It’s well known that a child’s physical environment can have a profound effect on how he or she develops into adulthood. So then it goes without saying that your playroom may be one of the most important rooms in your house. At least that’s what Denise Davies of D2 Interieurs and Karri Bowen-Poole of Smart Playrooms think, leading to their decision to join forces last year to found Smart D2 Playrooms; the duo focuses on designing well-thought-out, educational play spaces for high-end commercial and residential interiors. “The playroom should be a special place where a kid can create, pretend, and have fun,” Davies says. Smart D2 Playrooms delivers on this promise, creating whimsical, aesthetically appealing spaces that include rock-climbing walls, monkey bars, playhouses, and foam pits, just to name a few attractions. Upon the company’s launch of its first online retail store, ED asked the pair to share their tips on what every playroom needs. Get creative and design away!
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“Every playroom needs a swing!” Bowen-Poole says. “It’s an activity that kids can really enjoy by themselves. Swinging also helps with sensory integration by stimulating the senses and helping kids to focus, balance, and control their muscles.”
USE THE WALLS FOR CLIMBING...
“Playroom walls can be used for decor but also for an activity,” Bowen-Poole says. “We love adding rock-wall panels as well as our rock-climbing holds to bring a burst of color to the room, while at the same time strengthening gross- and fine-motor movements.”
...AND DECORATE THEM, TOO
“We have partnered with Billy the Artist and Allyson Monsoon Photography to create custom, one-of-a-kind playroom decor,” Davies says. “Our decals give a punch of interest and color to the walls while also planting the seeds of a deep love for and appreciation of art.”
USE SOFT MATS FOR FLOORING
“In addition to providing a safe landing spot for climbers, our fitness carpets encourage a variety of gymnastic and yoga movements, which can increase flexibility, strength, balance, and coordination,” Davies says.
ENCOURAGE OPEN-ENDED PLAY
“Most homes and playrooms are filled with toys that kids truly have no interest in!” Bowen-Poole says. “To evaluate a toy, ask yourself, Is it open-ended? Open-ended toys can be used in more than one way, which is what keeps imaginative and creative children engaged.”
WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS...USE YOUR GARAGE
“My one-car garage was just being used to store bikes and other belongings,” Bowen-Poole says. “So I customized the design and layout to the ages and interests of my family. I created a ‘ninja warrior’ circuit—a rock wall, monkey bars, trapeze, and rings—a sleepover nook in the loft space, open space for yoga and Pilates and weight lifting, a punching bag for online boxing classes, and hooks on the ceiling to add a swing for my 11-year-old!”