Fun and Games

Before (L to R) Darlene White and Laura Howard of Decorative Designs Michele Ivanek

By Karin Fabry * Photos by Caroline Johnson

Leslie and Clark Smith are huge Ohio State Buckeye fans. While brainstorming ideas on how to re-decorate the family game room, one scheme that kept surfacing was to honor their OSU backgrounds. Interior designer Michele Ivanek envisioned a room splashed with red and black. And she delivered.

In honor of the couple’s Ohio heritage, Michele enlisted the help of Laura Howard and Darlene White of Decorative Designs to create a one-of-a-kind wall mural that has become the centerpiece of the space.

“We thoroughly enjoyed doing this mural,” Laura says. “It’s something we haven’t had an opportunity to do before.”

The mural, which spans the length of the game room’s back wall, features a window view of Ohio Stadium on OSU’s campus. Also featured is a bookshelf that displays a variety of OSU memorabilia including jerseys and helmets.

“We were able to paint portions of the mural the proper colors giving the piece the look of the school,” Laura says. “However, because of licensing laws, we aren’t able to paint school trademarks and logos, so the homeowners went ahead and added the OSU decals to the mural to give it authenticity.”

As a designer, one of Michele’s biggest dilemmas was to give the game room a cozy, elegant ambiance. She also had the task of tying the game room into the nearby media room.

“Since the media room was painted in the camel color, we decided to continue with that color into this space to ensure continuity from one room to the next,” Michele says. “And Robert Dalton did a wonderful job with the painting.”

Woodworker Don Wood installed beautiful bead board painted in black matte finish along the perimeter of the room.

A 35-inch pub-style game table is featured prominently in one corner of the room. The distressed, wood grained tabletop features an elegant checkerboard pattern on one side and a poker table on the reverse side.

To dress the two large windows in the room, Blinds and More fabricated the window designs and added black mesh screens to prevent glare.

“The window treatments were done in the same color as the wall and features red piping to go with the Ohio State theme,” Michele says. “The room is very clean and tailored. The heartthrob red piping on the window treatments really ties the room to the theme.”

“The room is very usable, welcoming, and ready to be utilized,” Leslie says. “It’s great for the kids and for my husband and me. It’s definitely what we were looking for.”

Michele’s Game Room Design Tips:

The communication between spouses or parties involved to ensure everyone is going in the same direction. A plan is very important.

Take a design motif and repeat it in a subtle way so it doesn’t scream at you. Subtle repitions will help to pull the room together along with the color scheme.

A touch of surprise such as an accent of red color will really spark your excitement without overuse. Be careful to keep your accent colors subtle and elegant.

Straight from the Designer:
“Balance and proportion of strong, dominating colors are important. In this room, we kept the black below eye level, but it helped to anchor the room. We then balanced it out with black accents throughout the space.” – Michele Ivanek

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