Saturday, February 6, 2010

tamra's multi-use, kid-friendly play space

after i posted my sister's playroom makeover, she asked if i might also be willing to lend an online hand to her dear friend tamra, who had a similar dilemma...

tamra and her husband, manny, live with their two young kids in a historic home in burlington, vt. their way-cool place was lovingly restored after-hours by manny- wow (check out that original trim)!!!
while they have a "formal" living room, as a stay-at-home mom, tamra normally entertains in the playroom/tv room while the kids play. as it stands, the place is a mix of furniture brought into the marriage by both tamra and manny and it isn't fun, functional or inviting for the family at this point.

this space sits on the ground floor, in the middle of things, so we want to keep the paint colors in keeping with the historic nature of the house (and the fact that it can be seen from the the rooms) put tamra and her daughter, anika love purple, so we've got to bring that in a bit too!
they are on a tight budget, therefore, we are going to work with the major pieces of furniture.

before we get to the good stuff, let's talk a little about layout, etc...
* i think you should caddy-corner the tv cabinet in that corner. this will make the area seem a little less "square." minimize the clutter as much as you can on top. while we all have a soft spot for kid-creations, the cardboard piece doesn't read well up there anyway, so let's get rid of it.
* manny is SO good a building, let's put him to work! we can make that closet REALLY work for you; have him build in shelves in the whole thing. make sure the bottom shelf is up high enough that all push toys, strollers, etc. can be wheeled in and stored easily there. one shelf for board games and puzzles, one for art supplies, etc. save the top, most hard-to-reach places for seasonal toys.
* with the closet put to good use, some space will be freed up in the big bookcase. lets make this look as streamlined as possible, while still being useful. i would also center this piece on that wall. it would be wonderful to add a fun pop of color at the top... maybe an accent like a few of these (in white and magenta).
* with the added storage in the closet, we can get rid of the smaller bookcase under the window. it is too tall for the space and makes that wall look cluttered.

now, at long, looooong last...
tamra, here is your play-space makeover!


* i think "new age" from benjamin moore for a paint color in this room (shown as the background) is perfect. it is a nice soft gray, with a bit of purple behind it, so it will be a perfect match of what you (and anika!) love, but still completely appropriate for an open, main-floor living space.
* manny is super handy, and you are crafty- i'd love to see you two collaborate on a fun teepee for the kids. it would be such a nice focal point and the kids would have a blast with the new fort! a smaller, subtle floral print would be perfect... also a nice way to bring in some brighter purple tones! the teepee can go to the right of the couch in front of (but not against!) the radiator/window area.
* i honestly, don't mind the couch. you have young kids; it would be a huge waste of money to replace it at this point... teenage pizza parties are right around the corner, and it will only take more and more wear and tear. let's work with what you've got! give the cushions a good washing and make up some fun throw pillows. i would love to see a larger print here- you can even use something unexpected... i am OBSESSED with these great ikat napkins from the affordable home line pomegranate. you could take the table cloth or napkins and make them work here- very modern and fun!
* add a pop of color over the back of the couch will also liven it up. but, don't compete with the pillows, a solid throw is perfect here.
* it would be great to add a piece of art that appeals to you and the kids. this wonderful print would work perfectly with your color palate and you'll find yourself coming back time and time agin finding new fun "friends." put this on the wall to the left of the window.
* as i said before, i think we can work with much of your larger furniture. the one thing i think should be replaced is the rug. let's get something a little more fun in there! i love this option from FLOR. totally kid friendly, customizable for whatever size you think would work best and the purple tones are wonderful in this space. if you buy a few extra tiles, you can always switch them out if there is a major spill or permanent stain.
* you need some more seating in here... especially for when you have other moms over on play dates... but, we don't want to limit the kid's play space. a set of cube ottomans are a perfect solution. these often offer extra storage, so as an added bonus, they can hold dress up clothes! put these side-by-side under the window, or even in front of the tv cabinet and pull them out when you need another perch.
* a good coffee table is critical in here. a place to put down your tea, let the kids color, or put up your feet on movie night. because we are working in a square-shaped space, with a bunch of boxy furniture, i think you should go with a round shape.
* let's lose the two small floor lamps. they don't do anything for the space and don't work together. you have an overhead light in here, so we do have some lighting. i think this great fun arc floor lamp will wonderful interest and a pop of modern. the base of the lame can be placed on the left side of the couch and give you reading light, or be turned to go over the coffee table.
* i want to see pictures of your kids! i am all about displaying family favorites. get them blown up! totally worth the money... go BIG (11x14+!!!) pick your favorite three or so, buy some wood frames at ikea and put together your own little gallery above the couch.

i hope you this inspires you, tamra! i hope to lend a hand next time i get up to visit my sister!
good luck and enjoy!

here is a little teepee inspiration...
source unknown

1 comment:

Tamra said...

Thanks, Sarah - it looks great! I'm just checking it out now, and can't wait to come back to look at all the details. I'll be sure to send pics after it's all changed up!