When we threw together Amalia’s playroom in (literally) a week last year, we had no idea how much use it would end up getting. We spend a ton of time in here, but never really made it fun and playful for a kid vibe. We pretty much just pulled out our dining room table, swapped in a play mat, and called it a day. But at that point, she wasn’t even walking yet and we had no idea what was coming. Spoiler alert: mayhem and lots of toys!
These days, we have so much fun, read so many books, and laugh (and cry) for hours in this space, but the storage situation wasn’t working as Amalia grew older and got more stuff so we had to buy some new shelves and come up with a better storage system. But we also wanted to add color and some fun. Just a little sprinkle of good energy and sunshine for our little ray of sunshine, you know?
I was in Kerri Rosenthal‘s shop in Westport a few weeks ago (local friends, go immediately) picking up an art piece for our guest room, and told her that her colorful store was Amalia’s dream. My daughter loves bright colors, patterns, and happy prints, and her aesthetic was on point. At that moment Kerri decided she wanted to help liven up our playroom for which I will be forever grateful.
Kerri is an extremely talented artist with a free spirit and beautiful soul. My friend Eva recently did a profile on her where you can see photos of her art and shop and get a feeling for who she really is. The way she looks at color and design is just so refreshing and happy, a viewpoint that I think we all could use a little more of in these crazy times.
The most exciting thing she did in the playroom was to put up some of her famous paperless wallpaper which is essentially just a set of fancy and beautiful stickers. She designed them (obviously) so they look almost hand-painted onto the wall. When I told her we were thinking of painting the walls white this summer, she told me that we could just peel them off and stick them right back up when we have the new paint without ruining them or the walls. So. Freaking. Cool. It’s like wallpaper without the commitment. Genius.
PS we’re giving away three sets of her paperless wallpaper (any ones you want!) over on my Instagram so be sure to check that out today to enter.
Sidebar, I’m 80% we’re going to paint the walls above the wainscoting in our living spaces white because our house isn’t always super bright and now three designers have told me that it will brighten up the space more than anything else and will make all of our colorful art (and polka dots!) pop more.
I took down the two mirrors on either side of the window and moved them across the way to the living room, but there were ugly holes in the walls where they used to be. I was worried that I’d have to paint over them now because the new art is so small, but Kerri just covered them with polka dots and rainbows and that was that.
Her process was so fun to watch and be a part of. She had no plan, no symmetry, and just put up the stickers where it felt right. I did a few and got nervous that I was going to mess it up but she assured me that no matter how they were placed, they’d look fabulous. She wasn’t wrong. We put on reggae, danced, jumped to reach the higher spots, and had one of the best afternoons I’ve had in a long time!
The imperfection of how it turned out is my favorite part. It’s so unlike me to have something that looks so wild and free but I just love it. Amalia walked into the room and immediately gasped and said “Polka dots! Pretty!”
Over the last few months, I’ve felt mentally and emotionally freer and lighter than ever and as we make changes in our home, you can see that reflected. More color and happier patterns give you a visual of how we’re all feeling on the inside, and brighten our days when we’re not feeling so hot.
I hope you enjoy these photos of what might be the happiest room I’ve ever seen! Apparently, this will never go back to being a dining room. But who needs one anyway?
(All room details can be found below)
Kerri Rosenthal paperless wallpaper (gifted)
Little Nomad play mat (gifted)
Target square shelves
Kerri Rosenthal soft floor blocks (gifted)
I Love Your Guts print, 15×15 (gifted)
Yellow drippy heart print, 15×15 (gifted)
Ikea Mammut chairs in pink
Ikea Mammut stools in yellow
Ikea Mala easel
Pottery Barn Kids kitchen set
Name puzzle stool
Message board sign
Photos by Julia Dags.