Photos by Troy Thies
A kids playroom designed by Natalie Talley in Edina, Minnesota.
Project: A Modern Playroom
Designer: Natalie Talley
Design Studio: The Sitting Room Studio
Location: Country club neighborhood in Edina
As new parents, it’s easy to center your focus on the nursery. But once your little one enters toddlerhood, odds are you’ll find yourself in the room with the most toys. Edina homeowners Matt and Maria turned to interior designer Natalie Talley of The Sitting Room Studio in Excelsior to create a playroom for their daughters, ages 1 and 3. The couple wanted a room comfortable enough for family movie nights, yet colorful and playful so their girls could call it their own. The result is a space that mixes modern elements with a hint of tradition, creating what Talley calls a “family room decorated in kids’ colors.” Talley’s main task was to find ways to seamlessly incorporate the girls’ collection of toys. “Accessorizing with their favorite things brings a personal touch to the room,” she says. Talley filled the room’s shelves with books and memorabilia, then brought in colorful bins so the kids could easily access and quickly put away their things. She kept the patterns throughout the space simple so the room could be filled without looking cluttered, achieving the pie-in-the-sky goal of every playroom: order.
Talley says every playroom needs a kid-sized table so children “can use it to color, read, and play!”
Interior Designer Natalie Talley shares how she brought this modern playroom to life.
The homeowners charged you to create a room that was playful and parent friendly. How did you meld those two requests into a space that complements the high design of the rest of their home?
Everything came together by mixing modern elements with a hint of traditional. The freshness of the mint green grass cloth on the walls gives the room a crisp, modern feel while the bird paper softens the space. I love the bookshelves filled with all of the kids’ toys and books. I think accessorizing with the kids’ favorite things brings a personal touch to the room. I like to think of it as a family room decorated in kids’ colors.
Where did you start?
Immediately I saw how the built-ins framed the wall you see walking into the space and decided this would be a nice focal point. We went back and forth with a lot of different wallpaper options before we found this one and fell in love with the colors in the paper, the softness that it brought to the space, and how it could be the starting point of a great playroom for her girls.
How did the Osborne & Little parrot-patterned wallpaper influence the rest of the decisions you made for the room?
When mixing patterns you must take into consideration scale of the patterns so you get a nice even mix. The mix of patterns in the playroom feels cohesive because we have the large print of the bird wallpaper, a bold stripe on the pillows, a small-scale geometric on the ottoman, a thin stripe on the leading edge of the drapery, and the solid pink pillows to balance and give some relief of pattern.
What three pieces of advice do you have for homeowners looking to modernize their playroom?
First, have fun with color! It is meant to be a bright and playful space for the kids. Second, use all the toys and books as accessories. You want it to feel like the kids live there and have access to all of their favorite things. Finally, make sure you have enough storage. If everything is out and visible, it starts to look cluttered.