Hello there Apt2B’ers – Kyle Schuneman here – taking over the blog to bring you a special project I designed and collaborated with Apt2B on. One of the biggest dilemmas I get from clients when I’m designing their homes is “what to do with kids rooms?!” Like kid’s clothes, it feels like they are constantly growing out of their current room and it can become an expensive and exhausting process to keep up. My answer is always go classic and traditional with the “big stuff” (paint, wall treatments, large pieces of furniture and rugs) in a neutral way so you can accessorize and personalize to fit the different stages and interests of the child with minimal change.
This project was all about Alex Back and Becca McHugh’s (co-founders of Apt2B) son River. He was transitioning from a baby room to his “big boy room” and they really wanted it to be able to transition to his older years as well. Like with other clients, I asked Alex a series of questions to really get a feel for them and River as I think it’s so important in design to have the space reflect the people who live there. Check out the Q & A below:
Kyle: Why do you need my help today?
Alex: We just moved into our new home and I really want to give River a space he can grow into. He’s getting big enough where he’s gone from his crib to his toddler bed and now he’s ready for a twin bed so that was the start of the reason to decorate his room with you. Also Becca has basically only given me the freedom to decorate this one room in the house so I need it to be GOOD (and mom approved)!
Kyle: Alright cool! So how do you envision the room?
Alex: So much of kid’s rooms today seem to have a bit of a feminine edge to them even for boys and I really want a warm cozy space that feels masculine cause River is definitely a “boy’s boy”. I also don’t want him to age out of it in a year. I want him to think it’s cool even in 5-10 years.
Kyle: The room is pretty boxy now – I’d love to add some architectural interest or a cool feature to make the space come alive more – what is River’s interests now?
Alex: Well we’ve always talked about the idea of a chalkboard wall. He’s really creative and giving him an interactive wall like that I know he would love. Oh, he also loves trucks right now. But that could change tomorrow.
Kyle: Got it. Okay and most importantly how does the room need to function?
Alex: I’m glad you asked cause Becca will kill me if it’s a cool room that isn’t functional. We for sure need a “story time chair” and some sort of ottoman as Becca and River read together every night. We also need a reading light for that area. He’s starting to get a lot of books so definitely something to house that in. When he has playdates even though we have a play room they seem to end up in his bedroom cause it feels more comfortable so a big rug and open space for them is definitely a necessity. Also a dresser as we always need more storage and containers for all his toys for easy clean up.
So with those main points I felt ready to get started. I collaborated with ColorHouse Paint to choose a really warm clay hue for the walls. It’s a good neutral backdrop that still feels warm and not boring and really set off the white trim in the room. For instant architecture I chose to do the main wall in reclaimed wood by Stikwood. It’s an ingenious peel and stick product that gave this once boring space instant character. I love using mature ideas like a reclaimed wood wall in a kid’s room because it keeps the space from feeling “dumbed-down” and really can grow with the child.
I kept to a classic color combination of navy, clay and orange to really make the room feel rich. For the furniture, the twin upholstered bed gives instant timeless design and the ticking striped bedding from my Bed Bath and Beyond line really keep the preppy masculine aesthetic alive and well. Instead of doing a whole chalkboard wall we created a simple “chalkboard house” with lumber and chalkboard paint from ColorHouse. You can customize this to fit any size you want in your own space adds dimension to a flat wall.
A big navy rug helped the room feel cozy to both the touch and the look by anchoring the space. Probably my favorite piece in the room is River’s chair that we had made to fit him. He loved it the moment he came into the room and it gives a child some ownership of their space when something is made just for them. Beautiful rich furniture in different types of woods brought the room together. By not matching all the woods perfectly it creates a collected feel giving history to a room.
And voila – we went from basic and boring to masculine and chic and it looks like River, Alex and Becca are happy campers so my job is done!
If you loved this look click here to shop River’s room!