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The Best Family Patio

This patio was previously used for a swing and bike storage. That’s pretty much it. You can see  that this porch provides amazing picture windows along the front of the home, but all you could see was a swing, some bikes, and anything else that found itself on the patio when people walked into the house. That made for a sad mom. We aim to make moms happy around these parts, especially ones who work from home and have to see their houses all day long!

The patio was divided into 3 parts – work, chill, and storage. We united the three parts of the patio with coral and indigo. Wood, rattan, jute, and the plants all seek to bring the natural elements in that live on the other side of windows. The use of metallics, especially in the table base, accessories, and side tables dress the entire space up and bring it far from its storage room origins.

Let’s begin with the portion of the patio dedicated to work. Mom has taken up residence at the table so she can work from home, see the outside world walk by while they long to be in there with her. When she doesn’t want to see the world walk by, inexpensive white window panels keep the light coming in while keeping the patio private. The custom Roman shades can keep light out on super bright days, but they also serve as a gorgeous artistic element that sets off the entire room. The clear chairs don’t take up any visual space, so the room still feels open and airy, taking advantage of all of the light coming from the windows. The natural woven rug anchors the space and mirrors the texture of the natural material that forms the shade.

The middle section was for relaxing with friends or a book at the end of the day (read: CHILL). The little girl of the family has taken over the bench for drawing in the sun (I love this so much) and the custom funky cut velvet chairs are small but fit dad perfectly.

Finally, and most importantly for any family (and the original function of this room) we focused on KID STORAGE. We got old lockers off Craigslist and color blocked them to look awesome (I might be in love). Kids shoes, backpacks tennis rackets and coats fit perfectly HIDDEN AWAY. The bikes found a new home in a room off the back of the house.

We framed the kids’ self portraits above their own, personal locker. Balls stay fly and contained in their wire bin (I definitely just bought one for my son). The hanging macrame planter brings a bit more nature inside (and the 1970s are coming back in a big way right now, so this isn’t the last macrame you’re going to see, friends.)

This transformation is the perfect example of how EVERY.SINGLE.SPACE. in your home can be beautifully designed to reflect your family’s personality and function to meet its needs. This room, once a place to simply drop items on the way into the house has become a new office, a new sitting room, and an organized space for kids items. It operates as an integral part of the home, rather than an attached, forgotten space. As more and more of us begin to work from home, its so important that we love the space where we’re living and working. We can start talking about your space — just give me a call!

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Mother-Daughter Living and Playroom

The client for this beautiful transformation is a single mom who wanted to claim her space for herself and her daughter. It was so special to be a part of this process, and completely indulgent to focus on designing a completely feminine, luxurious space for these fine ladies.

Like most homes that house small children, let’s go ahead and own it: the dining room is the playroom. If you’ve got small kids that need a playroom, you probably aren’t spending your days entertaining in a formal dining room – so it’s the first space to be sacrificed. My client wanted a space for her daughter to play that seamlessly transitioned into the living room.

We coated the walls with a beautiful, neutral gray that served as the perfect launching point for the brilliantly feminine pink rug which inspired the color palette in the room. Swapping the ceiling fan for a chandelier, we set a very girly, fancy tone for the room without being too stuffy. The lux tone is carried through with the brass and copper metallic finishes and accessories dotting the room. We incorporated the TV into a gallery wall by hanging some feminine art, and filled the room with fake plants as my client has a black thumb (don’t we all?). A small console table was added in the entry to provide a place to drop keys, purses, and other items as you enter the house.

The magic of the playroom space is the clever storage we used to replace the plastic storage bins previously used in the space. The credenza not only stores the toys attractively, it transitions into a functional dining room piece when the playroom is no longer needed and she’s ready to start throwing those formal dinner parties again. The bench provides additional seating, and the storage baskets provide easy access to toys and add natural texture to the play area. The table and kid-sized ghost chairs are a wink and a nod to the dining room space, and provides a space for her daughter to play and draw. Messes are not an issue here; the rug is inexpensive and the pattern hides spills.

Her daughter’s pink play kitchen blends seamlessly into the space, and we used family pictures to further personalize the area. Are you in need of incorporating your play area into your living area with some flare? Is it time for you to redesign your space to tell the story of the people who live in your home? Contact Gina Sims Designs today. Let’s get started.

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Bedroom Colorblocking

We started with a dark blue nursery. The twins that share the room are nearly two years old and it was time for the nursery to convert to a big(ger) boy room.

Our first order of business of lightening up the space. We decided on colorblocking, and added a lighter shade midway up the wall that instantly unified the weird angles of the room, provided a graphic element, and made a formerly dark room very light and airy.

The artwork in the room centers around animals. Animals are printed on book pages, there are pixelated representations of animals to keep it modern, and Etsy enabled us to create a custom penguin print that included four penguins, instead of 3, to represent the four boys in the house. #protip: never be afraid to ask an artist about options for custom work — especially on Etsy.

The activity of the space focuses on reading, so we provided a large sitting area and plenty of book storage for the boys to utilize as they transition to activity in their new room.

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Big Boys’ Bedroom

Last week, we revealed the playroom for the FOUR boys UNDER FOUR. Today, we reveal the “Big Boy” bedroom update for the oldest two brothers. When we started, the walls were bare, both mattresses were on the floor, and there was storage for clothing. Pretty much your basic kids room. Here’s a brief peek into the space:

A functional, well-designed kids room always starts with storage. We started with IKEA storage beds: this provided storage for clothing and toys while anchoring the room, getting the beds off the floor. Book storage between the beds and lights above them give them easy access for nighttime reading with mom and dad and on their own as they get older.

The “Big Boy” elements are expressed in the wall decor, graphic window panels, and the reading nook – providing them with a stylish retreat from their little brothers.

Like most kids, they love Legos. The storage table provides them with an area to sort and store their legos by color when they’re finished playing on the top (and keeps them from spreading all over the house!). Special Lego builds can be displayed on the wall shelves overhead until they’re ready to take apart.

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A Playroom for FOUR under FOUR

When you’ve got four boys under four, it’s pretty important that you’ve got a playroom space that is well organized and designed to contain all that four little boys can do to a room. My client wanted the floor to be used for playing, so we were charged designing around the perimeter of the room to maximize the play space for the boys on the floor.

This is the playroom BEFORE. I dare you to tell me that your kids’ playroom doesn’t look like this right.this.moment.

It was important to make the space bright and colorful. We chose bright curtains and had custom pop art images made of each of the boys (which their mom took on her cell phone!). The boys were provided with a large space to display their works of art and a custom magnet board was created by Gina Sims Designs team member Joe Killebrew. This is a perfect place for them to practice their letters and numbers.

A custom cushion provides a seating area in the room while the supporting bench hides toys. If you’ve got a playroom, you need double-duty storage. Art and accessories round out the storage area and provide another opportunity to light this fun and bright place.

Now that they’ve got a great playroom, read about the oldest boys’ bedroom transformation!

Need some function, order, and brightness in your kids’ playroom? Give me a call!

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