It’s become a trend in the last few decades to design spaces in the home that have your kids in mind. More than just setting aside a room for kids to sleep in, many homeowners today are designing family rooms, playrooms, bathrooms, and study areas around their kids. This is in addition to the care and time spent on the kids’ bedrooms as well. And while designing spaces with kids in mind is a great way to meet the needs of every member of the family, there are a few things to keep in mind as you go.
Meeting Needs Today and Tomorrow
It’s tempting to put a lot of time, effort, and money into designing a space that fits your kids’ needs and desires as they stand today. Unfortunately, this can often backfire within a very short amount of time for one simple reason – kids grow.
So while manufacturers may make shorter than average toilets and vanities for the bathroom, investing in these pieces may mean that you’re remodeling the room a second time just a few years later when your kids have outgrown them. Likewise, investing in expensive novelty tiles or color schemes, you could have to redo the space long before it needs it due to your child's taste changing.
For this reason, it’s best to think in terms of a more universal design for kids. Instead of purchasing a shorter vanity, invest in a vanity that has a pull-out step built into the bottom. The step comes out now to let your kids reach the faucet, and in a few years, you can convert the space to a drawer to hold the toiletries your teen may need. Likewise, you may want to invest in materials that can be considered youthful and fun, without committing to a theme, such as using bright glass mosaic tiles on a bathroom floor for a fun pop of color that will please toddlers and teens alike.
Creating Usable Space
In addition to making existing rooms in your home accessible for your kids today and tomorrow, many homeowners like to incorporate other playful touches in the home, such as lofts, play areas, and crawl spaces. The same rule should apply to these areas as it does to bathrooms and bedrooms; make sure these areas can be converted to usable space as your kids grow to ensure you don’t sacrifice valuable square footage.
One example of this could be creating a nook under the stairs for a private clubhouse for young kids. If you build shelves into the walls of the nook and leave space at the back just big enough to fit a desk, it can be converted to a study area or even a small office for adults later on. Likewise, play lofts can be converted to guest sleeping arrangements, and playrooms can be converted to rec rooms or home gyms. At the time you undertake the initial remodel, think about what this room will be used for in five or 10 years, then incorporate some of those attributes, such as niches, shelves, cabinets, desks, task lighting, or doors that can open on the lower half to allow access to small children now or open up completely to allow access to adults later.
Any remodel that you undertake in your home should last a minimum of 10 years before it needs to be redone, and in some cases, that number should be closer to 20. Keep that in mind when you’re designing a room or space for children to ensure that you aren’t forced to undertake a second remodel in half the time.
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