A Teacher-Turned-Designer Furnishes a Playroom for Her Kids

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Alana Chernecki)

Project by: Alana Chernecki of Brillante
Location: East St. Paul, Manitoba, Canada

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Alana, a school teacher turned designer, blended both of her realms of knowledge in creating a playroom for her daughters. A mix of style and pedagogy, the space is designed to foster creativity and imaginative play, while still looking sleek and age-appropriate.

(Image credit: Alana Chernecki)

From Alana: As a former teacher, mom of three young girls and lover of good design, I often tell my clients that, “I am a mom who straddles the line between good teaching and design.”

I design spaces for kids from a teacher’s perspective, and believe the space that surrounds our kids has tremendous power to shape attitudes, behavior and learning.

(Image credit: Alana Chernecki)

I knew when it came time to design our own family’s playroom, I wanted an equal balance of inspiration, function and organization. I wanted our girls to be inspired to create, to play, to muck about, to learn. I wanted them to feel independent and comfortable in their space; to access art media without constant permission — which can inhibit creativity, and I wanted for everything to have a place — so that clean-up wasn’t such a big chore.

I also wanted to instill responsibility and foster ownership of the space, so it was important I approach things from the teacher’s perspective. Labels on everything, beautiful baskets to house toys, glass jars and canisters to store art media, and flexible seating for a variety of play scenarios.

Independence and engagement in learning and play is so vital, and so it was important for me to create a space that reflected those values.

I’ve set up my space much like a mini-classroom: a whiteboard/standing easel for play-school and art; baskets with items for designated “learning centers” — music, dramatic play, construction – to name a few; as well as an inviting reading nook made up of fluffy poufs and pillows and a cozy play teepee. A play table and chairs, and an abundance of art supplies are offered for art-making and projects.

(Image credit: Alana Chernecki)

Live plants and organic textures bring a lively, interesting dimension to the play landscape, sparking imaginations and creativity. Lush gardens become a magical hideaway for fairies; a palm tree becomes a jungle for a tiger.

Our play space gets a lot of mileage, and is the perfect place for the girls to unplug, to play imaginatively and to delve into fun and creative projects.

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Thanks, Alana and Brillante!

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