Written by: Lauren

As an extreme perfectionist, I find myself torn between my desire to share spaces in my home and the annoyance of feeling that they are just not quite done yet. I came to a realization this week that one of those spaces is sure to be ever evolving and thus will never really be finished. When we moved into our house, the current homeowner was using the space between the garage and kitchen (that had previously been added on to the house) as the primary entry / laundry room. It was completely awkward, dirty, and not a glamorous space in any way. More of a service porch feel than a front entry for sure. When we bought the house, we quickly decided to resurrect the previous front entry space (as seen in our post Modern Bohemian Entry) and went through the options of what would be the best use of this space. As we were able to remove the washing machine and dryer from this room and move it to a better location (our pantry), we decided that this could be the perfect space for a playroom for so many reasons.


As you can see, the room needed a major makeover. The exterior stucco on the walls was not ideal for a playroom, the flooring was mostly damaged (although I liked the black and white concept), and the shelf on the ceiling just didn’t make sense to me. When my dad mentioned to me that it would be a great space to store items we infrequently use, I responded, “That’s exactly what I want to see from my kitchen window … A bunch of junk!” I asked him if it was in any way supporting the roof and he responded with, “Not at all,” so I made the quick decision to remove the shelf and show off the beautiful ceiling above it. We also found out that one of the walls was corroding and majorly needed to be replaced, so we did that as well.

We ultimately decided to completely remove this cabinet although it would have given us lots of storage space. It did not have much shelving inside. It had a few weird cutouts in the front that would have been a pain to patch and once we removed the washer and dryer from inside, we realized how much it was deteriorating. Needless to say, it was a great decision. 

Like I said this flooring had to go … But wait til you see what I replaced it with!

Playroom Inspiration

Here are the many ideas I had for this space. Some I did, some are for later, and some are just so cute I couldn’t help but put them on the board. One thing I would like to add to this space (as my girls love to color and draw) is a table and chair set, and I love this retro option from Amazon.


The wall with the door is the one we replaced. A brand new wall, a brand new window, the door to the outside remained, but we had to put new siding on the exterior of the wall to finish it off. Other than that, we repainted the existing staircase and railing (but kept it black as I liked the previous look), used an existing exterior sconce on this wall to remind us that this space used to be outdoors, and added this fun easel from Uncle Matt and Tsering to create an art corner. My thoughts are to add a hanging display for the girl’s art down the road when they are done scribbling (LOL). I also would love to paint the easel tray and maybe even do a fun dipped leg. If I get around to it, I’ll show an update. I promise!

I thought it would be fun to add a little play kitchen just outside of my kitchen for the girls to enjoy while I cook dinner. Family members pitched in and got the girls this retro kitchen from KidKraft and some fun Williams Sonoma pastries and cheeses. Cara and Sienna love to feed their dolls in the wooden high chair. 

Ava is all about Barbie’s right now and loves to play in style with her favorite pink van and dessert truck … Where were those when we were kids?

I bought some fun buckets to house all of the markers and crayons since they don’t stay in their boxes for very long, and when we moved I realized we had a huge collection of wooden boxes which I’ve used to store everything else on the shelves. It gives everything a consistent look and adds in the touch of natural wood I wanted to incorporate.

I really made a conscious effort not to clutter the room with too many toys. I love the fact that the girls spread out the toys they are playing with but have a place to put them away at the end of the night. The open space is often used for somersaults, dance moves, and even stroller races. 


I can’t even picture this room anymore with that awful shelf hiding this gorgeous ceiling. Removing that was one of the best decisions as all the ceiling needed was a fresh coat of white paint and some track lighting, but by far my favorite detail in this room is the flooring we put in … Simple black and white checkered rubber tiles from Rubber Flooring Inc. It was the perfect flooring option for my active kids who love to play on the floor, was super cost effective, and looks great too! It makes me happy that the kids have such an awesome space to play in each day and even happier that I can close it off at the end of the night and have a home that is relaxing and not cluttered with toys. 

