A Colorful Playroom Makeover

stephen portrait
See how Better Homes and Gardens contributor Stephen Saint-Onge uses eye-popping colors, just-for-them furniture, and an honest-to-goodness stage to create a playroom made for fun.

Mix and Match

With a mish-mash of furniture, this tucked away room was in desperate need of attention. Tapping his imagination, Stephen transformed this drab space into every kid's dream room.

Colorful Finish

Stephen took advantage of square footage to divide the room into creativity zones complete with a large table for art and craft projects, a reading area, and a desk for homework. Stephen also ditched the carpet and replaced it with easy-care laminate flooring.

Study Zone

Kids will want to pull up a chair at this bold desk. Stephen used vibrant colors in the room to inspire the children. He didn't stop with the walls -- every piece of furniture is in a bold hue too.

One-Stop Reading Spot

Forget the bulky bookcase -- a knapsack attached to the chair holds favorite books.

The real showstopper of the room is the curtained-off stage -- complete with a painted mural backdrop, spotlights, and storage for costumes. The existing ceiling light was swapped for fixture that resembles stage lighting and was wired to a dimmer.

Play in Progress

Curtain panels (hung from a wire cable system) instantly create a stage. Audience members can pull chairs over from the table.

Back Stage

A row of pegs and a costume trunk are the perfect place for the kids to stash their goods for a big show.

Place to Play

Stephen taped off a section of wall and covered it with chalkboard paint, making a huge canvas for sketching.

Art Gallery

Stephen installed stock molding from a home improvement store around the room's perimeter to divide the wall colors and provide a ledge for leaning art.

Stephen chose this generous table for its versatility -- it's the perfect surface for craft projects, family game night, or having snacks with friends after school. The bright hutch added a pop of color and plenty of storage in this play space.

Tip from Stephen: Putting furniture pads under furniture can make them easier to move around when you need to open up the space for a bigger play area.

Can Redo

To keep the craft supplies extra tidy, Stephen used leftover chalkboard paint to give these cans custom labels.


Like what you see in this makeover? Re-create Stephen's look with these resources:

Russell and McKenna: Furniture

Pergo: Flooring

Pottery Barn: Wire Cable System, Draperies for Stage, Paint Colors

Meet Stephen

Stephen's keen understanding of the homeowner has moved him into the spotlight in recent years through his work on television and in magazines. This understanding, accompanied by his friendly, approachable, and creative style, is making design accessible to everyone -- no matter who they are, where they are, or what their budget may be.

As a husband, father, and homeowner, he understands the needs of the family-focused lifestyle.
"I have the same to-do list on my refrigerator that everyone has. There is always something to be to done with our homes and hopefully what I bring to the table will help everyone see the best in their homes," says the designer. He draws upon his background in film and design to help homeowners create a home that truly captures who they are, but at the same time captures a mood they are looking to bring to life that represents their home in the right light. Good home design has the power to change lives.

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