A Space of their Own
In your home, you may have planned a gourmet kitchen for your love of cooking, an exercise room for your favorite fitness program or a wine cellar for tastings with friends. But, did you design spaces for your children’s favorite activities? With a little planning, you can create kid-friendly spaces to keep your children busy morning to night, and hopefully put an end to the dreaded claims of, “Mom, I am soooo bored.”
A well-designed playroom can be a haven for your children, and help to provide peace of mind for you! A dedicated playroom is about giving your children the space and the equipment needed to inspire play and spark creativity, while keeping the clutter out of your living area, so it’s important to find the right balance between fun and functionality. If you have more than one child, be sure to keep each one’s interests in mind as you plan the space. Does one like to put on stage performances, play dress up and paint, while another enjoys building forts and slaying dragons? Or is there a pre-teen in the mix, who enjoys board games and puzzles? By planning ahead you can create a flexible space that accommodates each child’s activities both today and in the future. Custom built-ins and closets with adjustable shelves or racks of oversized bins can provide ample storage for today’s toys and games, while being flexible enough to grow with your children as their interests evolve.
Indoor Sports Courts
Often located in a basement or garage, an indoor sports court can help to get kids of all ages up and moving even on exceptionally hot or inclement days. Custom markings can be added to create a truly multi-purpose room for all sorts of field and court sports. Even if ceiling height is limited, a basketball court can be created by using custom designed ceiling-mounted hoops with breakaway rims.
Do you have a budding ballerina in the family or kids that are into Dance Dance Revolution? Or, does your tango need some fine tuning? If so, perhaps an at-home dance studio is for you. Whether in a dedicated space or the corner of a bedroom or exercise area, a dance room is relatively easy to create. Regardless of the type of dance, a wall of mirrors will help your child to monitor his/her positioning, while a cushioned dance floor will relieve the stress on young bones and joints by helping to absorb the shock. Besides adding a freestanding or wall-mounted ballet barre for exercises and warm-ups, all you’ll need is a sound system for inspiration.
Do your kids love sleepovers, but there’s just no room for all of the angels to sleep? One solution is the age-old Murphy bed. Murphy beds can be concealed behind beautiful custom cabinetry to create a refined look by day and offer sleeping comfort by night. Consider adding one or two on either side of a built-in media area in your lower-level family room, office or sitting room, and you can sleep soundly knowing the kids are safe and sound under your roof.
If your child is the next Galloping Gourmet, consider creating a kid-friendly cooking area so you can encourage their epicurean ways. By lowering the counter in a specific area (doubles as a great baking station as this is often more comfortable for rolling dough) or bringing them up to your level by adding a sturdy pull-out step, you can help to make your children feel more at home in the kitchen.
While homework might never make your kids’ list of favorite activities, you can make it more productive and feel less like a chore by creating a comfortable space that helps them to focus on the task at hand. The first rule of thumb is carving out an area that is away from the distraction of the television and other children playing, yet is accessible enough for you to step in with help when necessary. The basic must-haves of a homework center are: a computer, ample work space, good lighting, a comfortable reading chair, and a child’s own pencils, pens and supplies. A hanging calendar or planner can help your child to stay organized when it comes to tracking and prioritizing assignments, and a cork or magnetic board is great for displaying all those “A’s” they are sure to bring home!