Drôle House Blog

Postcard 2

{Postcard 2} "How can I make my kitchen entrance more functional?" - Submitted by Melanie

Melanie' challenge includes a secondary entrance and kitchen eating area with:

  • large garbage and recycling bins to store
  • limited coat and shoe storage
  • limited seating and circulation for the eating area

Back entrances in urban homes were not designed to be heavily used 60-100 years ago. Many families today come walking in from the garage and enter the home through the kitchen, drop their stuff and keep on going. Stuff accumulates especially when coat and shoe storage is non existent. Kitchens also need to account for larger compost, garbage and recycling bins easily accessed so there are many needs to fill in a very small space. 

Melanie's original sketch shows a small area by the door that could house both an new upper coat closet facing the doors as well as garbage bins in the lower portion accessed from the kitchen side. A new built in L shaped bench with storage beneath could make that space more functional for dining, homework, as an art area etc.




{Hammock/Nest} - A Drôle House Prototype

When kids share a bedroom, it is inevitable that one will utter "this side is MINE!" and attempt to negotiate a masking tape divider to mark their territory. While that certainly is one way to awknowledge a child's need for personal/sacred space, there are other possibilities. The vertical space of a room is generally underused, and that's right where this prototype fits in. Part hammock, part nest perched in the upper corner, it lends itself to multiple uses including night light, toy storage, reading nook, hiding space, lookout and tantrum tamer. It's made to hold one little body, so it's off limits to adults and group play. 

The two examples shown here hang from three i-hooks screwed up into the ceiling joists (very important!). One is reached from a wooden ladder tucked into the small space between interior wall and fireplace (fixed to ceiling and floor), the other has wooden holds drilled into a plaster-atop-brick party wall. Each climbing setup can be customized to keep very small children out. Easily put together, easily cleaned, easily dismantled. Appropriate for ages 3-8.

Postcard 1


{Postcard 1}: "How do we fit two twin beds into this space?" - submitted by Conan

Conan's challenge includes a room with:

  • ample furniture, books and toys to store
  • a sloped ceiling that may affect tall shelves and/or headroom
  • radiator and window placement

When rearranging and adding to a room, it's likely that at least one thing will need to be taken away. Figure out what that large piece is (or several small objects are) that need to go. Measure your room including the height in several places and decide if the solution shown can work (twin beds are typically 99cmx190cm). Conan's original sketch shows a small reading corner by the window. New twin beds for each child can mean new reading zones and personal space, but there are also opportunities to include bonus reading "nests" that allow for more sensory enclosure, shown in detail sketches 1 and 2. Discreet, inexpensive shelves can be attached to the wall and/or door to provide special spots for current and favourite books.

Happy rearranging!