By Laura Gaskill, Houzz
Living with kids poses ever-changing challenges — but also can be a good deal of fun. Whether with indoor hammocks or smart homework stations, these creative homeowners from around the world have made the most of life with little (and not-so-little) ones.
Simply Scandinavian in the Netherlands
Who lives here: Fleur Croes, co-owner of Interieur Design by Nicole & Fleur; husband Rogier Croes; daughter Jana, 9; and son Tim, 7
Location: Maarssen, the Netherlands
The Netherlands home of Rogier and Fleur Croes is a study in simplicity — but it’s not short on play, either. Case in point: Rogier was inspired to build the treehouse bed shown here for his daughter, Jana, after seeing a similar platform bed by Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek. Jana can use the hanging rope to get down quickly from the top, while the wall-size world map contributes to the wanderlust vibe. Related: See More Cool and Creative Kids’ Beds
World map: Ikea
Reclaimed Wonder in Ireland
Who lives here: Aoibheann MacNamara, owner of Ard Bia Interiors, Ard Bia Cafe and Restaurant, and The Tweed Project; and her son, Öni, 7
Location: Galway, Ireland
As a former garage and carpentry workshop, the home of Aoibheann MacNamara and her son, Öni, had to undergo a major transformation before becoming the warm and welcoming space it is today. Living in a reclaimed industrial space does have its perks, though — including vast amounts of space, smooth floors perfect for riding a trike and even room for a set of gym rings. (Be sure to use a gymnastics mat below for safety if you have rings of your own.) “Öni swings on them all the time,” Aoibheann says. “We have the space for it, so it’s lovely.”
A ‘20-Year Home’ in Melbourne
Who lives here: Prue and Tom Walstab and their children, Max, 12, and Mimi, 9
Location: Brighton East, Victoria, Australia
When designing their home, Prue and Tom Walstab wanted to make sure it would work for their family at least until their kids are grown — no more moving! One key feature in their planning was the space shown here, a kid-centric area on the ground floor that includes a large, flexible space where the children can study, do crafts and practice musical instruments. “I knew from the start that I wanted an office for the kids,” Prue says. “This space is a hub of activity. There is always a kid in here — and not always one of my kids!”
Modern Color in Nashville
Who lives here: Genie, owner of Arcade; Alex Lockwood, an artist; and their sons, Roman, 4, and Oscar, 2
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
One of Genie and Alex Lockwood’s favorite features in the Nashville, Tennessee, home they share with their two sons is the Vitsœ shelving in Roman’s room. “It’s such a simple way to display toys and games while also providing an amazing storage solution,” Genie says.
Creative Collectors in Sydney
Who lives here: Rochelle and Wojciech Wawrzyniak and their sons, Roman, 5, and Adrian, 2
Location: Five Dock, Sydney, Australia
Rochelle and Wojciech Wawrzyniak love art and collecting treasures, but living in their apartment has meant also learning when to pull back and embrace a more minimalist spirit. In the boys’ bedroom, shown here, the cheerful cloud-print walls and loft bed make it the ideal place for them to play and sleep. “It’s small with a lot going on,” Rochelle says, “but I think it has a good balance of stuff and space.”
The loft bed, made by Wojciech with the help of his dad and a friend, incorporates shelving below, which takes the place of free-standing bookshelves and storage and helps the room feel more spacious.
Laid-Back Living in Echo Park
Who lives here: Beatrice Valenzuela and Ramsey Conder; their two kids, Astrid, 6, and Dimitri, 21 months; and their green canary, flock of hens and two quails
Location: Echo Park area of Los Angeles, overlooking Elysian Park
With a hammock swaying in the breeze, how can you not feel relaxed? That’s the theory behind the laid-back family home that Beatrice Valenzuela and Ramsey Condor share with their two children, and it seems to be working well. “We’ve always had hammocks,” Valenzuela says. “My grandmother has them all over her porch, and I grew up sleeping in them when I visited.” Large sliding windows offer a view of treetops for someone swaying in the sunny yellow hammock, and outdoors, a long veranda stretching the length of the house offers more opportunities for lounging.
Edible Backyard in Silicon Valley
Who lives here: Aislin and Tim Gibson, their two sons and three chickens
Location: San Jose, California
When their backyard swimming pool required extensive and costly repairs just a few years after they moved into their home, Aislin and Tim Gibson made the decision to have it filled in and reclaim their backyard. Now, in place of the pool, they have an edible backyard oasis, complete with veggie garden, chicken coop and beehives. The cladding of the coop is made of salvaged redwood planks pulled from an old deck at Tim’s parents’ house. Tim had helped his dad build the original deck when he was 13 years old, and the Gibson boys participated in building the coop.
Growing a Family in Melbourne
Who lives here: Jenna and Jon Purcell and their children, Zoe, 15, Sam, 12, Emma, 9, and Max, 6
Location: Deepdene, Victoria, Australia
When Jenna and Jon Purcell moved into their home with three small children, it seemed more than big enough for their family — but 10 years later, with one new addition to the family and the older kids reaching their teen years, the house suddenly seemed not quite big enough. A two-story addition to the back of the home added some much-needed living space, including a large open-plan living area downstairs. “One of the best features of the house is the glass dividing door between the kitchen and family room, so while the spaces feel open, we can eliminate the noise by sliding the door across. With four kids we have lots of noise!” Jenna says.
Plus, it’s easy to encourage the kids to play outdoors: With a pool and an artificial-turf basketball court, this space is a paradise for the young ones that’s used every day.
All photos are originally from My Houzz, a series in which we visit and photograph creative, personality-filled homes and the people who inhabit them.