Any child would love a special space of their own to play, explore, imagine or simply be themselves. Here are four amazing spaces where kids’ (and parents’) fantasies are turned into reality.
PLAYROOM FOR THREE (PLUS FRIENDS)
Just to the right of their Valley Stream home’s entry is the Harrison family’s playroom — with its treehouse, rainbow and tree murals, pegboards for artwork (dubbed “Harrison Fine Art Gallery"), bean bag chairs, cushions, crafts table, TV and shelves.
HOW THE IDEA CAME ABOUT Eleisha Harrison, 33, says she wanted a wondrous place for children Mariyah, 7, Vanessa, 5, and Elias, 2. “We wanted them to have their own space where they could use their imaginations," says Harrison, a stay-at-home mother, adding that “they helped design it.”
HOW THE FAMILY DID IT They created the treehouse by adding scrap wood from Home Depot onto an IKEA bunk bed. Harrison painted the murals. “It was a lot of DIY," she says.
COST Under $500.
WHAT THE KIDS SAY “It’s now their favorite room in the house,” says Harrison.
VROOM VROOM ROOM
This Holbrook bedroom features a custom, bright-red car bed with black carbon fiber detailing and a real Porsche hood emblem. A key fob car remote operates LED lights in the wheels and under the bed as well as the working headlights in front of the bed. The rest of the room resembles a garage with bright red metalized, diamond plate wainscoting on the wall, a commercial garage door, metal cabinets and custom European race car wallpaper.
HOW THE IDEA CAME TO BE Philip Danza, who owns a company that wraps cars in advertisements for businesses, designed the bedroom four years ago for his son, Leonardo. “He was into race cars from birth, because, I guess, I was into it,” says Danza, 42. These days, Leonardo, 7, has to often share his room with his brother Luciano, 3, who also is into cars, Danza says.
HOW IT WAS DONE The room was once Danza's office. “I conceptualized the entire thing from start to finish,” he says. “I probably spent over six months just conceptualizing the whole thing and sourcing the materials.” He says he dropped the original ceiling about six inches to add depth to the space and left the center of it exposed to incorporate lighting. He painted the ceiling matte black and layered a computer-designed mural of the sky lit by the moon and stars.
COST “I lost track after about $25,000,” says Danza, noting that the bed was $2,500 and lighting was $1,500.
WHAT THE KIDS SAY “I love it,” says Leonardo. “It has all my favorite cars on the walls. I like the moon. I like the bed, and it lights up."
A RETREAT FOR MOTHER AND CHILD
A nursery for 8-week-old Lillyan Farley of Hicksville features white oak floors, a slipcovered chair, a faux fur area rug and floor pillow, animal prints in wooden frames, a wood blanket ladder, blush-colored sheer drapes, pillow and blanket and a giant fake cactus.
HOW THE IDEA CAME TO BE Sayville interior designer Dawn Totevski says she started with an inspiration photo of what she envisioned for the room, which she presented to Lillyan’s mom, Jennifer Halpern, 41, a homemaker. “Luckily for this project, my vision appealed to her,” says Totevski, adding that she aimed “to keep an earthy, but still bright feel to the baby’s room.” Adds Totevski, who owns Design Inspiration: “Light wood and minimalistic design are very trendy right now, for every room."
HOW THEY DID IT Totevski and Halpern browsed the web for design ideas, looking to achieve a rustic farmhouse look. The result, says Totevski, is a nursery with “clean lines, calm colors and cozy textures.” Apart from Totevski’s design work, the floor was stained white and a custom door installed.
COST About $2,500 for rug, furniture, decor, wall art, bedding, light and chair.
WHAT MOM SAYS “I love how the pictures of the animals on the wall accent the curtains and the design of the room," says Halpern. "It’s very warm and cozy.”
FUN TO THE RESCUE
Taking up one side of the basement of a Garden City home, this 15-by-25-foot playroom contains a sofa, two ottomans, bean bag chairs, an arts-and-crafts table, a hammock swing, a bookcase and a playhouse under the stairs that contains floor pillows, a tea set and books.
HOW THE IDEA CAME TO BE The basement used to be a catchall of old furniture. Contractors and designers created the room for the McCarton family’s two daughters, the older of whom has a medical condition. The makeover was featured in a 2017 episode of the NBC-TV show “George to the Rescue."
HOW IT WAS DONE Garden City interior designer Liz Kohart filled the room with bright, tactile toys to help daughter Audrey, who has microcephaly and is now 6, with fine and gross motor skills. There also is a hammock. “The whole intention behind it was to make it really bright, childlike and fun,” says Kohart.
COST About $10,000 for furnishings and construction, all courtesy of the show and donors.
WHAT THE KIDS SAY Audrey and sister, Vivienne, 4, spend as much time as possible in the playroom, says mother Tara McCarton, 47, an investment banking director. “Audrey does a lot of her therapy sessions down there,” says McCarton, adding that Audrey loves the table, which lights up. Vivienne, their mother adds, “loves her little playroom under the stairs. That’s where she sits and reads books and has little tea parties.”