THE 2006 HC&G IDEA HOUSE
August 15, 2006
THE BASEMENT PLAYROOM IN THE 2006 IDEA HOUSE IS HEALTHY AND ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND
When most people think of playrooms, they imagine basements finished with wall-to-wall carpet, faux wood-paneled walls, poor lighting and perpetual dampness. Most people, that is, but not Erica-Lynn Huberty of Blossom Haven Design. "Children who have to play inside should have an indoor environment that is just as healthy as the outdoors," she says. So Huberty set out to create a space in the Idea House that was environmentally friendly and non-toxic in every way. (Her own four-year-old was the perfect product tester for the various decorations, toys and materials used in the room.)
The most noticeable feature of the playroom is the cork planks that snap together to form a seamless flooring. The advantages to using cork are manifold: In addition to being a great shock-absorbing material, it is completely hypoallergenic. Its anti-static nature allows it to resist attracting dust, pet dander and hair, and therefore it's easy to keep clean, making it great for kids who are prone to asthma. Cork is also moisture-resistant, so mildew and fungus find it difficult to grow, and it is an easily sustainable organic material, much more so than wood. One would think all these advantages would translate to a higher cost, but cork is actually comparable to wood flooring, priced between $3-6 per square foot.