Playrooms & Functional Interior Design

jungleplayroom

bradPlayroom design at a non-celebrity budget. When my daughters were very little, I began looking at schools for them. I was clueless. I visited a very prestigious school and the director explained that the students would be traveling to London to see the opera while in elementary school. I was soooooooo impressed. I called my mom immediately and told her the news. There was dead silence on the other end. After what seemed an eternity, she said “you know honey, kids are just as happy playing Ring around the Rosie.” Moms do know it all. So, with that little story in mind, let’s see how that transfers to your prince or princess’s playroom.

Kids like boxes. They especially like playing with the boxes that their most expensive gifts come in, which can be a real downer as a parent. So, when you’re deciding on what and how much to spend for the playroom, think of my mom’s advice. “The opera is great, but kids like to be kids.” So, you don’t need to buy a puppet theatre. Take a closet, remove the door and hang inexpensive curtains. You now have a stage, a puppet theatre and a nook for reading.

I’m always emphasizing “Design with Direction.” It applies to every area of a home or office, and a playroom is no exception. What is the goal of this space? Once you know, work backwards. Example; your boys are boys. They are very active. The playroom should have objects that they can push, pull and throw without harming anyone or anything. Imagine them throwing a light bean bag at one another. Makes sense that there should be no hanging lights in the space. Lighting should be flush mounted. Shelves should be anchored to the wall etc.. You get the idea. Work backwards.

jungleplayroomHere’s a list of items that I believe are staples for any playroom. When deciding how much to spend, unless you have an unlimited celebrity budget, think about mom and the opera.

  • Legos, can’t live without’em. Legos are wonderful for kids in every imaginable way. They’re tactile, colorful, symmetrical, indestructible, and timeless. The only annoyance is that they can be a challenge to clean up. So, that’s where the next item comes in handy.

  • Storage Bins, preferably clear. All tiny toys, such as egos can be stores in them. Have the kids draw a picture of the Lego, spell it out and tape it to the bin so they know that everything has a place. They are in charge of taking things out of the bins and putting them back. That’s the deal.

  • Rocking or Hanging Chair are excellent for calming and the senses.

  • Covered nook such as a small Teepee or a corner with a cover (if you don’t have the spare closet). Nooks provide anchoring and calm. They are wonderful quiet places for your child to read a book, play, and not allow outside interference to break their concentration. It helps promote their imagination.

  • Bean Bags are one of the best inventions of all time. It’s anchoring, close to the floor, cocoons the body and allows for concentration.

  • Chalkboard of any size or shape will do, the bigger the better. When my children were little, nothing kept them busier on a rainy day than the chalkboard. There is something so sensory about the feel of the chalk and the sound of the board. Most of us adults still enjoy writing on a chalkboard.

  • Extra seating for mom, dad, nana or whoever is in charge. Let’s face it, when the kids are ittle, someone needs to keep an eye. Comfy seating can make al the difference for the adult supervisor. I loved watching the kids in their playroom. I had an extra bean bag for myself. I could make phone calls, work and play a board game all at the same time. Multi-tasking moms rock!

  • Mini fridge for the fanzy lazy parent.

We’ve created a playroom board that we believe covers all the necessities. Check it out HERE.

What’s great about your playroom? We’d love to hear.

-Deborah Rosenberg

***This month we are donating to GRASP/Autism. We thank you for helping us help others!

 

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Deborah DiMare

About Deborah DiMare

Deborah DiMare is a PETA advocate, was a featured interior designer on TLC, has appeared on NBC’s 'The Today Show' and continually lectures and writes articles on Humane and Sensory Design.

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