Having recently turned a home gym in Chelsea into an amazing kids' room, we interviewed Homepolish's Pippa Lee about the process behind building out a completely customized jungle gym structure.
Photos by Nick Glimenakis.
Pippa, this has GOT to be one of the funnest kids’ rooms we’ve ever seen in Homepolish history! How did you ever convince the mom (Lauren Tesoriere) to do such a daring idea in her home?
“Surprisingly, it came about pretty organically. On my second visit to the space (which was originally a home gym, seen below), we were discussing furniture layout possibilities when Lauren looked at me and said something along the lines of… ‘You know, we have such high ceilings, and I was at the kids’ school the other day and they have this play loft.’ I cut her off mid-sentence and said ‘LET’S DO IT!’ Nothing better than screaming in excitement at a heavily pregnant woman who’s just put her 18-month-old twins down to sleep. I swear she agreed just to have me be quiet!”
Hey, sometimes it’s hard to mask that enthusiasm, right? So looking at the structure, can you break it down by the components for us?
“The loft is a bookshelf, desk/workstation with magnetic board, reading tunnel with padded cushion and LED light at the rear, rock climbing wall, ladder, reading area with bookshelves, and there’s also a hidden hatch up top for additional storage.”
Wow, that’s quite a bit. Did you have to bring in outside contractors for all of that?
“I had three general contractors bid on the drawings and ended up going with 1027 Builders. The contractor and his millworker formed the tunnel off-site, and pieces of the loft were pre-cut and brought in to speed up construction and minimize disruption to the family home. We also moved a few lights around to align with the new layout.”
So, if you’re being honest, which part of the jungle gym was the most difficult to complete?
“Definitely the tube and the padding for it. The tube was custom-made by the millworker. It took two layers of plywood to be molded and formed in place for three days with clamps. It was actually made in two parts and then fitted and adjusted on-site. The interior padding was made by a lovely woman in New Jersey. She actually had to make it twice because their math failed them, and the measurements for the inner circumference of the tunnel were wrong the first time around. It was testament to the idea that you always measure twice, and cut once!”
We’ve all been there before. But now that it’s all done, what is your FAVORITE part?
“The rock wall. This was the idea of our inventive contractor. The holds were purchased online through Amazon and fixed to a double plywood backing. Then it was just a matter of fixing the plywood to the wall and painting it over. The best part? I was the test monkey to make sure the rock wall was secure, so I had a blast climbing up and all over it as the project neared completion!”
Ok, that would be our favorite part too, no question. One last thing… did you find any awesome sources while you were working on this project?
Thanks for giving us the scoop!
To see more of Pippa’s process and work, follow her at @pipandpencil.