Magazine article Sunset

Play House

Magazine article Sunset

Play House

Article excerpt

How a bungalow full of boys and toys manages to be a sanctuary for the grown-ups BY KIMBERLY BROWN SEELY | PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOHN GRANEN

THREE YOUNG BOYS plus a 2,000-squarefoot bungalow might sound like it equals a design challenge, but for this Seattle family, it adds up to a home that's stylish, livable, and friendly to kids and adults alike.

"We didn't have any kids when we first bought here," says Joe Schneider of the Arts and Crafts home he and his wife, Kim Clements, began renovating about eight years ago. The pair, who met in architecture school and now run J.A.S. DesignBuild, took advantage of every inch of available real estate as their family grew by reimagining how rooms could be used. They turned a guest room into a combination sleeping alcove, library nook, and mudroom, for example, and integrated a play corner into the dining room.

"I like to think about almost luring kids into spaces," Clements says.

The result? A small home that feels spacious, rooms that welcome all ages, and a color palette inspired by childhood.

DESIGN Joe Schneiderand Kim Clements, J.A.S. Design-Build, Seattle (jasdesignbuild. com or 206/547-6242)

Go for salvaged materials

"Salvaged materials can add great depth to a room," Schneider says. Here, a chalkboard from an old school lends personality to the dining room. It's usually covered with kids' draw ings" says, Clements. THe dining room table is made with wood recy cled from a bowling alley. Schneider and Clements like to scour industrial equipment distributors, eBay, and Seattle salvage yards for treasures.

Keep it out in the open

Open shelves feel hospitable - guests can just grab wineglasses off the shelf - and force you to edit. "Our rule of thumb?" says Schneider. "If you use it more than once a week, have it out. If you use it afew times a month, stick it in a cabinet. Once or twice a year? It belongs in the basement."

Pick adult-friendly kids' stuff

Kid-compatible style doesn't have to mean beanbags and Legos. The boys store puzzles and games in this sophisticated black table. The polka-dot lampshade by Seattle artist JiI Smith ( and a painting Clements picked up at a yard sale for $io are playful but not cloyingly childish.

How to muster your color courage

Don't try to use every color. …

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