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  • Awatef Zaoui

Create a playroom with a purpose.

The initial step in the design process is to determine a space's function. When you're designing a playroom for kids, you need to come up with a list of things that make you think of "playing" in a non-exhaustive way. If you question parents about the role of a playroom and what they want from this space, you will not be surprised to learn that the mission of this area is to preserve their living room from a large mess, their feet from the pain of Lego, and their wall from unwelcome Picasso attempts... They secretly (or not) expect that the playroom will absorb their adrenaline and help them fall asleep faster...

Not a surprise, isn't it? Playing is a method for adults to escape reality, a distraction from their everyday routine, and a way to add fun to their lives.

Children, on the other hand, have a quite different experience. Playing is an ancient form of communication and education. Reality is absorbed, life is comprehended, and talents are developed through play. Playing is a potent educational tool as well as a critical component of a child's healthy growth.

Do you find it a little too much? Hold on, here are

a few simple pointers to help you traverse the mystical chore of creating a fun and functional children's playroom.

*vendors and details at the end of this blog x

1- A room to grow

This space will change, and it will most likely happen faster than you anticipate . Keep in mind that toys, books, and accessories are all brightly coloured, and the overlook can seem quite busy and overstimulating if the walls, floor, and main furniture are all brightly coloured and characterful.

Therefore, see the area as a canvas and use a neutral colour palette of white, beige, and greige. Yes, you read that correctly. It is not a widely held belief, but here are some reasons why it is a practical solution:

- The room appears larger allowing light to spread evenly,

- It is versatile and timeless. Neutral colour palette is like a chameleon, it adjusts. Changing the theme or feel can be achieve with new pillows, throws, wall arts and accessories by adding ultra-playful colours such as lemon yellow, cyan blue, neon orange or emerald.

- It is ways to clean as it hardly shades if wiped with the magic sponge or even baby wipes. No more high blood pressure when kiddo walks with his magic pen.

- It is the perfect canvas. Remember that kids space means toys, books, art and craft and vibrant accessories. All these colourful pieces will find a perfect landing on white walls enhancing their colours.

Black and White kids' playrooms with a hint of glam metallic frames and accessories have made a comeback in 2022 trends (hey, perfect for instragram stories). However, the unbeatable trend remains the Scandinavian non gendered one .

A pragmatic and gorgeous way to have a focal wall is the use of painting and removable wallpapers. When your children have outgrown it, a layer of fresh paint or peeling of the wallpaper will transform the space hassle free.

2- Floors to roar

Whatever your floor treatment is, you might wish to consider a safe scene in to give your children a space to have their best adventure. The market offers a variety of options to absorb the sounds (and shocks) such as natural fibres rugs, rubber playmat, foam tiles and vinyl. They can accommodate a designed area as they come under different tiles shape and mat size. You may also consider a wall to wall covering (and eventually protect your marble and parquet too). When choosing, keep in mind that they must be:

- durable,

- non-toxic,

- washable,

- easy to maintain

- comfortable.

3- Permission to write on the wall

Almost intuitively, our little ones start by leaving their graffiti on their caves, I mean, room. There must be an ergonomic reason behind it. There is also an eye level principle linked to it. Notwithstanding the scientific explanations, the result can easily drive us, parents, crazy. No worries, we have options that will allow you to combine aesthetics and pragmatism, without the need to compromise. Some wall treatments are largely available in the market and used in the business environment to communicate visually, brainstorm and create (wait... these needs are not exclusive to businesses, right?). The most effective materials to use are:

- Magnetic wall treatments

- Chalkboard medium

- Cork

They can be pleasant to the eye, offering an accent wall, being used as a personalised board and much more.

4- Fail stands for First. Attempt. In. Learning.

… and there will many more. Therefore, safety is your criteria number one. For this, you need to think in terms of age and height. When it comes to lighting, here are a few tips especially for toddlers’ rooms. Those curious creatures around one metre height are not afraid to fail and try again so make sure that cables, bulbs, and actual fixtures are safe and out of reach. Some basics rules are to:

- Avoid floor lamp or fix it to the floor

- Consider your Lo height to avoid bumps

- Check out LO eye level to avoid harsh exposure

- Look for the UL seal indicator

- opt for CFL or LED bulbs

On an aesthetic part, to effectively create a mood or atmosphere, you may consider to

- layer the light

- Control natural light exposure with linen/ cotton curtains/ roman blinds,

- Get creative using Neon lighting accent or projection lights,

- Use dimmer for snuggling and story time

For exclusive and out of the box pieces, we love to shop ilightyou and Smallable.

5- Gift of emotion

In the digital era, printed photo wall is a survivor. Pictures of family and friends are familiar figures that bring a sense of safety and belonging. Having them constantly available helps your children to develop a self-esteem feeling and an acute understanding of their place in the world. As expats, it also keeps your overseas family present in your kiddos daily life.

