This was a very special space to design. The family who brought me in to create the space has two daughters, one of whom lives with cerebral palsy. I learned a lot about the special needs of children with this disorder while designing this space. The design concept was one that was largely designed around the special needs of the child with extra necessities, as well as for her younger sister who supported her, and their mother and aids who came into the space to assist.
The mother’s requests were that the space be young and fresh, with an overall sense of cleanliness, inspiration to be creative and to have fun. The original space before we renovated it was a plain room with toys, books, activities, crafts, and learning aids everywhere in complete disarray. The mother requested an organizational system that would allow her and any aids who came in to assist her in her daughter’s care to be able to easily find the tools and learning aids in order to work with her daughter, as well as to put them away easily at the end of the sessions to lighten the work on her plate.
I designed custom cabinetry to manage all of the toys, crafts, activities, learning aids, and so much more. I designed a craft and learning surface for both girls to sit at with a wheel chair or ordinary chair in comfort to play together, paint together, or learn together.
The large mural on the one wall is a custom design I created to bring a fun girlie touch to the room, but there’s a lot of magical function in that it is magnetic and it provides a place low to the ground where the one daughter can go through large and fine motor skill exercises with magnets. Before the wall, they had a bunch of cumbersome boards they tried to use with her that were frustrating and took up a lot of space.
One big request of the mother was to have a soft surface on the floor, as they do a lot of floor or tummy time with her daughter, so she wanted it to not only be comfortable for her daughter, but for her or the aid who is on the floor working with her for 30-60 minutes at a time. We utilized a colorful area rug that provided soft fibers to the touch and a bit of cushioned support with a rug pad beneath.