Archive for the 'kid-friendly' Category

May 3rd, 2013
By Deb Villeneuve
Translation of  Jennifer Larocque’s original article by Deb Villeneuve

Step-families are a part of today’s reality. With more and more half-brothers and half-sisters among the millions of children throughout, harmonious family life has become a major challenge for many.
Inside the home, the logistics of shared space is of utmost importance. As little as possible must be left to chance in order to maintain harmony within the shared space that answers to the occupants’ needs.
Common living areas must take into consideration the diverse activities that will take place such as reading, talking, listening to music, playing games, and doing homework. Mealtime should ideally bring everyone together to share the day’s events and build the bonds so crucial to a family unit.
Children need their own space in which to interact with each other on their own terms. Although it is not always possible to give each child a separate bedroom, the use of color can help to define each child’s personal space.
 Here are a few house plans that may help you choose the best compromise between space requirements and budget concerns. Drummond House Plans has a collection of models which offer comfortable accommodations for today’s larger families that have features such as an attached garage, home office or media room, a second family room, a minimum of two full bathrooms, a finished basement and more…


For larger families, how about this craftsman style home that is the perfect place to enjoy family life in the country, on the lakefront or slope side.

This charming chalet offers 6 beautiful bedrooms, 4 of which are in the basement and 2 bathrooms with each a shower. There is a powder room on the main level and a full bathroom complete with a separate shower and double vanity to accommodate the two upstairs bedrooms.
Abundant fenestration, a large kitchen with central island along with a dining room that has enough space to seat 12 and a cathedral ceiling in the fireplace equipped family room enhance the livability of this home. The double entrances offer a large closet for the main foyer and enough room to store skis and sports accessories along with a washer and dryer at the other.
Another pleasing feature of this home is the second living room in the basement and the large covered terrace.

If you are looking for an original, 4 bedroom plan that offers abundant fenestration and the ability to fit on a narrow lot – look no further!
Outside, the striking curb appeal of this home is enhanced by the unique window style with its vertical orientation.
Once inside, the large family room is bright yet cozy with its central fire place and room for seating in whichever configuration suits your family’s needs.

In the basement, the two 11′x10′ bedrooms, shower room, laundry area and bright, workshop/storage area are features that are sure to be appreciated by the occupants.
The main level offers a kitchen/dining/living area that is bathed in natural light along with a bathroom with separate shower and two good sized bedrooms with a walk-in closet in the master bedroom where a fireplace could be installed into the existing chimney.

With contemporary style, this large home offers a much sought after look with 3-4 bedrooms and a split level design with a garage the fits a relatively narrow lot
This home has a rear orientation for the well fenestrated kitchen/dining/living room area with patio doors that open onto a beautiful 19′ x 10′ covered terrace.
Inspired by plan 3407 with its more European styling,  Aldana has a comfortable entrance foyer which includes a spacious closet and space for a home office. The large island in the kitchen and walk-in pantry are features that are sure to please and the fireplace built ins in the family area are extra touches that add a special feeling to this home.

Just 4 steps from the main level is a separate laundry area/powder room and the stairwell, open to the second floor, enhances the natural lighting and creates an open ambiance.
At the top of the stairs is a superbly appointed master suite complete with corner shower and walk-in closet. Two other bedrooms and a separate bathroom share the second floor and a full basement is ready to be finished to suit the owners’ needs.


March 20th, 2012
By Vivian Martin

We are seeing more and more use of chalk paint used in decor to create space for notes or a blank canvas for young (and young-at-heart) artists.

We have yet to test this DIY project but it comes from Better Homes and Gardens, so we are confident that success is just a brush-stroke away.

Better Homes & Gardens Recipe for Custom-Hued Chalk Paint

While you can find chalkboard paint at almost any crafts or art store or home center, if you’re longing for a hue that’s not available on store shelves, concoct your own. To create your own custom color of chalk-ready paint, simply combine 1 cup latex paint in your desired shade with 2 tablespoons of unsanded tile grout. Use a paint stirrer to mix. During application, gently sand the dry layers of paint between coats with 150-grit sandpaper. Apply several coats for best color.

Feel free to share pictures of your project using this DIY technique!

February 16th, 2012
By Vivian Martin

I recently attended a homeshow where a manufacturer was doing a demo of induction cooktops. A pot of water was at a rolling boil and a twenty dollar bill was tucked between it and the cooking element. So that got my curiosity up! On another element, a pan of chocolate was being held at an ideal temperature for dipping strawberries. No bain marie or any special tools to keep the chocolate from scorching. Safety and control… every cook’s dream!

Image courtesy of The Induction Site

I have long been a “gas snob” because of the instant-on, instant off and range of control simply not available with electric cook-tops. I was also naive in thinking I would need to replace all of my cookware if I switched over to induction cooking. Wrong again. The prerequisite of induction cooking is cookware with ferrous content. Essentially, if a magnet will cling to a pot, it can be used on an induction cooktop.