Wall Art Gallery can similarly support your children sense of self value. By offering a place of honour to their art and creativity, you are conveying the implicit message that their work is appreciated, valued and important. Frame them, pin them, stick them. Make sure they see them.

Cocooning into a reading nook can also be achieved with comfortable floor cushions and an ample canopy. Soothing and calming, natural fibres are your must-have such as cotton, linen, wool or jute. Within a safe and undisturbed nest, children will explore their imagination: it is priceless…and budget friendly.

6- Promote independence

Storage is a must. And we never have enough. Think modular. Think evolving furniture. Market offers a multitude of options from chest to lockers, shelves to bookcase. Giant Peg board are my favourite. Their versality are appealing : you can add shelves, bags or simply hang accessories…

Kids furniture are often offering a storage option being the stool, desk, or bed, no empty space is leave without a purpose.

Instinctively, we tend to think horizontally when it comes to storage, but vertical storages are great assets too. It can help to store few toys and bring them back once children miss them. It can also help you to sort out the games and toys that are age appropriate, for a solo time or for a group playtime and therefore offer option within a guided environment.

Having a system allowing them to be independent can be helpful to support decision making skills and keep children motivated to tidy up. Independence is a skill that can be learn via few adjustments at home. You want a long-term solution so to keep in mind that tidying up should take more than a couple of minutes.

@made.bydad has a fantastic choice and is always ready to workout the challenge for you.

Here are few tips:

- Keep it simple. Yes, colour sorted Lego boxes are visually stunning… but let’s admit it, unless you want to be the one tidying them, the beautiful rainbow display won’t survive. Have boxes, baskets, and jars. Ideally all the same colours. And label them: it can be an illustration or with a title based on your kids’ reading stage. Choose if you want them opaque or transparent considering the content and its visual impact.

- Keep it reachable. Remember heigh and eye level are essential if you wish them to be able to reach them and put them back where they belong. Floor level is perfect.

- Display their favourites toys and book, costumes. Shelves comes with different depth allowing you to display their favourites cars, figurines, or books. Hooks or hanger stands withing their eye level height are ideal for costumes and fancy dresses.

7- Active, active active

Covid lockdown emphasized the nature of human. Motion is a need to our physical, mental, and emotional rest. The excess of adrenaline can be dangerous for our furniture… sorry I meant for our beloved children. Not only it develops our strength, but it is also an essential activity for our gross motor skills development. Customised Indoor gyms are state of the art and will make any professional gym owner jealous with climbing walls, trampoline, slides, swings and foam cubes pool… The market widely offers gym mats, bars and wall climbing rocks… So many options to please tastes and needs…. And it can be overwhelming so always choose to build up your active space rather after observing the amount of time and energy your kiddos spend in this space.

We love the large choice and customized indoor gym

8- Perhaps a working station

You might wish to invite a working station within the space if the area allows you to do so. Depending on your kids age, the shape and form may vary and the common denominator for all working spaces is that they must offer comfort, space, and lighting to focus, be creative and “produce”.

Within a playroom, working could be challenged given the large amount of distraction. Therefore, to counterattack their natural impulse, after all we are in a playing room, avoid placing the desk or table in a power position. Have it placed against a wall next to the window, with the necessary materials (books, paper…) at their fingertips.

Here are some elements to consider if you wish to attempt to have your kiddos siting down on their desks:

- Pick up a space with a good natural light

- Choose ergonomic furniture that will follow them while growing up

- Avoid too much visual distraction

- Add a good task lighting

- Create a mood using tools such as instrumental playlist, lighting...

Again the ro

om function is the first step to Playrooms are nests for a healthy development. Living in a region where summer

can be harsh, those rooms are going to be used a lot by siblings and friends. Lot of thoughts need to be put into the designing process, including the main stakeholder makes sense if they can and wish to participate. Parents may wish to consider in advance what are the non-negotiable and then we could invite, at a second stage, the child in the discussion and design process (theme, favourite games, colour, textures…). It is a confidence booster positive experience if the child is willing to participate. Pre-teen, tween and teenagers have their opinion and are often willing to participate. By being clear on the guidelines and general directives, they usually enjoy the process and learn a lot from it.

To conclude, I am a strong believer that designing a place for children is always about finding the right balance between pragmatism and aesthetics. It is their spaces. If we think of it, the word requires the children to

constantly adjust to the codes, rules, and systems. Having a room that looks and feel like them, a space that allow them to grow and respect their nature is such a formidable gift.

Thank you

Awatef Zaoui

Founder of Interior by Awatef

For your wall painting, here are the Benjamin Moore reference :

  • Midnight Blue

  • Fresh Lime

  • Bright Yellow

  • Ice Mist

  • Cedar Key

Thank you x


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