When a favorite client told me that she wanted to convert her formal dining room at the entrance of her house into a playroom space that her three children could enjoy, I had my doubts. Of course, I subscribe to the belief that you should live in every room in your house, but I had my concerns about the potential mess being right near the front door.
I should always trust a mother’s intuition. I love the end result of this space we designed and that our client is only a glance away from her kids at play. We kept the draperies and wall sconces but said goodbye to the other formal dining room furnishings. I designed a custom cabinet for plenty of toy storage and a place for the tv to live. The finish on the cabinet is a sophicated black and the wall color changed from a deep red to turquoise.
This room provides versatility as the play table from Restoration Hardware can be wheeled out of the room and the room can host a dinner party or bookclub gathering for adults. The Souk Rug from West Elm brings a luxourious texture for little bare feet and imaginative play.
I’m obsessed with the constellation print from Minted in an oversized scale. This project begs the question: “what room are you not really using in your house?”
images by Design Lines
When my clients went to Italy on their Honeymoon, they spotted this Murano glass chandielier and had to have it for their future daughter’s nursery. Two sons and 7 years later that dream came true.
Color inspiration came from the feminine Vervain printed linen fabric featuring butterflies and flowers which we used to create blackout traversing drapery panels. The wall color is a beautiful peach hue – ICI Sun Kiss – rather than a traditional pale pink. We painted the exisiting crib antique white. The rocker (featured in a previous nursery blog post) got a girlish makeover with a new washable canvas slipcover from Four Seasons Furniture. This room is a perfect mixture of glam (i.e. the black accents) and sweetness. My favorite element is the Euro Sham to dress the crib from Caitlin Wilson Textiles. Enjoy a few captures of the space.
images by Design Lines
1. By all means, choose a playful color palette!
2. Choose practical textures- here we selected a hearty stonewashed linen for the sectional and had the furniture treated with a stain resistant treatment immediately (make haste!) Pillow covers have zippers for easy laundering.
3. Embrace the slash. Carefully consider pieces that have more than one use or could eventually go into another room. In this space- take note of the orange settee that is nearly the size of twin size guest bed and can be covered in sheets at a moment’s notice? Or the Media unit which could be a cool dining room console? Odds are- as your kids grow their needs/ your spatial needs will change, also.
4.Don’t be afraid to leave some floor space- because kid’s love to PLAY on the floor- so why invest in a coffee table that impedes playing with cars or has to be moved when it’s dance party time?
5. Add a personal touch. In the library framed family photos are displayed. While on the tv wall- my client made fun posters of every place their family has lived- unique to the space and special to the family- something you won’t find in the pottery barn kids catalog.
images by Design Lines
My clients in Durham had the idea of turning their big blah bonus room (you know the kind) into a library and playroom for their seven children.
They wanted the space to function for all – with the kids ranging in ages from 3 – 14 years; and serve many purposes: a library, a classroom, an arts and crafts center, a movie-watching room, for dance parties on the wii, sleepovers, and creative play.
We first devoted time to making the room just the way we wanted- utilizing attic access space for built-in bookshelves, adding much needed lighting, painting the walls (they went from an off- white to a warm taupe color) and installing wallpaper to one long wall to add interest.
The color palette was inspired by a whimsical and colorful linen print from Clarence House in hues of orange, pink, yellow, and green. The selection of the furniture pieces themselves- an orange loveseat (my personal favorite part of the space) a sectional sofa, entertainment unit, play table and chairs (existing), came naturally as they were both fun and functional.
Last week we joined up with a few of the kids for the photo shoot- it was fun to see them enjoying and using the space.
Check back tomorrow as I give my “Top 5 Tips For Designing a Kid Friendly Space.”
images by: Design Lines
Take a break this weekend and relax – you deserve it! This guest bedroom, recently completed by Brittany, is the perfectly inspired oasis for relaxation.
Enjoy the weekend.
Art above the bed is from: Bev’s Fine Art
images by Design Lines
This weekend, Katerina, Rob and I traveled to Charleston, South Carolina where we attended the ASID Carolinas Chapter conference and award ceremony. While there, we got a chance to explore the sparkling city and get inspired. Here’s what we saw:
Katerina’s friend and mentor, Jill Muti, gave us a tour of Ashley Hall, a historic all-girls school located in the heart of Charleston’s peninsula. There, we discovered a preserved mansion from the antebellum era, currently in use as an administrative center. But our favorite part of the school was a former aviary, a small outbuiling completely covered in local conch shells. Delightful!
During the day, we explored Charleston’s extensive street markets and antique stores. Among the treasures we discovered were ancient Italian artifacts and local artisan-made goods.
As the sun set, Charleston became even more majestic. With gourment restaurants and world-class bars, there were endless opportunities for entertainment. Among our favorite eateries were Husk and Magnolia’s, where we indulged in local fare.
But the main purpose of our trip was to recieve an award on behalf of Design Lines for our work on the Chancellor’s Residence at NC State University. We were honored to be chosen as winners among our talented peers from the ASID Carolinas Chapter.
We look forward to visiting this gem of the South sometime soon!
These days the trend is to buy local. It seems farmer’s markets, backyard fruit and vegetable gardens and even chicken coops are popping up everywhere. For us this has translated into clients requesting us to use local resources, American made products, and even using reclaimed material.
This lifestyle not only enriches everyday life but also simplifies it by knowing where and products are made.
