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How to Create a Stylish Space for the Kids to Hang, Game, and Crash

South Harlow Interiors designer Erika Gavin gives all the details on this modern, multi-functional pool room
Amber Thrane

By Wendy Manwarren Generes

One Room January

One Room January

Amber Thrane

Architect Christian Rice introduced the owner of this Coronado home to designer Erika Gervin of South Harlow Interiors to help them modernize their historic Spanish-style abode. “We worked with a clean aesthetic and very little color or pattern,” she says. “The homeowner preferred to use black, white, and wood tones throughout.” This area, designed for the kids, maintains the same style as the rest of the home but features more durable finishes and furnishings. That’s because this multitasking room functions as the pool house, game-and-lounge area, and sleepover spot.

Laying the Foundation

The floors were tricky, Gervin admits. “The homeowner wanted tile since this room is right off the pool,” she says. But this isn’t just a private space near the pool, where guests can change, shower, and use the bathroom. “There’s a big hangout area and a place to sleep, too. It needed to feel cozy.” The  compromise: European oak engineered hardwood floors from Artisan Hardwood’s Hermitage Collection that withstand water (for the most part)—the construction provides some extra protection against warping. Plus, the light color doesn’t show fading from the sun the way darker tones would.

Take A Seat

The furniture in this room needed to be functional and flexible. Water won’t destroy this faux-leather sofa from Urban Outfitters even if the kids sit on it straight from the pool. It also folds down to become a sleeper to accommodate another kid or two. To cozy up the little lounge, Gervin found a small-scale side table and plush area rug.

Aiming High

Gervin custom-designed the beds. The homeowner wanted to be able to walk beneath the top bunk and fit queen beds on top and bottom. Without traditional bedside tables, Gervin got creative, installing a bench at the foot of the top bunks to hold water glasses. “Also, consider lighting for each bed,” she says. “We put a sconce on its own switch above every bed.” So one kid can, for instance, stay up to read without keeping the entire room up.

One Room January

One Room January

Amber Thrane

Sweet Dreamin’

The coziest beds wear layers. Gervin dresses every bed (including her own at home) with sheets (these are from Parachute Home), a lightweight quilt (these are from Urban Outfitters), a comforter, and throw pillows. “Even in a room with multiple beds, I don’t dress them exactly the same,” she says. “Mixing and matching linens and pillows makes the room feel more organic and less rigid, but you do need a common thread or color so the variety feels intentional.” She added a patterned pillow on every bed and paired it with a solid green or tan.


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