Designing a Safe Children's Play Area in a Loft Space
A loft area can make a wonderful play area for children. Not only will the children love having a special place to play, but you'll be helping to keep the toy clutter out of the rest of the home as well. When considering a loft conversion, one of the things you need to keep in mind is the noise level. If the loft opens up over another primary living area, such as the living room, you are going to have to decide if a noisy playroom is the best use for the space. However, in many cases, the location of the loft won't be a problem. If the loft opens up over the lower floor, you'll also want to make sure to have a safe railing installed. Depending on your budget, as well as your preferences, you could make a very elaborate loft playroom, or keep it simple. Often all kids really want is a place to play with their toys, a table and chair set, a television and video games, and some comfortable seating. However, depending on the size of your loft and the interests of the children, you can add other more complicated features.
If the loft doesn't currently have carpeted floors, you might want to consider installing carpet, or at least add some large area rugs. Not only will this make the room more comfortable to play in, but it will buffer some of the overhead sound in the lower floors caused by little feet running overhead.
Separate Play Areas
If you have more than one child, it can be a good idea to create different play spaces within the loft. That way if one child is playing video games, the other can be reading or doing a puzzle without disturbing each other. Lofts are always somewhat of a challenge because of the wide open space, and the lack of room divisions, but you can create the illusion of separate spaces by strategically placing furniture in groupings, or even by using room dividers or screens. Whatever you choose for the playroom, make sure it is durable and safe, and not in danger of being knocked over by play.
If your loft area has large windows, plan for adding window blinds or shades. This will allow them to darken the area for watching movies, or let the sun shine in when they are playing. Also, being able to block out the sun when it becomes too intense will make the room more comfortable.
Get the Child's Input
If the children are old enough, ask for their input on decorating the room. Although many times there is a desire to keep the walls a neutral shade in a loft area, especially if the walls are visible from lower floors, you can certainly get their input on accent colors, window shades and accessories. Make sure to include plenty of storage area for toys, just as you would with any play area.
If your loft area is large enough, you might want to consider adding a couple of beds. Even if the space isn't being designed as a bedroom, having a couple of extra beds come in handy for sleepovers, plus many kids really enjoy curling up on the bed with a good book or game. If you don't have this kind of space, you can consider purchasing some flip-out chairs or perhaps a futon for the room.