Image: Janis Nicolay
Homeowner Mariana D’Amici transforms a loft-style space in her Vancouver house into an adventure playground for her son and daughter.
“Having a tree house is every kid’s dream,” says Mariana. Since Vancouver has such a long rainy season, however, she created one in a second living room just outside the bedrooms of Teo, 3, and Ella, 2.
Wallpaper featuring trees serves as a suitable backdrop, while a custom-built fort, kitted out with a slide and chalkboard wall, provides ample protection from marauding invaders (read: adults). The top bunk is a cozy, cushioned hideaway perfect for reading.
“While I love having all the kids’ toys in one room, I also like to keep them out of sight when they’re not in use,” admits Mariana. Custom cabinetry fills one corner of the room in the form of a desk. For now, the kids might paint or draw there, but the expectation is that it will be a spot where homework is done in the future. “I also had a mini-fridge installed to hold drinks and snacks, since the kitchen is far away,” she says.
Mariana took a risk on the hanging bubble chairs, as they required some structural engineering to mount. “It was worth it. I wanted seating that was off the ground, first of all, because a sofa would have been too constricting in the space,” she says.
“I also wanted to maintain clear sightlines. You want to be able to see your kids at all times, especially when they’re very young.” Mariana loves to swing in a bubble chair with Ella in her arms while watching television or listening to Teo play on his Schoenhut drum set.