Monday, June 12, 2017

More than just a Playroom! ( Montessori inspired playroom tour)

We as parents are always on a mission to provide “more” and the very best of that “more” for our kids. Even when it comes to playrooms, its not just all about play. We try to sneak in learning ingredients that excite the imagination of the little ones, keeps them engaged for long hours, all while fostering their visual, sensory, motor and intellectual growth. Today we go all the way to Hyderabad, to tour, two and a half year old Kairav’s lovely playroom that’s inspired by the Montessori style of education.  Kriti, Kairav’s mom, has been very generous in sharing her son’s wonderful playroom and the detailed thought process that went into putting this space together. Kriti recently moved into a new home, and this gave her the opportunity to play around with the blank canvas to create a stimulating playroom for her son. FYI, Kriti has a professional degree in Fashion Merchandising and management. Her love for textiles evolved over the years and especially more so after an eventful trip to the Great Rann of Kutch, when she decided to start her own label Kari by Kriti in 2013. Here's what Kriti had to share about the lovely pieces that she creates for her shop, “I work with block prints to create baby bedding, quilts, pillows, sheer drapes, cosmetic bags and kitchenware in Ikat. I enjoy using a mix of geometric and floral patterns to create products that celebrate the traditional technique in a modern, bohemian way. I am ardent follower of the slow fashion movement and I develop products that reflect my ideology of longevity, quality and functionality.” 
TECD: Hello Kriti!! Welcome to TECD! Let’s get the room tour started by asking you, what was the thought process that went into creating this awesome playroom for Kairav?

Kriti: “When I started to think about the design aspect of the playroom, I was pretty sure that I didn’t want a theme based playroom. There are no superheros, cars, monkeys or cartoon characters. I wanted to incorporate colors and textures without an apparent theme, and design a room that will grow with Kairav. 

I picked primary colors as the foundation and layered in pastels along with pops of fushia and green. 
When designing Kairav’s room, I decided to stay away from using block prints and Kari by Kriti products in general. I wanted the room to help develop a character of its own and not be an extension of my work. For this I decided to collaborate with Richika from Homesake to custom design curtains, a pouf and a bunting for the room. Her products just lifted the space. I absolutely loved what she did. 
I sourced a large, colorful handwoven dhurrie rug from Warangal that covers almost the entire floor. Dhurrie rugs are hardwearing and easy to care for especially with children. Kairav still co-sleeps and will probably till he goes to college (just joking) which is why I decided against installing a bed in the playroom. I created a low lying space with a floor mattress and a pile of colorful cushions along with Kari by Kriti’s Elle quilt. We use the space to read to him, mid-day cuddles and for afternoon naps. 
TECD: I believe this playroom is built on the Montessori-inspired approach. Could you break down the process for us in terms of design?

Kriti: “My husband (Rahul) and I are huge fans of the Montessori system of education. Montessori encourages self learning, practical life skills and independence. All of Kairav’s toys are laid out on the floor and easily accessible shelves rather than inside cupboards or drawers. I also decided to get rid of toy baskets which almost always end up becoming black holes for toys, and instead picked large sized, shallow rattan and jute trays to organize. The playroom has abundant open floor area for him to play without space restrictions. 
Kairav has a little corner to help him learn practical life skills like putting on his shoes and cleaning the room. A cute reindeer christmas sack was repurposed to make a laundry bag for him, a Kari by Kriti Ikat tea towel is put to use as a wipe, along with a little rope stool for him to wear shoes. The lovely ceramic knobs on a wood plank turned out to be a perfect addition to the room.” 
TECD: How long did it take you to put the entire room together?

Kriti: “Just a couple of days once I had the basics in place. I didn’t invest a lot in buying new products but used what I already had. The bed cover for the floor mattress was actually a hand woven table cloth from the lovely Suraiya Hassan in Hyderabad. I put together a gallery wall in the room with printables found on Pinterest and added texture to the wall by sticking large pom poms that I made myself. (they took the longest!). We definitely wanted Kairav to have a teepee but the ones that we found came with plastic covers. So I decided to buy one and use just the PVC frame. I draped the tent frame with a light, block printed cotton voile fabric leftover from our quilt production. A few quick stitches to hold the fabric in place was all that was needed to create a well lit, breathable hide out in the room. I added small details with a display of Kairav’s first pair of shoes, his favorite koala bear and a large banjara pom pom mirror belt as a curtain tie. I also designed a ‘K’ alphabet cushion with some Ikat fabric scrap.” 
TECD: What according to you are the three most important design elements when it comes to a playroom for the little ones?

Kriti: “I am no authority in playroom design, but instinctively, I would say that these three factors played a major role in our playroom design: 

  • Accessibility 
  • Natural fabrics and textures 
  • Adequate floor space.” 
Wasn't that tour such a treat for the eyes!!! The play of colors, textures and an “organized" environment in a playroom is more than what we moms can ask for our little ones. I’m sure you are inspired by Kriti’s design elements for the space and have your own plan brewing at the back of your mind. To shop for Kari by Kriti textiles, head straight to their Etsy store. Kriti also blogs at Handmade Talks where she talks about (as the title suggests) all things handmade. Thank you Kriti for taking the time to connect with my TECD readers and sharing your son's adorable and thoughtfully put together playroom !

Today's post has left me feeling nostalgic, to the time when I could call “ALL” the design shots in my son's space without being challenged on my design choices. Well, now, lets just say, its a very different story!!!! Will save that for another day.......Have a good one all! 

(Image Credit/Copyright: Kriti Jindal. The images may not be used without the prior written permission of Kriti and TECD)