Playroom for boys should be designed for easy upkeep

INSIDE ADVICE

December 01, 1991|By Rose Bennett Gilbert | Rose Bennett Gilbert,Copley News Service

Q: My stepdaughter has just moved in with her college roommate, and I'd like to turn her bedroom into a play area for our sons, 11 and 9. I plan to use the computer and a TV for their video games, plus a desk, table and chairs, so they can use the room for everything. What am I missing?

A: Do what professional interior designers do: Ask your "clients," your sons. If they help plan their own space, it will come closest to meeting their needs.

Since you asked me first, I'd suggest that you consider comfortable seating, perhaps a love seat or chair with a hideaway bed for sleep-overs. I'd also pay close attention to maintainability. Everyone will enjoy the playroom more if you build easy upkeep into the design. Some examples:

*Washable, durable walls. Vinyl and vinyl-coated wall coverings not only shrug off finger marks and more, they can take abuse that would shatter a painted plaster wall.

*Smart floors. Carpet has many virtues -- it's soft, sound-absorbing and can be soil-repellent -- but no floor is as easy on the housekeeping crew as vinyl. It, too, is softer and warmer to young knees than either wood or ceramic.

*Simple windows. Light and privacy control are keys to your choice of window dress. I'd dispense with curtains or other fabric treatments in favor of hard surfaces like shades, blinds or shutters.

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