Functional and FunA home should always be a physical manifestation of who lives there and reflective of the needs of those individuals or the family that inhabits the space. A great designer should not be as concerned about putting their individual stamp on a space as much as listening to the needs of the people they are trying to help and delivering a transformation that is better than what they could have dreamed of but still reflective of who they are.
Multipurpose rooms are often among the most difficult to address and David does a great job of incorporating a unique play space for small children, a hangout area for the entire family and a craft/drawing space where creativity can roam free in John and Kara's basement. The trick to incorporating all of these functions into one area is keeping the eye flowing and making a large, cavernous space seem coordinated and thought out.
Toys in particular can be tricky to keep looking neat and clean and David does a great job of designating a play area with his handpainted "tree" divisions that separate the chaos without visually cutting off the kids from the rest of the room.
Create Clear Focal PointsI think a little more closed "behind-the-door" storage would have been better to utilize when lots of toys are involved since cleanup time won't always allow for the beautiful way David displays the myriad of items, but his use of a predominantly neutral scheme for walls and upholstery lets the bright and colorful toys balance beautifully with the rest of the interiors.
Additionally, creating clear and primary focal points was a great approach to organizing a potentially chaotic space. By further emphasizing the importance of the fireplace by flanking it with built-in bookcases, David visually anchors that wall and provides an unmistakable focal point. This helps to make the scale of the room more intimate while providing visual and physical organization.
Repetition in a RoomThe repetitive black rectangles formed by trim attached to the walls provides visual interest, lends architecture to the space and is a great area for the kids to display their future handiwork. The dark craft/drawing table blends with the bookcases and trim color to make the overall feel of the room seem thought out while serving a much-needed function. Overall, a great job.
Design for Dual FunctionsStarting with a virtually blank canvas, Tym has the responsibility of injecting the fun, dance-loving spirit of this Hurricane Katrina survivor into her one bedroom apartment. By giving Felicity a small, dining table that folds to the side to allow for dancing in the middle of the common room, Tym demonstrates that he is listening to his customer.
Personalize Your SpaceFelicity's vibrant, colorful and feminine personality, however, would have been something to hone in on and inject into the walls, upholstery, bedding and artwork of the space. Although Tym shows smart restraint by editing carefully for a New York apartment, a few more injections of "life" through thoughtfully selected plants, colorful throw pillows and bright artwork would have been a better choice.
Make Your House a HomeConsistent in this competition, Tym makes investments in big, major movements with his furniture placement, but falls a little short when it comes to the details. It is important to remember that it is often the finishing touches that transform a house into a "home." In the end, Tym does a nice job of getting this young, deserving woman off to a good beginning but ultimately, he fails to show his client's personality through her space.
Start With a PlanAlice must step out of her comfort zone and produce a well thought out "man cave" for this deserving soldier, Jim, that the rest of family can also live with. Faced with the challenge of plenty of glass and French doors that open to the rest of the house, the challenge becomes incorporating plenty of comfortable seating, a refrigerator for readily accessible beverages, a television and room for books, games and other "manly" accoutrements. This room is the perfect example of the importance of creating a space plan since there are very few real "walls" to work with.
Take in the ViewAlice does a nice job of incorporating a comfortable couch to stretch out on and additional chairs for reading or hanging out when company is present, but getting at least one chair to face out onto the beautiful, natural surroundings would have been something to consider.
Unique Storage OptionsThe overall look of the room is updated and masculine without seeming foreign or alienating to the rest of the family. Plenty of storage and a clever side table that multifunctions by also storing built-in board games is a great addition.
My favorite move in this room, however, is the incorporation of a small refrigerator into an armoire. Alice demonstrates that looking beyond the designated use of something can produce unexpected results that are both functional and beautiful.