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.

 

 

The Girl’s Room: Before And Getting There.

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I snapped these before shots for personal reference and never did get back to styling them to be Pinterest worthy. Hey, It’s real life.

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You know you want that air purifier.


You’ve seen the inspiration pictures. The virtual vision board in all its beauty. Now, lets turn our attention the actual room in flux. The photos above are admittedly not the greatest. OK, they are terrible but you get the idea.  Though the footprint is a decent size, approximately 9′ x 11′, there are slanted ceilings,  paneled walls and an abnormally large radiator which have each created significant design challenges. You’ll note in the pictures that there is a crib and a twin bed. We now have both girls in twin beds, and have for a while. There is not enough head room to accommodate bunk beds but truthfully I prefer the symmetry of a bed on either side of the window. I’ve grown tired of the vintage fabric that I used for the head-boards, the green shaggy carpet that gave the room some texture and the pink accent wall, much as I love pink. Even the geometric patterned roman shade (see below) that I had custom-made five years ago seems dated. It all feels too prissy and preppy.  I’m going for a modern, bright and whimsical bedroom as inspired by the plethora of  images I have put before you. Pinterest, you are a blessing and a curse.


 

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Roman shade

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Detailed shot of vintage fabric on headboard. I loved you, Goodbye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Beneath the carpet are gorgeous white floors that I had installed (by my husband) when we moved in five years ago. I knew way back then that the room needed as much help as possible in the light department. I have to dig up a picture of this room from when we bought the house. Oh Lord. Green plastic tile floors, turquoise walls and wood paneling.  It’s painful to remember.  Hey, we wanted to make this house our own. We got what we bargained for. Any who, The light bounces off of the white floor and just illuminates the room. It’s bright, sophisticated, modern and simple. The new white walls have the same effect.

Much as I love before and after pictures we at not at the after stage yet. Below are some middle pictures. The work in progress. Old finishes have been removed The pink wall is now painted white (Glidden white on white from Home Depot) and I lay down a temporary fuzzy rug and made the beds with plain white sheets from Target. The blank canvas is ready!


 

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Wallpaper sample.

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Oh the Mess! The Pink Ikea dresser will work in here once it’s cleared off. There is the air purifier you love so much, and a humidifier for good luck.

 

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Dresser trying to hide the enormous radiator. This will be cleaned off I assure you.

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Wall waiting for more art.


 

Let’s break it down. We have the floors, we have the paint, we have the beds and dressers. What we need is:

  • New bedding
  • Fabric for head-boards if I re-upholster. Still undecided on this front.
  • Area rug
  • Window treatments
  • New placement of decorative items and art.

My plan and process.

  1. Compile inspiration pictures. Check.
  2. Write down the individual elements that I am drawn to.
  3. Pull together some items that represent the elements I want to use.
  4. Trial and error. Lay out the various bedding, window treatments, rugs and decorative elements that I acquire and figure out the possible combinations. This is the fun part.
  5. EDIT!!!! Always the hardest part for me. It really is a skill to design, write, speak, parent, pretty much anything, with restraint. When there are lots of great options it’s hard to choose a course and stay with it. I find other areas to use the items edited out, save them for my next project or just straight up return them and get my precious money back.
  6. Take after pictures and share them with you.

Thankful for: Pinterest!!!

Wanting: To take more risks in design and life.

I’ve learned: I can take inspiration and apply it to my life in simple, meaningful ways.

‘Til next time…

 

 

 

Interior Inspiration and Girls Room Redo.

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WHAT A ROOM! There is a lot to love here. Color and texture and pattern oh my!

My current project is…you guessed it. The Girls bedroom. I’ve touched on my inability to be “done” decorating any particular space. You remember the playroom, right? With ever-changing trends, color palettes, my propensity for change and our family’s evolving needs, no room in our home will ever be designed and decorated for eternity. It would be emotionally, philosophically and even physically impossible for me to paint a wall, arrange furniture just so, select the perfect textiles and then leave a space never to be tweaked again. As much as I have come to love routine in the day to day (thanks kids) I need aesthetic movement. Not to be confused with THE Aesthetic Movement of the 19th century which championed beauty for the sake of beauty rather than as an aside to form and function as had been the case. I digress. The point is, I like to modify my surroundings. I am inspired by both beauty and variety. My concept of what is beautiful and visually pleasing constantly shifts but I always want my environment to reflect those perceptions. Kids thrive on routine and mom, that’s me, can’t function with out visually shaking things up every now and again. Moving furniture, hanging new art,  painting a wall getting or a new rug are not things that are going to have a ripple effect on the global community but each feeds a desire in me to create a vision and make it a reality. I get juiced looking at pretty things. Manipulating those inspirations into something tangible and personal is ultimately rewarding but the process can be challenging. Let’s start with the fun part! Pretty pictures.  I’ve captioned my virtual tear sheets with the specific items or elements that caught my eye for the girls bedroom. Enjoy!

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PATTERN PLAY.

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RUG, PINK SIDE TABLES AND MODERN BLACK LAMPS.

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FLAG GARLAND. CIRCULAR RAG RUG.

 

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WALLPAPER. VINTAGE MODERN MIX.

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LIGHT WOOD AND RATTAN.

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MODERN BED WITH STORAGE. WHITE WALLS.

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MODERN BLACK LAMPS.

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ANY OF THESE RUGS WILL DO THANKS.

 

Thankful for: Having a home to decorate.

Wanting: To find the perfect elements within my budget and knock this project out of the park!

I’ve learned: Slow and steady wins the race.

Head on over to my Pinterest board to see more (yes, there is more and lots of it) for photo credits and links to original sites. These people deserve their props.