Friday, April 20, 2012

A fun place for kids and guest

Cozy new play area

It’s been said “necessity” is the mother of invention. Well, in a recent project I worked on, the basement of an Oak Park four-square, it was “necessary” to make the playroom/guestroom more visually and acoustically appealing.  Let me explain. Despite the many lovely details of the rest of the prairie style house, which dates back to  1923, the basement was dominated by a noisy, unsightly, old heating system. The exposed pipes, which were often mistaken by their 2 and 4 year-old as monkey bars, made play dates hazardous. And the loud humming which started and stopped at intervals could turn any overnight guest into an insomniac.

Solution? Kill 2 birds with one stone—or in this case—a few modular acoustical fabric-backed bookcases. As you can see by the photos, the bookcases not only block the heating system, they warm up the space and provide an extra storage space for toys. We also added an art center, a place to play dress up and fun, movable seating for all ages. Even the drapery we used to hide an unsightly storage area doubles as a place for kids to play hide and seek.

Proof that the space works? On a recent visit, Bianca, the 4 year-old said, “Take your shoes off and get real comfortable.” Oh, and out-of-town visitors are no longer going the hotel route.  

Before the remodel


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