Child's Room:

Building a child's room is more than creating a place for a little person to sleep at night.

May 31, 2003


The family continued to live on the first floor during construction except for a few days because of a storm. Minimizing exposure to the elements to one week, the new roof and second-story walls were prefabricated in the home’s yard and then lifted into place by a crane. The overall project took six months, including a first-floor remodel. Other interior changes included installing cottage-style double-hung windows, adding a front porch, replacing the fireplace surround, constructing a wood ceiling in the living and dining rooms, and replacing hollow-core doors with two-panel solid wood interior doors.

Building a child's room is more than creating a place for a little person to sleep at night. A child's room is a place of adventure and fantasy. "It is not just a bedroom," says remodeler David Rinka of The Cornerstone Studio in Milwaukee. "There needs to be plenty of floor space to play, more than just room for a bed, dresser and that's it."

Details make a child's room appealing. This room was designed with a window bench, "a cute space for a little girl to play or sit," Rinka says. For the child's room, the owners had requested a bright, sunny, cheerful space. That was achieved through the use of three large double-hung windows and a 9-foot vaulted ceiling for plenty of natural ventilation and light. To accommodate a growing child's needs, two walk-in closets were de-signed for storage. To increase the space's functionality, the child's bathroom was "kept simple with materials chosen to make it exclusively hers," Rinka says. For example, no tile was included in the tub surround to make it easier for the child to clean by herself.

The room was carved out of attic space in a 1950s Cape Cod in Whitefish Bay, Wis. Previous owners in the 1970s had converted the attic into two tiny bedrooms and a claustrophobic bathroom, all with 7-foot ceilings. Without adding square footage to the original footprint, the roof was removed and second-floor walls were added, transforming the cramped, dark space into two bedroom suites with private baths. The transformation added 600 square feet to the second level for a total of 900 square feet on the second floor. Distinctive architectural details such as moldings and window styles keep the room in line with transforming the home from 1950s Cape Cod into 1920s Craftsman style.


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