For a youthful perspective on design's playful potential, look no farther than this slideshow. These five rooms put the fun back in functional.
Design isn't just for adults anymore; the demand for innovative kids' spaces in on the rise. Erica Islas, founder of EMI Interior Design, has been busy creating nursery, kids, and play rooms. Some trends she's spotted recently: "Right now there are a lot of activity-driven things like rock-climbing walls or swings inside rooms. The thing that's taking over chalkboard walls are wall-to-wall dry-erase walls because they're not as messy." She's pictured here in a room she designed in Los Angeles, which features a rock-climbing wall, rope, and plenty of little hangout nooks. Read more childrens' room tips from the designer.
Living small is par for the course in New York City, but accommodating a family of four in under 700 square feet rarely looks as effortless as in this storage-smart renovation. In Jonah Finger's room, all it takes is gentle downward pressure to lower a built-in desk to the floor, bringing a kid-size mattress into position for bedtime. Photo by Raimund Koch.
Photo by: Raimund Koch
In the ground-floor gallery of Andrew Dunbar and Zoee Astrakhan's San Francisco home
, 40-foot-long library shelving is punctuated by floor-to-ceiling columns made from white acrylic panels that conceal low-cost fluorescent-tube lighting. The shelves are enlivened by sliding panels made of Homasote (composed of 98 percent post-consumer recycled paper mulch). They shield books while also providing pin-up space for the children's art projects and the office's large-format print-outs and house plans. Photo by Justin Fantl
Photo by: Justin Fantl
Courtesy of: justin fantl photography
Elsewhere in Dunbar and Astrkhan's family home in San Francisco, walls serve another fun purpose for their kids. The couple initially painted partition walls between the children's room and their own with black metallic paint creating both a writing surface for the children and a magnetic bulletin board for notes. However, "the black looked too oppressive," Astrakhan says. So they applied several coats of lively lime green paint to brighten up that section of the house. Photo by Justin Fantl.
Photo by: Justin Fantl
A mix of warm Brazilian furniture, refined antiques, period furniture, and contemporary lighting turn this renovation project in a hip suburb of Melbourne, Australia, into a family home for the ages. Photo by Stephen Oxenbury.