kids at play

November 19th, 2010

Well it’s been a busy couple of weeks with no signs of slowing down, but I feel guilty leaving you hanging too long without a fresh dose of design.  So I am hard at work on a post on the latest trends in the interior design world fresh from the color trend forecasting group and the High Point Furniture Market in High Point, North Carolina. 

In the meantime, here is a reminder for the weekend to act like a kid and have fun in your space! Even if you don’t have children, a well designed home allows kids of all ages to play (even if they are 64 with grandchildren on their knees… Vera, Chuck and Dave. Sorry, The Beatles just pop into one’s head without notice sometimes. That one was for my parents.)

Seriously, why isn’t every home built with a staircase like this?! Sliding down the stairs on your butt or on a pillowcase for better traction is nice and all, but a true slide? That’s love.

You don’t need a New York City loft in order to build your kids a maze, though it doesn’t hurt. What about the long unfinished basement you’ve been wanting to turn into a playroom?  This could be fun for the whole family and with little play areas inside the maze, kids can tuck themselves away from others for some privacy (a room of one’s own, in a sense). 


When designing a backyard, some people think in linear terms: benches are for sitting, and steps are for walking. Pish-posh. Think like a kid – every surface is ripe for usage. A bench becomes a table and steps become seating. 

This is how landscape architects think when they create public spaces. They know that people like to have options and to make the space their own. For example, in Bryant Park in New York City, the lawn is full of lightweight chairs that people can move to suit their mood.  Being able to move the chair where they want it gives them a sense of ownership. Do the same for your family and guests – create flexible spaces and seating options so they can play in their own way.  [For more on this topic check out William H. Whyte's studies of people's movements in and through public spaces. Fascinating!] 

Ok, so you’re grown up now, no longer living the Joey and Chandler bachelor lifestyle with a foosball table where a dining room table should go.  But just think: if you buy one for your kids you have an excuse to play it whenever you want and now it’s called bonding time with your kids instead of goofing off. Pretty cool, huh?

Not to mention, adding a punching bag to help release all that pre-teen angst is a pretty good idea while you’re at it. 

And if all else fails, kick off your yellow rain boots and jump on the bed until you feel better.  (I think she’s jumping on her brother’s bed, by the way! If you jump on someone else’s bed you don’t have to worry that you’re ruining your own bed, and worrying would take some of the fun out of the jumping.)

I hope this has inspired you to cut loose this weekend and have some good old fashioned fun.

Sources: All photos except the last one are from “Children’s Spaces: From Zero to Ten” by Judith Wilson and Deb Treloar.

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This entry was posted on Friday, November 19th, 2010 at 12:43 am and is filed under Design & Home Living Tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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