The more I’ve read about MCM homes, the more I’ve come to learn that they have a reputation for being hazardous for children. By design, these homes strive to bring the outside in, or at the very least make the segue between indoors and outdoors as transparent as possible. Sometimes this means glass railings, sometimes it means no railings at all.
Read this post over at projectophile for a good laugh on the subject. I almost peed my pants at least twice.
When we were looking to purchase our second house, we did see a number of homes for sale in the neighborhood with questionable safety elements. One actually had a giant hole in the middle of the living room floor that, upon closer inspection, was the staircase to the lower level. As you can imagine, with a one-year-old tottering about that was a deal breaker for us.
As for our home, there are two things that we will need to address immediately after moving in. One is the indoor planting bed. Yes, just inside the front door is a 5x3x1 brick planter currently filled with bark and silk foliage. Here are two photos from the MRIS listing before we moved in:
I like the idea of having greenery in the house, but we will have to teach the little one not to eat the bark. What can I say? He’s got a hearty appetite.
From a design standpoint, I’d love to swap the bark out for smooth grey stones like these (although that has nothing to do with safety–we’d probably have to teach him not to eat those too):
I’ve considered swapping the faux plants out with some real ones, but I don’t exactly have a green thumb. In fact, I think I may have already killed a potted plant gifted to us from a friend two weeks ago (sorry, Nicole!).
The second hazard is the bomb shelter out back. Oh, yes. We are now the proud owners of not only an MCM, but a bomb shelter complete with bunk beds for 24 of our closest friends (sorry, the application period is now closed). You know, for when the world ends. We’ll definitely share more on this later–Kirk has already imparted to me that he wants to write that post–but for now let me show you what has us concerned.
What you can’t see from this angle is that the top of this door is just below grass level at the end of our yard–meaning you can stand directly overtop this door and look down on the stairs below. I immediately envisioned our child chasing a ball across the yard and falling over the edge–landing hard on the concrete steps 8 feet below. We will likely put a fence around the entire thing, but at the very least we will plant some shrubbery above the door to stop anyone from accidentally hurdling themselves over and down.