Design Inspo

Lessons Learned From Designing for Kids

My design philosophy has become this: every space should reflect the personality of the people that live there, but function comes first. Here are some ways I apply this to every design project including in my own home!

Lessons Learned From Designing for Kidsdesigned with spoak - watermark

My very first paying interior design client was six months old. Okay, so the payments may have been coming from his parents. But I always like to think of that adorable little six-month-old as my first real client because I designed the room with his needs in mind. What can we do to make the room playful but not overly stimulating? What do we think would be visually engaging? How can we design an organized space, so he has plenty of room to play? What steps can we take to make sure the room is set up for him and how he (and his parents) use it: playing, naptime, feeding, changing, bedtime, sleeping. After a few years of designing for clients that wanted kid-friendly spaces, I developed a bit of a design philosophy that I found myself applying to client projects where kids weren’t a part of the equation.

My design philosophy has become this: every space should reflect the personality of the people that live there, but function comes first. Here are some ways I apply this to every design project including in my own home!

For crying-out-loud, consider your storage needs.

I jokingly (but also very seriously) like to think of myself as an organized hoarder. So it’s no surprise that storage is a top priority. It’s also top of mind for parents who don’t want to look at the plethora of toys hanging out in their living room. But storage is essential for adults too!

There’s nothing worse than creating a stunning space where storage wasn’t considered. You end up with individual furniture pieces you love but that don’t serve you functionally. Your beautifully designed space gets taken over with little stacks and piles of stuff that don’t have a home. Suddenly, there’s nowhere to put your books, record collection, or extra iPhone cables. Start your design project by making a list of things that need to be stored or hidden from view.

Show off what you like!

If a room lacks personality or a point-of-view, it can feel a little soulless and non-committal, like the space could belong to anyone, and you’re just there temporarily. Think back to how your room looked when you were growing up. Chances are that you could tell right off the bat what you liked. Maybe you had band posters covering the wall behind your bed or pictures of your friends tacked up on a corkboard. Your space said something about who you were as a person, reflecting your personality.

While we may have aged out of band posters with curling edges held down by clear tape—if you’re still a fan of music and going to shows—you can find ways to express yourself that feel less haphazard and temporary. Take a moment and reflect on what you genuinely enjoy, and list some ways to show off what you love!

Source: Domino

Make the space convenient for you.

This is especially relevant in a space where you perform a daily routine like your kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom. Parents are all about finding ways to make their daily routines and rituals a little easier on themselves and their kids—and convenience is a significant factor to consider.

I’ve always been obsessed with how people use their space, so thinking about routines is particularly fun for me. But even if you don’t necessarily enjoy thinking about these things, identifying ways to reduce resistance in your day-to-day life is an effective way to make your space feel more custom and personalized. For example, if your daily coffee habit involves selecting a mug from a cabinet that’s on the opposite end of your kitchen from your coffee, maybe you can reconfigure things to make a little coffee station with a cute tray that has all your coffee needs and a shelf with your cutest mugs on display. Make a list of the activities that happen regularly in your space, and brainstorm ways to make these activities frictionless.

Have fun!

This piece of advice may not be for everyone because everyone has different tastes, and the idea of having fun may clash with a more subdued or serious aesthetic. However, I think it’s important not to take design too seriously. Making sure everything is picture-perfect, with the pillows fluffed just perfectly and everything overly coordinated, can sometimes make it feel like no one lives there. Instead, try to have some fun!

Bring in something oversized to experiment with scale, play around with color, and unconventionally rearrange your furniture. Although I tout the importance of function, it’s essential to keep the FUN in FUNctional (oof, that was bad). Look around you; if your space feels “done,” are there ways that you can bring in something playful? Or, if you’re just getting started on a new design project, how can you introduce some unexpected elements to breathe life into your design?

Source: @jessbunge

While everyone has a different design philosophy, I’ve found that keeping function and the personality of my client (or myself!) top of mind has been the key to a successful design project. Try out these Spoak tips and let me know what you think!  

Date Posted
June 7, 2022
Tagged
Design Inspo

Lessons Learned From Designing for Kids

My design philosophy has become this: every space should reflect the personality of the people that live there, but function comes first. Here are some ways I apply this to every design project including in my own home!

