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Annnd we made it to the finish line, folks! Six weeks of scheming, designing, planning and a whole lot of love and care went into this sweet space. It was a new creative endeavor mixing color and pattern in this way - and admittedly - a bit outside my comfort zone… There were more than a few nerve-wracking moments throughout the process where I wondered if my vision would come together and work in the end, but now that we’re here at the final reveal I can confidently say it’s everything I dreamed of and so much more! I’m coming away from this project feeling a new zest for the design process and excited to do more spaces as fun and lively as this one!
It was also my first time participating in the One Room Challenge (after years of watching from the sidelines) and I can’t even put into words how incredible this event was to take part in. If you’re not familiar, it’s hosted biannually by Linda Weinstein of Calling It Home and Better Homes and Gardens. Anyone can participate and the goal is to complete a space from start to finish in a very fast six weeks. It’s amazing the motivation you get from the timeline as well as the support from the community, and it is truly the only reason we have this incredible new space to share as a family right here and now. There were so many setbacks that popped up along the way and under normal circumstances I would have kept sweeping this project aside, but having that accountability helped me push through and that’s exactly what Linda was hoping for when she dreamed up this idea years ago!
Ok, so enough chit chat, let’s get to the goods…the big reveal. If you are visiting the blog for the first time, WELCOME! You can catch up on my whole One Room Challenge process here: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4 and Week 5. Now, in Week 6, all the participants - along with myself - are sharing our final designs. But to really appreciate how far this room has come, let’s take a quick look at the blank slate it was before…
I think we can all agree this room is a pretty gorgeous blank slate all on its own and has so many pro points to begin with - tall ceilings, a welcoming and grand entrance, an expansive bay window, lots of room to move around and the original oak flooring that we refinished and brought back to life last summer.
We moved in two years ago and our first task was to give everything a fresh coat of white paint. As far as layout and purpose goes, we have a separate casual family room connected to the kitchen at the back of the house and this room connects to the home’s entrance and dining room and is meant to be a formal living space. I’m not the biggest fan of formal rooms that serve little purpose so my 5-year plan is to turn it into a design office/library where I can invite clients over to consult. But that’s not really feasible right now while I’m home wrangling two feisty toddlers so it’s a dream that will wait until they are both in school.
In the meantime, I was looking to create a space for the girls to live out their wildest playtime dreams while also serving as a more casual family room for us to hangout in. Our current season of life consists of constant toddler demands for TV and I wanted a spot for the girls to play without an enticing big black box in view. So far, it looks like I’ve traded screen time demands for arguments about sharing but at least we all love being in the space together - ha!!
Given this is the view when you first enter our house, I wanted to turn the wall across the way into a focal point of some kind but it’s a lot of space to fill, so an expansive gallery wall seemed like a great option. We actually had some random pieces of art stored away from our last move so I was excited to have a chance to put them to use and see them all again!
Turns out we also had the yellow rug from our old dining room stored too and I love how it pulls in pops of yellow from the landscape and flower prints while also adding a cheery vibe to the playroom. Plus, it’s an indoor/outdoor rug so it’s super durable and will hopefully stand the test of time because these girls do a lot of shopping cart races around the house!
I shopped my house and gathered pieces in other rooms that seemed like they would have a happier life in here…the shamrock print was from Zoe’s room (a work-in-progress), the butterfly print came from the girls’ bathroom (also a work-in-progress) and the LOVE sign language photo was also in storage. I knew I wanted to put the girls’ teepee in here and like how the black frames tie in with the black pom pom garland.
The two abstract pieces on the top left are art from Zoe’s time at daycare! Truth be told, most of the art she brought home may or may not have end up in recycling but I kept the ones that felt really special and these two made the cut (please tell me I’m not the only one who does this, btw…).
The polka dot canvas piece was one of the hiccups along the way. I had reserved the spot for a special custom piece that felt like a perfect addition to the playroom - this dress we bought in anticipation of our first born little miss during our babymoon in Chichen Itza, Mexico. I sent it away to my most favorite framing service ever - Framebridge - and sadly it didn’t make it back in time for our photo shoot. I waited and hoped until the very last minute and the night before our shoot when it didn’t arrive, I packed both girls up and did a 7pm mad dash Target run hoping they would have something and this was just the right size and color and had the light wood frame I wanted to balance out the birch framed art on the right side of the wall. I love how it works in this room so much, I might just keep it there and find a new spot for the custom framed dress!
Before hanging, I layed out all the art I had and looked for any spots I might need to fill to get the gallery wall to the right size. The spot behind the teepee was a little bare, so after some searching, I found the little yellow pup and colorful woven rug prints from Minted. They had the cutest blend of modern and playful that I wanted for this room! I pieced the gallery wall together so that it would fill the space well but I like how the layout also leaves some room to add any special pieces that pop up along the way.
