A Place to Play

October 25, 2010 at 4:20 pm 2 comments

We moved into our home ten months ago.  It is new.  We worked with an amazing team to realize our vision.  We furnished, designed and planned each room on the main floor and the second level for a specific purpose which suits our lifestyle.

The four of us love living here.

But the lower level has been neglected.  It is a partly above-ground basement which we use as our family’s main entry to the house, a media room, a storage room, a bathroom and another room.

We were not sure what we were going to do with the last room.  Initially, I thought it would be an extra bedroom, or potentially, an office for me since Derek has a large office on the main floor (he works from home).  But before we moved in, inspiration came from a room in my friend’s home which is entirely dedicated to child’s play.  Instead of cluttering the adult (man cave) home theatre room with toys, I could make the extra room a playroom.

I stored all the boys’ toys down there, but the room still became a bit of a dumping ground for other clutter.  The furniture and floor coverings are odds and ends from our last house and frankly, I do not like spending time in that room.   I decided that before the winter hits and we want to spend more time in there, I am going to purposefully decorate that space.  So much thought went into the rest of the house, I feel like it’s not fair to the boys that their space is so haphazard.

Derek announced to the boys that “mommy is going to make a really nice playroom” for them.  And Lil D replied, “it’s already really nice”.

So much for that rationale.  It’s clear that I’m doing this project for myself.  But I’m still doing it.  And at the same time, I’m going to make the lower level entryway a proper organized mudroom.

While I know what I like in design, I am not a designer and I hate making expensive mistakes. So, I hired a designer.  But, it couldn’t be just any designer.  As I mentioned at the outset of this post, we worked with great people on the rest of the house.  However, there are a few things that I do not consider “kid-friendly”.  Our interior designer does not (yet) have children and I think that to design a playroom one must understand how children play and live.

Enter Katharine from Housters & Co.  Though this is not her typical project (see her pretty website for more info), I liked her aesthetic and thought it was right for this project – and she has a child.

We decided that her DIY Design Kit was right for me.  Essentially, she consulted with us about our goals, our preferences, the space, our ideas, and then she provided a kit which outlines how to achieve the desired space.  The kit includes detailed instructions specific furnishings, wall colours and treatments, fabrics, floor coverings, accessories, and more.  There are drawings, and, best of all, there are step by step instructions on what to do first (as dummy proof as “1.  clear the closet”).

I received my design kits for the playroom and mudroom by email yesterday.

I am going to update you on my progress as the room transformation progresses.  I have set a target of November 30th for the final reveal, though there are some furnishings and upholstery which may prevent this.

In order to get a head-start, the moment I finished reading through the plan, I ordered my favourite pieces – two replica (it’s for the kids room after all!) Eames-style molded plywood lounge chairs in candy apple red.

Tonight I made my Ikea shopping list and I’ll get a start on those purchases tonight or tomorrow – did you know you can order some Ikea items online?  Considering I once limped out of there after pulling my erector spinae (I’m impressing you with my Master’s in Exercise Physiology aren’t I?) lifting a godforsaken Malm (or was it Besta?) box onto the trolley, the delivery fee for online shopping is well worth it to me.

Here are the before shots of the playroom as it is now, actually, as it was yesterday – birthday party spoils were deposited in there today.  Need I say more?

And the entryway now,

This week I will write about our objectives for these spaces as they were understood for the design plan.  Stay tuned.


Entry filed under: General Ramblings On. Tags: , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lynn  |  October 28, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    I’m really looking forward to hearing more about this project. We’re kind of at the same spot with our playroom – it’s more like a giant closet for toys than an actual space to play and spend time. No detail is too small — I want to hear it all!

  • 2. fitforakid  |  October 28, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    I will keep you posted Lynn. I have been obsessed with this project this week. I have ordered lots and am actually thinking I’ll be done the mudroom by the end of next week.

    Playroom will take longer cause of stuff I ordered… More posts to come.


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