Space to play: Interior designer creates whimsical areas for children
photography by Shybeast, LLC
Two years ago when her family moved into their newly-built Greenacres home, Brooke Cloyd was not leading the charge when it came to design. All of the home-building and material decisions were made by her husband, Dylan, who’s an owner of Spokane Carpet One.
“He’s very good,” Brooke says. In his work “he actually picks out people’s interiors.” She was focused on her job as a dental hygienist. “I had no interest in houses.”
Flash forward to today: all that has changed. Brooke quit her dental hygienist position and has gone into professional home decorating. It was living in this home and decorating it that revealed how much she loves the process. Every room in her family home is filled with projects she, or she and Dylan together, have tackled.
Tucked into a family-friendly neighborhood, the inviting front porch with its “Welcome to the Jungle” doormat (a project Brooke created with her Cricut) leads to the Cloyds’ home. It’s open and sunny, with a palette of soft grays, whites, and wood tones, clean black accents, and texture coming in through the hardware and light fixtures, wallpaper, and patterned tile. Flooring through the main floor is engineered hardwood; the bedroom spaces are all done in a soft-toned carpet from Carpet One Spokane.
The entryway was project zero among the many stellar-quality DIYs that are now found in nearly every room of the home. Brooke and Dylan created board and batten for this area, a creative project that adds depth and dimension, and makes the space feel finished. It also taught her something important: “I now love creating woodwork,” she says.
A case in point is Brooke’s office, which is full of their custom work. As home projects are apt to do, this one snowballed beyond the initial plan. As Brooke phrased it on her Instagram (@brooklynnicolehome), “I planned to do one accent wall and call it a success. That plan quickly turned into three accent walls, which then led to DIYing my own wallpaper, which led to extending my built-ins and moving lights and adding sconces…” The result is gorgeous, functional, and one-of-a-kind.
The kitchen is one of Brooke’s favorite spaces, with a large quartz island topping a soft green base. The row of stools provides seating for every member of the family, including the couple’s two young sons, Jackson, five, and Bennett, three. The bar portion of the kitchen is set apart visually by its open wood shelving and geometric tile, which complement the tile and cabinetry in the rest of the room. “We wanted this to feel like its own little space in the kitchen,” Brooke says. The kids’ play kitchen is another fun DIY, a Christmas present from a previous year. Brooke purchased the little kitchen and then refinished it so the kids’ version coordinates with the grown-ups’ adjacent space.
The living room is open and spacious, with built-ins flanking the fireplace, an inviting sectional, and windows that look out onto the backyard, where there is a play structure, lots of grass, and a covered area for outdoor grilling and relaxing in front of the mounted television and fireplace. Brooke and Dylan built the wood privacy fence themselves, as well as the planter boxes by the swing set. Back inside, the living room feels extra cozy thanks to a row of hanging blankets. More warmth comes in through the rich leather and wood tones, like the sofa table Brooke built herself. Another impressive DIY, she took inspiration for the sofa table from the wood-topped, metal-legged bench by the front door.
As her business grows and develops, Brooke is especially drawn to creating kids’ spaces — so it’s no surprise that there are many enviable kids’ rooms in the home. In the boys’ two bedrooms, the beds (made, of course, by Brooke and Dylan) have roofs and walls, making them cozy for sleeping and inviting for daytime play. The hanging chair in Bennett’s room adds some extra whimsy, as do the geometric mountain designs and hand-painted waves on the boys’ accent walls. “In kids’ spaces, I always try to add something really fun,” she says. “I like the kids to feel like it’s their space and not just another room in the house.”
That’s undeniably the case in the rainbow-hued basement playroom, a space that was designed and completed as a surprise Christmas present for the boys two years ago. It has everything a kid could want: a climbing wall decorated with a mountain mural, a suspended rope begging to be scaled, a hanging ladder, colorful blocks to leap across, art space, and — for the grown-ups, who tend to care about such things — lots of built-ins for stowing all the toys and craft supplies out of sight. In these quarantimes, “it’s been a lifesaver,” Brooke says of the playroom.
That’s not to imply that the adults haven’t gotten their fair share of beautiful, functional spaces. Downstairs, the gym is well-stocked with workout equipment, and the room is anything but utilitarian thanks to the planked wall accents the couple installed. On the second story, they’ve got a gorgeous owner’s suite with a spacious bedroom and a bathroom that’s “my husband’s pride and joy,” Brooke says. “He designed it.” It’s lovely, with dual sinks, penny tile backsplash, a standalone tub, and a glass-walled shower that’s tiled in a chevron pattern. (The couple took inspiration from that chevron tile when they designed and built their bed’s custom wood headboard.) The tub has turned out to be another pandemic boon. “I’ve never been a tub person before, but now I use it like three times a week,” Brooke says with a laugh.
In addition to being home to the family bedrooms, the second story has an area they refer to as “the loft,” with comfortable seating, a playful wallpapered accent wall, and a modern-looking built-in piece Brooke and Dylan built, even DIYing the light fixtures.
The project list is never-ending. “I have a CRAZY to-do list,” Brooke says. Items on deck include shiplapping both sides of the living room fireplace in the same greenish hue used for the island’s base, building a coffee table/ottoman for the living room, adding millwork on the wall behind the vanity in their bathroom, working on the basement family room (an open, unfurnished area that’s currently coming in clutch as the boys’ hockey and soccer area), and adding millwork in the dining room. It’s been quite a balance in recent months, managing life in a pandemic with two little ones, a career shift, and design projects for her own home. “It’s definitely just been super busy,” Brooke says.
The future will likely be equally full, but Brooke can’t imagine doing it any other way. “I love the process of creating. Woodworking has been my creative outlet for the past few years and I truly enjoy every step of the process. It’s my form of meditation,” she explains. “When I’m working on a project, I become fully emerged in it. I can’t think about anything else until it’s done. I even enjoy making mistakes along the way, because that is where I truly learn the most.”
“I also love being able to walk into each room of our home and say, ‘I made that!’ It makes every room of our home feel more personal and unique.”
Spokane Carpet One
Brooklyn Nicole Home
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