Cre­ate the bunk bed of your child’s dreams

The Palm Beach Post - Residences - - Front Page -

One very easy way to stretch space in a child’s bed­room is to buy a bunk bed. It’s bril­liant! This is one way to cre­ate a play area and a home­work spot in a space-starved home. Back in the day, while liv­ing in a typ­i­cal 1950s ranch-style house, we used our bed­room for home­work, sleep and play. The pop­u­lar­ity of a fam­ily room or base­ment ex­pressly de­signed for chil­dren wasn’t heard of. I’ve met el­derly peo­ple who tell how they saved one bed­room — in a four-bed­room home back in the 1960s — as a play room. Th­ese rooms were some­times called the rum­pus room!

In the era of the McMan­sion, huge amounts of real es­tate were de­voted to leisure rooms filled with pool ta­bles, Ping-Pong ta­bles or craft ta­bles. There of­ten was an adult bar and a hu­mungous tele­vi­sion — the big­ger, the bet­ter. I’ve de­signed in-home the­aters and in­door pools in the past. Now that the Amer­i­can home is shrink­ing again, young fam­i­lies are strug­gling to carve out recre­ation spa­ces. You might need to be­come cre­ative in what you buy for your chil­dren to max­i­mize their play space.

Con­sider the ben­e­fits of a Europe- an-made unit like this for an older child. The steps up to the bed are hid­den on the right side of the open bookcase and are boxed in for safe ac­cess. Go­ing to bed would be an ad­ven­ture, and fur­ni­ture would serve many needs in a small area. Stor­age, home­work, sleep­ing and a dis­play of per­sonal ob­jects are eco­nom­i­cally ar­ranged in a clean and mod­ern way. Com­pro­mises are nec­es­sary in con­fined homes, so your teen may not be able to have a queen-sized bed.

As your chil­dren grow, their needs shift. Lit­tle chil­dren can play in a hall­way and still have fun. Those who live in high-rise apart­ments and con­dos might have to get cre­ative with keep­ing the kids happy. Kids love to play in teepees or to read in an egg-pod swivel chair. IKEA sells a ver­sion for less than $70! With the hood pulled down, it pro­vides a se­cret hid­ing place for a child — and the fab­ric lets light in so that it is never scary. Black­boards can be painted on the back of the door to any bed­room with spe­cial paint. It’s easy to do and en­cour­ages draw­ing, as well as learn­ing let­ters and num­bers.

As soon as your kids go to school, they re­quire more space for home­work. With the fam­ily room or kitchen des­ig­nated as a mini of­fice, per­haps you should con­sider out­side play ar­eas. Rather than mov­ing, con­sider in­vest­ing in an effi- cient over­head or free­stand­ing gas heater for a porch or deck. In tem­per­ate weather, back­yard play­houses can of­fer chil­dren a get­away space on your own prop­erty. Even a small yard can host a sand­box, tire swing or a swing set.

An­other very ba­sic se­cret to liv­ing in your cozy house is to purge reg­u­larly. Each bed­room should un­dergo a thor­ough clean­ing, and give away clothes ev­ery six months. I’m in the middle of my own ef­fort and just do­nated a large bag of clothes. In re­view­ing what oc­cu­pies my dresser draw­ers, I re­al­ized that at least half of what is in there is now out of style. This ex­er­cise de­mands dis­ci­pline to only keep what will fit in the closet, dresser and stor­age space you al­ready have.

Chris­tine Brun

Small Spa­ces

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.