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Vol. 2 {Sisters Collective: The Hidden Functionality}

Updated: Sep 24, 2023

The key to any great kid's room all comes down to remembering a simple equation:

Functionality + Fun = F^2

I have warned you that I am an engineer by trade, right? I am a nerd at heart and love it! It is because of this nerdy-ness that I am able to think more creatively for functional solutions. To brainstorm. To whiteboard out ideas. To understand if they will work through prototyping out solutions. The function of a space is what makes it work, and the fun of a space is where the joy is brought to life! You need both, but they usually don't play too nicely together; they need to be carefully balanced. While designing the Sister Collective kids bedroom, there was a lot of careful consideration and thought put in to not only the functionality, but how can we "hide" this boring part of the room? I mean, I don't know about your kids, but I haven't met a kid yet that walks into a bedroom and shouts with glee, "YES! Those bins are my FAVORITE part of my room!" (ok, truth be told...I may have been one of those kids...) Their favorite part is usually the FUN part of the equation. So, how do you ensure that your design has the functionality that is needed for a successful design? Check out my TOP 10 for how I hid, or made fun, the FUNCTIONALITY part of the equation for the Sister's Collective! Be inspired by the images & be intrigued as you read your favorite ones.

1: Hidden Ladder

For the Sisters Collective I wanted a hidden ladder. A ladder that wouldn't detract your eye from the seamless railing and beautiful bedding. The ladder is on the back side of the dresser; hidden from view. This concept did take some prototyping to ensure that you could easily go under the loft space and climb up. The solution proved successful! The hidden ladder provides easy access to the bed along with being parent tested & kid approved!

Hidden loft ladder

2: Hidden Zipper Bedding

"If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed"

-Admiral William McRaven

However, who has kids that actually like to make their bed? You have to make it easier for them, especially in a loft space where making a bed is quite the workout! Invest in good zipper bedding so that they can wake up in the morning, zip up their covers like a sleeping bag, and fluff their pillow. Bed made in only a couple minutes! I selected to use Beddy's zipper bedding product.

Beddy's Zipper Bedding for loft bed

3: Hidden Bedside Lighting

There are a lot of lighting considerations for kid bedrooms when designing loft spaces. They have to have ways to control lighting from on and off of the lofted space - especially in the dark! For the Sisters Collective, I created a three-light lighting design. First, the ladder has a rechargeable, motion-detecting light. This light illuminates if they ever need to get up in the middle of the night, and allows their sister to keep sleeping soundly. Second, there is a remote controlled sconce light above their bed to use as a reading light. This could have also been a switch light, but then they would miss the fun feature of choosing if they wanted purple, red, or white lighting to set the mood. This light gives them lighting while they are in their loft space. Finally, the third light design was to wire the chandelier to a Smart Switch. This allows the sisters to have the main light on while they are playing, but the ability to turn it off once they are safely in their lofted bed for bedtime by simply saying "Hey Google, turn of light."

Loft bed reading sconce light

4: Hidden Chandelier Lights

When selecting the beautiful chandelier for this room, it was very difficult to find the perfect solution that checked the boxes on height, number of lights needed, and cost. The chandelier selected was in fact only a one-light chandelier. This light was not enough for a room of this size, so I easily converted it! (No, I am by no means blessed in the electrical realm!) I purchased a converter, that turns one light socket into 5. Then I purchased the smallest 60W bulb I could find. The result, an awe-inspiring light that checked all the boxes!

Capiz chandelier converted from one light to five lights

5: Hidden Space

Every kid's space needs plenty of STORAGE! The one thing we always tend to lack, but need the most, right?!? The Sisters Collective was a converted room above the garage, so there was open attic space on the edges we could utilize. I am not saying it was the most easy solution, but we were adding walls to the space anyway, so why not tear some down for extra functionality? I designed 3 inset storage shelf units for each loft space and then an additional 3 for the creative hobby space outside the lofts. This brought a ton of extra storage to the space from the un-used attic space.

Adding inset shelving into attic for extra storage

6: Hidden Plugs

Although this one is not that exciting, it is important for functionality. Make sure you have plugs in locations that are useful, but is is always a bummer to see a beautiful room and then a plug right in the middle of the wall. Yes, there are codes that do need to be followed, however, you can also be creative & strategic in hiding as many plugs as you can. For this design, we hid some in the inset shelving. These will be used for a Google to listen & dance to music, and also a place where phones can charge as the girls grow older. There is also a plug under each desk for the desk lamp and laptops as the girls grow.

