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Mountain House Reveal: How We Designed Our Super Kid-Friendly Family Room

FAMILY ROOM REVEAL TIME (i.e. the last space we’re revealing during mountain house “shark week”—master bedroom and bath are coming up the first week in September. This is the one room that I wanted to feel even more personal and comfortable (if that’s even possible). It’s for our kids because as they are still young, they really like to play near us so while I’m in the kitchen cooking or hanging with friends at the dining table or living room, this is their room.
The Goal for the Space:
This room is where our family plays and makes a massive mess, every day. Games are played and Legos are built all day every day. And after the kids go down (if we possibly stay awake after the requisite 20 minutes we lay with them), this is where Brian and I watch Dead to Me on that awesome Samsung Frame TV.
Here’s a peek at it what we were working with before the renovation:

The Challenges:
Ha. So many challenges.
First, as you can see in the “before” shot, this room had a big staircase to the upstairs hangout area (there were actually two, the other being the loft) that we turned into the master suite thus not needing the stairs. We removed them which made the room far more usable, bigger and squared off. It was so awkward before and now it’s probably the most used room in the house.
There wasn’t very much light so the scenic doors and the new windows we sourced through Marvin make it so much brighter and happier. And in here, we didn’t need window treatments for privacy or light so we skipped those so we could see the beautiful white oak frames.
Here’s How We Achieved Our Extremely Kid-Friendly Family Room:

Seamless Storage.
So much storage. The bench could have provided an area to put pretty birch logs, but after that silly debate, we knew that it was going to be for bins of toys. We found really sturdy and affordable bins from Target’s Project 62 collection which fit perfectly both in size and style (how pretty is that wood?). And that credenza from Ethnicraft is seamless with the flooring, thus again keeping it more minimal, simple and clean.

We created a mini back entrance with that vintage mirror from MidcenturyLA that holds all my hats, sunglasses and a pretty sculptural vintage chair. All in the light wood that again echoes the main wood of the reclaimed beech.

We wanted this room to be more colorful to reflect our kids and feel more playful and happy. So while the rest of the house (besides their room) remains more neutral, that rug and all the artwork make this room feel so alive and young. Now I’m like, wait, should I bring more color into the rest of the house??? (Ha, I already have.)

Kid-Friendly Textiles.
We chose a really deep, cozy sofa custom from Cisco Home that we upholstered in Crypton fabric. It’s dark, but even if it does get greasy popcorn on it, it comes out with a quick wipe because of the Crypton. It has a pillow top cushion that is SO comfy. For this shoot, we took off the back cushions to add more pillows and make it more editorial for the magazine but we actually live with the back cushions on it.
The rug from Nordic Knots is so high quality and beautiful. It’s low-pile, cozy, and dark thus making it a perfect surface to build on. Dark rugs show more lint, sure, but we love this happy hit of blue that the room needed. It’s also wool so it will last forever and actually doesn’t shed like other wool rugs.

Now technically, this chair (more on it in a sec) isn’t “kid-friendly” but it’s important to break up a really cozy upholstered sofa with another material—leather, wood and brass, and a shape/style that ensures that isn’t your average TV room. Okay, back to the chair. It’s from Norell Furniture and is my dream chair, full stop. I want it in every room, but it’s PERFECT here. It’s so cool with the leather straps and the extended shape of the headrest. It edges up the room and brings it to another level.

Personal art.
All the pieces in this room are personal to our family. I’m obsessed with this wall and it’s a total conversation piece. Everyone stops and stares and comments. It’s just so special to our family. I included our wedding vow cards, the kids’ ultrasounds, artwork by them, a special piece from Danielle Krysa with a collage of Brian and I incorporated into it, photo strips, Polaroids and the kids’ self-portraits from pre-school. It’s full of life and color and makes me SO HAPPY.  We framed them all with Framebridge in a mix of light wood, dark wood and white mostly float mounted so it felt more collected and inviting rather than a grid or something that was more modern. It’s my favorite gallery wall I’ve ever installed and I don’t plan on changing it for the rest of our life here.

