Rona Graf, the Owner and Principal Designer of Costa Mesa’s Grace Blu Designs, was excited to take on this project for a family of five. She smiles, “Brilliant little kids and the most welcoming sweet parents ever!” The space was already moving in the right direction, design-wise, but the clients hoped that Rona and her team could take it to the next level. A few walls were knocked down, and a few risks were taken, but everything paid off in a beautiful way. She explains, “The overall home represents love, light and happiness throughout, something everyone who steps in the front door can use!” We’re chatting with Rona to learn more:

Tell us a bit about the project when you first signed on. 
The space was limited when we first began. There were definitely signs that children lived in the house and this was a very important aspect to showcase without just feeling that toys were everywhere. They wanted to integrate childrens’ play into the home without it looking out of place. These children needed more space to spread out and call their own, to play, explore, read, and study. We needed to find a functional way to incorporate more space into their home without using the dining room table and expanding upon their small den that was right off the kitchen/dining room. We decided to break into and take space from the 3rd car tandem garage space. 

How would you describe your initial vision for the space?
Our initial vision for this home was to keep it playful, cheery, yet still sophisticated. We could see where the homeowners were going and what they were trying to achieve on their own, but we were able to add to it, build upon their already beautiful direction and dial it in for them creating a colorful, family friendly livable sophisticated home!

Any major challenges along the way?
The biggest challenge was creating the right balance of focal points, feature space (fun wall features) with the right amount of work space in the kids area.

How about any risks?
Although the client loved wallpaper, (she had already used it some cool papers in the powder bath), she had to be talked into using some super fun and bold papers in the kids playroom on focal walls that you could see from the family/dining room. After we convinced them that this would tie the entire space together she loved the outcome and how it ended up collaborating the spaces beautifully!

Now that it’s complete, what part of the home stands out to you the most?
The part of this home that stands out the most is the wall of fun animal heads from Wall Charmers and the neon sign in the kids playroom. The neon sign was actually the parents and the 2 children’s handwriting in the word Party! They took this saying from one of their favorite books and decided to use it as inspiration for this playroom! What a fun way to personalize and make a mark in time with their family playroom.

We love that! You really brought the concept of “fun learning” to life here. 
When you step into the playroom you can feel that there is a fun way of learning and a space that fosters creativity. Being a former teacher myself, I love creating spaces that encourages learning while motivating kids to read and play. This family was such an amazing and inspirational example who truly epitomizes that! The father is a doctor and the mom is one of the sweetest and most brilliant examples that a mother should be for her children. Every time we visited to make progress on this design the kids continuously put us in awe of how smart and involved they were in the creation of their space. The oldest little girl who was four at the time wowed us with her advanced reading ability and gave proof to us that creating a space that encourages learning while keeping the little ones stimulated is certainly a necessity! 

What did the clients say when they saw it done for the first time?
The homeowners were in awe of how we were able to mix and match so many textures, patterns and colors and still achieve a home that is sophisticated enough for adults, yet playful enough for the kids. They were so grateful that we kept the true integrity of their home, kept a lot of their existing style and enhanced it! They thanked us for creating a beautifully designed space that they will enjoy for years to come!

Take a tour in the slideshow!