Loft and storage nooks create inviting spaces for children's room

This is the kid's place for sleep and play that New York architect Ari Bahat designed and had built for his two sons, ages 3 and 6. The bedroom the youngsters share in the family's Manhattan apartment measures 10 by 20 feet.

Mr. Bahat kept an open, airy feeling in the room by providing built-in bunk beds on one side of the room and a sleeping loft, hung from two beams, on the other side. The loft is for sleeping a guest and for general study and play. Both upper bunk and sleeping loft are reached by built-in, carpeted steps.

Even the steps and a little landing, Mr. Bahat points out, provide intriguing space for the children and their friends. Children enjoy playing at the various levels. He finds that his own little boys are imaginative and inventive in the ways they use the various levels.

Often, he says, they drape sheets from the upper bunk or loft to create their own tents. And they love all the nooks and crannies into which they can tuck themselves and their belongings.

The hanging loft includes a built-in bed, desk, and storage area. Although an adult can stand straight in the loft, Mr. Bahat says he thinks it will be a space solution only until the youngest child is about nine years old. Then, since it was a simple and inexpensive addition of plywood painted glistening white, it will probably be removed.

Building in the two bunks and the loft, he says, allows far better use of the volume of space in the room. More of the floor area is left free for toys and for running tricycles, trains, and the like. For warmth and for withstanding the normal wear and tear, the architect chose a nubby, neutral nylon carpet that is soil and stain resistant.

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