There are certain things that change when you become a parent. Like a section of your living room will inevitably become the kiddy zone, in a vague attempt to keep all the toys in one spot instead of strewn about your entire house (which they will be anyway by the end of the day). We have three little zones in our living-dining are of our place. Oscar has his books on the lowest level of a bookshelf, for his afternoon reading (his preferred reading time), his tent (that my Dad (99%) and I (1%) made) that houses his soft toys though he's still a bit young for it at the moment, and lastly a play-pen zone for those times I need to properly contain the beast and where most of his things are. It's hard to get these kiddy area's looking nice, and matching in with the rest of the style of the house.
My pet hate is that car-track kiddy carpet from Ikea that seems to be everywhere. Really can't stand it. Our play pen area has a foam puzzle-piece floor, as our actual floors are concrete and Oscar is a pretty rough and tumble so we needed something to break the falls. But let me tell you, foam puzzle pieces while practical are far from sexy. What I would love is some fab and fun – yet actually stylish – flooring from Kinder Ground. The floor tiles come in three shapes; hexagon, triangle, and diamond and you can design your own configuration to fit your space. Very cool. They're made from 100% New Zealand wool, and have a non-slip base. Lovely solution to nice spaces for little people.