The Playroom Grows Up: Part 1

My latest project involves a total room transformation.  What was once a playroom is now slated to become a home office and creative work space rolled into one. One of the first questions I ask myself when decorating is “what is the primary function of this space?”  In some rooms it is more obvious than others but nowadays, many rooms are multi-purpose.  The dining room, typically a place to sit down and enjoy a meal, can also function as a communal work area. The living room can be a place to read, entertain or watch television. The point is, many activities can take place within a given room. However, when it comes to changing the primary function of a room from a play area to a work space a complete overhaul is in order.

This was an awesome playroom and served two children very well for almost six years. The pink soft tile floor, the striped walls, the yellow ceiling, the (over) abundance of toys produced a whimsical and inviting yet perhaps mildly overwhelming environment to the younger crowd.  We re-thought our approach to what a child’s surroundings should look and feel like and so designed a Montessori inspired space for the growing siblings in the basement (more on that to come). It was quite therapeutic for parents and children alike to take a more thoughtful view of what we have and why we have it. Many things were donated or passed along to other friends when we transferred the playroom down to the basement.

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Imagine, if you can, the floor covered in these.

IMG_4038 IMG_4035 Even with most of the contents moved out it was far from feeling like a grown-up work environment. Painting was a necessity. We wanted to create a simple backdrop so opted for white walls and a white ceiling.

Below are some “in the middle pictures” because I’m often so eager to get a project started that I neglect to take “before” pictures. The pink floor-to-floor soft tiles have been pulled up at this point and the games, instruments, costumes etc. have been moved to the basement. Little bits and pieces remain upstairs during this phase while we strategize regarding final placement of chore charts, assorted beads, box o’ random play things and cheap party favors that certain people have become attached to.  At this point we just needed space to set up a paint station so we could get rolling, literally.IMG_4301

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Here we see the fan blades removed, first paint coat, inspiration board and low bookshelf constructed.  I decided to keep the black chalkboard wall for the time being. I like the contrast and depth it gives to the space and who knows, it might just come in handy during a brainstorming session. The next (final?) phase will include the newly installed light fixture, area rug, shelves, wall decor and perhaps additional seating.

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The goal is to forge a fresh and bright, sparse but inviting work space to inspire and enliven creativity and foster productivity. White walls serve as the perfect blank canvas for artwork, vision boards, a backdrop for photos, shelving and decorative objects. The floors, which were re-finished a couple of years ago, have finally come out from hiding from under the pink play mats. The time has come to replace the (visually offensive) ceiling fan-light. No tears will be shed when this monstrosity gets escorted to the trash. Make way for new light source. I am a sucker for a good ceiling medallion so we’re going to slap one up to impose a sense of architectural history. I also love the combination of modern design and classic details so my dream ceiling lamp will have clean lines and juxtapose nicely with the decorative medallion.

For lighting, I’m considering a George Nelson Bubble lamp or something in that style. I also have a weakness for the black Mantis Serge Mouille ceiling fixture, though I have concerns that it would overwhelm the space. After all, we aren’t working in a prewar apartment with 13′ ceilings. A girl can dream.  I am scouring Ebay, Etsy, Craigslist and various other resources for the perfect vintage Turkish, Persian or tribal rug. I will know it when I see it but believe me the search has been exhausting. Finding the right size, with the right colors and pattern at the right price is my perpetual challenge when it comes to rugs

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Vintage Lilihan Area Rug

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I’m excited to get the space finished a share the big reveal!

Thankful for: Work spaces that inspire a love for work.

Wanting:  The perfect rug. Really, is it too much to ask for?

I’ve learned: There is no such thing as perfect and waiting for it only delays progress. Wah-wah.

 

 

One thought on “The Playroom Grows Up: Part 1

  1. “Visually offensive.” You’re witty. Those pink floor tiles really protected that beautiful wood floor! More people should do that. And then even more people should deconstruct it like you did. I can’t wait to have Your Best Year meetings there! Super inspiring space. What a great designer you are.

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