I’ve loved getting to post the design process behind our upstairs remodel (check out Phoebe’s “Big Girl” room here, and baby H’s nursery here), and today I’m super excited to share our new playroom that’s destined to become the most popular spot in the house as our kids grow. Ever since Phoebe was born, our living room has doubled as her playroom, and I stash all her toys in a closet which has worked out fine. But as she’s gotten older (and her toys have gotten bigger — hello, doll house and train set!) I’ve realized how nice it would be to have a designated spot for all her stuff — one that’s totally childproofed, made for hanging out with her friends, and already setup for art projects and tea parties. Loved working with the Design Studio at RH Baby & Child to convert our little-used “lounge” area at the top of our staircase into the perfect place for uninhibited, imaginative play. Click through for all my favorite elements of our new space.
*photos by Molly Winters
When we started designing the playroom, I wanted it to feel made for kids, but in a way that feels cohesive to the design, color palette and overall aesthetic of the rest of our home. We ended up with a room that makes me happy whenever I get to the top of our stairs each day and that’s already provided hours of fun for Phoebe. This weller study wall gives us tons of storage and the mini vintage toledo chair adds an industrial touch that’s just Phoebe’s size.
*playroom design tip #1: Look for pieces with adjustable storage: this piece features adjustable shelves that can be moved around to fit all different heights of books, toys, and baskets to organize them all in.
We mounted a linen pinboard above the desk for displaying Phoebe’s artwork, plus photos and fun quotes — it’s fun to have a space that can be a rotating home for her latest work and can evolve as our kids gets older. She loves sitting at the desk (such a “big girl” thing to do!) to color and spin her earth desk globe around and around.
*playroom design tip #2: Shelve like items together for a clean and cohesive look. It can be tough to organize an eclectic mix of items on shelves without them looking messy. One styling tip that I learned from the RH Baby & Child designers is to not group too many different items together on one shelf. Instead, we filled some shelves entirely with books, others entirely with toys, and then stashed less aesthetically-pleasing items in pretty seagrass baskets.
also shown: wooly plush bunny
This Camille Settee (yep, that’s its real name!) is our go-to spot for curling up with a stack of books. I love that it’s so functional in this space, but is “grown-up” enough to be used in other areas of our home for years to come. And I have a feeling it’ll be my nursing HQ when the new baby arrives, so Phoebe can play and I can still keep an eye on her!
also shown: capiz shell pendant
*playroom design tip #3: Light colored fabrics in kid spaces don’t have to be off-limits as long as the material is super durable! RH and RH Baby & Child offer tons of upholstery options, including this “Perennials” material which is stain and mildew-resistant — spills can be cleaned with mild soap and warm water.
I’ve been wanting to get a child-sized table where Phoebe can spread out her art supplies and really get creative, and this French Empire Extension Play Table has already provided hours of fun — we use it for watercoloring together, and keep our brushes, paints, and paper stashed in the nearby shelves so clean-up is quick and easy. And the fact that it can extend with two leaves to seat up to 8 kids makes it so versatile — I’m already looking forward to bringing it downstairs for a built-in “kids table” at family holidays.
I have no doubt this table will be the site of many future tea parties and board game nights. We kept the seating from being too matchy-matchy with four vintage steel play chairs and a couple of bright aqua knit cotton pouf at each end.
playroom design tip #4: Use a rug that’s intended for indoor-outdoor use in an area that’s destined to get messy! Since I knew that art projects and tea parties would result in the inevitable spills, I went with this perennials outdoor rug that looks every bit as beautiful as an indoor rug, but resists fading, mold and mildew, and rinses clean in minutes. It’s important to me that our kids not have to be overly “careful” in a space that’s meant for play, and this rug allows them to do that without it getting destroyed in the process.
I’ve always loved rooms with a beachy vibe — anything that makes me feel like I’m closer to the ocean scores major points in my book. I’ve been into Nick Veasey’s x-ray photographs for awhile, and when I laid eyes on this oversized crab print, I knew it would be an amazing statement piece in the room. I love that it’s seriously beautiful art with a playful vibe that makes it work in a kids’ space.
playroom design tip #5: If kids are at an age where they still need constant supervision, don’t forget to give adults a place to sit, too! This settée is just large enough for me to hang out and chat with another mom while we keep an eye on things, or I can stretch out and have a moment of relaxation while Phoebe plays.
also shown: chunky cotton knit throw, plush lamb.
Having this space makes me so excited for all the imagining, creating, learning, and playing that’ll happen here over the next several years. Though it’s hard to believe, it won’t be too long until Phoebe’s sitting here doing homework! My hope is that this earth desk globe will inspire a sense of wonder and adventure as she dreams about places on the other side of the world — and that she’ll hopefully get to visit herself someday!
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