14 Insanely Fun Ideas to Steal From a Kid-Friendly Home

It's no secret that our homes inevitably change when children enter the picture. We're bombarded with baby paraphernalia, pint-size furniture, and toys in garish colors. Stepping barefoot on a stray Lego brick is a parental rite of passage. As a sanity-saving measure, we label bins, organize closets, and even dedicate entire rooms to toys in hope of tempering the visual chaos. Finding the sweet spot between boisterous and boring can be a real struggle, but this Toronto Airbnb nailed it. Fun features are cleverly sprinkled throughout the house. The result is a family home that serves as a harmonious playground for children and adults alike. Take a peek inside for a slew of inspiring ideas!

A bunk bed climbing wall
Dana Miller | House*Tweaking

A bunk bed climbing wall

Ditch the ladder and opt for a climbing wall at one end of a bunk bed instead. Not only is it a supercool feature, but it also takes up less floor space. You can find climbing holds on Amazon.

Bunk bed stairs
Dana Miller | House*Tweaking

Bunk bed stairs

A freestanding staircase is another nonladder idea that can be used to gain access to the top bunk. Bonus: the stairs double as toy storage!

An in-house fort
Dana Miller | House*Tweaking

An in-house fort

Kids love building forts out of pillows, blankets, and freestanding furniture. Take that creative idea one step further with a built-in fort. Add cutouts, shelves, a crib mattress, and a ladder to complete the look. It's like an indoor tree house! The space beneath can be used as a puppet theater with a hinged door that doubles as a stage.

A tepee hangout
Dana Miller | House*Tweaking

A tepee hangout

Indoor tepees are extremely popular, and it's easy to see why. They're little rooms within rooms that feel secretive and special. Make your own, or buy a basic canvas tepee and put your spin on it with paint, bunting, and twinkle lights. Toss in a pile of books and flashlights to encourage quiet time.

A toy trunk as an end table
Dana Miller | House*Tweaking

A toy trunk as an end table

Place a vintage trunk next to a sofa to corral toys while still providing a surface for the TV remote, drinks, and reading material.

A sprawling sectional sans coffee table
Dana Miller | House*Tweaking

A sprawling sectional sans coffee table

An L-shaped sectional makes the most of limited space in a small family room. Forgo a coffee table in favor of a plush rug so kids can plop down to play or watch movies.

An indoor swing
Dana Miller | House*Tweaking

An indoor swing

What could possibly be more fun than an indoor swing?! Hang one in a common area for hours of entertainment. Use basic, inexpensive supplies from a local home improvement store. Enlist the help of a professional if installation is beyond your skill set.

Mix-and-match dining chairs
Dana Miller | House*Tweaking

Mix-and-match dining chairs

Even though studies show that sitting down to dinner has numerous health, social, financial, and academic benefits, the quintessential family dinner is on the brink of extinction due to busy schedules and screens. Help preserve it by pulling children's chairs right up to the grown-ups' table. Numerous retailers offer stylish, kid-friendly options, but vintage stools work just as well. Give kids a turn at the head of the table to lead the (humorous) dinner conversation.

An art table under the stairs
Dana Miller | House*Tweaking

An art table under the stairs

Slip a kid-size table and chairs under a staircase to encourage spontaneous drawing and crafting sessions. Corral crayons, colored pencils, washable markers, scissors, and glue in a vintage utensil holder, and leave a stack of scrap paper on the table.

Numbered stairs
Dana Miller | House*Tweaking

Numbered stairs

Numbered stairs make learning to count fun! Scout antique stores and thrift shops for vintage numbers (they don't have to match) that can be tacked on to stair risers.

A little library
Dana Miller | House*Tweaking

A little library

An in-home children's library fosters big imagination, but it doesn't require a ton of space. A simple wall mount bookshelf can be used when space is limited. Load it with books, throw in a bean bag chair, and voila! Instant library.

A window seat with drawers
Dana Miller | House*Tweaking

A window seat with drawers

A cushioned window seat is a dreamy spot for reading and napping. (Dormer windows are especially magical.) Built-in Ikea drawers provide storage for toys, clothing, or extra linens. Playfully patterned textiles can be sewn into curtains and cushion covers for a cozy effect.

A built-in dresser
Dana Miller | House*Tweaking

A built-in dresser

To free up floor space for play, an Ikea dresser can be tucked into an eave and built in. It's also a great way to optimize otherwise wasted space.

Colorful, custom toy shelves
Dana Miller | House*Tweaking

Colorful, custom toy shelves

Create open toy storage in a children's room with plywood and leftover paint. Design shelving to accommodate especially large or small items so kids can see what they have and tidy up quickly. Pitched "roofs" and a fresh color scheme add personality.