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An improvised playroom

A room for the imagination of small ones. A dedicated ‘rumpus’ room for small children is the ideal playroom, particularly with cool autumn days and chilly rain drizzle headed our way in the coming months.

This dedicated space should have the flexibility to be transformed as time passes to suit the needs of a growing family. It may have to cater for a variety of interests: music, snooker tables, electronic games, computers etc.

A room for the imagination of small ones. A dedicated ‘rumpus’ room for small children is the ideal playroom, particularly with cool autumn days and chilly rain drizzle headed our way in the coming months. Use large bright cushions or bean bags for comfort.

However the beauty of modern house design is that a playroom for small children can be an improvisation of any room. It could be a cubby house or built tree under the cover of the alfresco or veranda, part of a bedroom, the corner of a lounge room , behind the sofa, a nook in the kitchen …the possibilities are endless.

A well designed and thought out play area for small children could include some of the following aspects:

  • A space that doesn’t have a television and is visibly accessible for parent supervision without being obvious.
  • A soft floor finish or colourful rug to help define the space.
  • Provisions of compartmentalised storage: wicker baskets, cardboard boxes, plastic crates and containers. Miniature items such as small animals, little dolls, tiny cars, building blocks etc can be stored in designated compartments.
  • An awareness of scale: cupboards and shelves should be installed at the appropriate height that can be viewed and easily accessible to a small child.
  • Provide simple and safe equipment to encourage a child’s imagination. These could be kitchen utensils, large cardboard boxes, rubber puzzle shapes and letters and numbers that could be used on the wall or floor mats.
  • Using the volume of space immediately above the play area, you can infer a lowered ceiling by placing several hooks to hang mobiles, butterfly cut outs, suspending light weight branches and hanging fairy lights on them, supporting a mosquito net or sheeting that can be transformed into a tepee or princess haven.
  • A painted door or the top of a table in a blackboard paint finish for chalk art work.
  • Hooks on the wall for hats, trunks for dress up clothing and large mirrors and artwork at eye level for little ones.
  • Suspend string between two wall hooks to display art work and drawings using miniature pegs.
  • Murals can transform a space into another scene or wonderland of imagination and give it added perspective and depth.
  • 3–dimensional build-up of small scale furniture in keeping with the theme of the mural can really bring a shop front, café, space theme or parkland to life.
  • Provide a special place for a favourite soft toy to live. For example, a hanging basket might be a teddy bear’s bed or a decorated shoe box might be for a favourite doll.
  • Provide a child friendly cd player for music and storytelling.

With all of these helpful hints supplied by leading interior decorator and designer, Kathleen Bowen, having the kids inside the home more in the coming cooler months suddenly doesn’t seem so scary!

Kathleen Bowen is the Director and Founder of The Inside Story Design Concepts. Check out the Inside Story display at Home Option Gallery or contact Kathleen directly at kbinsidestory@yahoo.com.au.