Kid-friendly adult space takes plan­ning, thought

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - By Marc Atiyolil

Dear Marc: I have al­ways dreamed of hav­ing a nice seat­ing area in my house where I could en­ter­tain guests in a ‘grown up set­ting.’ Since I have two chil­dren, my liv­ing room seems more like a play­room than a for­mal liv­ing room. I don’t have a fam­ily room in my house, so I can’t place the tele­vi­sion and toys in an­other room. What do you sug­gest I do to make my de­signer ‘grown up’ room come true? — Vi­vian

Dear Vi­vian: As par­ents, we of­ten dream of a place that we can call our own. It doesn’t mean we love our chil­dren any less, it just means that af­ter all those ‘peek-a-boos’ and baby talk, it’s nice to re­con­nect with our adult self in a space we can call our own.

Many of us live in older homes that don’t have fam­ily rooms where we can store all of lit­tle Jimmy and Betty’s toys and hide that plasma tele­vi­sion used for movie night. How­ever, ev­ery room can max­i­mize its func­tion­al­ity by in­te­grat­ing multi-func­tional de­sign el­e­ments, such as fur­ni­ture that also acts as stor­age units for toys and ar­moires that hold en­ter­tain­ment de­vices. The key here is to have enough stor­age in the room to eas­ily put away toys when you are en­ter­tain­ing friends. No­body wants guests to trip over a toy truck on their way to the sofa!

As for fur­ni­ture se­lec­tion, choose durable fabrics. Pat­terned fab­ric in high­traf­fic spa­ces is a must. There­fore, if a child spills some­thing on your new sofa, the pat­tern will help cam­ou­flage the stain. I would also sug­gest buy­ing sofa cov­ers. They are a great way to change the look and colour scheme of a room, and they can be changed when they be­come stained.

Floor­ing ma­te­rial must also be con- sidered. Hard­woods are a great al­ter­na­tive to car­pet­ing, since they can eas­ily be cleaned. They also act as a neu­tral in your colour scheme, which again gives you the op­por­tu­nity to eas­ily update the look of the room.

As for ac­ces­sories, less is more! If you place many del­i­cate ac­ces­sories in a room filled with chil­dren, some­thing is bound to break. If you look at a prod­uct in a store and think to your­self, ‘If I throw this on the floor, it will break,’ put it back, as it isn’t the right ac­ces­sory for de­sign projects in­volv­ing chil­dren.

Once you’ve cho­sen your floor­ing, ac­ces­sories, and fur­ni­ture, con­sider up­dat­ing the sheen of the paint on your wall. The higher the sheen, the eas­ier it is to clean. Ev­ery paint com­pany seems to have dif­fer­ent names for the amount of sheen a paint will ex­ude. Sim­ply ask your lo­cal paint sup­plier for high-traf­fic-area paints.

— Canwest News Ser­vice

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