INTRO TO THE #MSTARRKRUSEPLAYROOM / by emily starr alfano

above /  garvin and co   right /  studio mcgee
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after introducing you to the #mstarrwestonnursery last week, it occurred to me that i haven’t properly introduced another fun project i’m working on! read on to meet the #mstarrkruseplayroom PLUS i’d love your input on something at the end of the post!

caitlin kruse is someone i became friendly with first when she was working for glitter guide and simultaneously working on her own blog, style within reach. she eventually transitioned style within reach to a more mom focused blog and continues to work on the mama notes full time. as a side note, her newsletter is great and if interested, you should follow her on instagram because she has the BEST ideas for kiddos and shares a lot of fun fashion finds. 

anyways, caitlin has two adorable little girls who have been patiently waiting for a new + improved playroom, and i was honored and excited when she reached out to help design the space! based on caitlin’s preferred aesthetic and desire for a playful but functional space, our vision for the room became: natural whimsy + feminine boho.

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the photos above show how the playroom currently looks. we are working on…

/ wallpaper for the wall where the artwork is now

/ a new rug

/ a DIY house-shaped chalkboard {inspired by studio mcgee in the image up top} to rest against the wall behind the table + chairs

/ new woven shades for the windows {this room doesn’t get a ton of natural light so i suggested a bamboo or similar material so it adds a nice visual but doesn’t feel too heavy or block too much light}

/ possibly painting the small round table

/ a dress up area in the corner {with the addition of that adorable mirror!}

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the IKEA play kitchen has recently received a makeover which you can see more of on caitlin’s blog! we’ve seen so many incredible kitchen makeovers {looking at you almost makes perfect} but ultimately decided that it wasn’t worth the time or money to go too crazy. caitlin ended up adding a “tiled” backsplash, new hardware, and some adorable accessories. and it looks great.

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above is a before and after of the closet in the room. as a sidenote, as someone who lives in an almost 200 year old home with no storage, i’m very jealous of this closet! caitlin worked with with a local organizer, susie salinas of systems by susie, who got everything organized and accessible for both the kiddos and the adults. you can read and see more about the makeover on the mama notes.


i’m super excited to finish this room up and hopefully get down to maryland to style it all out with caitlin! but in the meantime, i’ve rounded up some of the products that we’re using and/or have inspired me for this space.

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marble hex peel + stick tile / black pulls {5” spacing} / maple ledge / swivel pinboard mirror / spice jar / starburst rug / black floral removable wallpaper / adjustable sconce / star flush mount light / wood hooks / daisy removable wallpaper

and finally {you still with me?}, i’ve been thinking a lot about how much i enjoy designing kids spaces {playrooms, nurseries, kids bedrooms etc.} and sometimes wonder whether i might want to focus solely or primarily on them. but then i remember how obsessed i am with kitchens. and living rooms. and dining rooms. soooooo…what do you think?! i do think that kids rooms are always the most challenging for parents so there might be something to it.

anyways, i’d love to know your thoughts so please comment below! and of course, if you’re looking for in person or e-design help with your kids rooms, please reach out.

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ps. i’ve been posting some behind-the-scenes stuff from this project over on instagram so be sure you’re following along.