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! 

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