10 Best Things to Build in to Your Home


Playrooms and Game Rooms

When I was a kid, I didn't know anybody who had a playroom. My toys were kept in my bedroom. I had a toy box as well as various bins, shelves and containers to hold all of my stuff. I could take my toys elsewhere in the house; I just had to make sure that I cleaned everything up when I was finished. Although bedroom sizes have grown over the years, many kids also have a separate room just for playing. It not only holds their toys, but also might have bigger play structures, a desk, a computer, and an entertainment center.

Playrooms are where some parents get really whimsical with decor if they didn't do so in the child's bedroom. If your child loves the great outdoors, you could bring nature inside with a built-in tree house or a swing that hangs from the ceiling. Basketball fans would love a hoop inside and a court-style floor. No room outside for a slide or climbing structure (or the weather's bad), but plenty of room inside? Then why not? I've even seen a first-floor playroom that could be accessed from the bedroom above by an enclosed slide or a fireman's pole. Built-in cabinets are ideal for storing toys, games, books and DVDs, but open shelving or bookcases work too. When bedtime rolls around, the bed doesn't have to be cleared of toys first because they're all contained elsewhere. A playroom would definitely be a draw for parents or parents-to-be.

Let's face it, game rooms are playrooms for adults. It could be a version of the traditional "man cave," with things like dart boards, poker tables or pool tables. With enough room, though ... imagine you and your friends having air hockey, Ms. Pac-Man or Skee Ball tournaments, all in the comfort of your home. To keep up that realistic arcade experience, make people pay you for tokens and have machines spit out tickets for cheap plastic toys.