Designing a playroom or family room is an exciting task that offers so many opportunities for creativity and functionality. When creating a space for both kids and adults, it is essential to strike a balance between style and practicality. Recently, I had a chance to help a client figure out an ideal design for their play / family room.
My client wanted this room to function as a family / playroom for both kids and adults. They have their first baby on the way, and wanted this to be the space to play, hang out, be able to store a lot of kid clutter and toys, get comfy and have quiet family nights, but also be able to entertain adults.
When they shared these photos, I immediately understood the challenge of the project. There are several main patterns of travel through the space, making arranging furniture difficult. The room also has two points of entry, creating additional things to consider.
As you can see, the patterns of traffic (in red) significantly reduce the space available for furniture placing. There are two separate entrances into the room as well as a path of travel from the primary bedroom to one of the spare bedrooms. The area in green highlights the “void” – available space to live and play in, without cluttering the room and complicating movement between other spaces in the house.
We started by establishing a theme or color scheme that appeals to all family members. I offered five style boards for this room, in order to determine what colors, textures, finishes and patters made my clients feel most at home.
Each mood board has several important grounding elements, that help to focus on functionality of the space. I made sure to select furniture that is both comfortable and durable, accommodating the needs of children and adults alike. Incorporating lots of storage solutions, such as large consoles or bookshelves, helps maintain an organized space. Including versatile seating options, such as swivel chairs or upholstered stools offers flexibility for different activities and allows for easy rearrangement of the room. We made sure to incorporate elements that encourage family bonding, such as a cozy reading corner or a large coffee table for games. Lighting should be considered as well, ensuring that the room is well-lit for playtime but also offers dimming options for a relaxing ambience.
I included a frame TV in each of these designs, and made sure that there were plenty of spots to display personal items, like family photos and kid’s art. Since family and playrooms tend to be considerably more casual, you can afford to be less formal and more playful with your design.
This soft organic look has a lot of natural wood tones and rounded off edges, making it not only inviting, but also very kid friendly. As an added bonus, the coffee table has hidden storage for all that kid clutter, while the striped ottomans provide flexible seating. Including hard-working, multi-tasking elements like theses helps to maximize the functionality of any space.
This modern coastal look stole my heart with the weathered wood elements, stripes and leather finishes, and that beautiful console. And while this was not the final look we went with, I can see this style working so well for many different contexts.
My client was immediately drawn to this modern traditional cottage look, and I could not agree more. This design offers the most storage, with the modular bookshelves and media console. This storage solution looks very custom and built-in, but is a lot more affordable. The open and closed storage are the perfect answer to everything you have to consider when having kids. The swivel chairs are perfect for that particular room, since the patterns of traffic in it have to be flexible. And the white ottoman tucked under the console table provides both additional seating and storage. We selected this textured grasscloth wallpaper as an accent wall to add interest and dimension to the space. The clients did request a couple of revisions: we replaced the leather ottoman with a more traditional black coffee table and decided to leave out the area rug, since the room already has carpeting.
This was their final mood board revision, and here is the floorpan with the furniture placement!
I can’t wait to share what this looks like in the final renderings of the room!
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