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The Burton Chair

At Kidtropolis we have the opportunity to bring our visions to life for our clients and for this piece we really brought to life the vision of a mother for her son in this whimsical Burton Chair.

Theme – Our client wanted to create a totally unique and inspired chair that could last their equally unique son from toddler to his tween years. They wanted the chair to be a multifunctional piece converting from high chair to study chair and look as if it had been pulled straight from a Tim Burton film.

Focus – The initial focus of the piece came from the elements it had to incorporate.. Some of the elements were creative, some were functional and some were personal.

  • The maximum height of arm rests had to fit below the counter (34 1/2”)
  • There had to be a connected but removable light
  • The seat must be adjustable to adapt from a toddler to an older child
  • There had to be storage built into the chair to accommodate books, art supplies, anything a little boy could imagine.
  • Wheels had to be included for easy mobility but they had to be safe and stable
  • Finally the chair had to be accessible for a little boy to climb into.

Storage – The piece was designed with multiple storage options ready to house all the creativity a little boy could imagine. Each of the books at the base of the seat pull out for larger storage areas perfect for books, sketch pads and small toys. Additional storage can be found in a secret compartment in the armrest, perfect for pencils or crayons.

Growth – The piece is whimsical but was designed to grow with this little boy out of toddler into tween and therefore was created with this maturing in mind. The seat will raise and lower for him (approximately 12” vertical) which should keep up with him as he quickly grows. The colors incorporated into the piece are pulled directly from the families home and will blend well with its new home.

Safety – Certainly any piece that we build safety is a primary concern and this piece is certainly no exception.  The absolute intent of this piece is to be a place for this little boy to eat, learn, play, create and he must be safe and secure doing all of these things. For his younger years a security harness system is installed to safely protect him from falling. The harness system can adapt as he grows to just the lap belt and then the belts can be removed when he no longer needs them.

This piece was a collaborative effort over a year to design and build with each and every element included with purpose and meaning. From the creative and personal engravings into the back of the chair to the iron base supported by the earth, moon and sun – this little boy has the world at his feet and he can soar as far as his imagination can take him, but perhaps some applesauce first.

Designer/Owner Chris Jones and his daughter.

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MyDoor DIY KIT

The artisan’s at Kidtropolis have just launched a new product for children’s doors.

Open the door to your child’s imagination with MyDoor – an all-in-one, do-it-yourself package with everything you need to create a mini, kid-sized door for your child’s bedroom, playroom, playhouse or anywhere.

MyDoor can be installed in an existing door or directly through a wall. There’s even an option to convert an existing door into a two-panel Dutch door with a mini-door at the bottom. The kit comes complete with a mini-door, door frame and all the hinges, hardware and instructions you need for installation.

Go to: www.mydoorDIY.com

Action Jackson

This active room was built for any little man from the age of 8 to 18. (I would still love it and I’m 42) The three main elements of this room are the elevated bed, storage floor armoire, and built in desk. Each area is broken out below with more detailed information.

Theme:

The main theme for this room is an active, physical and personalized experience for a growing boy.  This was achieved with the use of bold colors, creative inclusion of personal favorites and the use of industrial materials.

 Focus:

The main focus of the room is the 12 foot long x 4 foot high elevated bed. The bed is the focal point of the room and leaves ample space for activity within the room beneath. A secondary focus of the room is the desk, positioned in a private corner of the room outfitted with custom lighting and suspended desktop designed to support growing technical needs and school assignments.

Storage:

A large floor armoire was built at the far side of the room between the bed and wall. The armoire was built with 8 separate storage units that are approximately 12”x24” by 8” deep.  These enclosed storage spaces are convenient for anything a growing boy may need to put away and convenient enough to make cleaning up easy for him. The floor is built to support the chair and desk built into the far corner of the room.

Growth:

The room was designed for active ages 8 to 18.  There are three ways to enter the bed, climb the knotted rope, custom rock wall, or pipe monkey bars up the wall and along the ceiling. The ladder was included only for parents. While these are the intended ways to enter the bed, they are also a convenient safety system to prevent younger siblings from getting into his private things.

