When you were a child, where did you like to be? Spying on the world from a secret nook? Swinging your body around in the middle of the yard? In this book, award-winning architecture writer Wendy A. Jordan shows us how to create homes that let children be themselves. “Our lives center around our kids,” explains Jordan, “and we want our houses to reflect that commitment…. Now the whole house sends kids a message that says: ‘This is your home, too.’” In this book, Jordan lays out the best ideas for giving kids space: in hideaways, in common areas, and in our lives.
To begin with, Jordan takes a fresh look at kids’ rooms. “The best of these rooms are functional, organized, versatile, and, above all, adaptable,” she explains. “So as kids grow and change, these rooms can be reinvented without a lot of hassle and planning.” That means finding a space -- even in a snug city apartment -- that can be developed from a soothing nursery to a toy-strewn playpen to a private teen hangout. Creating that level of flexibility can be challenging, but Jordan provides her readers with plenty of surprising solutions. “Even a quirky room can present fresh opportunities,” she counsels. “A narrow wall might be just the place for a magazine or coloring-book rack…. In small rooms…a little style goes a long way.”
But a child needs more than a bedroom to feel totally at home. “Whether it’s a playroom, homework center, or some tiny niche that no adult could even squeeze into, these just-for-kids spaces are some of the most important in the home,” explains Jordan, “because they’re where children can freely play, explore, imagine, and learn.” In this book, we find ideas for some amazing nooks: attic lofts, hallway reading niches, and even transformed closets. These kinds of places allow kids privacy, along with a sense of magic and mystery.
Jordan also includes some exciting ideas for incorporating kids’ needs into our common space. Why not include bins for coloring supplies in the kitchen? Or a series of built-in cubbies under the main stairway where kids can store and display their toys? “Thanks to this enlightened approach [to home design], kids are now welcomed and accommodated,” says Jordan. “It’s a giant step forward in practical home design.” This book, with its revolutionary ideas and easy-to-use structure, should help anyone refurbishing for a family. (Jesse Gale)