Monday, September 13, 2010

As Seen On News: Adding Fun & Function To Kid Spaces

click here to see video
Maybe it is time for you to give a child's room a facelift; and I don't just mean their bedroom.  This applies to playrooms, mudrooms, foyers, and bathrooms.  

It is essential that kids of any age have a place where they can feel free.  Today I presented my ideas on WFMZ-TV 69 News at Sunrise.  Click here to see the segment (2 parts).  What a fun morning!!!!  Here is a recap:

Three goals your kids space should be designed to do:
-Create a happy and inspirational room;
-Set their imagination free; and
-Increase their motor skills.

1. Color. Let your children’s personalities come through.  Use colors that interest them.  Warning-don’t go too bright.  Shades of blues and pinks are popular because of the natural and psychological effects they have on people.  For example, soft shades of blue triggers associations with the sky and a psychological sense of calm.

Pink is another calming color.  It enhances the mood by calming heart rate. Interesting research was done reporting that Baker-Miller Pink (a pepto bismal, bubblegumy color) suppressed angry, antagonistic, and anxiety ridden behavior among prisoners.  It is used to calm violent prisoners in jails.  No joke :).  
How To: In this bedroom I created vertical stripes in two tones of light pink, and used her love of avocado green, which is a deep color, for the accents.  Trick-The bed canopy is made from a window box I flipped over and upholstered.

2. Make walls fun and functional by adding a large wall mural and placing hooks on it that hold supplies.  I call the one below a Tree System. This is not only fun but a valuable addition to a room with little space. 
In a playroom it can hold art supplies and costumes.

Use in a mudroom or foyer, to hold outdoor items in a creative way!
How Togrow your own Tree System using painter tape.  Just tape out your design then paint your wall. Next, peel the tape to reveal your design! My daughter assisted me in this fun part.

3. Storage. Use window boxes below your windows on the inside of your home to hold toys.  Bookcases are also great for storage, especially ones with large opening. IKEA is a great place to go for storage in kid spaces. I am a big fan of their Expedit series.  Variety of finishes and sizes and the storage bins come in diff. styles too.  
How To: I labeled the bins using chalkboard paint covered thin mdf rectangles I bought from Michaels.  I attached them using chothes pins.  Now children can read them without looking into the bins & I can easily erase and re-name each one.

4. Add a chalkboard, but not your Momma's chalk.  Chalkpaint can be tinted to almost any color these days! And you can turn an entire wall where your children can really express themselves.  I went to Buss Paints in Emmaus, PA to get tinted paints and Magnetic paint to create a wall so fun and funky!
How To: Roll on Magnetic Paint (needs 3 coats).  Buss Paints in Emmaus, PA carries it.
Then prime it and paint it Benjamin Moore Newt Green.
Then create 9 equal boxes using painters tape. And using a round template (My 6 yr old and I used a giant bowl), hold it up to the middle of each square and trace it with chalk. Paint each square Benjamin Moore Venezuelan Sea.  

5. Reuse the gold contractor chandelier that came with your home and turn it into a brand new one!
How To: Take off each sleeve and cover the socket with painters tape, then place each sleeve back on.  Then Sand it lightly.  Prime it with paint spray (I used a red color from Rustoleum), then spray it again with red paint.

6.  Create a little reading nook using a paper lantern.  You can find them on-line and at Pier 1.  Turn it into part of your theme like I did creating a miniature hot air balloon.

 

How To: Using a hot glue gun, glue the ribbons down in a pattern, then add a light mini bird cage (I bought it for $1 at Michaels).  Up the effect by adding ribbon to your vinyl window shade using fabric glue or fabric tape.  



BEHIND THE SCENES:
I would like to thank Buss Paints and Wallpaper for the magnetic paint and the chalkboard paint.
327 Main Street, Emmaus, PA 18049-2704, (610) 965-5466

And thank you to the nice gentleman from Lowes who cut the 8' board into 2 pieces for me to use on the show! 
'Crack!'


And thank you to the little girl on my daughters school bus today who asked if I was the babysitter (made my yr!).

Hope you get some great ideas and let me  know if you try any of these!!!!

Have You Heard of A Virtual Designer?

With the rise in home and garden television shows, the popularity of internet shopping, and a budget conscious society, homeowners are more knowledgeable with home decorating and design options.  Although dressing a space may still be overwhelming, for some, a push in the right direction is all that is needed.  This has changed the traditional way interior designers/decorators work with clients.  There are more ‘a la carte’ services, making it more affordable for anyone to use a professional.  One 'a la carte' trend on the rise is to hire a professional virtually to pull a room or multiple rooms together.  I call this a Virtual Designer.

So how does a Virtual Designer work?  This service is mainly done on-line.  Through e-mails and phone calls,  a unique design plan is created that sticks to the budget set by the client, and can include paint colors, space planning, and a list of products that can be purchased on-line or locally.  This gives homeowners a ‘map’ to a finished space that they can work on within their own time frame.  Below are two examples I have done working on a tight budget:

AND
Of course traditional face to face client-designer/decorator meetings are more personal and room planning is more thorough, but for the more confident homeowner or renter, this is a great option.  People now have access to hire designers from any where and dwellers of all income levels now have a way to get a designer space.  Tip-make sure you hire an experienced professional who you can reach by phone to clarify questions.