It’s that time of the year again and whether you’re looking to revamp your child’s homework nook, make your kitchen more kid-friendly or are ready to tackle a full bedroom makeover, we’ve got you covered with our favorite kid-friendly home projects. 

Designer Jenna LeBlanc of Jenna Sue Design has a talent for creating statement-making designs on a budget. Recently, the designer unveiled her Tampa, Florida, playroom, which features floor-to-ceiling custom storage with DIY Shaker fronts and fluted paneling on IKEA Sektion cabinets. The best part? The fluting adds a high-end look for just $25 per panel. In lieu of spending thousands working with a contractor, her DIY not only saved money but is highly functional, ideal as she’s the parent of a toddler. (Hello to plenty of toy storage!) “This was definitely one of our more involved projects, but I think it’s my favorite IKEA hack yet,” she says. Get the step-by-step details here

Now, the 400-square-foot playroom, which was once a dingy attic, includes a built-in desk, impactful wall-to-wall mural, DIY’d feather chandelier, and is the ideal family space. 

Child-friendly Not Childish

Sarah Sherman Samuel transformed her son, Archie’s, bedroom into a color-rich, patterned paradise with DIY arched bunk beds made from MDF and plywood and a credenza with SSS Quarterline fronts, a modern spin on the traditional shaker. For the credenza, she utilized a Besta frame as well as two Quarterline doors in Agave. The storage center pairs well against the trendy green bunks, striped ceiling and Justina Blakeney tiger rug, and is another example of how easily a Besta unit can be transformed into fabulous storage.

For her daughter, Clover’s, room she once again went for a storage option using Quarterline fronts, but this time in blush. You’d never guess that the sophisticated piece was cost-friendly and perfect for storing toys, books, and stuffed animals. 

Design With Kids in Mind

When it came to Jessica Jones’s Northern California renovation, she knew she wanted a light, bright, and highly functional kitchen. Originally built in the 1980s, its compact layout with little storage left a lot to the imagination. In with clever built-ins, DIY Shaker fronts, a central island with Chris Loves Julia Cove fronts (she even included toy storage within for her young daughter) and calacatta gold countertops. To make the kitchen design even more child-friendly, Jones created a dedicated zone in the pantry, the “baking corner,” where she makes delicious treats for her family and can get her daughter involved along the way. 

White kitchen cabinets with wood island

Photo by Nicole Dianne; design by Jessica Jones

Storage Made Easy

This media console hack is the best for keeping mess at bay. Velinda Hellen transformed a family’s East Los Angeles home into storage central thanks to a Besta units and DIY Slab fronts. The couple, who are both chefs, wanted a Scandinavian-meets-farmhouse look with both open and closed storage to conceal their child’s toys. “The slab fronts elevate it,” says the designer. 

Living room white built-in credenza under television

Photography by Sara Tramp; design by Velinda Hellen

Upgrade Unused Square Footage

An underutilized laundry/storage room has become an aesthetically pleasing workstation with the help of designer Casey Mason. Once long and narrow, the 20-by-5 layout was an eyesore but has transformed into a beachy office filled with storage options. The L-shaped desk was the ideal shape given the unusual floor plan, while built-in drawers, white tongue-and-groove paneling and blue geometric floor tile have led to its dramatic transformation. While the design wasn’t carried out with children in mind, this simple setup would be perfect for a work-from-home space, homework area, or teenage study zone. 

Narrow home office white shiplap butcher block desk

Photography by Lindsey Drewes; design by Casey Mason

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What’s the best paint color for my kitchen cabinets? How do I personalize my rental without renovating? Which interior design trends will stick around beyond 2021? How did marble become so popular in kitchen design (and should I splurge on my dream countertops)? Our interior design journeys are filled with questions which we at SemiStories attempt to answer every week through expert interviews, inspiring home tours, and trend reports. “Do As a Designer Does,” our monthly advice column, takes us behind the scenes of kitchen and bathroom design (and beyond) by spotlighting the best brains in the business. Here, we turn the microphone over to you to ask all your burning interior design, trend, and renovation questions to your favorite experts, from Sarah Sherman Samuel to Bobby Berk. Have a question? Shoot us a message on Instagram, or email us at editorial@semihandmade.com for a chance to be featured! Have you ever wondered why certain details exist in your home? Maybe you’ve questioned who came up with the idea for forks, or perhaps you’ve contemplated how pantries have evolved over centuries—after all, both can be intriguing in their own right. The truth is, most of what we surround ourselves with at home has an interesting story to tell. In our monthly series “Design History” with (actual) design historian Amy Azzarito, we’ll explore the backstories of your favorite things. Home tours are intriguing for a reason: they give us a rare glimpse into the way other people live and inspire us to improve our own spaces. Maybe it’ll motivate you to paint your laundry room a bright sunshine yellow, persuade you a stacked teal backsplash is the way to go, or convince you the entryway is the perfect place for a gumball machine (hey, why not?). Whatever you take away, we have no doubt you’ll get tons of kitchen and bathroom design ideas to bring home. Are farmhouse islands here to stay? What will be the biggest interior design and hardware trends in 2021? Will the pandemic affect what homes of the future look like? Our weekly trend stories will keep your finger on the pulse of interior design, renovating, and more.
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