Thursday, May 7th, 2015 by Danny Peterson
Kids need a place to play, and chances are, you’d rather them not do it in your dining room, your home office, or your master suite. You can always send the little tykes outside, of course, but what about rainy days or biting, winter cold? Sooner or later, most parents realize their need for a play area, and if you’re fortunate enough to have sufficient square footage, you may even wish to make one room in your home the designated play area. As you think about adding a playroom, it is important to approach it the way you would any other home addition—strategically, and with an eye toward long-term value. You want to try to cut costs and get the room done affordably, but you ultimately don’t want to scrimp and risk having a room that nobody likes to be in. So how can homeowners think rightly about playroom design? We’ll offer a few general tips in the bullet points below.
Planning Your Playroom Addition
- To begin with, remember that the playroom is not just for your children. You may wish to be in there with them, supervising their play, or at least stopping by every now and again to play with the little goobers. So creating a room that is comfortable, has areas for adults to sit, and has generally pleasant and inviting furnishings—all of these factors are important.
- As you think about making a space that kids and parents can enjoy together, consider making it a space with dual purposes. Having a combination play area and home gym, for example, may encourage you all to spend more time there—assuming you can ensure that the gym equipment does not pose a safety threat of any kind.
- All-natural materials are always safe bets in a children’s play area—things like all-cotton fabrics. Not only are they more Earth-friendly, but they are also going to be less problematic for kids who may have different environmental allergies. Plus, natural materials actually tend to be easier to clean and more resistant to stains.
- Basic safety is obviously something to think about, and this may prove more of an issue just depending on where you are adding the playroom. It is not uncommon, for instance, to transform the basement into a playroom. That’s a great use of the space, but make sure to have the area professionally checked for leaking pipes, for sufficient insulation, and for a good emergency exit—just to keep on the safe side!
- When it comes to design and furnishings, you will again want to strike a balance between kid-friendly and adult-accessible. If the room is all kid-sized plastic tables then you’re not really going to be able to use it. Try to get tables, chairs, and other furniture that is low enough for kids to use but also comfortable enough for you to use alongside them—finger painting, working puzzles, or whatever else your kiddos like to do.
- Storage is always a factor in any home addition, and that’s certainly true as far as playrooms are concerned. Your kids likely have a ton of toys, and you likely don’t want all those toys to live on the floor, so baskets and toy chests and shelves are all essential.
- Finally, remember that kids are aesthetically advanced—more than we might give them credit for—and want a room that’s creative and vibrant. Don’t go overboard—you probably don’t need neon pink walls—but do decorate in a way that’s fun and stylish.
When planning for a playroom, plan for a space that everyone in your family can use—safely and happily!