid-Friendly

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Minimalist neutral children's play space.

Design: LTW Design / Photo: Andrea Carson

When you think of kid-friendly spaces, the word "minimalist" probably doesn’t come to mind. But, designer Leia T. Ward of LTW Design is here to challenge that idea. Ward tells us that minimalist spaces aren’t just possible with kids—they’re actually hugely beneficial.

“Minimalist spaces are actually great for kids, as less clutter means fewer distractions," Ward shares with us. Less distracted kids equals better behavior, and that's a win for any parent.

So, take heart, minimalists. When it comes down to it, any space is kid-friendly if it's designed with room for them to play, create, and use their imaginations. Here are Ward's best tips for creating a home that feels minimal, but still allows your kids room for play.

Less Clutter Means Fewer Distractions

playroom ideas

Design by JK Interior Living

"When it comes to toys, I believe it’s better to have a few great toys and activities they can focus on and play with versus a ton of various toys and games they tend to never play with," Ward says. And to cut down on clutter, Ward suggests concealing your kids' gadgets with matching storage bins.

Open Spaces Medium Storage Bins, Set of 2

4.5
Open Spaces Medium Storage Bins, Set of 2

Open Spaces

Ensure Everything Has Its Place

playroom ideas

Design by Cathie Hong Interiors

If you’re looking to tackle a kid-friendly minimalist space, then Ward’s number one suggestion? Give everything a home of its own.

“My top tip is to have a space for everything to live,” she tells us. “Diapers go on a shelf or in a bin to pull from, for example, and bibs go in a specific draw or basket. The baby gear can be overwhelming in the beginning, so allocating storage areas for everything will prevent things from piling up and adding to that feeling of overwhelm.”

If you’re looking for storage solutions, then Ward says that bins are the answer. “Bins with kids are always great for hiding clutter, especially if they are stackable!

Brightroom Small Stackable Bins With Front Opening

Small Stackable Bins Front Opening Clear Plastic

Courtesy of Target

Choose Your Textiles Wisely

Cozy minimalist kid-friendly hangout loft.

Design: LTW Design / Photo: Andrea Carson

A hallmark of minimalism is white, light, and bright everything, but Ward says there are ways around this without losing the aesthetic.

“I wouldn’t recommend pure white for parents,” she notes. “Instead, there are many fabrics that are two-toned and appear white from afar, but up close, they are two-dimensional. Warm, grey and white mixed appears white when you step back.”

The fabric matters, too. “Performance fabrics that are two-toned neutral colors are great for adding texture and are more forgiving with visibility of any stains that may occur," Ward suggests.

Wayfair Wide Swivel Barrel Chair

Wide Swivel Barrel Chair

Wayfair

Stylize Your Babyproofing

Nursery room with white painted brick walls and neutral-colored furniture

The Spruce / Christopher Lee Foto

Babyproofing can be notoriously ugly—but it doesn’t have to be. “Plexiglass baby gates are more minimal and tend to disappear to the eye, which is nice,” Ward says.

ClearVis Stepover Gate

Stepover Gate

Amazon

Shop for Toys Strategically

Minimalist neutral children's play space.

Design: LTW Design / Photo: Andrea Carson

It’s an unfortunate truth that one of the biggest eyesores for parents is plastic toys. But, you don’t have to stock your home with bright, shiny plastic.

“Wood, wood, wood all the way for toys,” Ward says. “I love the natural feel and the craftsmanship. I try to stay away from primary colors in toys and reserve those for the kids' books.”

This is also true for bathtime. “You can’t have too many bath toys, but realistically, kids can only play with one toy at a time,” Ward notes. “I recommend keeping a plastic bin under the sink and only bringing out two toys at a time for a bath. That way, kids can focus on those toys and use their imagination more.”

Nuanchu Wooden Baby Toys

Wooden Baby Toys

Amazon