BTW, I’ve had a lot of people ask how to pull a gallery wall together well, so I shot the whole process and will share some tips and tutorial on the blog soon so stay tuned for that!
I’m so happy that Zoe’s teepee has finally found a permanent resting spot! It has traveled all over the house this past year and I’m excited to see the girls cozy up inside to read books this winter! We already had a good lot of pillows to throw inside and this ikea rug to pad the bottom, but then I stumbled on the World is Your Oyster pillow and knew this room had to have it. The world is yours my girls!! Follow your dreams and never stop doing what you love. I hope if nothing else, they learn that much while we’re home together building my own design dream…
This bookcase was another source of contention in the project… When I dreamed up the design concept, I knew I wanted to put the large wall to use to store all.the.things. I wanted a white bookcase with open shelves to put baskets, books and toys but something that had a modern feel and more movement than a rectangular piece.
Despite the fact that I found this one almost right off the bat, it was more than I wanted to pay for a transitional space. I spent the better part of the first three weeks searching extensively for something similar for less but came up short. It was just so perfect and nothing even came close to fitting the concept so after reading droves of awesome reviews on the quality of the piece and deciding that it could have any number of other uses in our house later on down the road, I determined it was worth the investment. And it doesn’t disappoint! The quality is incredible and the surface is supposed to be fairly scratch-resistant so its got the durability I want for a playroom and I mean, just look at it….it’s absolutely freaking perfect. I love it.
I am so so happy with how the bay window area turned out!! In Week 4 of the ORC, I introduced you to this beautiful floral goddess fabric. After settling on these two pink chairs early on in the design concept phase, I knew I needed some patterned drapery to tie the pink chairs and yellow rug together. Between the pops of pink, yellow and green and the playful yet adult-friendly vibe in this Robert Allen fabric, I couldn’t think of a better fit for a family-friendly playspace!
I’m looking forward to hanging out with my husband here and watching the girls run wild with their imagination and maybe we’ll somehow fit in some book reading too?? The barrel style of the arms and backs in these chairs are so great for curling up in and with winter around the corner, a book and a warm drink in hand sounds pretty darn dreamy. Add in a wintery snow view out the window and everything is right in the world…
Across from the sitting area is what I’ve deemed the “imagination nook”. Kids love doing everything adults do, just in a cuter minier more fun version so I knew I wanted to incorporate lots of play kitchen-type toys in their playroom. This spot is pretty large all on its own too so I really had the ability to run wild with that idea and incorporate a whole play market area as well.
We already had the play kitchen from IKEA and the mini tool set, so all this spot needed was some matte black spray paint for the kitchen hardware and a coordinating black set of hooks to hang the world’s cutest tool set. The Home is Wherever I’m With You print was a lucky find on Etsy and that along with the tiny Still Growing print, mini gold clock from Target and sweet little cat apron that was a gift from my sister, this area makes for the coziest, cutest little play kitchen nook for my two sweet (and sometimes equally sour, let’s be real…) girls!
And I saved the best part for last, at least in my opinion…THE PLAY MARKET. Above all else, these two shopping carts we got for the girls months ago have been the most treasured toy and a source of endless entertainment. They line up and run circles around the house and it’s the most joyful and funniest thing to watch. Those suckers are usually loaded up with anything they can find so I knew they needed to have a little pretend shopping area in their playroom to fuel their cart-loading obsessions.
I wanted to build some kind of DIY market stand and scoured Google for a couple of weeks before landing on this adorable lemonade stand tutorial. We just did the awning top portion and spray painted it a stainless steel color and attached it to the wall. The awning is a scrap piece of fabric I cut to size and hemmed with iron-on fuse tape (no sewing needed!). Add in two baskets hung with picture hooks and a slew of adorable mini play foods and you’ve got kid pretend market heaven at your disposal! Seriously, this part of the playroom couldn’t have been easier and I’ve received so many questions about it, I’ll share a quick tutorial on the blog soon!
So there you have it… That’s a wrap on our Modern & Cheerful Playroom space that’s fit for the whole family. So much time, love and care was put into this room. These girls are so darn lucky, my only hope is that they realize it. I’m also feeling pretty lucky after it’s all said and done too.
The only thing that remains now is… WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK ABOUT THE SPACE?? Because holy cow, that was a lot of info and a barrage of pictures so if you made it all the way this far, why not drop a little hello in the comments or let me know what your favorite part of the new playroom is, I’m so eager to hear from you all! Also, don’t forget to follow all our adventures on Instagram! XOXO, Rach
All final reveal photography in this post by Travis Stanley