A clever design for life with kids: This North Druid Hills room is for work and play

HGTV’s Chip Wade explains the contemporary design
Child room

Photograph courtesy of Wade Works Creative

Contemporary designs aren’t all sparse, cold, and full of sharp edges and expensive white sofas. In fact, this transformation of a 1950s ranch near North Druid Hills included a living space centered around life with kids—including reading “towers” and hidden storage.

The mother requested a space to work where she could keep an eye on the family’s two rambunctious boys. First, our team opened the floorplan by removing the dividing walls between the front and back living rooms and the dining room. We refinished the existing hardwood floors with a dark, saturated walnut stain that has crisp contrast with the high paneling. But our main efforts were poured into creating custom elements like the children’s individual workspaces and reading nook “towers” built around a central desk. This unique structure gives a great architectural anchor to the front wall of the open concept but provides practical function to a modern lifestyle. With hidden storage built into the unit, cleanup is an easy task. The parents get a clutter-free, visually interesting living space, and the young boys are able to play in their towers or work at their individual side desks, all without being underfoot.

Chip Wade, an Emmy-winning television host/producer, Georgia Tech engineer, HGTV designer, and third-generation craftsman, helps people make home purchasing or improvement decisions. His firm, Wade Works Creative, offers services in residential and commercial design, architecture, realty, and creative construction.

This article appears in our Spring 2018 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.