Designing Playful Kids’ Spaces

When you’re just starting a family, it’s easy to imagine designing colourful and organized kids’ rooms, complete with coordinated bedding, ample storage space and a grade-A study area. Something like this…

Mod Toddler Room Design Photo Blog

Flash forward seven years, however, and you’re confronted with the reality: worn carpet strewn with Transformer toys, unmade beds, Barbie posters on the wall…shudder.

But it doesn’t have to be this way, says Sharon Grech, the CityLine Designer who is creating the kids’ bedroom, playroom and washroom for the 2010 Eurodale Dream Home at the National Home Show presented by RE/MAX. (This blog and the Little Projects Guide are sponsored by the National Home Show.) Creating a fun, graphic space with organic elements and colours is possible, particularly when you incorporate practical materials like easy-to-clean flooring.

This year’s Eurodale Dream Home, built by Brendan Charters and Jim Cunningham and designed by architect Richard Librach, combines individual blocks or “pods.” To make the home sustainable over the long haul, the pods are being developed according to 12 architectural principles, which emphasize energy-efficiency, waste reduction, flexibility and mobility — in fact, the different blocks within the home can actually be moved to a new location or added on top of another existing structure!

2010 Eurodale Dream Home

The environmentally friendly, pod-living theme is the jumping off point for the creative process behind the kids’ spaces Grech designed for the home. “Inspired by the modern, “green” architecture of the building pods themselves and the incredible large viewing windows, I’m incorporating an outdoor theme,’ she says. “Kids and adults alike have to spend far more time indoors than we might like with our Canadian climate, so we need to surround ourselves with natural elements, organic textures and earthy colours. Imagine living in a tree house.”

This picture captures the spirit, but of course Grech’s space will be clean-lined, mod, and totally on-trend…

ReadyMade Treehouse

The bedroom will be designed around the idea of “nighttime in the tree house,” adds Grech. A starry ceiling paint treatment, twin beds, a comfy reading zone and exposed zebra stone cork flooring from NHS exhibitor Carpet One will create a warm, organic vibe. As for those Transformer toys? They’ll be tucked in under-bed storage, of course.

The playroom, meanwhile, will feature lots of neutrals and pops of organic brights, Grech says. Hanging chairs, an art nook and a TV area hidden behind a barn-door style panel will create the perfect spot for kids to play, create, relax and dream.

But as a parent of two, what really gets me excited is Grech’s vision for the washroom. The long, narrow space will include a laundry zone, as well as small-space storage areas for all of the kids’ stuff. When I think of all the time I spend lugging laundry up and down two flights of stairs, this bathroom sounds like an absolute dream. I’ll be the first one lining up to see the 2010 Eurodale Dream Home! Until then, I’m looking to these design photos for inspiration.

The National Home Show runs from February 19 to 28, 2009, but advance discount tickets are available now. (Save $5 by using the promo code: HOUSE.) Plus, get more solutions to your home decorating dilemmas in our Little Projects Guide.

Photo credits:
1. House & Home
, photography by Angus Fergusson
2. National Home Show

3. ReadyMade

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