A Colorful & Eclectic Playroom Tour



Today we are kicking off a new series where we feature kid-friendly room tours! I couldn’t have dreamed of a better space to launch this series with – California based photographer, Kristin Dinsmore has created such a fun space for her daughter Piper. It perfectly combines an eclectic adult aesthetic with a carefree kid space. Below I’m talking with Kristin about her daughter’s playroom and motherhood! If you have a room to share please email submissions@themamanotes.com !

Where do you live, what do you do and how old is your daughter?

We live in Gilroy, California. I am a food photographer during the week and a family/newborn/maternity photographer on the weekends! Piper will be two years old this August. 

Your play room perfectly combines a beautiful adult design aesthetic with a fun kids space. How did you achieve such a great balance?

I secretly think I designed this space with my younger self in mind. Ha! As I’ve matured with my design style, I’ve gravitated towards a more neutral pallet throughout our house. But when it came to Piper’s playroom, I wanted it to be bright and fun. I invested in a few quality pieces like the bed frame and the coloring table. But most of the other pieces are from my college years and the flea market! And that way, I don’t really care if something happens to it (i.e. someone coloring all over the ottoman ;) I joke all the time that I would live in her playroom! 

What are your favorite activities to do in your playroom?

Coloring! Piper is VERY into coloring right now. We probably spend a good two hours a day in her playroom just coloring.

How do you keep your play space organized?

I really try to limit the amount of toys and stuff that Piper has. And when she gets bored with something, I usually donate it. Also, I like to rotate the toys that she uses. I keep a stash in the closet that I’ll bring out when she is getting bored, and they seem new to her, since she hasn’t played with them in a while! We always clean up before her nap and before bedtime by singing the “clean up song” together. I feel like quality over quantity really applies here too. I’ve invested in a few toys (like the Pottery Barn Kids coloring table) that we keep out all the time and it will grow with her. 

What are some of your favorite games & books?

Piper is obsessed with playing with her baby doll stroller and her shopping cart right now. She always wants her baby to have a fresh diaper and to eat and drink whatever Piper is having. And she loves completing tasks! Giving her specific things to look for around the house is a fun way to kill time, as well as get her little mind thinking! Right now her favorite books are “Lily Wool” and “Around the Farm” by Eric Carle. 

What’s the most challenging part of motherhood for you right now?

Trying to balance being a mom, a wife, a friend, and a business owner. So cliche, but its true! After Piper was born, I quit my job as an in-house food photographer/marketing assistant to stay home with her. Then I was hired back as a contractor to do their food photography. One thing led to another, and I was hired on by other companies to do their food photography. Then somehow, I became a family photographer! 

How do you try to achieve balance while juggling everything during this season of life?

I’ve noticed on days when I try to work while Piper isn’t naping, she is prone to have more tantrums or meltdowns. So I’ve decided to only work while she is napping, and it has helped a lot. I also hired a nanny to come once a week on Thursdays, so that’s when I get a big chunk of work done. And taking advantage of family member’s offers when they say “do you want me to take Piper for the day?” YES!! Always yes. As moms, we think we can do everything. But we need a break! It’s so good to go out with girlfriends, or go to the grocery store alone. Having “me time” has brought back my sanity. And it makes me excited to come home to see Piper. 

What was pregnancy like for you?

I LOVED being pregnant. I can’t explain why, but it felt so good and natural. I loved having a big belly, and I remember the last week I was pregnant thinking how sad I was that my pregnancy was almost over. I think another reason why I loved it so much was because we didn’t know if we were having a girl or a boy. It was so fun when people would stop and say “oh, you’re having a boy!”. And my response would be “maybe?!” haha! 

What should all mamas keep in mind?

It goes by so fast. I still call Piper my baby, even though she is far from that. Watching her discover the world has been one of the greatest joys of being a mother. The way she collects rocks from the garden and thinks they are the coolest things in the world. Something so simple, yet in her eyes, amazing. Also, they change ALL the time. One day you think you have your routine down pat, then they switch it up on you!
Product Sources:

Wallpaper: Target
Coloring table: Pottery Barn Kids
Rug: Etsy (similar)
Basket: Pottery Barn
Ball pit: Scandiborn 
Light: West Elm, covered in Rifle Paper Co fabric
Bed frame: Anthropologie
Pillows: Danielle Oakey, Rifle Paper Co, Anthropologie
Ottoman: vintage
Dresser: vintage
Mirror: Target
Planter: vintage

kid and baby



A Colorful & Eclectic Playroom Tour



check it out

Children's books have always had a special place in my heart, and sharing them with my girls is one of my favorite parts of motherhood.  Learn more about my Usborne Books & More business! 

learn more 

Book Club

Keep your kids busy & having fun with a membership to Magic Playbook -- the monthly printable subscription for kids! 

say goodbye to boredom!