Sunday, March 25, 2012

Playing with Color & Texture

Colors can make a huge impact. Spinning off the child's play theme we've been using, you can see how colors can make a room. They should be used everywhere, whether in small or large doses.

Often we think, "it needs to be a bold wall color in order to make an impact." However, color can be placed in small doses, in subtle locations. Sometimes, it is best to use a color-scheme based off of neutrals, or very muted colors that you can add bold splashes to as your taste changes. If you use subtle patterns, textures and colors of the same gradation, and mix in coordinating vivid colors, through window treatments, chair cushions, or even something as simple as throw pillows, you can change your look at the drop of a hat.

Layering your room is much like layering your outfit.
Be mindful of textures, patterns, and how you can mix in colors.
Start from the ground up. Your basic elements of your space, your flooring and walls.
Add your large pieces. Maybe an area rug to offset the cold feeling of a stone floor. You choose a sofa upholstered with a great tweed for visual texture.
Bring in some fun chairs to scale, with great details in the back, and a playfully colored seat cushion.
Then add some long flowing drapes in a whimsical design, that subtly adds another interesting element.

Then you can frame prints with textural elements to hang in your space. Here are two I found just by searching online:

Keep in mind the longevity of a living space. Unlike your outfits, you won't change it daily. You can, however, change it (seasonally, annually, etc.,) based on your own needs and interests. Choose pieces that aren't super trendy and use a trend you love as a starting point, then think of ways to change it based on your personal taste.

Flirt with the trends, while implementing your own twist.

I know, I know.. This was a wordy post. I hope you made it through to the end. Next week, will be almost entirely photos to balance it out.

Happy Designing! Please comment and let me know if you have any specific design trends you need help imlementing in your space!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Play time!

Here is a cozy play-space, I worked on. The challenges here were to create a space, that runs fluidly with the rest of the house, which has an extremely open floor plan. To organize the toys to create better play-ability. To position some seating and furnishings in an area surrounded by floor to ceiling windows, and to incorporate the mini drum-set that was a holiday gift.

We kept everything neutrally painted as it was already finished withing the color scheme of the home. This also allows the room to maintain bright and airy. Although it is plenty bright naturally from the windows, at night the bright neutral colors with the layered lighting help playtime continue after dark. We placed an area rug in the space butting up against some structural columns, defining the play zone. We positioned 2 chairs for grown-ups, and a tiny table with chairs to boot, that is just right for building or crafting on,  plus it was a steal at a local thrift shop! We positioned it like a coffee table, rather than centering it, so that there is also ample floor play space. We flanked one window wall with a sleek small console table, and an additional accent table behind the sofa in the living room. These tables give the area physical boundaries to help section the space visually, while simultaneously provide more toy storage!
The other big thing are the big cozy floor pillows, which can be tossed down wherever to sit down and play. There was an existing built in shelving unit, that we painted the wall color to keep it blended in. We have stocked this shelf with an eclectic mix of baskets filled with organized toys, photos, and art work. The drum-set even found a space alongside some big costume bins, making it the first thing the kids run to when entering the space... or is that not such a good thing? ;-)

We used a lot of subtle tones in this space, the pops of color come from the art, toys, and little red chairs. The textures of the wicker chairs, soft area rug, woven floor pillow, and the patterns as well. For being a kid centered space, I sure wouldn't mind hanging out here!

What do you think? Would you let your kids play here?

Let me know what you think, and if you have any questions about your own child friendly spaces, comment away! I would love to address your concerns in my next blog post which is the final post in this series of kid friendly spaces. Happy Designing!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

It's a girl!

Here is the next consulting job I finished for the same family. Their little girl's room!

Same story here with the before pictures, no kids aloud! The clients were having a hard time locating the crib in the space. They didn't want it glued to the wall. They wanted to keep the room light and neutral, with an extra bed in the room for overnight guests, and for when baby EW grows up. Here is how we tackled all of these issues:

We used all white furniture, to keep it light and bright in the space. We used some existing furniture, like the crib dresser, and rocking chair and gave them a fresh coat of white paint.

Putting the book shelf against this wall, with the rocking chair set in front of it makes a cozy little reading corner for story time.
 Giving Baby EW her own corner doll house, will give her space to play where there are no brothers allowed!
 Anchoring the crib in the corner, but extending it into the center of the room, makes it feel like a nest for baby to cozy up in for all her z's.

The colors in the room were mostly whites and grays with splashes of pink.
The twin bed in the room is set into a very minimal white platform bed with soft gray and cream floral bedding. We dressed it with many pillows like a daybed. It can be used for climbing, reading, snuggling etc, until she is out of the crib.

This room is fit for a baby! But it can easily transition little EW into her teen years, by simply moving out the crib, swapping out the mini book shelf for a desk with possible wall mounted shelving above, and repositioning the bed, this room will last this family a long time.

Having a room that will grow with your kids is key when designing for the little ones. You don't want to have to put in the cost and effort to redo the entire thing, when you can put together something classic, that can shift through the phases with them.

Happy Designing! Please remember to comment with questions!