The third floor hangout room | a cozy, casual design plan

Since the studio desk situation was hurting my creative brain, I moved on to coming up with a design plan for the hangout space up on the third floor.

This house is just one big project and even though it would be great to go one room at a time, I can’t help myself :)

So while I continue to figure out the studio, we are simultaneously working on finishing up the third floor.

Let me remind you of what the space looked like when we bought the house:

This third floor was a major bonus and we knew right away it would be useful for our big family. To best use the space, we walled in that back half to create a bedroom for our oldest son (see his design plan here) and the rest of the space will be used for a hangout area.

Now that the paint and trim is finished and two new industrial lights installed, the shell is starting to come together.

Carpet is next; we’re ordering this week and should have it installed shortly. We are going a little lighter on the carpet and it will have a nice texture and more cozy feel than the industrial type that is up there now.

Audrey mainly plays in her room where all of her doll stuff is kept and the two younger boys have all of their legos and nerf guns in their shared room. Other than that, we don’t do a lot of toys anymore which means a playroom isn’t necessary. This third floor area will primarily serve as a hangout space for the boys and their friends.

Last week we found a sectional at Costco and bought it on a whim. We wanted to have a spot for the kids to lounge and this durable fabric, secure cushions and affordable price tag was a good fit. We will be bringing up a tv for the kids to play xbox and watch movies on, and we have a square coffee table that doubles as a great surface for board games. It will be really nice for them to have a separate place to be loud and have fun and not hear their mother reminding them again to please take their feet off the nice couch.

With the new kid-approved sectional in place, I spent some time pulling together a design plan to finish out the rest of the hangout room.

The first thing we ordered for the room were the two industrial lights. They are substantial, cool looking and set the tone for the slightly industrial/loftish boy space.

Next were the National Park posters. We had such an amazing time exploring a bunch of National Parks this summer on our road trip and so it felt right to bring a bit of nature and good memories into the room. I chose Yosemite and the Redwoods because they were two of our favorites, they reflect the evergreen trees we are surrounded by and the color of the artwork is so pretty.

From there, I pulled together some items that we already have and ordered a few accessories to fill in the gaps. The kids are notorious for pillow fighting with my good pillows, so I didn’t want to go overboard on pillows.

A living plant always feels like it finishes a space and after reading through the comments on this post, I am taking your advice and getting a zz plant for this space. It is supposedly very low-maintenance, prefers little water and can tolerate minimal natural light which will be great for this room.

We have a few more construction things to do (carpet, painting the railing and door, touching up the ceiling paint) and then I can start putting the decorative touches in!


National Park Art | Industrial Light | Paint: Revere Pewter |  Trim: Shoji White | Green Pillow | Pom Pom Pillow | Textured Pillow | Pom Pom Throw (coming soon to the shop) | Brass Tray | Bean Bags | 4 Cube Shelf | Gray Basket | Float Frame | Table Lamp | Rug

35 Responses to The third floor hangout room | a cozy, casual design plan

  1. Miranda March 4, 2017 at 2:38 pm #

    Could you tell me what size throw pillows you recommend for a sofa? We have a sofa and two chairs from Ikea in our playroom, and I’m trying to decide on 20” or 22″ pillows…Most online sources offer 20″ square. However, a designer once told me to do 22″ square pillows, because they make more of a statement. This size is available on Etsy. I have seen your pillow collection in a previous blog post ;) so I thought you would have some thoughts! What do you recommend?

    • emily March 4, 2017 at 6:16 pm #

      I like a big 22″ in the corner and a smaller square layered with it. Than maybe a lumbar in the center. You can match them on both sides, or do a mix.

  2. Lulu March 3, 2017 at 8:30 pm #

    I love the Virserum frames. I have Pottery Barn picture ledges and love to arrange different size IKEA frames and change out the images/photos/quotes often. I also love the dog tail hooks in black to hang leashes and jackets by the back door for rainy day potty runs for my golden.

  3. Melissa Diaz February 8, 2017 at 1:02 pm #

    I love this set up! Would you be able to share where the coffee table is from? Thanks!

    • emily February 8, 2017 at 3:25 pm #

      I just grabbed a photo of a square coffee table off the internet so I’m not sure of the source of this one. We have a thriftstore table that I was just trying to represent in the image :)

  4. J Norrell February 6, 2017 at 8:43 am #

    Question on the Target product for the TV stand….It says that it is a vertical shelf unit w/adjustable shelves. How do you plan on attaching the shelves to keep them in place since the unit will be horizontal? I am currently working on my teenagers TV room and have been stalled by deciding on a TV stand!

    • emily February 6, 2017 at 1:19 pm #

      The shelves are secured in with pegs so it can be used either vertically or horizontally.

      • J Norrell February 7, 2017 at 7:39 am #

        Thank you for the information! I will order now!

  5. Barb February 5, 2017 at 5:38 pm #

    I really enjoy reading your blog and seeing all that you are doing.
    I looked up the ZZ plant and found out all parts of it are toxic….they recommend keeping it away from pets and children; and washing your hands after your touch it…….just thought you might want a heads up. http://www.bhg.com/gardening/houseplants/projects/poisonous-houseplants/

  6. Chrissy February 4, 2017 at 4:04 pm #

    I love all the things you are doing in your new home, Emily! This room will be such a great hang-out space. Working on having a space like this for my kiddos especially so our home is where the kiddos want to hang out with their friends ;-)

  7. Abby February 3, 2017 at 11:53 am #

    Love the board that you have put together! Looks clean and inviting! Am inspired to do something similar in my house. Curious, what size rug will you use?

