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Posted by on Feb 26, 2014 | 5 comments

A Bungalow Designed for Art and Play

A Bungalow Designed for Art and Play

Last week we showed you Kay’s creative and serene home office where she runs her holistic interior design business, Oikasa. Before that, we featured the fabulous wallpaper she installed on her stairway. And today, we bring you the rest of her house which she shares with her husband Stefan and their two active young children. In every room of their home, we see Kay’s design sensibility at play — simplicity, uplifting colors, handmade and natural elements, and an organized and efficient use of space.


In the middle of the front room, a child’s-sized grand piano atop a green shag rug was the last thing I expected to see. But, given that Kay teaches music lessons to young children, a room dedicated to musical instruments makes perfect sense.


Next to the front door. you can see an illuminated canvas Kay made. She painted the leaf design on a stretched canvas and then poked Christmas lights through holes into the canvas. She says that her youngest music students love to gaze at it.


Kay keeps a full-sized keyboard in the front room as well for her own practice. This room is actually the waiting area for parents and shy newcomers to Kay’s music classes. Kay teaches bilingual German and English classes to children 9 months to 3 years old. Her classes are filled with songs, finger play, rhymes, dance, and instrument play. She teaches the classes in the dining room turned art studio, the room you can see through the doorway here.




Kay turned this entire room into a fun art studio space for the children. She says that she and Stefan didn’t see the need for a formal dining room. When she teaches music classes, she clears out the furniture the night before. She finds the space perfect for the 10 students in her class, plus their caregivers.




Kay painted the magnetic chalkboard with alphabet decals affixed above and added a whimsical painted border.



The room at the back of the house is a big open space with windows all the way along the back, letting tons of light stream in. This section of the house was added on in the renovation, completed before Kay and Stefan bought the house. They appreciated that the owners had kept the original style of the bungalow in the front of the house, even leaving the room sizes unaltered.



Often, Kay tells us, her son sets up his large train set on the floor in this room, and the family enjoys playing games together here. The kids keep many of their toys in cabinets in this room, in fact, where they can pull them out anytime they like.



The opposite end of the great room is their banquette-style dining table and kitchen with bar seating, tucked back a bit into the corner.




A common theme with Kay is the way she comes up with unique wall displays, like this collage of painted ceramic plates. (Kay has traced an outline in pencil of a border she plans on adding on the wall.)


In the living room, she hung three panels that she made by hand using dried mosses.



The basement playroom couldn’t be more perfect — a tent, a dress-up area, fun wooden stumps to walk on or use in pretend play, and a swing. Kay has done an amazing job designing this space.



The wallpapered stairway leads to three distinctly designed bedrooms — one for each child as well as the master suite.






Like Kay’s office, the master bathroom is painted a cool beachy blue.



Kay has designed her house with mostly simple IKEA furnishings, splashes of color, handmade accents, plenty of storage, and room for everyone to express their creativity. Using all Benjamin Moore paint, here are some of the paint colors she used in the rooms we featured in our tour, starting with the brilliant front door.

  • Front door: Vintage Claret 1364
  • Main living room and hall: Perspective CSP-5
  • Fireplace: Soho Loft CSP-10
  • Girl’s bedroom: Razzle Dazzle 1348 and Nosegay 1401
  • Boy’s bedroom: Jack Frost 729
  • Master bedroom: Soho Loft CSP-10
  • Playroom downstairs: Wild Aster 1240



  1. Hi, I would like to know where the area rugs were purchased from (the grey and purple). Thank you so much. It is a Beautifully fun home!!

  2. Hi Dawn,

    the grey rug in the playroom is an indoor-outdoor rug from Target. The purple rug is from Ikea, discontinued unfortunately.

  3. Wow…this house just makes me so happy :)

  4. Aloha from Kailua (Oahu) – thank you for sharing your photos and making me nostalgic for my first neighborhood as a homeowner.
    Your home projects organization, individuality, creativity and a love of learning. Seeing the space for your kids made me wish I could have had time and the design and organization skills to create something similar for my kids when they were little living in wonderful Del Ray.
    Would you mind sharing who the contractor was that renovated the bungalow? We still have our Del Ray home.and are interested in an extensive remodel/addition in the future. Thank you!

    • Thank you so much for your comment. Our home was remodeled by Morris of Alexandria
      We got the house under contract about a month before they finished their work and could still make a few decisions/change some minor things. They have been a pleasure to work with and their work is very high quality. Good luck! Kay

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