Applied Design: Creating a Sophisticated Playroom

A sophisticated playroom?  Let me me explain…it’s a playroom that will 1. work for your kids, 2. fit in with the style of your home, and 3. transition easily as your kids grow.   I think the Room of the Week offers a good formula for creating a space that meets all those requirements.  Whether you have the luxury of a separate play room, or just a corner or wall in a room in your home, you can create a space that will work for you and your kids!  And, even though we’re not all in the position to have a anything custom-built like the Room of the Week, you can easily find stand alone pieces that will give your play space the same functionality.

  1. Start with a bookcase that has lots of open storage space. Make sure the it matches the rest of your home’s decor, since it’s the largest piece.
  2. Then add some storage bins (in a color or pattern that isn’t too childish) for closed storage space.
  3. Bring in a desk that matches the bookcase, to keep things simple and cohesive, and provide a work space for older children.
  4. Put a shorter play table nearby for younger kids.  Keep the table within your color palette and style, and make sure it can be easily moved.
  5. Add a soft run underfoot to invite play in a fun, but grown-up, pattern.

I put together several scenarios, so you can see how it would work in a few different styles.

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ONE: Bookcase | Desk | Rug | Play Table | Storage Bin
TWO: Bookcase | Desk | Rug | Play Table | Storage Bin
THREE: Bookcase | Desk | Rug | Play Table | Storage Bin
FOUR: Bookcase | Desk | Rug | Play Table | Storage Bin

I hope this inspires you to think about the play spaces in your home and how you can make them “sophisticated.”

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Design is in the Details: Creating a Playroom That Can Grow with Your Child

I think overall my favorite thing about the Room of the Week is that it could easily transition into a family room or office space. There are so many tricks to learn from this room for creating a space that works hard now as a playroom, but is flexible enough to change with the needs of the family.

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Have any tips to share for creating a playroom that can transition as your needs change?  Please share!

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Piece de Resistance: White Play Tables

One of the quickest ways to make a playroom look less childish and more in tune with the rest of your home is to keep the furnishings neutrally colored, rather than picking furniture that is themed or pastel or primary-colored.  I love the little white table and chairs in the Room of the Week.  Their modern shape works in the space, and the white color will keep the chairs looking good no matter what else you throw in the room.  So, if you’re currently creating your own play space look for furniture that matches the decor in the rest of the rooms in your house, or choose a neutral color which can transition easily through the years.

Here are some great play tables in crisp white that would look good in any playroom.   white play tables copy

SOURCES: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | | 6 | 7 | 8

(the tables are a bit hard to see on the white background, so click the links to view more photos of each table)

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The Anatomy of a Multi-tasking Playroom

I was talking with my friend the other day about her current playroom situation and her desire to have a playroom that worked for both her older kids and her toddler, and I’ve been thinking about playrooms ever since.  Playrooms are incredibly helpful, but need constant care and updating as the kids age and interests and abilities change.  So, this week (back to my April theme of talking about transition spaces) I want to talk about playrooms, specifically creating playrooms that will work hard and can be easily updated over the years.

I love this particular playroom I chose for the Room of the Week designed by one of my favorite architecture firms, CWB Architects, because I can imagine it working for almost any age, and eventually even transitioning into a space that adults might enjoy.

the-anatomy-of-a-playroom copySHAPE
The quickest way to keep a built-in with lots of cupboards and shelves from looking disheveled is to keep all the cubbies and cupboards the same shape.  In this case, a rectangle.  It’s easy on the eye and makes everything on the shelves look a little more organized.

If you want your playroom to easily transition over the years only add kid-specific decor in changeable layers like accessories (toys, art, rugs) and lighting.

Paint is always a good idea when you’re looking for big impact with a small amount of time and money involved.

Rather than re-paint expensive custom cabinetry in a few years, these designers were very smart to pick colors that would appeal to any age or gender.  Pick your favorite color for the playroom, rather than your child’s, to make your design last a little longer.

I love the varied heights of the table and built-in desk in this room….they allow for different ages to enjoy the room. Younger children love to sit at tables that are just their sizes, while older kids can take advantage of the desk for homework or art projects.

I’ve just scratched the surface of this room…can’t wait to talk about all the little details this week, and hopefully inspire your own design projects.

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Housekeeping: Random Spring Break Happenings

In between lots of doing nothing with my kids during spring break I have been a little busy with some design projects.  I’m working on a  plan for a greek restaurant I am designing for my commercial design class…really love my pink, green and blue palette so far.greerestaurantcolorpalette copyI also spent some time finally making some headway on my basement re-do…the accent wall is painted and ready for shelves and I finally found the perfect sofa…I snapped a quick photo with my phone (try to overlook the poorly styled mantel)…can’t wait to add more layers.  basement redo copyAnd, even though the weather turned chilly, I spent some time in my backyard prepping and planting and just generally enjoying all the new blooms.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI hope your week was just as enjoyable as mine!  See you Monday.

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