Safety:

This room was designed for an older child but safety is still a critical element and every detail in the room was reviewed for safety. The raised bed includes extra long and higher side boards ensuring that any rolling in bed is kept safe. The decking was sanded and edges cleaned to prevent any potential splintering. Power outlets are covered using exterior industrial outlets for the switches and plugs, which also looks really cool.

Other creative details:

440 used automobile license plates across the ceiling.

 Sheet metal wall used for any mounting with magnets

2 accordion scissor lights with dimmers used above bed and desk

3 sets of shelves with galvanized pipe hardware

Ceiling storage area next to bed on ceiling (with locking storage)

Pegboard and bungee chords underneath bed

Military field phone used as intercom system to the house kitchen

Custom desk organizer with storage

The use of a climbing ascender for desk anchor point

2011 Designs

Here is a chance to look back at clients from the past year and checkout sketches from some of the rooms.

We were happy to have so many clients from around the world this year asking for designs.

Client locations: Thailand, Italy, Brazil, Texas, California, New Mexico, Mississippi, North Carolina and Florida.

Kidtropolis is highlighed in an article next month including an interview with Chris about the Fairy Land room.

CHILDHOOD:I grew up building models and forts. As I got older, I made more and more things from scratch—building with my own materials rather than relying on kits. In high school,I was the guy that made the floats, and made the sets for the plays and musicals.I joined the National Guard my junior year of high school and served active duty during Operation Desert Storm.I then attended West Virginia University and Corcoran School of Art and Design in Washington, D.C., and graduated from West Virginia witha BFA in graphic design. After leaving school, I worked for the CIA in graphic design and then worked for PRC (nowNorthrop Grumman) before starting a company with my current business partner, David Frank. David and I have run a marketing/graphic design firm for the past fourteen years now.After having children and in the midst of always creating things for family and friends’ rooms, David and I decided to open up an arm of MediaWorks called “Kidtropolis.” The name was taken from a neighbor’s joke referring to my home.

WHEN DID YOU DECIDE YOU WANTED TO CREATE INTERIORS?: I was in my first year at West Virginia University, initially majoring in Wood Science Engineering—of which I was not excelling at. I found myself at one point doing research and building a scratch model of a Greek trireme galley ship. My roommate,Ken, probably thought I was a little crazy. It was at this point I realized I should be in design. I also turned a bus into a movie theater during Desert Storm, among other interesting and random projects.

TELL US ABOUT THE FAIRY LAND PROJECT: This particular project spanned a bedroom and bathroom area,stretching approximately 225 square feet. Before I was brought into the project, the room was used as a master bedroom for the parents. The clients had a basic idea of a fairyland bedroom for their daughter—the daughter loved fairies and Tinkerbell. The only specifics were: a space for a television, a crib/bed that could be grown into, and a play room.

“The  detail was inspired from a small company that I found in Georgia that creates these very small houses. I had the idea of purchasing three of them—repainting them to fit my colors and using them as the supports for the overall shelf structure. One of the houses also has an LED light inside for use as anight light.”

To read the full interview click here to download the current issue. His article starts on page 21 (printed page 38)

Take a peek into some of the most creative and inspiring rooms ever designed for children and adults alike by the skilled artisans at Kidtropolis.


Combining superior design skills, a healthy dose of imagination and outstanding craftsmanship, the designers have compiled a portfolio of awe-inspiring space renovations that bring to life favorite fairy tales and far-off places.

Beautiful photos and designer sketches illustrate the complexity and talent on display in each room. From a nursery made to look like a carnival — complete with a carousel that holds twin cribs — to a rec room that looks like a hockey arena, this book highlights some of the designers’ most intricate and seemingly impossible feats.


Showcased in homes throughout the world, Imagine. Create. Transform brings these rooms to life for every reader. 

Family Calendar

Giant family calendar (4 feet wide x 7 feet high)

This giant white board and cork board where designed as a fun way for the kids to keep track of weekly chores and the family schedule.