Raleigh has even embraced this localization with a Chicken Coop Tour that showcases all the coops in their glory!
Katerina’s family receives a box every Thursday with fresh seasonal produce from local farmers. This is perfect for the working family who doesn’t always have time to stop by the supermarket. This box is left on the front porch; it is always a surprise to see what produce is inside.
Can’t get enough produce? Surrounding area farmer’s markets provide endless options for your culinary desires.
Local restaurants in and around the surrounding Triangle area even promote that their ingredients come from local resources. Rob and Judy recently ate lunch at the Umstead and Herons has a menu devoted to everything local.
Brittany’s farmers market is in Carborro. She particularly loves the Chapel Hill Creamery Cheese Products and their Fall flowers – Dahlias and celosias are her favorites.
The crew at Design Lines doesn’t think this trend will end anytime soon, if anything we predict this trend will grow. How do you buy local?
Brittany and I recently had the opportunity to tour Century’s Furniture Factory in Hickory, NC. As a manufacturer with one of the most extensive lines, we knew it would be packed full of exciting things to see!
We began with a tour of their sister company – Valdese Weavers. Century actually began with fabrics, but fabrics aren’t useful by themselves. And so, Century Furniture was created as a way to help them sell fabric. Valdese Weavers is currently the largest fabric mill in the United States! This makes Century’s competitors also their customers, which I found interesting.
After touring several other manufacturing facilities, I’m not sure I know of another company with so much manufacturing space! It went on forever with multiple buildings and floors.
Above, a dining table is finished with a clear coat. The wood by itself is so beautiful!
Their finishing process is extensive. Each piece goes through so many steps to reach the final result. They introduced three new colored stains this past market, shown on the bottom right. Depending on the species of the wood, the color can be vibrant or subdued.
Dining chairs are carried through the air in one plant on an incredible conveyor system.
In addition to seeing how their furniture is made, we spent a day in their High Point showroom. Introduced last market and shown above, their Chin Hua collection was a big hit!
We not only got to see everything being made; we also got to see a chair deconstructed! The manager of the upholstery plant uncovers a perfectly good chair to show us what’s inside: eight-way hand tied springs, hardwood frames, batting and foam sculpted to create graceful curves, etc – everything you would expect from the highest quality upholstery!
We had a wonderful time and learned so much! Above, from left to right, me, our rep Lisa Jennings, Brittany, and Megan & Marsha from A. Hoke, Ltd.
Our clients recently relocated from Italy to a home located in North Raleigh’s Bedford community. It took six months for a hole in the ground to become a 3 story home , fully furnished and accessorized for an active family of four. A six hour time change and our client’s location an ocean away brought Judy and me (Brittany) the opportunity to use technology like Sykpe and Basecamp, an online project management site, to communicate and present design concepts to our clients.From selecting fixtures and finishes, to furniture presentation and procurement, to move-in, our client’s gave us full creative license to design every detail of their new home in the United States. The client’s international roots give the home a distinctive aesthetic, with a European sensibility and we’re excited to share with you the project photos!
Photo above: the Dining Room with aqua leather chairs, a sisal rug, and metallic silver wallpaper is a study of textures- both casual and formal. Below: sun pours into the guest suite that accomodates family members who come to stay frequently.
Photo above: The eat in kitchen area with walls painted in Glidden’s Onionskin Tan. Below: The Media Room- with it’s blackout roller shades serves as a hangout space for the two teenage boys who live in the home.
Above: The swivel chairs upholstered in a Rock & Roll black patent leather sit in the music room for all of the family to become musical. Below: A teen boy’s bedroom
Check out some furnishings and fabrics used in the project and the final outcome of a teen boy’s bedroom, the Master Suite, and the patio (one of my favorite spaces) !
As your kids and those new backpacks head back to school this week, we’ll be back to blogging with frequency. We’ve been busy enjoying the summer, and thought we’d share with you what we’ve been up to:
Ashley enjoyed a wonderful week long vacation at Wrightsville Beach with her husband and adorable daughter, Sophia.
Molly: “Our 2012 summer was not very relaxing or restful – but I did manage to grab a few “aaahhhhh” moments here at our beach place on the sound in Morehead city, NC. The banks of the property are lined with old oak trees – they provide a beautiful setting that welcomes our family whenever we can get away. I treasure and feel very blessed to have this in our lives.”
Lauren: “After moving into our new house, my husband and I spent the beginning of the summer unpacking and getting settled. We flew to Denver, CO for a friend’s wedding, took several trips to the beach, and celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary! After all that traveling, I finally found the perfect rug for my living room.”
Katerina’s collection of snaps from her Coney Island Adventure, complete with the unique people watching experience.
Hilaire and Judy went to Texas and spent the 4th of July with family. The incredible view from the dock.
Rob spent some time in Chicago and enjoyed a game of shuffleboard at the Jersey Shore in Sea Isle City, New Jersey.
Ever the hostess, Judy was surprised by a birthday party at her own house- planned secretly by Hilaire. Below, Judy blows out the candle on her gorgeous and delicious Lemon cake from the Cupcake Shoppe.
Brittany: “I went on a roadtrip to my central Illinois hometown and watched the beautiful Scandinavian designed windmills at a local windfarm. I also got the chance to spend a lot of quality time with my goofy little brother.”
Around the studio, we’ve enjoyed ice cream sandwich breaks, installations at the beach, dressing in bright summer colors, and fresh roses from Katerina’s rose garden…
What have you been up to this summer?