Before and After: A Timeless Update for a Family's Changing Needs

Designer Leslie Harris-Keane Transforms a Children's Playroom Into a Polished & Comfortable Family Game Room

Before and After: A Timeless Update for a Family's Changing Needs | Interior Design by Leslie Harris-Keane of Leslie Harris-Keane Interior Design | Photography by David Duncan Livingston | Modern Sanctuary | Seating Inspiration | Traditional Seating | Details and Accessories | Shelving Inspiration | Storage Inspiration | Traditional Shelving | Lighting Inspiration | Traditional Lighting | Fireplace Inspiration | Traditional Fireplace | Mantle | Rustic Mantle
Photo by:
David Duncan Livingston

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As families grow and mature, their design aesthetic and space needs to evolve along with them. For this family of four, a toddlers’ playroom needed an update now that the children are older. The husband grew up in this home and wanted to ensure that the new design supported their current needs, while honoring the family history and traditional style of the house. Designer Leslie Harris-Keane of Leslie Harris-Keane Interior Design, known for creating warm, refined, curated spaces suited for modern family living, was up to the task.

“My clients hired me to transform their playroom into a space the whole family could enjoy”, says Leslie. “The room was originally an outdoor space that was enclosed in the 50’s. Along with a fireplace, there was a cut-out in the brick that originally housed a BBQ.”

“I wanted to blend the clients’ traditional tastes with a few fun elements to create a unique, family friendly space. We grounded the project in traditional elements, like the leather club chairs and white shaker cabinets with ‘X’ design on the doors.”

The biggest challenge for this project? How to deal with a HUGE brick wall…

“We walled off the previous BBQ space using old brick that was removed from the house during a previous project. We first considered removing or covering the brick. In the end, we thought the brick added an authentic, cool vibe with lots of warmth and texture.

“To break up the brick and add some interest, we added a huge mantle. The piece of wood used for the mantle was pulled out of an old barn in Ohio and is well over 100 years old. My clients and I spent a lot of time looking at different beams. We chose this particular one because of the metal strap attaching the beam to a smaller piece of wood. It was unique and also offered a great finishing edge to the left side of the mantle.

“We wanted to keep the beam in its original state as much as possible. The beam was power washed and a clear coat was added. We left all the knots and old rusty nails. It adds so much character and interest to the room.”

Photo by:
David Duncan Livingston
Sisal rug: Restoration Hardware | Zebra Hide Rug: HD Buttercup

“The four leather swivel chairs offer comfortable and versatile seating. They allow guests to watch TV or swivel back to the center to enjoy conversation or a board game.

“We added another smaller table and 2 rattan chairs near the window. These can be used as overflow seating for additional guests. It’s also the perfect spot for a puzzle or game of Jenga. Of course, we had to add the TV to the space…it is a game room after all.”

Photo by:
David Duncan Livingston
Custom Swivel Chairs: Lee Industries | Coffee Table: Restoration Hardware

“With all the brick and cabinetry, there wasn’t much wall space left to work with. We chose a dark gray paint to accent the brick and bright white trim. The room is flanked with multiple sets of French doors. We did not have to worry about light…the space is definitely light and bright despite the super dark paint.”

Photo by:
David Duncan Livingston

“We decided to add a bar/beverage center. White, shaker style cabinets covered an old octagon window. We added a sink, beverage fridge and ice maker… all the necessary tools for a great bar. For the countertop, we went with honed Cararra marble. We liked the idea of something more sophisticated and sleek mixed with the rustic brick.

“We used old planks from the same barn in Ohio to create shelves above the beverage center.”

Photo by:
David Duncan Livingston

“To keep a cool, moody vibe we kept everything cream, dark brown and gray. This is a big departure from my normal design aesthetic – usually I’m all about color. To keep it interesting and fun we played with layers of texture and pattern. A zebra stamped hide rug was layered over a large custom sisal rug. The chairs have printed pillows and fur throws. We used a snake skin tray and a vintage bone inlay table…all in the dark brown and cream color palette.”

I create classic spaces infused with unique, one of a kind elements that reflect clients’ spirit and style. Leslie Harris-Keane




Meet the designer Leslie Harris-Keane of Leslie Harris-Keane Interior Design

Leslie Harris-Keane is the Principal Designer and Founder of Leslie Harris-Keane Interior Design. Growing up in California’s Central Valley, Leslie developed her love for antiques and passion for finding unique items to incorporate into home decor. “I love adding in an antique, repurposed or unexpected piece. They become the conversation pieces for the room, the personal touches or simply a place for the eye to rest.”

Leslie collects unique treasures from her travels to add interest to each room. Billy Baldwin said it best, “Decorating is never successful unless it is personal.” Leslie pulls inspiration from fashion, nature, and travel to create a warm, rich, curated look as suited for formal entertaining as for everyday family living.

Leslie now resides in Diablo, CA with her husband, two young children, and six chickens. In her spare time, Leslie enjoys flipping through the latest issue of Vanity Fair, playing tennis with her daughter, or searching for unusual and interesting treasures for your home.

Copy by
Cynthia Baxter
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