Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Playroom progress: A closer look

It took me forever to settle on a paint color for this space. I’d been leaning toward yellow since it’s our whole-house accent color, and a playroom is the perfect space for an accent shade to take center stage. But I feared that it would look country, gender-neutral baby, or intense in this busy space. So I retreated toward our standby, greige. It took the advice of a talented interior designer to talk me into a different kind of yellow, with the tiniest hint of green. Fresh and modern but not too loud. So I ended up using Martha Stewart’s ‘rice paper’ color, a creamy yellow, with hints of lime from the green accents in the room.

The colors and nature motif in the lamps and lampshades (Target) were the starting point for the space. They tie into nature’s palette outside and the creative mood that I wanted to evoke.

We bought the low plywood play table on craigslist while the house was under contract. It had been handmade for an in-home daycare and was being sold for a song. I knew it would make an ideal surface for the kids to engineer their duplo/train/playmobil and other creations. So it lived for several weeks in the back of our station wagon before the house closing because we didn’t want to unload it twice. Erik may have gotten some strange looks going through security into work, but it was worth it!

Our arts and crafts table is another CL treasure. I love the vintage French look to its blue-grey metal frame. And the small size and light weight make it great for moving around the room for forts and projects. I also like how the clear plexiglass top lets it recede a bit so the playtable can dominate avoiding the awkward dilemma of two dueling tables vying for authority in the room.

The table’s colored metal frame happily stews with a slew of other metals. There’s the bronzy door handles, a stainless steel art hanging system, a tin oversized clock, a chunky brass curtain rod, and these vintage metal file boxes.

I also mixed art styles. There are a few skilled pieces by grown-up artists amidst vibrant groupings of kid art. I love the message it sends to L & E that their art is just as beautiful and full of meaning as professional pieces in our home. I also hope it inspires them to grow further in their painting abilities!

As you would expect, toy storage is abundant. I loved that we could use both our white bookcases in this space. They’re such big pieces that we’ve often had to split them up, losing some of their clean and organized impact. The larger one holds mostly art items and there’s lots of open space on the lower white bookcase and in the play table cubbies. For now we keep most of the toys in the grand toy closet. I allow 1-2 toy sets out at a time to minimize clutter and keep their toys fresh and exciting as they rotate into play.

The ‘rug’ is just a remnant piece from when we recarpeted our old house, but it’s great for now since I don’t stress about messy art projects or other mishaps. Eventually I’d love to get something huge to go in this space, and switch out the old white chair for a compact loveseat to make things a bit cozier. Way down the line for the teen years, I could see moving out one of the tables and bringing in a sectional couch and a TV.

We’re often found building racetracks, painting masterpieces, perfecting forts, and pretending to be turtles in this happy sunny space. And for me, the cherry on top is an old rotary wall telephone that receives incoming calls. Fortunately it can’t dial out, so the kids can spin the clicking dialer to their hearts content. Our next project in here is more of a modern than a vintage endeavor though. We just ordered a heating/cooling unit, and hope to get it installed before our much-awaited visit from Auntie C!

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