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On Location with HGTV: All Fun & Games

When it comes to creating welcoming rooms for the youngest members of the family, we make it look like child’s play.

drew and jonathan in fun zone

Kids today—always on their TikToks and their YouTubes… Wait a minute; that sounds more like us! Kids want to romp and run and interact with the real world. They need spaces of their own to concentrate on schoolwork, hang out with friends, or just zone out on the couch. But how do we design a room that’s fun and engaging for kids (who are usually cooler than we are)?

Typically, we start by listening. We incorporate older kids into the design process, interviewing them along with their parents about what they want to see in the renovation. After all, it’s their home, too! And you’d be surprised: Despite the hours they might spend on their phones, a lot of teenagers crave shared spaces where they can hang out with—wait for it—their families! But they want to put their own signature touch on a room, whether it’s a color scheme, wallpaper pattern, or design element or piece of furniture that’s just for them.

That goes for younger children, too. And parents can help drive those decisions in a way that feels familiar to them. Smaller seating, easy-to-reach storage, and bright, colorful designs will help them feel right at home, ironically, by feeling more like the places they go outside of the home, like daycare or school.

No matter whether you have a dedicated room or a smaller space everyone will share, the key is to allow kids to celebrate their individuality, to bring their true selves into the creation (and therefore use!) of a space. If they see themselves reflected in the design, they’ll feel safe, welcomed, and part of the whole. The best part of renovating a family space is seeing the kids’ faces light up when they realize they have a place just for them.

“We encourage families to incorporate their kids into the design process. Often their ideas are the best of the bunch!”


Basement family rooms are common in many of the homes we work on, and often the first thing families want to renovate. We always try to create a space that’s fun for kids, with a design that’s sophisticated enough for the grown-ups to feel comfortable, too.

kids art area with rulers on wall

Designating a kids’ area in an open layout means defining the space—and in this case, measuring it, too! It also helps to add personalization to the space, like we did with these growth charts. Now every child in the family can claim a piece of their craft corner.

kids study area with white boards and wall shelves

We get asked a lot to create study areas for preteens and teenagers, but that doesn’t mean they have to be sterile. Creating space for creativity, like these whiteboards, can lead to both a love for learning and a place to doodle (after their homework is done, of course).

colorful kids space with wall shelves and TV

Kids’ spaces often end up fitting into unconventional areas in the home, like this converted enclosed deck. Embrace the whimsy and double down with bright colors, bold patterns, and surprising elements, like sliding barn doors.

older kids study space with roller chairs and art on walls

When it comes to study stations for older kids, sometimes they need their own spot to focus and finish assignments away from the distractions of screens. Giving kids individualized storage spaces will provide the privacy they want and the organization you want.

Stylish Stuff They’ll Love

raffia basket in pink with tropical decorations

Repurpose the plastic tubs and stash their toys in this Raffia Basket (starting at $99), with its cheerful, tropical vibes.

color outside the lines flag

Hang this graphic Camp Flag ($60) (a collab with designer Max Humphrey) in their space as a reminder to stay creative.

striped colorful charcoal beanbag chair

Not only is this Charcoal Bean Bag (starting at $140) sustainably made, it’s also big enough to be used by adults, too. Dibs!

By Drew & Jonathan | Room images courtesy of HGTV | Product images courtesy of the brands

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