Image: Donna Griffith
Restaurateur and Top Chef Canada judge Shereen Arazm Koules creates a nature-inspired indoor-outdoor retreat for her two daughters in their L.A. home.
Shereen spends a lot of time in the kitchen, so she chose a nearby room to be the play area for her daughters, Sam and Neve, now 7 and 4. Since Sam loves the outdoors, it was fitting that the theme be all about nature. This was Shereen’s primary reason for installing exterior doors in the space – to allow access to the backyard. “Any way you can incorporate the outdoors during playtime is ideal,” she says.
“I’m obsessed with storage. I just can’t deal with chaos,” says Shereen. So she had custom cabinets built, as well as a bookshelf for a large children’s book collection. The cupboards hold oodles of toys and crafting supplies. “We also included drawers on either side of the long desk to keep it symmetrical,” adds Shereen’s trusted designer, Lara McGraw.
The colourful butterfly garlands, which float around an airy pendant light and flutter every time the doors open or the air conditioning is turned on, are Sam’s favourite feature. She loves to flop back on the leather pouffe and admire them from below. The mirror on the opposite wall sits above a tickle trunk full of costumes, perfect for the girls to spend hours playing dress-up.