We all know how much mess kids can make in a short amount of time. They know exactly how to distribute the maximum amount of toys across the floor in the time your back is turned. And yet as parents, we usually want them to have this fun nearby so we can keep them in sight and out of mischief. So whether it’s a desire to keep them nearby or a lack of space, family playtime often takes place in the kitchen or living room.
And at the end of the day when the kids are finally in bed, you need to feel like an adult again. It’s time to crack open that bottle of wine and clear the room, not be surrounded by toys, stepping on Lego or sitting on Buzz Lightyear.
Is achieving this grown-up evening sanctum possible? Well apparently so, as Anna Barber, of House of Kin interior design studio explains:
“Over the years we’ve learnt that storage doesn’t have to be ugly, it simply needs to be cleverly incorporated into family life. Whether built-in or stand-alone, just make sure it fits aesthetically with the rest of your home, consider the space it will take up and how it impacts the room. Don’t put that bright pink plastic toy box in your neutral palette living room!”
If you have the space and budget, bespoke built-in storage is definitely a winner. “There are often so many nooks in a house that are perfect for custom storage and otherwise would just gather clutter ‘ explains Anna. ‘You just need to step back and look at your house through a different eye and be prepared to make a few layout changes to get the best use of your home”
Large cupboards or drawers are often the easiest solution and are perfect for filling with toys, shoes and all the other bits that seem to follow children around. During the day the cupboards or drawers can be open and the toys played with. At night everything goes back and hey presto, adult time!
If built-in units aren’t an option right now, try not to make style sacrifices with your storage. Here are our top 10 toy storage solutions on the market right now:
Storage bag, Play and Go
These bags are genius. By day, it’s a stylish play mat. And when it’s time to tidy up, pull the cord and everything is neatly collected and contained ready for tomorrow. LOVE.
Drawstring storage bag, Nobodinoz
These guys prove that kids designs can be cool. They have the most gorgeous prints and this toy storage bag has a drawstring top, to tuck away all those loose ends.
Foldable storage bag, H&M
We are totally in love with this storage box. The clever design lets kids use it for kitchen play and in the evening, everything can be packed up ready for the next day’s play.
Toy organiser, Great Little Trading Company
If you’re tight on space and need a utility unit, this is the one for you. It combines space for books and small toys in the front, with 2 large storage boxes at the back. Stylishly practical.
Stacking crates, This Modern Life
These amazing crates combine corner shop practicality with the most amazing colour palette! You can even stack them up as a table for a glass of wine once the kids are in bed.
Storage box, Flexa Play
If you are looking for something more permanent then this is perfect. It can double up as a bedside table or a bench in the hallway, and has a giant drawer for all those toys or shoes.
Bellybambino baskets, Belly Bambino
These handwoven seagrass baskets are the ideal blend for adults and kids. Stylish enough to be seen in most living rooms, but fun for kids too.
Bou, the rolling elephant, Bada and Bou
We are totally in love with these elephants. Cleverly designed to be a chair, a toy and space for storage, they’re stylish and functional
Mustard Lockers, Mustard Made
These lockers really work in most rooms. Whether as a side table next to the sofa, a bedside table or even coat storage in a utility room, they have a size and colour for everyone. The difficult decision will be choosing which colour to go for!
Asare upholstered bench, Made
If you have a bit more space to hand, this gorgeous storage bench would look amazing in a living room and has loads of space to hide those toys at the end of the day.
House of Kin is the first family-led interior design studio specialising in seamlessly incorporating the needs and wants of children into family life www.houseofkin.co.uk.