Small Space Becomes Kid Zone
The other day I got a quick note that our photo had been featured in an article on impressiveinteriordesign.com. It’s exciting when a writer grabs our work to emphasize a point in their story and their choice reminded me of one of my favorite projects from several years ago. This week we’re going to walk through the thought process that turned this small pass through space into a convertible kid zone. Keeping with our theme of timeless interiors this month, this project was just featured in January 2020, but we completed it in February 2016.
Here’s the photo that got picked up showing a liftable coffee table in the space. The key to this whole design was choosing interchangeable, multi-functional furniture pieces.
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Before I show you all the moving parts in this 8’ wide space let’s dig into the design concept for this project. Every one of our design projects starts by defining the requirements of the space. This loft was smaller than the new homeowners anticipated when building the house. The dormer windows of the cape cod home were originally specified to brighten an open loft space at the top of the stairs for the kids to use as a work/play space. For various construction reasons the initial plan did not come to fruition and the loft space took on an unusual shape and size. Instead of a space wide enough for a desk near the window, each of the two dormer windows sat at the end of a walled enclosure 3’ x 10’ in size. The actual width of the room was only 8’ and is the major traffic through area to reach the home’s 4 bedrooms. The homeowners were struggling with how to make this desired area usable and comfortable for the kids.
The scope of this project was a focus on making this awkward pass through a functional space for the kids. This space had to accommodate a group of kids ages 10 and younger, be an occasional solo workspace, be “Lego friendly”, and host a never-ending Monopoly game that previously occupied the kitchen table. With this wish list in mind came the challenge to maximize its function and ability to grow with the currently very young clientele. To accomplish this, I worked through a design concept that made everything multifunctional, convertible and movable.
Here’s the floor plan to help you visualize how this tiny space can host a multitude of activity. A hub for the kids not too far from the action of the home. And with the ability to tuck the furniture in and away, it converts back to the hall access point for the 4 bedrooms that are down the adjacent hallway.
Family members can easily traverse the hallway to the bedrooms when the loft is not in use.
Above is the plan when everything is converted creating multiple work and play zones.
The floor was covered with a tight pile commercial grade carpet to provide for all the “moving parts”. An apartment size sofa anchored the room in the back to host cozy book reading at night when not seating guests and the lift top trunk table not only stores all the little Lego parts, but raises to become a comfortable desk height surface to build on. Built in bookcases display beautiful family photos and of course, the latest Lego creations.
In the dormer window alcoves are 2 desk size tables on casters. The tables roll out into the main area when needed as a workspace or game table. When the tables extend out, 2 desk chairs swivel around and become the chairs for the movable surfaces. An ottoman is also on wheels to be moved and used as needed.
The swivel chair in a fun blue/white geometric fabric does double duty as it can turn in place to join either grouping. When Monopoly tournaments continue beyond the weekend, they can be stored mid-action, as-is on the top of the table that slides back into the alcoves until the players return, also freeing up the previously occupied kitchen table.
A little tip from me – always let the kids weigh in on the artwork. This chihuahua with the headphones was a “must have” by this crew and it really gives a touch of whimsy to the space.
Can you see why this project is still one of my favorites? Let us know if you have an awkward space in your own home, you’d like help with.