Homes need to be comfortable for everyone that lives there. Adults and children have different needs and usually don’t have the same aesthetic sensibility. However, children are a natural part of our lives and we believe that good design needs to be kid friendly. Just like adults, children need their space and need to be able to have some say on how it looks.
Before you start thinking that I’m a lover of plastic toys and mess and refrigerators covered with drawings, I will stop you right now. I like smartly decorated spaces that function for the grown-ups and also make the kids feel welcome. It’s okay to have rules and limits in a home, but kids do need spaces to just hang out and be a kid.
We had the pleasure of working with a mom and her 2 year old son to create a room that functioned for both of them. It had to be a place for family television watching, adult television watching, as well as a play room for the young son. It was a challenge we welcomed.
Our client loved colour. She had a beautiful piece of art that became the jumping off point for the decor of the room. We knew these were the colours we wanted to use. The room needed to be child friendly and look sophisticated as it was visible from the rest of the home.
Because we know how quickly children grow and needs change, we knew we wanted a room that was easily adaptable. Right now the train set was most important as were a place for small toys, books and simply hanging out.
We decided to break the room into sections by creating a divider with the sofa. We choose a custom sofa out of a gorgeous coloured leather. Leather being practical for children, the colour elevating the look. Behind the sofa we put two bookshelves that hold small toys and little boy treasures.
The sofa faces the television and effectively hides the play area. Toys are allowed to be set up however the little boy likes in his own area. If the toys are brought to the other side of the room, they must be cleaned up after use.
We hung some shelves on the wall so that visually there’s a reason why the sofa sits where it does. Right now the top shelf if too high for the boy to reach, so we put on a prized model boat as well as some photos. The lower shelves belong to the boy and hold sticks, rocks, stuffed animals and all things important to a boy.
When it came time to design a built in unit to hold the television, we wanted something that would look seamless. We also wanted it to do more then one function. We came up with a design and gave it to our custom cabinet makers. It’s finished in such a way, that if this room ever becomes a bedroom, it makes a lovely dresser. The drawers on the bottom are actually two separate units that can be pulled out. The television cabinet can become a desk and the sets of drawers can be moved around to hold files. Yes they too have a dual purpose – clothes or files. For safety’s sake, the bottom drawers are attached to the wall.
We all know that it’s the finishing decor touches that make a room look great. We added a cozy throw, down filled cushions, and used this rustic coffee table that can take cars running up and down it. We finished off the decor with our signature tray that holds books, and most importantly, the remote control.
A custom bench with a colourful non-traditional plaid adds to the layers of the room. Green baskets under the coffee table add additional storage.
We’re proud to say that both the adult and child client loved their new space. It’s bright, colourful, organized and pretty. There’s a place for everything and it’s a great space to hang out in. We love how it suits the purpose of today and can grown with them.
We love ‘Designing for Real Life’. We create liveable, flexible spaces that are as unique as the people that live there.
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Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It's not about how much you have, it's about using what you have to create beauty.