Wednesday, June 8

Home to Win Designers Offer Tips For Kids' Spaces (Including Kindergarten!)

HGTV's fun new series Home to Win features 20 of the network's stars (you may have heard of Sarah Richardson, Bryan Baeumler, Scott McGillivray and Mike Holmes, for example) who have come together to renovate one home from top to bottom...oh, and did I mention you can audition to win the house?!

Since my pending job change has kindergarten on my brain, I was excited to get the chance to ask a couple of Home To Win's designers for their tips for ideal children's spaces...whether it's a dream kindergarten classroom or a room in a home! Jo Alcorn and Tiffany Pratt were up for the challenge, and here's what they had to suggest!

From Jo Alcorn (she designed the Children's Zone on Home to Win)

  • Durability is key! Use materials that are washable or easy to wipe down, like polyester fabrics, gloss paint and furniture surfaces. Outdoor rugs and pillows are great as they bring a comfy touch to the space and are easy to clean.

  •  Clever storage: An alphabetized cubby system also serves as a learning tool. Clear storage helps you see what’s in the bins. Or use a colour-coding system if you have a LOT of Legos or craft items.

  • Use multi-functional pieces! Brightly-painted nesting tables save space and provide a pop of colour in any space, magazine racks can be used for storing books as well as craft paper, storage ottomans are always a great addition as they add extra moveable seating as well as a hiding place for the clutter.  Display art easily and quickly with clipboards. It is decorative and user friendly for a wide range of ages.

  • Creating zones is important to any space but when it comes to kids it helps them understand how to behave. If a space is too open, you may find children running wildly. Set up shelves and other furniture to divide the room into separate learning and play areas. This will cut down on running and help children find activities more easily.

Oh, I so want this zone for my classroom. HGTV, can you help me out? Please?!

From Tiffany Pratt (she designed the Kids' Bedroom on Home to Win)

  • ACCESSIBLE:  Keep all workspaces low and easy to use. Coloured Plexi with bulldog clips is a great, easy to clean alternative to mini easels and also adds a fun pop of colour.

  •  VISIBLE: Peg board is brilliant for many reasons. Use it as storage with mini buckets, display art on clips and possibly the best part, make everything visible and easy to use.

  •  TOO MUCH STORAGE: A place for everything and everything in its place! Storage is the key to a tidy space and makes the clean up much more efficient. Long drawers are perfect for storing art and low sliding bins make materials accessible to everybody. A quick brush of blackboard paint on the front makes a great base label for personalized drawers.

  •  SHOW OFF: Keep it fun by showing off the masterpieces created in the space. String lines are easy to put up and washi tape is even simpler!

Thanks to Jo and Tiffany for your fun tips! If only I could have you with me as I create my new classroom!

Be sure to visit Home to Win for more information, and to enter their weekly contest - you could win products or a cash prize to use towards your dream home! Watch the remaining episodes of Home to Win Sundays at 10 p.m. Eastern on HGTV!