Induction cooktops came out in the 1970s and have become very popular in Europe and only trending in North America recently. Control, cleanability, safety and energy efficiency is making them a popular choice for families of all stages. 

Rather than relying on a flame as with gas ranges or electric elements or burners with electric stoves, an induction cooktop has a series of burners that create magnetic fields, which, in turn, induct or introduce a warming effect on ferrous pots and pans. The cooking vessels themselves heat and cook the food, not the components of the stove. The cooktop will feel warm after use, but will remain safe for the human skin to touch. When thinking of a home embracing universal design (safe and accessible for all abilities), induction cooktops have incredible potential. They would also potentially be much safer when placed in an island because of their very nature.

Spills are easily cleaned as they occur because one does not need to wait for the surface to cool before wiping down. Simply remove the pot and wipe the spill, then resume cooking! Similarly to a glass cooktop, they are easy to clean because there are no depressions to accumulate spills. 

Induction cooktops are touted as being much more energy-efficient in their operation, but also consider that they heat the pots directly so you will have reduced cooling costs in the summer due to their reduced wasted energy.

Curious about induction but need more information? The GE appliance site has a wealth of information, as does The Induction Site.

Are you curious as to how much energy is used by many of your home appliances and electronics? This table from Toronto Hydro may be helpful. Or, if you want to be even more precise, use the energy calculator from the OEE to compare apples to apples when selecting appliances.

August 31st, 2011
By Vivian Martin

Paul Anater of Kitchen and Residential Design is a prolific writer who’s articles show up in many design circles. He has posted a series of flooring articles on one of our favorite design sites, Houzz.  

Have pets, kids and a tight budget? Easy-care resilient floors may be the choice for you. 

Shaw Sumter Tile vinyl flooring traditional vinyl flooring

So far in this flooring series, I’ve discussed a variety of ceramic tile, plank wood, engineered wood and laminate floors. Rounding out but by no means completing this series are linoleum and vinyl — also called resilient flooring, or sheet goods. Resilient flooring’s a better term because not all resilient floors come as sheets. What they have in common, however, is an ironlike durability and the promise of easy maintenance.

While no flooring material is perfect, resilient floors have been a popular choice since the middle of the 19th century, though that popularity waxes and wanes with the times. These days, resilient flooring is enjoying a resurgence. According to the great people at Floor Covering News, it’s currently the only flooring category enjoying a growing market share.

Resilient flooring products remain popular, though they may not carry the cachet they once did. For a lot of people, these floors’ easy-to-live-with nature makes them the logical choice for house full of kids and or pets. That they can cost significantly less money than the alternatives adds to their popularity.

If you’re in the market for a resilient floor, be sure to do your research, find a reputable retailer and ask lots of questions. How long one of these floors will last and wear plays a direct role in how much you’ll pay for it.

Follow the slide show for more resilient flooring options…

More flooring guides

April 3rd, 2011
By Vivian Martin

Thanks to Twitter and Facebook, I sometimes have too much exposure to great ideas. Effective use of space is always a challenge so when I came across this blog post from August Fields it was a given that I had to share it with our readers. This is an intriguing and well-planned kids’ room that sleeps four with ease. With the beds tucked up on the side wall, private sleep compartments, built-in book niches and open floor space, this room would have any kid’s seal of approval.

The side of the room opposite the bunk wall is a sunny, open space complete with window seat and ample storage.

For the full blog post, visit the August Fields blog.

February 22nd, 2011
By Vivian Martin

It may seem hard to imagine with the current conditions outside, but now is the perfect time to start thinking about backyard season. In addition to planning your gardens and picking patio furniture, it might be time to start considering taking on an outdoor project. To that regard, may I suggest a playhouse?

The one I had when I was little seems more like a play-shanty when compared to the ones here, which offer plenty in the way of inspiration. Imagine how much fun a kid — or, hey, even an adult — could have in these pint-size works of art? And for those of us without kids or grandchildren, I’ve added a grown-up option or two as well.

Article courtesy of Houzz. Enjoy the slide show below or click on the image to access original article.

February 8th, 2011
By Vivian Martin

Hybrid Kitchen Islands Swap Storage for a Table-Like Look and More Seating 

Lately, a whole lot of kitchen islands are starting to look an awful lot like kitchen tables. Sure, furniture-style legs and other details have been around for ages in kitchen island design, but this trend is taking the table idea bit further, with more and more wood tops, little or no storage underneath, and seating on at least two sides. When these islands do have storage, it’s high enough off the ground so you can see under them. These islands look and feel more like tables, but for practical purposes, they’re still a 36″ counter-height island. 

Follow the slides below for some kitchen inspiration!

December 31st, 2010
By Vivian Martin

A lot of corks will be popping this evening, you may want to think about some creative recycling! An Ontario company specializes in the recycling of natural cork.

Jelinek Cork Group has been supplying cork flooring throughout the world for many decades. Today the company remains the oldest existing supplier of cork floors and other related cork products. With the many years of experience in the cork flooring business and through innovative research in design, technology, and production Jelinek cork flooring continues to be recognized for excellent quality, innovation, uniqueness and choice. Many Jelinek cork flooring installations made in the mid 1950’s are still in excellent condition today.

