This versatile room does triple duty for studying, crafts, and playtime

“Keep it practical,” advises designer Ili Hidalgo-Nilsson

Room Envy

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Part playroom, part crafts room, and part study hall, this terrace-level space in Decatur serves many functions in style.

Sunny disposition
“We wanted it to have a connection to the outdoors,” says Ili Hidalgo-Nilsson of Terracotta Design Build. French doors to the backyard are painted black to add contrast.

Swing time
The hanging rattan chair by Serena & Lily creates a playful mood.

Paper play
A paper dispenser and cutter mounted on the desk provides paper to doodle on or work out math problems—and protects the desk, too.

Rule of threes
To keep the scale right for the long desk, Hidalgo-Nilsson chose three verdant pendants from Rejuvenation, and the family added a trio of dry-erase boards and buckets from Ikea.

Adding height
Hidalgo-Nilsson designed the custom desk and activities table with hydraulic lifts, built by Greenwalt & Sons. The homeowners, Leann and Shane Cox, wanted a surface that could be raised as eight-year-old Noah grows taller.

Designer tip
“Keep it practical,” says Hidalgo-Nilsson. The flooring is vinyl that looks like wood (since basements are notorious for dampness and flooding), topped by an Oriental rug that hides all stains.

This article appears in our June 2020 issue.