Get creative with your kids’ spaces |

Get creative with your kids’ spaces

Play rooms aren't restricted to bedrooms

Kids are full of life, energy and imagination. So why not create colorful kids' bedrooms and playrooms in your home that reflect and foster that playfulness and creativity?

"The (kids') room is the place where you can kind of go wild and have a lot of fun," says Soma Pradhan, owner and lead designer at Pradhan Designs. "People want a mature look throughout the house, but the kids' room is always more fun and funky. It's completely set apart from the rest of the house, in terms of style."

The lower level of this kids' playroom includes recliner chairs to rock back and forth on, as well as a fire pole for fun and easy access once kids have climbed up the wall. (Tanzi Propst/Park Record)
These colorfully striped stairs lead to the kids' play space with the fire pole and climbing wall. (Tanzi Propst/Park Record)

Pradhan recently worked with clients to design a kids' quarters that stood apart from any kids' space she'd previously seen. A bold, colorful, striped staircase accesses the two-story space.

Everything in the house is very neutral and soft, with lots of grays and whites," Pradhan explains. "Then you have these really bright, fun stairs that lead you into this really entertaining space." The kids' quarters — a bunkroom, bathroom and a playroom complete with a two- story climbing wall and a fire pole for quick access to the lower level — is a playful mix of colors, from the lime green carpet to turquoise bunks and colorful wallpaper. "It's a fun, energetic space for the kids to hang out."

"This was the most full-blown, most comprehensive approach to a kids' space — from the square footage to the colors and materials used to addressing kids' need for play," says Brady Sherman, of Sherman Hayden Custom Home Builders. "It's refreshing from our perspective, because it's a family-oriented approach."

While the scope and the color palette of this home may be unique, that focus on family is becoming more common, local experts say. Whether a vacation home or full-time residence, mountain homes tend to stand apart from their urban and lower

elevationbrethrenfortheir emphasis on play. We come to the mountains to ski, to bike, to hike, to celebrate life, family and the outdoors. Our mountain homes are more than a living space; they're a gathering place.

The patchwork quilts and colors speak to any gender in this kids' bedroom. (Photo courtesy of Coldwell Banker)
A girl's room doesn't have to be all pink and fluffy to be fun and feminine. Here, whimsical patterns decorate a sophisticated oak bed, and a lounging bench lets girls read, chat, listen to their iPod or just gaze out the window. (Photo courtesy of Coldwell Banker)

"Especially in Park City, everyone is here to have fun… so the emphasis is on keeping the family entertained together," Pradhan says.

Wild colors are not mandatory for a kids' space. Many homeowners prefer a more modern, minimalistic look, with black and white and the occasional pop of color, says Ruben Gomez, vice president of creative services at Dressed Design. On the other hand, plenty of kids help choose their design, and they want color. Though play spaces are typically designed with the kids in mind, they are increasingly becoming an area where the entire family can connect and have fun together "as opposed to cutesy little toddler play spaces," says Paula Berg, owner of Paula Berg Design Associates.

Today's play area might include a climbing wall, pool table, shuffleboard or even a basketball court or bowling alley. "It's a time to escape from the electronics as a family and have an adventure in the house," Berg says.

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"Generally speaking, the play space is the family room," Pradhan says. "It feels like people are integrating their game room and family room and theater all into one room, so it's more like a community area."

"I think the focus is shifting away from the TV (and video games) and more toward interaction with each other," Gomez says.

Whether you have kids, grandchildren or are merely channeling your inner child, have fun as you create a place for young family and friends, for laughter and play.

Soma Pradhan
3202 Highland Drive, Salt Lake City

Sherman Hayden Custom Home Builders
173 Sidewinder Drive, Park City

Paula Berg Design Associates
1816 Prospector Ave., Park City