My very first paying interior design client was six months old. Okay, so the payments may have been coming from his parents. But I always like to think of that adorable little six-month-old as my first real client because I designed the room with his needs in mind. What can we do to make the room playful but not overly stimulating? What do we think would be visually engaging? How can we design an organized space, so he has plenty of room to play? What steps can we take to make sure the room is set up for him and how he (and his parents) use it: playing, naptime, feeding, changing, bedtime, sleeping. After a few years of designing for clients that wanted kid-friendly spaces, I developed a bit of a design philosophy that I found myself applying to client projects where kids weren’t a part of the equation.

My design philosophy has become this: every space should reflect the personality of the people that live there, but function comes first. Here are some ways I apply this to every design project including in my own home!

For crying-out-loud, consider your storage needs.

I jokingly (but also very seriously) like to think of myself as an organized hoarder. So it’s no surprise that storage is a top priority. It’s also top of mind for parents who don’t want to look at the plethora of toys hanging out in their living room. But storage is essential for adults too!

There’s nothing worse than creating a stunning space where storage wasn’t considered. You end up with individual furniture pieces you love but that don’t serve you functionally. Your beautifully designed space gets taken over with little stacks and piles of stuff that don’t have a home. Suddenly, there’s nowhere to put your books, record collection, or extra iPhone cables. Start your design project by making a list of things that need to be stored or hidden from view.

Show off what you like!

If a room lacks personality or a point-of-view, it can feel a little soulless and non-committal, like the space could belong to anyone, and you’re just there temporarily. Think back to how your room looked when you were growing up. Chances are that you could tell right off the bat what you liked. Maybe you had band posters covering the wall behind your bed or pictures of your friends tacked up on a corkboard. Your space said something about who you were as a person, reflecting your personality.

While we may have aged out of band posters with curling edges held down by clear tape—if you’re still a fan of music and going to shows—you can find ways to express yourself that feel less haphazard and temporary. Take a moment and reflect on what you genuinely enjoy, and list some ways to show off what you love!

Source: Domino

Make the space convenient for you.

This is especially relevant in a space where you perform a daily routine like your kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom. Parents are all about finding ways to make their daily routines and rituals a little easier on themselves and their kids—and convenience is a significant factor to consider.

I’ve always been obsessed with how people use their space, so thinking about routines is particularly fun for me. But even if you don’t necessarily enjoy thinking about these things, identifying ways to reduce resistance in your day-to-day life is an effective way to make your space feel more custom and personalized. For example, if your daily coffee habit involves selecting a mug from a cabinet that’s on the opposite end of your kitchen from your coffee, maybe you can reconfigure things to make a little coffee station with a cute tray that has all your coffee needs and a shelf with your cutest mugs on display. Make a list of the activities that happen regularly in your space, and brainstorm ways to make these activities frictionless.

Have fun!

This piece of advice may not be for everyone because everyone has different tastes, and the idea of having fun may clash with a more subdued or serious aesthetic. However, I think it’s important not to take design too seriously. Making sure everything is picture-perfect, with the pillows fluffed just perfectly and everything overly coordinated, can sometimes make it feel like no one lives there. Instead, try to have some fun!

Bring in something oversized to experiment with scale, play around with color, and unconventionally rearrange your furniture. Although I tout the importance of function, it’s essential to keep the FUN in FUNctional (oof, that was bad). Look around you; if your space feels “done,” are there ways that you can bring in something playful? Or, if you’re just getting started on a new design project, how can you introduce some unexpected elements to breathe life into your design?

Source: @jessbunge

While everyone has a different design philosophy, I’ve found that keeping function and the personality of my client (or myself!) top of mind has been the key to a successful design project. Try out these Spoak tips and let me know what you think!  

Date Posted
June 7, 2022
Tagged

's

Thingology

No items found.
No items found.
Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽
Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽
Join Spoak

Take your love of interior design to the next level with Spoak.

We are an online interior design studio for enthusiasts and professionals. Get a real-world design education, easy-to-use tools, job opportunities, and a tight-knit community. All levels welcome.

Join now