If one could have a ‘spirit room’ then I’ll go ahead and say this is my ‘demon room’. That didn’t come out right, but the point is this room is just so challenging in function, layout and now in style. Let’s revisit the past and catch you up to speed on this embarrassment of a space.
When we first bought the house, it looked like this:
It was right off the entry and close to the kitchen. So we knew once we opened it up to the kitchen we would have this amazing flow and visibility (especially with two small kids). But it made the architecture tricky and I’m sure someone could point out a million things we did wrong. By doing this we were able to get a proper
But then we were like ‘WAIT, WHERE THE EFF DO WE WATCH TV?’ The living room has no proper TV wall that doesn’t totally dictate an awkward layout (see our first post,
We painted it navy because that’s cozy and fun.
It looked pretty awful and jarring, mostly because of the awkward architecture and its location in the house (all the furniture and rugs were just leftover and obviously not designed to exist here).
So we repainted and attempted to design it as a tv room/den with toy storage.
It’s not bad, but not good. I love the
We had those leftover curtains from a different room so I had our handyman install them here and while it was kinda awesome to be in a little cozy theater room, it begged the question – do we need a little theater room?
It felt heavy and made the room feel smaller. Sure it hid the TV but it was annoying and the jump rings would get caught on the rod because the weight of the blackout was just too much for that function.
It was neither a proper play room or a proper TV room. It was a long narrow room with an awesome sofa and a bunch of toy storage.
It worked and man, that sofa is cozy but it didn’t look good. Plus our kids aren’t allowed to watch TV during the week (listen, we have full-time childcare, if we didn’t it would be different, trust me) so seeing it became a battle. Around that same time we bought the mountain house, which doesn’t have a tv and guess what? Those little addicts forgot about their favorite thing in the world. The option was taken away and instead, sticks from the trees, a janky ‘stream’ and a lot of other activities distracted them from their one true love.
The first few months up there they didn’t even ASK for a ‘show-just-one- little-show’. So we were convinced. Up there they had a huge playroom with a lot of fun blocks to climb on, legos, puzzles, bean bags … it was a room totally dedicated to them and GOOD GOD-IN-EARLY-CHILDHOOD-HEAVEN, they played. The two of them would just play. Keep themselves busy. We’d be in the dining room drinking coffee, reading the paper (and by paper i mean magazine) or in the living room hanging out with other parents. Sure, our mountain house is way bigger than our current house and obviously it’s ideal to have a dedicated playroom, a dedicated living room and a dedicated TV den. But that’s not our house so we had to make some decisions.
We finally decided to remove the TV from this room and turn it into a dedicated playroom for the kids. Ironically, around the same time I was (
This is the evolution of this stupid room (and I KNOW you are curious if we have a TV at all … stay tuned). It’s long, and has a weird architectural change 1/2 way through on the walls and ceiling. I designed it to be more of a ‘tv room’ so the sconces, drapes and too-big semi-flush fixture aren’t exactly ‘kid’.
And now that the sofa and tv are removed, the big question is HOW do I design this room?
Here’s where we are now – not designed but turned into a playroom.
If I were a normal person I’d be done. The color is pretty, the rug is soft and TOTALLY kid-friendly (plus a 1″ memory foam underneath) and the drapes are nice (although architecture above doesn’t have proper rain drainage thus making the curtain rods fall out of the wall). The kids are happy and frankly I have a lot of other things to design or do right now – including hanging out with my kids here or organizing a drawer nearby while they play.
But then I’m reminded that not only am I a content creator and designing this playroom is good for traffic, but many of you have awkward spaces and maybe me designing mine will somehow help you design yours.
First off, we are set with kids play furniture. The
But she sure looks nice, no?
The relationship to the kitchen is pretty awesome. The whole floor is just so open – we can be in living, dining or kitchen and still keep an eye on our kiddos.
They are obviously happy with it, but I think we all know it could be better.
One of the challenges is the fact that there is a jut out and the arch is not quite in the middle. It makes you want to divide the space or do something with that architecture instead of fighting it, BUT WHAT?
I bet you didn’t see that one coming. I didn’t really either. I saw it on the same site that I got my
We chose a navy blue. It was shipped from Europe in 2 weeks and then I was like …. wait … is this the best thing to do?
This was also during a dark period for me on social media where I felt like THE ONLY things that were hitting were things that were graphic, clean and poppy in blues and whites. As more and more people post other peoples stunning work, it leaves those of us who really just try to put our own work on our feed feeling a little down. That’s a whole other conversation, but my reaction to it was to basically make sure that I design with social media in mind – and incorporate the colors, styles and patterns that I know will HIT.
Now, part of this is disgusting and upsetting – that so-called ‘creativity’ is being dictated (or altered) to appease millions of strangers. But then the other part is that it pushes me to take risks and not be safe. The patio tile (AMERICA’S PATIO) cost me $8k + install and I didn’t want to spend the money but I did because I kept telling myself ‘this is worth it both for your family, resale and business’. I knew that the tile would ‘hit’ on social and BOY HAS IT. In fact we joke in the office that when the algorithm has got us down and a photo that would have gotten 15k likes now gets 2500, someone shouts – “put up a patio shot stat!!” 8 out of the top 20 most liked instagram posts had that patio tile in view.
For the record I would and will NEVER do something in my home just for ‘likes’. But knowing that a more interesting or riskier design element will likely garner new followers and more ‘like’s (thus breaking the algorithm) is certainly not out of my brain when designing these days.
The problem with the mural is then what happens on the other walls?
It’s hard. I’m stumped. Twenty-seven year old Emily wouldn’t care and would have made it look kinda cool regardless because houses are quirky. Thirty-three year old Emily would have customized it to be PERFECT. Now 38-year-old Emily is not convinced we should do anything and wait til the kids need change.
But it’s content… and if I’m going to do anything I may as well make it as cute as possible.
So thoughts? Feelings? This room is THE WORST so how do I make it the best?
*right now I’m planning on going for the mural then seeing how I feel because it’s great content even if it’s weird.
***Progress Photos by