Constructing Dreams: Pleasing the Kids

Whether you plan to build or buy a home, remodel a room or seek ideas to expand your “green” footprint, we are all in the beginning stages of constructing our dreams. Each month, this column will invite you to look beyond the usual ideas and consider alternative cost-effective and eco-friendly options. With so many topics to explore from top to bottom, room to room, inside and out, the goal of a vision is to take a firm step forward and begin living the dream.

The term, the “right ingredients” is usually linked to a delicious recipe, but it can also describe an attractive combination of décor in a child’s bedroom. Today, young children and teens occupy a creative room that has a ‘wow’ factor.  Depending on your carpentry skills, the height of ceilings and size of the room, children may truly have the most interesting room in the house.

Up in the Air

The grand desire for a treehouse has inspired the idea to build a loft in the shape of a house, boat or castle.  Similar to living among the trees, children can also experience sleeping in secretive place. It requires nine-foot walls, at a minimum.  This innovative concept also provides a key benefit: available floor space. Underneath the beams, just imagine placing a desk and a bookshelf, an activity table and a chalk wall, or a sitting area and fish tank.

  • The Murphy bed, also termed the wall bed, is another idea to increase floor space, especially if the child is old enough to lower, and raise and secure the bed.
  • Controlled by a pulley system, the raised bed can elevate to the ceiling revealing an open floor.
  • A platform bed suspended by ropes attached to the ceiling is another unique way to eliminate a traditional bed while changing the dynamics of a bedroom.

Updated Bunk Beds

For decades, the solution for same sexed siblings was to share a room and sleep in bunk beds.  This system has saved both floor space and offered siblings a comfortable means to sleep. The modernized system combines the premise of bunk beds while promoting individual space and privacy. Constructed within a wall, today’s bunk beds have a more stable structure and offer occupants personal lighting and, perhaps, a side shelf.  With a large room, two bunk bed systems for four can be constructed and include a unique, wide staircase.

Canvas Boxes

Remember the toy box, which contained anything and everything? Digging through to find one toy resulted in a room of toys strewn in every direction across the floor.   Organization and concealment has led to individual storage boxes designed in an array of colors and sizes.  Now, children can find items and clean up based on the storage container and shelving system.  For purposes of safety, wall units have grown in popularity.  (Just remember, toddlers as young as two enjoy climbing. To deter your son or daughter, try placing canvas boxes in empty shelves or bar the shelf with canvas material that can be either snapped or Velcroed in place.)

The Jack and Jill Bathroom

Growing up with a sister or brother, eventually, the need to occupy the bathroom became a problem.  The solution was to accommodate the dual needs of Jack and Jill.  The toilet and shower area can both be enclosed with a door, separate from the sink and linen closet.  This allowed one child the privacy of showering while the other sibling tended to washing hands or brushing his teeth. With this feature, siblings can make greater use of the bathroom.

A shared bathroom can also be constructed in the center of two bedrooms, allowing two entrances or just one, with multiple doors for the linen closet, toilet area and possibly the shower.

The modern child is enjoying the thrill of sharing a bedroom and bathroom with the perks of a secret area to be alone or enjoy moments of sisterly or brotherly togetherness.


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