By Bethany Lyttle Kids will play almost anywhereâ¿¿in mud puddles, in rock piles, in large cardboard boxes. But give them the option to tumble into a well-stocked designer play room and most youngsters will trade up in an instant. So, what makes for a dream play space? "Fun places to hide, lots of creative storage and enough open space for kids to let loose or build a fort," says JJ Fox of JJ Fox Interior Design in Philadelphia.Full List: Amazing Playrooms For ChildrenWhen Fox designed a gigantic play space in Margate, New Jersey, she included all the play room staplesâ¿¿and much more. Transforming an entire floor of a 1930s home, she created a sprawling, brightly-colored space that's as kid-friendly and educational as it is easy on the eye. The room features a window bench for story time (with secret storage beneath), a bathroom, a crawlspace and custom bunks painted happy taxi-yellow. Red and aqua rugs pop like polka dots on the white-painted floors. And striped window dressings, numeral-adorned throw pillows and racing decals add a graphic note. The best detail, though? A huge world map, cleverly adapted as wallpaper.For condominium dwellers, space can be tight and rarely are large rooms available to devote entirely to games and toys. That's where a giant play center comes in. Tricked out as an ultra-posh play room, the communal fun space at Jade Ocean, a luxury condominium in Sunny Isles, Florida, caters to kid residents. The black and white room was decorated with goods from a shop called Genius Jones in Miami Beach, a store that caters to the more elaborate tastes of the child-and-parent (or grandparent) set. Details include a tiny Alfa Romeo for riding about a down-sized Phillipe Starck ghost chairs for crafts or story time.But when it comes to classicâ¿¿even iconicâ¿¿style, attic-style play rooms win out. And with its slanted ceilings and little windows, a play attic in Madison, Wisconsin, is the stuff of storybooks and Mary Poppins. Adorned with salvaged gingerbread trim from a home renovation down the street, the room has its own hand-crafted tree and a ceiling mural that resembles the sky. Kids who visit will find a play kitchen and a charming, oversized dollhouse.Full List: Amazing Playrooms For ChildrenTo design the space, the homeowners relied on their creativity. Craft-shop letters were hung by ribbons to spell out the couple's daughter's name. Millwork was employed to disguise ugly heating ducts, resulting in a sweet reading seat and part of the playroom's kitchen. Thrift stores were the go-to for details such as the curtains, lamps, and attic lanterns. And building supplies were selected from Habitat for Humanity's ReStore.
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