Also, in terms of the double sconce, we got it from Orange and it adds such architectural interest and breaks up the gallery wall in a really unexpected way. The room wouldn’t have been flat without it, but boy does it make it come alive having those arms project into the space.

An “Undercover” TV.
The TV (Samsung’s Frame which has a built-in art screensaver that is VERY convincing) is big, but again, looks like art. The kids know it’s there but are less distracted by it than they would be a huge black box that screams “I hold all contents of Paw Patrol.” As for the fireplace, it’s gas and turned on with a push of the remote. Every morning in the winter, we would put it on and immediately the room felt so cozy. It’s only a little hot to the touch (we normally had the flame on low; you can control the heat and the height of the flame). Fireplaces are magic, they just are, and create an ambiance in a mountain house that is very very welcomed. Sometimes the kids just cuddle in front it and puzzle for hours.

Easy Access to Outdoors.
The scenic doors (by Marvin) open to the outside and they stay open all days when it’s cool enough outside, which means the kids can run out to the back without having to ask us to open the heavy doors for them. They are just stunning and the white oak finish is seamless with our reclaimed beech flooring. It’s incredible in both function and style.

When the four-panel doors are all the way open, it really just feels like the outdoor patio is part of this room and we can watch the kids from inside because it honestly feels like we’re out there with them.
How We Live In It Now (& Will We Change Anything?):

This room gets USED. For the magazine shoot, the direction was to make it less “kid” so we put cushions on the benches, but in reality, those are surfaces for Legos and doll-dressing. I couldn’t handle all the pillow styling, but they certainly look more fun and editorial than not having pillows. So we put the back cushions on and just have a throw for snuggling without the daily pillow placement pressure.
Our kids neither play Bingo or Checkers and we certainly don’t leave them out on the coffee table like in some of the previous shots. These are editorial props for a magazine, but typically that coffee table (which is vintage and I’ve had forever) is full of Legos or crayons.
But otherwise, it’s exactly how we use and love it every day. It’s a total mess, but the bins and the cabinet make it easy to clean up and by “easy,” I think we know that asking a 3- and 5-year-old to clean up is never EASY. But at least we have a place for everything and nothing in this room can destroy them or get destroyed by them.
Now, our favorite part of these reveals: the VERY satisfying before and afters…

Pure White by Sherwin-Williams | Windows by Marvin | Sliding Doors by Marvin | French Doors by Marvin | Door Hardware by Marvin | Beechwood Flooring by Ross Alan Reclaimed Lumber | Light Switches from Forbes and Lomax | Fireplace by Heat and Glo | Fireplace Color by Sherwin-Williams 
Sofa by Cisco Brothers | Sofa Fabric in Black Slate by Crypton | Credenza by Ethnicraft | Coffee Table from Knoll | Side Table from Target | Side Table from Country LTD. | Chair by Norell Furniture | Cylinder Floor Lamp from Rejuvenation | Bench from Counter Space
Art & Decor:
Rug by Nordic Knots | Mug from Sheldon Ceramics | Throw Blanket by Rebecca Atwood (no longer available) | Quilted Velvet Square Pillow from Target | Quilted Velvet Oversize Lumbar Throw Pillow from Target | Woven Stripe Oversize Square Throw Pillow from Target | Silk Blend Dash Oversize Lumbar Throw Pillow | Oversize Square White Pillow on Sofa from Target (coming soon) |  Black and White Contrast Pillow on Sofa from Target (coming soon) | Black Suede Pillow from CB2 | Rug from IKEA | Vintage Mirror from Mid Century LA | Table Lamp from Target (coming soon) | Connect Four Game from Target | Checkers from Amazon | Wood Storage Bin from Target | Candles from Target (coming soon) | Art Frame from Framebridge
TV & Lighting:
TV Frame by Samsung | Vintage Sconce from Orange Furniture
Patio Furniture:
Table from IKEA | Benches from Target (no longer available) | Vase from Ferm Living
The post Mountain House Reveal: How We Designed Our Super Kid-Friendly Family Room appeared first on Emily Henderson.

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