Planning for Tasteful Family Whimsy

Julie Barnes|Saskatoon Home Magazine 

Designing and decorating a home can be complicated. There are competing tastes to consider if you don’t live alone, budgets to balance and an endless array of furniture, fixtures, paint colours and accents to choose from. Throw kids into the mix and – if they’re old enough to form sentences – you have more opinions to contend with, and longevity to factor in.

For Jen Lapsiuk, a designer with Arbutus Properties, creating a tasteful kid-friendly home begins with forward thinking. “When I am designing for kids, I take their age into consideration and go a little bit above it. I try not to design right for that moment because I know they’ll be out of that stage quite quickly.”

Jen kept this top of mind as she designed the cheerful yet chic Arbutus showhome in The Meadows. Room by room, Jen balanced the needs of an imaginary family – it is a showhome after all. The layout and design were carefully rendered, ensuring the home appealed to both pint-sized provocateurs and their parents.

Picking a Paint Palette

“I like to start with a neutral palette and then add pops up colour”, says Jen. “Then it’s easy to change things over the years.” Most of the walls in the home are white, but Jen added colour with feature walls in the kids’ rooms – dark teal in the girls’ room and grey-blue in the boy’s room. For the girls’ room, Jen chose a dark teal feature wall and sprinkled it with mint- and fuchsia-coloured polka dot stickers to create dimension and a playful vibe. Wall decals like these are easy to remove or change as your child grows up.

Getting Creative

An open-air bonus room on the second floor was designed for the whole family. The focal point of the space is a bold, black chalkboard wall.

“This is where we picture the family hanging out and just relaxing,” says Jen. “I wanted to create a space for the kids to hang out too, and the chalkboard wall was the perfect way to let the kids get creative and it’s easy to clean up. What kid doesn’t want to draw on the wall?”


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