In the middle of the Covid pandemic, I got a call from one of the realtors I work with asking me to go see on of her clients who had recently purchased a home in Wilton, CT. Home was really dated she said and furthermore, the wife was very pregnant and really overwhelmed. When we later walked through the house with this young family, I saw that house had good bones but was very dark and the floor plan really didn’t accommodate having a toddler and a baby. It’s a two story house with a living room on your right as you enter and dining room to the right with kitchen in the back of the house and family room on the far right.
The husband asked if I could turn the formal living room into the playroom. I didn’t think that would work – it would be the first impression for anyone coming to the house and furthermore, it would be hard on the wife to keep an eye on the kids given how far the room was from kitchen. The kids would want to be where the parents are and I could just see toys in every room as they would follow parents around. I suggested we turn the family room above into a kid and adult shared space. It took some convincing but they agreed to let me do it.
I knew I needed
- seating area that’s comfortable for parents and kids, something comfortable and durable
- designated craft area for kids
- their own hideaway nook
- something to climb/jump on
- a look that is inviting for both kids and adults
Here’s how the room looked after.
There’s a cornice over the french door in the very back which houses a shade that can be used if glare is on TV.
I added 2 inexpensive rugs that lighten up the area but have dots in every color so as it stains, which it inevitably will, the stains will blend into this fun pattern. The coffee table is actually a train table and parts for that are in the built ins. Budget didnt allow for new cabinets so to divert the attention away from their rounded shape, we painted the backs of the bookcases blue. I also did away with that ornate mantel that clashed with the stone fireplace and replaced it with more appropriate wood mantel and we moved the TV above the fireplace for a more symmetrical look.
Behind the couch is a slide, tent with his favorite toys and pillows and we securely hung a ladder into the ceiling. Between the windows are the inexpensive picture framed painted the same blue as bookcases and we hung all of wives favorite family photos there.
I used Ikea shelving units and added a piece of countertop in the middle for his craft table. All pull out drawers are labeled in (false) hopes that kids will put stuff back where it goes. 🙂
To the right of the craft/storage area are bookcases at kids height and to the right that black wall is actually a chalkboard. Again, hoping if the kids will doodle on the walls (which they will) it will be contained to that wall.
We finished it right before she went into labor. And the little big brother was one very satisfied customer as he jumped from joy. I hear they spend all their evenings there with kids though we did turn the living room into a more adult entertaining space. What do you think of this transformation?