I know that this space will continue to grow alongside my kids throughout the years. I left it completely open to change and know that it will probably do so many times. It is a perfect blank canvas. I simply love this space and my three girls do too!

For more information on our design services contact us at info@sbsdesignla.com or leave a comment below. 


By taking one of the looks from our Get Inspired: August boards, we are providing our readers with further information for where to purchase similar items with a range of price points (from super affordable to fancy and one of a kind). 

Planning an end of summer pool party? Let us help you … Here are five items to spruce up your space for summer and five items your party can’t live without. We have also included a link for each item for your convenience in obtaining them. Enjoy!

Interior Items

1. Waldner Ping Pong Table / White – Houzz – on sale for $3,509

2. Loft Seafoam 3×6 Polished Glass Tile – Tile Bar – $12.99 per square foot

3. Spin Vase – CB2 – $99.95

4. Libbey Selene 2 Piece Cake Stand – Wayfair – $41.99

5. Stemless Wine Glass – Crate & Barrel – $2.95

Event Items

1. Inflatable Medium White Beach Balls – Oriental Trading – $11.98

2. 16″ Black and White Beach Ball – Perfect Imprints – $2.92 


3. Chocolate Dipped Ice Cream Cones – Little Sugar Snaps – DIY Recipe

4. 52 Ft. Patio Light Stringer – 1000 Bulbs – $45.85

5. SEJ Design Large Black Round Rubber Tray – Trouva – $35

Kids going back to school? Feeling those summer weeks dwindling? Plan one last pool party … You won’t regret it! Have a great weekend from Side by Side Design!


Written by: Lauren

Just one more week before my big Kindergartner (Ava) is off to school. Cara and Sienna (my two year old twins) are not far behind as they will be starting preschool at the beginning of September. To make this start to the school year special (as it is a big one for my house this year), I decided to send my girls off in style. Here’s a sneak peek (and some mommy tips) at what I have prepared … I secretly love school supplies and always have!

I have been holding onto this awesome custom backpack since Ava’s grandparents brought it back from Thailand last year. I absolutely love this photo of Ava and the fact that she will have something to hold her things that is so uniquely hers.

My daughter loves to collect things (I wonder where she got that from?), and has started her own pencil collection complete with one topped with a shiny disco ball to bring with her on the first day. 

This Planet Box carrying case and lunch box will keep all of Ava’s lunch items contained without having to use ziploc bags or plastic containers. We have been using this lunch box for the past couple years and I absolutely love it. I also love that this brand allows you to customize your lunch box with special magnets like these pink ones. Thank you Uncle Matt and Tsering for Ava’s matching water bottle (also by Planet Box) and new case. She loves it!

I ordered all of these sticker labels and custom tags from my favorite site (Oliver’s Labels). You can stick these on any item going to your kid’s school and expect it to not get lost. They come in really fun designs and any color you want too! I also love that the stickers are machine washable and dishwasher safe so that you don’t have to constantly be re-labeling your belongings.

I just couldn’t resist getting these sparkly lunch boxes from Pottery Barn Kids and water bottles from Cotton On Kids for Cara and Sienna. Their pink and purple rainbow tags turned out super cute too!

What you wear on the first day of school is just as important as what you bring! I finally perfected these three outfits, and can’t wait to snap some back to school photos! These tops I got from Old Navy … I like to wait until everything goes on sale as you can get shirts for as little as two dollars. These adorable skirts are Epic Threads from Macy’s. I hope the girl’s teacher doesn’t get too mad at me for dressing them almost identical. Ava will be sporting her brand new silver sparkly Converse, but Natives have been my favorite summer shoes for kids for a while! They do really well with water play and clean off well too! 

Here’s to a smooth start to the school year for all of our teacher friends / readers and all of your kiddos! Hope it’s a great one! 

