Emily Lex, who chronicles her "growing" ideas on her blog, Jones Design Company, isn't afraid to reimagine the possibilities as her family's needs change. The house she shares with her husband, Ryan, and four children in Seattle is a revolving laboratory for design ideas—and as such, her kiddos have exchanged bedrooms multiple times. This children's playroom and homework station was once a bedroom. Now, a fun mix of patterns—including polka-dots on the curtains, stripes on the wall, and a chevron rug—outfits the transformed room.
Instant Art Gallery
With four kids under the age of 10, Emily Lex needed a central place for books, toys, and art supplies. She decided to move the couple's three boys into a bunk room and converted a bedroom into a fun playroom. The top of a dresser serves as storage for globes and crafts supplies that don't fit in drawers. Inexpensive frames of different sizes and thicknesses pull kids' art together into a gallery wall. Oversize floor pillows make comfy seating possible anywhere in the room.
The pretty hand-me-down chest from Emily's mother is filled with cars, train tracks, and animal figures. Store-bought drawer dividers keep toys and trinkets in their spot, making them easy to find for playtime and even easier to hide away during cleanup.
A supersize salvaged chalkboard is the centerpiece of the playroom, where the four Lex children love to play school and draw. You can convert surfaces into a usable chalkboard with specialty paint. Triangles cut from decorative papers are attached to a piece of string to form a cheerful garland. Emily added white stripes of paint to the existing beige walls to give the room visual interest. Bright red metal chairs add a punch of energy.
Emily filled the playroom with practical and comfortable furniture solutions: an old neutral sofa that she could layer with pillows, a beat-up coffee table, and a hand-me-down dresser. She introduced pattern with polka-dot sheer panels (doubled for extra color density) and a chevron-stripe rug. A lamp positioned next to the sofa shines a light on reading time.
Shelves and baskets corral books. The shelves are picture ledges from IKEA, which are made to display art but work just as well holding books. The ledges make it easy for the Lex kids to make quick reading picks at bedtime—and to put books away. Smaller paperbacks tuck into the baskets below.