In keeping environmental and natural products in the forefront, Jelinek Cork Group was one of the founders of an innovative wine cork collection & recycling initiative. Hundreds of thousands of used wine corks are collected each year. Jelinek recycles these corks and uses them (among other products) in the production of some of the cork flooring, described below.

There are numerous reasons which make Jelinek cork flooring the ideal floor covering whether for residential, commercial, or industrial purposes:

  • environmentally friendly natural flooring
  • produced from renewable resource
  • soft & warm
  • underfoot comfort
  • prolonged standing is fatigue free
  • helps reduce aching of hips, knees, feet, and back
  • excellent insulator
  • hygienic
  • anti-static
  • anti-allergenic
  • decorative
  • water resistant
  • does not entrap dirt or fungi
  • excellent indentation recovery
  • easy to maintain
  • wide selection of patterns, colors, and designs
  • long life with little care
  • easy installation
  • sound absorbing and insulating

Source: Jelinek Cork Group

We at DrummondHousePlans, wish you a safe and Happy New Year and a wonderful 2011!

November 29th, 2010
By Vivian Martin

Designing a kid-friendly bathroom can be a challenge. Color and pattern are great in small doses, but too much whimsy, and the room runs the risk of being quickly outgrown. We asked designer Christopher Coleman to share some of his trade secrets on designing a kid-friendly bathroom that’s both fun and enduring.

Splash of color

Kids love color, and it might be tempting to wash every wall in bright tones and primary hues. However, it’s important to remember that too much color can be distracting.

“Color is a thing for everybody, you just need to find the right dosage” says Coleman. “Introduce color in the fixtures, like the sink or shower curtain, or even a wall mural.”

Keep the walls and floor basic by using beige or white, and add splashes of color with tiles, towels, and other fixtures and accessories. A green or blue sink will stand out if the surrounding walls are white or neutral. Greens, yellows, blues, and tans work great in a kid’s bath, and they are not overbearing, like pink or orange can be.

Patterns are just as important as color. A painted sink adds playful surprise to the standard fixture. Horizontal and vertical stripes are also great ways to add whimsy to a room without going overboard. They’re mature enough for any room, and they introduce another hint of color to the space.

Toy box

With the abundance of toys and trinkets that naturally accompany kids, storage is important in a kid’s bath. If your bathroom doesn’t already have ample storage space, get creative. Keep a wicker basket on the toilet tank, or purchase a plastic shoe holder to hang on the shower rod for toy storage. The key to making any space look nice is to contain the clutter.

“If you have the luxury of space in the wall, it’s always great to create niches” says Coleman. “Rolling cars are always nice, like a floating vanity. They can hide extra toiletries, and are easy to move around the space.”

Sticks and stones

Kids love to touch and feel everything; give them some variety in the bathroom. Stone tiles make a great backsplash, and glass tiles work well around the mirror or in the shower. Vary materials and textures.  

“Bathrooms don’t always have to be marble and tile” says Coleman. “I use more natural materials, like concrete and wood. Natural materials have nice textures, and are actually safer because they provide more friction.”

Growing up

Unfortunately, all kids must grow up sometime. While they’re still young, it’s important to create a space in which they can maneuver.

 For the sink, consider a step stool that can be easily tucked away when not in use. Touchless faucets are easy to reach without needing to turn a handle, and can be set to a comfortable temperature, ensuring the water never gets too hot.

For the toilet, consider a toilet training seat. It fits over any regular size seat, but creates a comfortable and safe place to sit for younger, smaller children. The Transitions seat also frees up space by removing the need for a tot toilet.

In the shower or bath, install adjustable showerheads and handshowers. This will allow you to direct water to any height. Handshowers are great when for washing kids who won’t sit still.

Throughout the room, consider light switches placed at a lower height, or even motion-sensors for those too short to reach the switch.

Safety first

Making a bathroom kid-friendly invoves taking a few extra steps in safety. There are a number of things you can do to reduce risks in the restroom.

1. Install quiet-close toilet seats to keep tiny fingers from getting pinched.
2. Use toilet and cabinet clamps to keep kids from reaching in the toilet, and to lock up bathroom cleaners.
3. Plug all outlets with safety guards.
4. Use shower mats to avoid slippery floors.
5. Install grab bars near the tub or toilet to make it easy for kids to get in and out.
6. Use drain covers to keep kids from reaching in, and to keep the toys out.
7. Install touchless faucets for both preset, safe temperatures and easy-to-reach fixtures.

Can I help?

Let the kids give input on some of the design decisions. “Not everything has to match” says Coleman. “Remember, it’s for a child, it should have some sort of fun and adventure.”

Put up kids artwork in the bathroom to make the space both personal and fun. Let the kids paint a tile for the backsplash, or let them decorate a mirror frame. The best way to design a kids bathroom, is to get their input. Just remember, they grow up fast!

Source: Kohler Canada


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