Home & Garden

Design Master Class: Meredith Martin

This farmhouse-style home in Chapel Hill featured a children’s playroom near the entry. As the first room seen by guests from the front door, it needed to be attractive as well as functional.
This farmhouse-style home in Chapel Hill featured a children’s playroom near the entry. As the first room seen by guests from the front door, it needed to be attractive as well as functional.

The challenge

This farmhouse-style home in Chapel Hill featured a children’s playroom near the entry. As the first room seen by guests from the front door, it needed to be attractive as well as functional. Now in elementary school, the kids were outgrowing their toys, requiring an area better suited for homework and crafts. See more of this makeover on page 2D.

Super space

The 150-square-foot room opened to the foyer through glass French doors. The owners’ primary requests were for ample storage and a surface area for homework.

We began with a detailed design for custom built-ins on the largest wall. Cabinet Creations in Moncure brought it to life. White wood cabinetry with display shelving and hidden storage created a clean, versatile backdrop for the kids’ art and family photos. A stained wood countertop added detail and contrasted with the white cabinets. Knowing that the room would need to grow with the family, perhaps becoming an office or sitting area, the owners wanted the built-ins to appear as if they were original to the house.

Sherwin Williams’ Mega Greige (SW7031), a warm gray, provided a complementary neutral background on the remaining walls, allowing us to bring in color with the furnishings. A pedestal table was painted with mustard yellow Annie Sloan chalk paint, an environmentally friendly option, and red metal industrial-style chairs added another pop of color. A braided rug from Capel Rugs brought the colors together – yellow and red from this room, along with blue from the nearby music room.

We replaced a traditional semi-flush-mount light fixture with a brushed nickel barn pendant centered over the table for homework. Finally, we created a gallery wall using custom-framed family photos that had been sitting in storage.

Terrific trick

We incorporated large file drawers and generous hidden storage when designing the built-ins. A busy household creates endless paperwork, and the drawers keep everything organized. Even if custom isn’t in the cards, you can achieve a visually pleasing look by using identical storage baskets and boxes. Be sure to overestimate your storage needs so there is room to grow!

(Not) by the book

This family of four did not use its formal rooms, so we made the spaces function for music lessons and schoolwork. Through the use of color and furniture consistent with the rest of the house, we created a casual and kid-friendly look without sacrificing style or appearing out of place near the entryway.

Martin Design Agency

400 Myrtlewood Court, Raleigh

919-740-3779 or martindesignagency.com

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