my design process

Nothing is more exciting than designing a space from scratch! I’m a lucky girl: this project is a finished garage that had been used as a woodshop by the previous owner. My friend wants to turn it into a space where her very active 6-year old daughter could burn off some energy. The space is perfect: square, open, high ceiling with exposed beams and a skylight, two sets of double doors to the patio that let in tons of light.

There is already a 6′ trampoline in here for my busy young client:

The blank wall was begging to become a climbing wall, but they also needed space for mom to chill out while daughter was being busy, and an area for some quiet activities. The last thing I wanted was for this space to look and feel like a gym! Where to begin? For me, it was a quart of lime green paint that they had bought but never used. It made me think of this Marimekko fabric, which became my inspiration piece.

Marimekko’s Kaiku fabric, via

The wheels turn, the pencil draws, erases, draws some more, and I do seemingly endless research online, and VIOLA! A fun, functional, yet stylish play room with 12′ climbing wall, monkey bars, trampoline, art wall framed by birch tree wall decals, reading loft, homework area, and a loveseat for mama.

I present my boards, samples, and budget to my client, we work through the details and make adjustments. Copies of the concept board and drawings, along with product spec sheets, resource guide, timeline for completing the project and an itemized budget, all get neatly organized in a nifty binder for easy reference. And that’s what you get in a DIY Design Guidebook.

For this project, I’m providing execution and installation services as well, so I will have more fun things to show you in a month or so!

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