A traditional pastel playroom for little artists by Born & Bred Studio
Playrooms need to tick a lot of boxes. They’ll be the backdrop for everything that busy little people get up to — play, adventure, create, learn, read and explore. Then, they’ll need somewhere to store the things that go along with all that and hopefully look amazing simultaneously! We asked interior designer Lisa from Born & Bred about creating a shared non-gendered play space for Olive, Ted and Leo.
Lisa believes in working closely with her clients to establish a personal style they never knew they had. The aim is to create beautiful, modern family interiors that are fun and welcoming with a distinct London twist. The results? A unique, practical and stunning space with an epic colour combo of lockers for three very lucky kids. Let’s take a look!
What was your inspiration for this space? Did you have a particular theme in mind when creating?
These clients were lovely repeat clients and gave us free rein. There was very little input on their part as the trust was in place which was pure magic!
The bones of the room were firmly in place with super high ceilings, beautiful coving and panelling. It was however painted a mid-grey that was gloomy on a typical London day. Olive, the mini client, did relay a request for lilac. So we built a scheme (we veer away from ‘themes’) around a non-gendered room that complemented the remainder of the house.
This room is for Olive and her now two brothers Ted and Leo. Three kids under six. So it's a design investment that will pay off for years to come. We focused on FUN and of course practicality. With oodles of storage and zoned places for playing, arts and crafts, reading and imaginary play or home corner fun!
What are some of your must-haves in a kid's space that you have featured in this space? Any advice on creating a kid's space?
The number one must-have for clients is always storage. Of course, Mustard Made range solves this problem. The big plus for us as designers is the fun colour and versatility of the final interchangeable look. This is particularly evident in this project with a fun pastel colour palette… one I’m sure is exclusive to this room.
Art is also a key factor in all of our designs, whether it’s the children's creations or cool finds from small independent artists. Displaying kids' art promotes creativity and makes the children feel proud! We always have a cosy chair, or in this case a daybed, somewhere for the grown-ups to read to their children. Rugs are also important not just for the look and feel, but in this case practical as it's a large draughty room with original Victorian floorboards. The kids' comfort is paramount!
What was the approach to designing this kid's room?
Zoning is essential in all of our kids' room designs no matter what size to always accommodate a reading/chill corner, arts and crafts area, free play and imaginative play (such as a toy kitchen, shop, puppet show etc). We also wanted to incorporate lilac into the room without it looking gendered or like unicorn poop! The background of green grounded the space and is a beautiful background for the lockers, artwork and pretty contrast canopy. The room is gentle, fun and not at all gendered which was important to us in this instance.
We can see you have a unique colour palette and range of art in the space, how did you make the design decisions that keep both the kids and the parents happy?
My brief comes from the parents. Quite often they have no idea visually what they want but are clear on their practical requirements. By getting to know the clients, becoming familiar with the remainder of their house and listening intently, the pieces (or clues) fall into place.
We're very lucky that people approach us for the ‘Born & Bred Studio’ look and hand over the job with the view it will be expertly ticked off the to-do list. It's important to us to present small businesses as part of our designs. A huge reason why people reach out to interior designers is to be introduced to and curate a range of suppliers, makers and brands they have never heard of. As a small growing business, it's also important to support others in a similar situation.
In my experience, the kids never have a cohesive idea of what they want but are incredibly happy at the big reveal as are the parents. This room is most definitely a North London play date destination! Yay!
Recreate the look
1. The Skinny in Olive, Sage, Lilac + Blush by Mustard Made | 2. The Lowdown in Lilac by Mustard Made | 3. Cushions by H&M Home | 4. White Weave Basket by John Lewis | 5. Gingham Canopy in Olive by Projekti Tyyny | 6. Walltapestry Recycled Cotton Rainbow by Studio Loco | 7. Meido Rattan Child's Bed by Laredoute | 8. FLISAT Toy Storage by IKEA | 9. Artwork by Studio Loco