Functional and hidden plugs in shelving

7: Hidden Jewelry Box

When designing the Sisters Collective, the desire was for creative & artful simplicity. For the loft area, I designed a dresser on the bottom that was in alignment with a bookshelf on the top part of the loft, at the foot of the bed. Being that the dresser went all the way to the lofted space, without interruption, that meant that the top drawer of the dresser could be opened, but you wouldn't be able to access the space with the opening being up against the ceiling of the loft. The solution? The top portion of the dresser looks like every other drawer in it, except the top actually has hidden hinges allowing the top to fall open. The sisters are now able to use this top "drawer" space for a jewelry box and keep all their trinkets & treasures safe.

8: Hidden Mobile Desk

I would love to say this next hidden functionality came from my great intuition and creative genius! However, it actually came as an unexpected delight. While the loft walls were being built, I realized that the built-in desk drawers I designed, happened to be right where the floor vent was on one of the sides. So, I got creative...that is when the built-in desk drawers became a mobile unit under the desks. This allows for the vent to work properly and, as a bonus, the sisters now have mobile drawer units that can come out and be used as a mobile desk as they sit in their pod chairs or couch in their room. The solution ended up being so much more functional!

9: Hidden Extra Sleeping Spaces

When you have girls, you know that their room will at one time, or many, be filled with the giggles from a sleep over. Our girls love to have sister night many times a year. This is a special time where all four of them get to stay up late, play games, talk, do a craft, and all sleep in one room. It is truly a heart-melting, ever-bonding night for the girls. When designing this room, it needed to be functional for ongoing sister nights! Nights where two of them no longer had to sleep on the floor. For the lofts, I designed them to be full-sized beds rather than the typical twin bed. This allows for two sisters in each bed - making plenty of room for the four of them. I also made sure to include a couch in the hangout area for extra space in case one sister is too much of a mover & kicker (there is bond to be one of them!).

10: Hidden Bookshelves

After all this amazing, intentionally designed functionality for the Sisters Collective, my favorite piece of functionality is the reading nook with the very artfully designed bookshelves. The sisters in this room love to read and have quite the library of books. But, up until now, they didn't really have a space in the home to call their own reading place. With a family of 6, this becomes extremely important to have! To make sure there was enough space for their library, I designed a bookshelf that could double as a beautiful art piece to inspire them as the sit in their comfy pod chairs and read the day away. It is a place where they go on many wonderous adventure and imaginative lands. Oh to have a place for this as a child, is a wonder-filled gift!

Which Hidden Functionality was Your Favorite?

Thank you for continuing this adventure with me through the story of the hidden functionality designed into the Sisters Collective. So, which feature did you like best? I would love to read your favorite in the comments below!

I hope this post has inspired you to look at your own kids' rooms differently. Also, I would truly appreciate it if you shared this story with other mamas by clicking the share icon in the video or emailing it to your friends. You wouldn't want to keep the secret equation to a successful kid's room all to yourself, right?!

Functionality + Fun = F^2

If you read Vol. 1 of the Sisters Collective story then you know it is so near and dear to my heart! It is a space where my own girls get to create, explore, and giggle. It is a place they get to call their own, a place where they rest their heads, and a place to grow their hearts & who they are. It is a place full of functionality while still being, "THE BEST ROOM EVER!"

If you didn't catch Vol. 1 of this story, click below. Make sure not to miss my next blogs as I continue the story and dive a little deeper into The Sisters Collective and into how you can create your own Kids Collective:

Vol. 2 {The Hidden Functionality}
Vol. 3 {The Fun Stuff}
Vol. 4 {Why Kids' Rooms Matter}
Vol. 5 {Design Your Own Kid's Room: Start Here}

Can't wait to continue our story and our adventure together! Until next time...

- Becky


Lykke Haven Design is a full service, purpose-driven interior design firm serving families in West Michigan. We work with beautiful families from Ada, to Grand Rapids, to Holland (and the occasional out of state). Our mission is to create Intentional Interiors curated with a Meaningful Mission that Cultivate Connection. We do this through a process driven by Human-Centered Design. We would love to discuss your next project and how we can help.

Check out our services or schedule a Meet & Greet below!

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