Photo by Jane Beiles
Rooms for kids (no matter what age) can be hard because they have to appeal to the parents, as well as to the kids who inhabit them. But as seen in these three rooms — a play space, a craft room, and a teen hangout — fun and function can live together, making these parents and their children very happy.
– Totally for a Teen –
By Cami Luppino and Alana Irwin, Lulu Home
This space was created for a teenager and her girl gang. “We selected punchy colors, layered in super-fun accessories, unique vintage finds, and playful surfboard art to create a memorable hang space for this teen,” says Cami Luppino of Lulu Home. “Our jumping-off point for this space was the Kerri Rosenthal whimsical fabrics on the pillows.”
Keep in mind that teens love hanging with their friends, so keeping the space colorful and casual while providing lots of seating areas for them to gather and various play zones to keep them entertained were key.
One of the standout features here is the ping-pong table. “We loved creating the colorful, graffiti, custom ping-pong table,” says Luppino. “[It reminds] this teen ‘to own her magic.’”
Things to Keep in Mind
• You want it to be fun and sophisticated, so it will grow with the teen.
• Let him or her get involved in the design, so it is personalized to them.
• Lots of seating is key. It keeps everyone comfortable and happy, and it provides a fun way to inject some color and whimsical design choices.
At Least 3 Complementary Colors + At Least 3 Places to Sit and Hang + 3 Distinct Play Zones = A Teen’s Dream
– A Creative Craft Room –
By Claire Paquin, Clean Design Partners
“The perfect craft room is one where the kids feel comfortable letting loose and creating,” says Claire Paquin of Clean Design Partners. “A lot of people have their kids use the kitchen table as a craft space, which is fine if there’s nowhere else to go, but I prefer to see a more permanent space, where the kids can come and go as they please and not feel pressured to constantly clean up.”
This craft room was created for a boy and girl with a fairly large age range and was right off of the foyer. “Bright colors can be inspiring, fun, and happy,” says Paquin. “We decided on a deep, slate, teal color, which worked well to stimulate creativity but wasn’t too juvenile. The color lent some sophistication to the room.”
Things to Keep in Mind
• Get furniture that will fit your child’s needs, but, in terms of budget, keep in mind they will grow up. “A small table or desk and shorter chairs or stools are a must-have in order for young kids to be comfortable,” says Paquin. “Older kids need more work surface.”
• Design for your child’s age. Older kids’ projects tend to be bigger, so they have more need to spread out. “They might move from working on a horizontal surface to working more vertically,” says Paquin. “A wall might be converted to an easel for example.”
• Create an easy way to store and organize supplies. “I love designing built-ins for this purpose,” adds Paquin. “I use a mix of small and large drawers, open cubbies or shelves, and cabinet doors.”
• An obvious space for a child’s craft area is the basement. “Typically, in a large, finished basement, I create zones for the kids to use in different ways,” says Paquin.
• You don’t need a lot of square space, however. “I have converted small offices, large staircase landings, and even large closets into craft spaces for kids,” adds Paquin. The key is to be creative.
Large Work Surface + Comfortable Seating + Great Lighting Plenty of Room to Walk Around and Get Your Juices Flowing + Storage for Supplies = The Perfect Kids’ Craft Room
– Pretty and Playful –
By Denise Davies and Karri Bowen-Poole, Smart D2 Playrooms
This space was a three-car garage transformed into a magical playroom for a younger son and two older girls so that they could all play together. “We knew we wanted to create an art studio, lots of open space for running, climbing, and jumping,” says Karri Bowen-Poole of Smart D2 Playrooms.
Things to Keep in Mind
• Create a thoughtful design and layout. “We do this by customizing the activities, furnishings, and materials to the ages, interests, talents, and the needs of the children,” says Denise Davies of Smart D2 Playrooms.
• Develop a space that creates a sensory-rich environment so that kids are encouraged to use their five senses.
• Think about how to organize the space. “We develop organizational systems by selecting toys and materials that are age appropriate and organized in containers that are accessible and inviting, and labeled with words or photos,” says Davies.
• Create different education stations within the room so that it makes it easy for children to find and access all the materials they need for each activity.
• Design a space that is age appropriate for the kids now but that can easily transform when the kids are older. “When we include a rock-wall area, we always make it challenging, so kids can keep coming back to it for years,” says Bowen-Poole.
Thoughtful Design and Layout + Sensory Rich Environment + Organization + Education Stations + Fun Colors = The Perfect Playroom