    • emily February 3, 2017 at 1:03 pm #

      I debated about a big rug under the sectional, but I tried an 8×10 and it doesn’t quite fit right. So we won’t have a rug in the seating area, but I was thinking about a small rug in front of the dresser just for added texture. So it will just be a 3×5.

  8. Jennifer February 1, 2017 at 9:47 pm #

    Love your ability to plan it out and make it happen! We have many projects to do in our little house, but get paralyzed by all the decisions. I wonder if you could explain (in general) how you put together your design plans (the searching, selecting, documenting, etc. process)? Do you copy the images from the source and plug them into Adobe Illustrator and then move them around to your liking? Or do you use something like Evernote to collect images, designs, etc. that you like and then pull it all together? Or maybe it’s just your process and it’s too hard to explain? I am thinking if I understood the process better I could move past the paralysis stage!

    • emily February 1, 2017 at 10:31 pm #

      Great question.

      I create my design boards in Adobe Illustrator. All of the items are sourced online, so I’m able to grab images. I remove the backgrounds in photoshop and save as .png files with transparent backgrounds so I can move them around and layer without backgrounds. I usually have a general idea of what I’m hoping to do in each room and then I search for products that fit the look/budget of the space. I love creating design boards because it allows me to try out different options without spending a dime. For instance, in this room, I was thinking I would go more colorful and playful with the accessories. But once I started layering on the pillows, it just felt too childish and incongruent with the rest of the house.

      The whole process takes me a few hours. I did this design board while laying in bed sick this week. It is like a favorite hobby of mine :)

  9. Christina February 1, 2017 at 6:49 pm #

    I just finished creating a hang out space for my 14 year old and his friends. It looks very similar to your room – grey sectional, bean bag chairs, white and black pillows. I decided against a traditional coffee table and instead used several small round tables. They can be easily moved around, used as stools, or to hold drinks and snacks. I like your addition of green (pillow, art and plant). I have photos of green grass so this is a great reminder of adding a little green to my pallet as well.

  10. Railey February 1, 2017 at 6:25 pm #

    The sectional looks similar to the Rylie model that Costco carries online. I’ve been eyeing this one for a while for oureventual basement kids space remodel. You made it look so fabulous!

  11. Betsy Fosburgh February 1, 2017 at 2:06 pm #

    Hi, Here’s a note from the East Coast: My coffee table, rectangular, has a top that lifts on a can’t-think-of-the-right-word hinge, and then can be pulled toward one side. Perfect for wrapping gifts, all kinds of things. Can’t get into it right now (the cribbage and card stuff is in the small storage area) because of two large and lovely poinsettias who have taken up residence on it!

  12. Renee February 1, 2017 at 2:04 pm #

    Where did you find the white dresser and large coffee table? Thanks!

  13. Jennifer February 1, 2017 at 2:02 pm #

    What is the source for the white dresser? Would love to add something similar to my entryway.


    • emily February 1, 2017 at 7:04 pm #

      The dresser is from Pottery Barn kids. I just pulled it into the design board to represent the one we already have, which is very similar in style .

  14. Linsay February 1, 2017 at 1:43 pm #

    Great plan. I’m so jealous!
    Can I ask where the square coffee table is from. I’m looking for something sturdy (that my kids can sit even potentially stand – dance shows) and with no seams (to draw on). Yours looks like it might be a good option?!?!?

  15. Andrea February 1, 2017 at 1:36 pm #

    We have older kids, too, and morphed our kids’ playroom into a hangout room a couple years ago. We have the same couch and it’s indestructible!! Perfect choice for the sticky fingers that pizza and movie nights bring:).

  16. Chris February 1, 2017 at 1:34 pm #

    Nice space! Is the Costco sectional comfortable?
    IKEA usually has very nice zz plants, but I also got 2 nice ones at Lowes in Silverdale a few weeks ago.

    • Chris February 1, 2017 at 1:39 pm #

      Ps: Which Costco did you see it in?

      • emily February 1, 2017 at 7:04 pm #

        We bought it at the Gig Harbor costco last week.

  17. Lauren February 1, 2017 at 1:33 pm #

    Love this! We’re always looking for ways to make our home more kid-friendly. Can you tell me where the square coffee table is from?

    • emily February 1, 2017 at 7:05 pm #

      I just pulled a square table off of an image … we have a different, but similar one that is a thrift store find.

  18. Jeani February 1, 2017 at 1:18 pm #

    I would mount the television on the wall for safety.

  19. Kristen February 1, 2017 at 11:26 am #

    Love it! So bright yet that couch adds enough cozy to keep the kids happy! Did you hire out the trim work or is it easy enough to DIY?

    • emily February 1, 2017 at 12:32 pm #

      We hired out the framing, sheetrock and trim. It is fairly easy to do, but also pretty inexpensive to hire out and is finished much better than we could do :)

  20. Julie Marquez February 1, 2017 at 8:55 am #

    Yay for a space that is coming together beautifully! I just sat on that couch at Costco, totally the perfect piece of furniture for your room. I love that you have a place for your family up there and I love the park posters too!

  21. Lori February 1, 2017 at 7:48 am #

    Awesome plan! Will you share which sectional at Costco? Sounds like what I am looking for in our media room

    • emily February 1, 2017 at 12:33 pm #

      I tried to find it online and couldn’t. I think each store carries different items, but give your local store a try and maybe it will be there!

      • lori February 1, 2017 at 1:19 pm #


  22. kelsey February 1, 2017 at 7:46 am #

    Good call on the zz plant. I work at a university and we were closed over winter break. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I returned two weeks later with no water or light, but it had 3 new stalks and is thriving!

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