Work AND Play

Living Etc - - DESIGN / PROJECT -

once your child starts school, a desk is an ab­so­lute must. Buy as big a desk as the space will al­low, po­si­tion it near a nat­u­ral light source if you can, and don’t for­get to ded­i­cate an in­spi­ra­tion area for favourite pho­tos, art and me­men­tos. choose a com­fort­able chair and add a throw or cush­ion for ex­tra com­fort, height and sup­port. All work and no play is no fun at all, so make sure you cre­ate a cosy nook where your lit­tle ones can re­lax and take time out. ‘It can be some­thing as sim­ple as a soft rug and a pile of fluffy cush­ions or as elab­o­rate as a fort in the cor­ner of the room, hung with tex­tiles and fairy lights,’ sug­gests stylist emily Hen­son. Light­ing needs to be able to adapt to the ac­tiv­ity at hand, so use a com­bi­na­tion of fit­tings. ‘A cen­tral pen­dant light with a dim­mer switch can help chil­dren to wind down to­wards bed­time, both phys­i­cally and emo­tion­ally,’ ad­vises Susie Stubbs of tot­ter + tum­ble. An ad­justable table lamp on the desk will help with home­work. ‘If your child is scared of the dark, con­sider a bed­side light that doesn’t pump out too much wattage and which can be left on as a night light to scare away any lit­tle shadow mon­sters,’ says Mandy col­liss, cre­ative di­rec­tor of Funky Lit­tle Dar­lings.

Project de­tails

make learn­ing se­ri­ously good fun by trans­form­ing a quiet cor­ner into a bright, cheer­ful read­ing area with Al­var Aalto’s 60 stool, £180, Aram. Here, Har­lequin’s Bella Stripe wall­pa­per, £50 a roll, makes a fea­ture of the be­spoke book­shelf that takes full ad­van­tage of the width and height of the space. Play with the il­lu­sion of space by keep­ing the floor­ing dark and the walls light: this will help to make the room feel big­ger. Get a sim­i­lar look with China Blue vinyl floor­ing (£29sq m at The Colour Floor­ing Com­pany).

Project de­tails

most chil­dren are max­i­mal­ists, so a ded­i­cated play­room that’s big on stor­age is a real bonus. Here, roselind Wil­son De­sign worked along­side ar­chi­tect michaelis Boyd to cre­ate a com­plete wall of be­spoke stor­age, along with up­hol­stered port­holes that serve as cosy hide­aways for play­ing and read­ing. ‘The room was de­signed to al­low the chil­dren to re­lax but also to have a space to be ac­tive,’ ex­plains roselind. To fa­cil­i­tate this, a climb­ing wall has been built onto a back­ground of black chalk­board paint, with ex­tra sup­port placed in­side the wall to se­cure the hooks for climb­ing. roselind im­pro­vised the climb­ing rails by us­ing bar han­dles as metal lad­der rungs. Al­low a bud­get of around £36,000 for a sim­i­lar scheme, in­clud­ing all join­ery, fur­ni­ture and wall fix­tures.

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