This post was not sponsored in any way. I love all the items I am sending my girls back to school with and wanted to let you know where they were from in case you are looking to use any of these products too.


We are so excited to once again share our monthly inspiration with all of you! Each month, we look forward to getting the chance to sit down and really think about what’s inspiring us, make predictions for the month ahead, and reflect on the past month. As usual, we have each selected a photo that represents our overall inspiration and have paired it with two interior shots and two events that coordinate with its color scheme and overall concept. In addition, we have provided you with our designer tips to keep you on trend for the month ahead. 

Tami’s inspired: This month you’ll find me relaxing pool-side … FINALLY! My daughter Joie is officially five months old, and while my husband and I haven’t exactly been homebound, we also haven’t gone too far out of our bubble since she was born. I have been longing to take her somewhere where we have nothing else to do besides spend time with family and splash around in a pool. I cannot wait for our annual family trip to Palm Springs coming up in a few weeks! My inspiration pic reminds me how lighthearted life will be for those few days and how Joie’s older cousins will totally have a “ball” showing her the ropes in the pool. It’s crazy to think in just a few short years they will all be running around the time share on their own like we did when we first started going there. 

What’s my designer tip this month? Take it easy! Light colors will keep things lighthearted. Whether in your backyard pool or in the kitchen cooking up a meal, your attitude should be the same … Be chill and don’t take it all so seriously. Want an ice cream cone? Why not!? It is Summer after all! I prefer mine covered in sprinkles whether on vacation or not. 

Lauren’s inspired: I can’t believe we are going back to school already! My big five year old starts Kindergarten in less than two weeks and I’ll be spending the time leading up getting everything ready and holding onto Summer up until the end. These fun backpacks remind me how excited I used to get as a kid to get my back to school supplies together, and I won’t lie, I have been having fun doing this as a mom too! 

What’s my designer tip this month? Remember to have some fun with your space! If you love the color magenta, there’s no reason why you can’t add a few pieces in this fun color into your decor. Mixing fun rugs and unique art gives your space personality, and texture is everything! Mix it up with your events this month too. A cocktail for me and a treat for my girls ends the Summer right!

Here at Side by Side Design, we look forward to an exciting month full of well planned out blog posts (Check us out each week on Wednesdays and Fridays!). We plan to showcase a look into some exciting design projects we have been working on, feature some back to school items your kids will love, as usual share all of our favorites for the month, and more! Don’t forget to check out our next Get Inspired post on September 7th for all new looks and inspiration!


Written by: Lauren

The evolution of some rooms takes longer than others. Sometimes it takes an extra special amount of time to find just the right pieces and sometimes you are waiting until you are perfectly inspired to even get started. The last space in our Under Construction: Modern With Antiques home tour fits that description for me. The dining table needs to be more special than the breakfast table (or maybe keep it simple and use an amazing light fixture as the focal point?) … Still working out the details but here is where we are at this moment.


As you can see, this room did not fit the design aesthetic we are going for at all as it was. I might just leave it at that … My mother taught me if I don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all.

In Process

The walls have since been primed and all of the fixtures removed, but I unfortunately do not have a new photo of this room. This gives us the blank canvas we need to really work out exactly the right pieces to fill the space. At the moment, my client doesn’t even want to do any sort of wall treatment. Although I understand that she does not want to remind herself of how far this room has come already, I kind of agree that fresh white walls with amazing artwork might be the way to go. We will see what the room needs when the time comes.

Dining Room Inspiration 


Things might change, but as of our meeting today we are pretty set on this simple chrome dining table and chairs, but don’t worry … We plan to give the space its required elegance and the drama we love so much with some fur seats, an over-the-top light fixture, some sort of interesting buffet, and artwork that will really transform this room. 

This concludes our Under Construction: Modern With Antiques tour. Stay tuned for updates and the finished spaces themselves! We will be sharing each one as we complete it. For more information on our design services email us at info@sbsdesignla.com.