Kid Friendly Family Room

I was recently contacted by a family in Wisconsin about designing a kid-friendly family room.  They’re ‘do-it-yourselfers’, ready to put in the effort to makeover their basement but acknowledge that they lack the creative vision to put the space together themselves.  Here is where online interior design comes in (since I’m nowhere near Wisconsin :-)).

They sent me dimensions and photos of their existing space…

roomphoto1 roomphoto3 roomphoto4…along with a wish list and inspiration photos, indicating colors and styles that they prefer:

inspiration2 inspiration3 inspiration6

I pulled the color palette directly from the inspiration photos, loving the light and airy feel of blues and greens with a splash of yellow:


What I think they struggled most with however, was a floor plan and how to work all of their various wishlist items into one space.  Here’s what I did:

  1. Wishlist Item 1 – TV Viewing Area & Board Game Storage:  I started with this and worked backwards, adding birch tree wallpaper to the far wall to make it a focal point, and a sectional for comfortable seating.  The oversized beach prints pull in the aqua accent color, and the overall palette is light and airy which helps to banish the typical basement, underground feel.

(Also note the new laminate – but gorgeous – rustic hardwood flooring.  Laminate gets a bad rap sometimes, but it’s great for basement spaces because it’ll withstand the elements and other hardships.)


2. Wishlist Item 2 – Craft & Game Area:  Area rugs are great for defining spaces, so I added another one to anchor the craft and game space.  The ceilings are too low for a fabulous chandelier (one of my favorite things to add to a space), so I added a fabulous floor lamp instead.  I love the apple green chairs here because it’s a fun, energetic color and anyone can attain this look by spray painting chairs any color they prefer.


3. Wishlist Item 3 – Treadmill:   Not aesthetically pleasing, but necessary, so I tucked this off into the corner near the awkward overhang that could serve no other purpose otherwise anyway (their budget did not support custom carpentry to add storage here).


4. Wishlist Item 4 – Photo Collage:  I love photo collages, likely because they’re so easy to do and have such an impact.  My clients wanted an area to proudly display their child’s artwork and easily change it out with newer masterpieces, so I included this at the base of the stairs – pretty much the first thing anyone will see coming into the space.


I included these items on my own, hoping to add additional value as a designer:

  • Chalkboard paint – yes, kids, you can now draw on the walls!
  • Cubbies and storage boxes – storage for all of those toys, and yes, functional can also look good
  • Mirror and lamps – basements need all the light they can get, and mirrors help reflect light and bounce it around the room
  • Curtains – I tied all of the different areas in the space together by using the same curtains on all of the windows


5. Wishlist Item 5 – Lighting Plan:  How do you light a basement?  Like this.  I won’t bore you with the details but I’m happy to answer questions if you’d like more information.


Here’s an aerial view of the space:



I sent these renderings along with a Pinterest Board identifying all of the items I’d included in the design, and now they are off creating their Kid Friendly Family space.  I’m excited to see the final results!





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