How We Design a Home that Grows with Your Kids
It’s true what they say – kids grow up fast. One day you’re bringing your little angel home for the first time. The next, they have strong opinions about things like privacy, vegetables, and screen time. Family life is constantly evolving, and fortunately, our homes can help shoulder some of that responsibility.
To keep your home supportive but not requiring constant changes, we believe in setting a timeless foundation, regardless of your child’s age. Then, we layer in the age-appropriate details that make everyday life a bit easier. Here’s how we design personal, adaptable, and timeless homes that support each stage of childhood…
Designing for Safety First
Babies: Safety is always a parent’s first concern. Babyproofing your home can feel like a large undertaking, but we begin by focusing on the important things, like installing smart outlets, temporary stair gates, and cordless window treatments.
Toddlers: Kids like to climb (and California has earthquakes), so we suggest securing any large furniture to the walls. Consider providing toddler-level access to their toys, clothes, and coats. This will prevent the need for climbing and instill some independence.
Tweens & Teens: The older they get, the more time they may spend alone at home. Installing and giving your kids access to security or doorbell cameras keeps them aware of their surroundings. Bonus? You can keep close tabs on exactly what’s happening at home even while away on a business trip.
Scandi Modern Project | Photographer: Vivian Johnson
Timeless and Flexible Bedrooms
Babies: Depending on your preferences, you may prefer to keep your baby close by. When planning the nursery, consider the travel time between your room and theirs. Late-night feedings aren’t fun. They’re even less fun when they involve climbing a flight of stairs.
Toddlers: As your toddler grows, their bedroom will change significantly. From crib to queen bed, toy chest to homework desk, their room should be easily adaptable. And depending on your home’s layout and playroom situation, you may need to include a toy storage solution that will allow them to take ownership of keeping their room tidy.
Tweens & Teens: We recommend creating a private bedroom that is comfortable enough to hang out in, with room for a reading chair, a desk, or someplace to sit that isn’t the bed.
Beach House Project | Photographer: David Duncan Livingston
Babies: One word – bathtubs. Some homes are ditching bathtubs for a more contemporary shower look, but trust us, bathtubs are still greatly needed. If you aren’t super excited about the idea of a bathtub, an easy solution is to put one in the guest bathroom. Then, as your baby grows out of the tub, they can transition to the main bathroom with a walk-in shower.
Toddlers: Toddlers are notorious for their fierce independence, so we want to ensure the bathroom is safe and includes age-appropriate amenities that are easily accessible. For example, keep a step-stool near toilets and sinks, and provide soap and towels within reach. It sounds silly, but you’ll also need to consider the toilet seat shape. Square seats look contemporary and cool, but tiny butts will fall right in!
Tweens & Teens: As your children age, durability is essential. Sweaty teenagers after soccer practice… need I say more? Select easy-to-clean finishes that grow with them, such as natural stone or quartz. If possible, provide them their own bathroom or a space that feels private, and give them complete control of keeping it neat. Why not instill some responsibility in them while we’re at it?
Extra Tip: Kids’ bathrooms should be timeless and adaptable. That pink tile your 7-year-old really wants? Stay away. (She’ll hate it when she’s a teenager.) You could compromise instead with easily swappable items in pink, like a soap caddy, plant pot, or towels.
Thoughtful Kitchen Designs
Babies: If you’re designing or renovating your kitchen, make your life easier by planning for enough extra space for a highchair or playpen so you can cook while keeping an eye on your baby. Multitasking is what moms do to survive.
Toddlers: As your kiddo begins to gain a sense of independence, they’ll want to help around the house. Why not let them? Give them a low cabinet stocked with their cups, plates, and bowls. It will keep them entertained and allow them to participate in the meal prep. Mostly. Win, win.
Tweens & Teens: “Mom…have you seen my charger?” Now that’s a question that will drive you crazy. Where do they all disappear anyway? Avoid this by designing a family command center where all the chargers and devices have a place to live. If you don’t want to clutter your counter, install a drawer with outlets and connectivity locations.
Convenient Playroom and Living Areas
Babies: It’s not fun to run upstairs for every diaper change. Instead, a playroom is an excellent place for a changing station on the main level. Your baby may not have many toys yet, but a playroom is also a spacious place to keep their activity mats – perfect for tummy time and crawling practice.
Toddlers: Ideally, the playroom should be on the same level as the kitchen or main living area. Why? So you can supervise little ones and keep their chaos contained while doing household tasks. You’ll probably also want a storage closet to keep those toys out of sight.
Tween & Teens: Playrooms take a more drastic update as your child ages and outgrows toys. We suggest turning it into a comfortable spot to complete school work separate from a bedroom. This can help with focus. Include a family-friendly sectional with performance fabrics to withstand the mess.
Mixed House: If you have a house with both teens and younger kiddos still using the playroom, consider providing an additional hangout space for your teen. Basements, family rooms, backyard pool houses, and ADUs are popular options. That way, you don’t have to worry about what’s happening behind the bedroom door.
San Francisco Style | Photographer: David Duncan Livingston
Organized Storage Solutions
Babies: For being so tiny, babies come with lots of stuff. Besides filling your car trunk to bursting, you’ll want to ensure you have enough storage space for strollers and diaper bags. As they rapidly outgrow their clothes and other items, you’ll need to decide what to do with it all. Options could include packing them away in storage bins, selling on community pages, or donating them to your favorite charity.
Toddlers: Wagons, sand toys, tricycles, scooters…the list goes on. Keep the mess contained with a designated mudroom or a larger entryway to neatly store shoes, coats, and bags. One day they will have backpacks and even larger shoes, so keep that in mind when designing your space.
Teens & Tweens: And their stuff just keeps getting bigger. Plan storage space for bikes, sports equipment, and possibly another car, if they should be so lucky.
Parenting can be overwhelming. Adding on the responsibility of managing a new build or renovation project on top of the daily challenge of keeping humans alive? Forget it. Working with a full-service design studio allows you to be as involved as you want, without the stress.
Reach out to schedule a complimentary discovery call, and let’s talk about how we can design a home that makes life easier for your family through every stage of parenthood.