Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Playroom - II

Hi there! I hope you all had a nice holiday weekend. It was a bit grey here, but perfect weather for the surprise project I completed for my son while he was on a special father-son camping trip. I'll be sharing that soon, but for now, let's get back to the playroom...

Last time, I showed you the new aqua paint and the gallery wall. Today, I want to share some more of the space and talk about color and pattern mixing. I'm going to bounce around a bit today to show you some comparisons regarding the way that color works.


Like here. This is right after we painted the walls (pre gallery wall) and started to put the room back together. You'll notice that this wall color changes quite a bit with varying lighting throughout the day. The first thing you see in this photo is the storage unit. The turquoise bins are the strongest element in the room at this point and definitely dominate the space and even wash out the wall color a bit.


Since this room is mainly for the boys, I let them choose the color of the storage cubes. They selected this bright turquoise, so it was important to find a way to keep them, but tone them down a bit. The answer? More color! Sounds a little crazy, but bear with me.


We did this in a few ways. The first was to create our gallery wall using a mix of color and finishes to balance the strong color and geometric pattern of the storage bins. Now, there is not just one point of saturated color. It is seen throughout and just feels better.

One thing that I would love to change is the light fixture on the ceiling. I'd love some sort of shade or pendant to add some whimsy... Maybe a good project idea for me and the boys to tackle?


Next, we added more storage bins to fill all the cubes. We toned down the punches of color with navy and blue-green colored cubes.


And of course, the chevron rug plays a huge part in the balancing act. See the first picture in this post again to compare. This rug used to be in a bedroom, but the colors were perfect for the playroom, so we relocated it. I had this rug in mind when selecting the additional navy and green cubes.

The nice thing about having a patterned rug here is that it hides any stains and protects the carpet underneath. I don't know about you, but my kids are constant snackers and definitely not the neatest eaters. This rug hides a multitude of sins. In layering pattern and color, we were able to create a cohesive, balanced space. Sometimes more is best.


Another way to infuse texture and color into your space is with throw pillows and blankets. This is my weakness. If I could buy all the pillows, I would. The pillow aisle at Homegoods is dangerous. Before purchasing any new pillows to throw into our existing mix, I decided that I wasn't going to spend much, since they'd most likely take a beating. I needed pillows that could withstand my kids, so indoor/outdoor pillows seemed like the best choice.

Always keep your eyes peeled for a deal everywhere you go. Sometimes the best things show up in unexpected places. The pillows I added here are from Walmart and Aldi. I happened upon them and snagged them because the price couldn't be more right. The multicolored geometric-patterned pillows were $3 each and the palm frond pillows were $5! It really doesn't get better than that, and I actually really love them!


Here, you can see how I layered different patterns and colors together to create an interesting mix. In order to achieve this kind of look, you need to find a common theme. One way to do that is through color. Choose a few colors and stick with that palette. You can always add a wild card in a complementary color. I chose greens, blues and coral. The animal print is my wild card because it strays from the main palette, but in my mind animal print acts as a neutral and always works.

Another way to create a pattern mix is through a specific style or vibe... Mine is an exotic, beachy feel. Think geometric, animal and organic prints for this type of look. You want to choose patterns in varying sizes to create some tension, otherwise your mix falls flat. The palm frond pattern is on the large side, the animal print a smaller scale, and the geometric is somewhere in the middle. 


Don't forget art! I fell in love with this pineapple canvas when I spotted it at Target. It was originally intended for my bathroom makeover, but the colors and pattern couldn't be more perfect for this room. It mimics the pattern and colors in the geometric pillows and is just so happy!

I'm loving all things pineapple right now. The pineapple is a symbol of warmth, welcome, friendship and hospitality. I love the sentiment and it's exactly the vibe I want for our playroom. You'll be spotting more pineapple decor pieces in posts to come...

Look for part III in this series where I'll discuss how to incorporate kids' art, toys and projects into your decor to create a space that is reflective of both the kids and adults who enjoy it.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Playroom - I

Hi Everyone!! I'm finally tackling the playroom post! This room is definitely still a work in progress, but it's getting close to what I envisioned when I set out with this makeover. There are a few different topics I want to address regarding this space, so I'm going to break this post down into 3 parts. I would LOVE to just skip to the pretty parts at the end, but it makes more sense to go chronologically.

Today, I'm going to talk a little bit about choosing color and also how to make a fun gallery wall suitable for kids. Because this is the boys' play area, I wanted to infuse it with color and fun. The original wall color was a pale aqua, It was pretty, but felt so washed out among all the vibrant colors of the boys' toys.


I always tend toward blues and greens, the boys too, so we decided to go with a more saturated version of the existing wall color. 


You can see the difference here. Just a few shades darker and it makes a huge difference. It feels more cheerful already.


Here are the toys piled in the center of the room while we paint. You can already see that the new color balances the brights of the toys.


The color also works well off of the colors in our living room, so all the rooms flow color-wise. I love to combine citron, green-blues and coral. You'll see those tones throughout our home. Those are my happy colors. It's important to choose colors that speak to you. That way, your space feels comforting, happy, relaxing, etc., to you. You live in this space and it should reflect that. 

That's as much as I'll show of the wall color. Now, let's talk about gallery walls...

I've posted about gallery walls before. I love collections of art, photos, mirrors, crafts and objects displayed on the wall. While there are many ways to tackle a gallery wall, I've come to find that I personally prefer a more abstract placement, rather than lining everything up in a neat square. I think that both ways are great for different applications and personalities. Again, this is about your preference, so do what appeals to you.

As far as our playroom gallery wall goes, it made the most sense to me to place things in an organized random way to reflect the fact that it's a childrens space. It feels more laid back and fun, which is exactly the vibe we're going for. 

The first thing I did was gather favorite paintings and photos to choose what was going on the wall. I chose a beach photo from a recent family trip to Disney, another from the pond at camp, and the last is a blurred-out photo of my boys and I walking hand-in-hand on the beach. This last photo probably wouldn't be a first choice for some because it's fuzzy and blown out with lights, but it's one of my absolute favorites - a great memory. 

Once I narrowed it down, I ordered a few large-format framed prints from Snapbox. Those are the white frames shown below. I grabbed a few favorite pieces of canvas art we already had, and I also gathered old frames I had in the basement for some of our artwork. Some of the paintings were done by the boys and one is a snippet of text from a favorite bedtime story. Everything has a special meaning to us.


Once I had everything in frames, I placed them on the floor to figure out a basic layout (among toys, shoes and laundry, naturally).


Next, I got to work putting these animal plaques together. These were a score from the discount bins at Target. I always scope out that section when I walk in. You never know what gem you'll find, but you know that it'll always be priced right. 

The plaques were perfect for our gallery wall. They add whimsy, color, and some dimension. 


These guys were so easy to put together and add such a pop of color and pattern to the wall. The boys love them. 


Seriously, how fun are these plaques?!


My next step was to begin hanging the frames. I started with the bottom center and worked my way up and out. 


Nothing was measured, I just placed everything as I went and eyeballed it. 


A picture hanging kit comes in handy for a project like this. These hanging hooks are great for anything with a tab or wire.


And voila! Here's the finished (sort of... you'll see what I mean in a post to follow) gallery wall. I love the mix of our favorite things placed randomly on the wall. The mix of frame shapes and finishes adds to the feeling that it's a collection gathered over time and feels relaxed. It's nice to be surrounded by little reminders of our favorite people, places and things.

Next time, I'll be talking about how to incorporate kids art, toys and projects into a play space that also works for adults... Stay tuned!