My client and her husband met me with a challenge for this before & after when I walked into their 13’x 25’ Living/Dining room early last year. During the introduction with one of her four young children (all boys no less!), she said, “This is Brittany. She is here to get rid of your soccer field.”
Her goals included: a cohesive & beautiful space fit for entertaining-but one that was realistic for even their youngest family members & guests. A living room that really lived & a dining table that could seat as many guests as possible (& oh yes, she had a budget, too).
Design considerations for the entire space: I kept the gold color on the walls as it was a cheerier backdrop than a beige or taupe and the color seemed to glow in the evening. The same fabric was used for drapery panels in both the living & dining rooms to unify the space. The color palette was inspired by the client’s favorite china pattern-the only item she knew she wanted in the space. The living room features no large coffee table on purpose- we left room for the boys to play on the floor or put together a puzzle. Instead side tables from Target (that way we could splurge on lamps with fantastic black shades) flank either end of the sofa and an ottoman on casters can pull up to any seat or accept a tray.
The rug is a soumak weave & design, reversible if it is to stain- and relatively low in pile height- perfect for matchbox cars to drive upon. Off the bat- I eliminated the thought of a rug underneath the dining room table for budget & for function-who wants to fuss with crumbs & stains on the carpet?
The elements of the family formal dining room took some time to get just right. My favorite piece in the room is a fire engine red painted china hutch. China & glassware are proudly displayed yet protected from paper planes with glass inset doors. I still smile when I think of my client’s email regarding the biggest splurge of the space- the extendable dining room table with a distressed finish:
“When friends with young children come for dinner, and their two-year-old bangs his fork on the table–tines downward, of course–I don’t want to cringe my way through the meal. We expect certain table behavior from our children, but they’re children (and boys to boot), and they don’t always (or even usually) sit primly through the whole meal. Pencil drawings with nothing under the paper may happen; hot-wheels races may happen; forks and spoons may be used as drumsticks… I want our home to be a gracious one, even for the youngest ones who live or visit here.”
The final touches included some personalization. My client’s husband photographed the boys in black & white- himself. I love how their faces surround the mirror- which looks just as curious as the boys. In another corner of the room is a large original artwork, an etching of boys in a tree house, entitled Summer Castlesby NC native Donald Sexauer. I like to think of this newly completed space-once their old soccer field- as their new castle- with hours of lovely play time spent together that the whole family enjoys.
What are your must-haves for a family friendly space?
Wonder how we reimagine a nursery on a budget?
Do you remember Mason’s Nursery back in 2008? As our client was expecting their second child, named Rocco, they knew they wanted to spruce up the nursery. Instead of buying all new furniture and re-designing the entire room, we suggested they change the color of the wainscoting and paint the cubby cabinet orange.
Whala! You have a whole new room.
A young couple expecting their first child came to us for direction on the design of their baby girl’s nursery. The clients knew they wanted an Arts & Crafts inspired nursery because the rest of their house is true to the Arts & Craft movement. As a result, Brittany researched the Arts & Crafts color palette and motifs for the project. Before, this space was an office which, featured a vaulted ceiling and an arch dormer window.
Steering away from the typical little girl pink, Brittany used a pale peach on the walls and designed custom drapery treatments from a Brunschwig & Fils large botanical print in coffee brown. Stanley’s versatile built-to-grow crib can easily change into a toddler bed or even a twin bed as the little girl grows up. A swivel glider chair from Lee Industries also adds convenience for either parent.
After choosing the color palette, we wanted to create a composition with vaulted ceilings in mind. The bronze bird medallion, indicative of the Arts & Crafts period, overlooks the crib. The other details, include a tole decorative bird floor lamp and a coordinating jute shade as well as an oval framed mirror.
Check back on Thursday for another nursery project.
Design Lines heads back to school! Here are our Top 5 Must Haves that we wouldn’t leave home without. School is a big deal and we always want to be stylin!
1. The Coolest Kids on the Block Must Have The Coolest Lunchbox.
These lunchboxes are handmade just to show just how much we care in preparing our lunch. I can’t help but smile at the patterns. These can definitely get us through the rest of the day and the horrible science experiment at 2:00pm. By the way, interior designers prefer art class over an science experiment.
2. Color Pencils Brighten the World
Color always enriches life. In the design world we spend a tremendous amount of time matching and coordinating colors so why not bring those color pencils to school.
3. Notebooks = A Simplified Life
When in doubt right everything down, especially in school. While juggling many projects we find ourselves using several notebooks. It’s the only way not to loose information….well unless you loose the notebook. Now that’s a different story.
4. Enjoy the Sweet Life
Around the Design Lines office, cupcakes are a guilty pleasure. The whole team enjoys a little sweetness and if I remember correctly my Granny use to always say, “Be good to yourself.” Why not enjoy a little sweet, school is hard enough.
5. When Homework Becomes to Much to Handle…Surround Yourself with Summertime Memories.
In any work space whether you are doing homework or surfing the Internet, the team believes you should always surround yourself with the people you love and/or enjoy.
What are your back to school must haves?!
images are from Handmade Vendors or Local Stores: 1. Edan Rose 2. Urban Harmonie 3. Edan Rose 4. Google 5. Red Star Ink 6. Cake + Milk Paperie 7.Spoonfed Raleigh 8. Frames Can be Purchased Locally at Furbish
Remember a few weeks ago when I posted about these fabulous knobs from Anthropologie? We had a local artist, the talented Jamie Goffman, paint our client’s existing furniture-from an ordinary stained maple bed and nightstands to a fun red bed with cream nightstands- to make quite the cute transformation. This makeover has inspired me to consider painting other pieces of furniture.
Stay tuned to see more of this whole room transformation!
Later this week we’ll see the efforts of a big before and after on some furniture we had painted. Our clients, wanted to convert their existing guest suite furniture into colorful kid friendly pieces appropriate for their sons “big boy” room. Using a transporation concept as our guide- we selected the finishes, a fabulously fast red for the bed and some cream for the nightstands to grow with. For the nightstands, we purchased these fun checkered knobs from anthropologie. So excited to see the finished product and an inexpensive furniture makeover!
One of our clients follows this blog http://www.homeworkshop.com/ where they feature challenges. Challenge #17 was “What should you do with all of your kid’s artwork?” Want a great idea? Everyone knows that they store it under the bed or in closets, pulling it out when they are spring cleaning and then it goes right back into storage.
Here is what they suggest:
(1) Take all the artwork and snap digital pictures of each piece and keep it separated by kid.
(2) Download pictures and make a grid collage in Photoshop.
(3) Print the collages out or you can take them to Kinko’s based on size.
(4) Put the collages in decorative frames to create a collage on the wall!
(Digital pictures taken of the kids artwork.)
This is how they used it on the wall. How creative and interesting is this? We give it two thumbs up!