4 Designer Dads Whip Up Fantasy Family Rooms For Hanging with the Kids

June 2, 2020
In honor of Father’s Day, we enlisted a few of our favorite designer dads to create fantasy family cocoons using their favorite Schumacher patterns, and asked them what they love most about fatherhood.

David Kaihoi of Redd Kaihoi

David Kaihoi on vacation with his wife and two children.
“My favorite part of being a dad is getting that random hug in the middle of the day.
“For my fantasy family room, I’m imagining a light-soaked solarium that opens onto a sprawling lawn. We’ve invited friends over and set up the lawn games. The kids are smacking around croquet balls and the parents have kicked up their feet on a long, deep sofa and a few random pairs of low wicker club chairs, all upholstered in the same cotton Anshun print with olive-hued Bell Fringe trim. A round dining table has a navy skirt in Piet Performance Linen with a big white hemstitch and is spilling over with plates of grilled veggies and cut fruit, pitchers of lemonade and buckets of ice. The old white-painted French dining chairs are upholstered in burnt orange Promessa faux leather (good for the spills!).
“The rosy-faced kids run in and out and plop on the sofa for a hug and ask what they can eat. We shoo them over to the big table. Everyone snacks all day and refills their drinks, and we rotate around the furniture until dusk sets in and everyone heads home. The furniture is all askew and the mallets are littered around the lawn. We clear the big table and leave the rest for the morning.”


Andrew Howard of Andrew Howard Interior Design

Andrew Howard enjoying a celebratory moment with his two sons.
“The best part of being a dad is Saturday morning. Every week since the kids were born, we’ve gone to a local bakery to eat donuts on Saturday. I’ve had to cut back on the donuts in recent years, but it’s always a fun time to catch up with the kids and hear stories about what I might have missed during the week while we eat sweets. It is a wonderful tradition!
“This family-room dream scheme is my take on red, white and blue—always a great combination. I’d use this big floral Emperor’s Vine fabric for the curtains, while the Luberon Plaid check would make for a great club-chair fabric, and then I’d cover the stools or smaller chairs and pillows in this lovely Albizia Embroidery.”


Philip Gorrivan of Philip Gorrivan Design

Philip Gorrivan with his daughter Isabelle and son Charlie.
“My ideal Father’s Day is spending the day with my kids on the beautiful New England coast, whether in Maine or on the north shore of Massachusetts. I used to take my children—Isabelle, 20, and Charlie, 18—on design excursions regularly. Although they challenge me (frequently!), they are also my best friends in life, and we still share a lot of the same passions and interests, including an eye for design!
“As inspiration for my dream family-room scheme, I picked a house that I’ve always loved that has a spectacular coastal view—Beauport, which was designed in 1910 by Henry Sleeper. I often visited this house as a kid, and still do as an adult, as it’s full of timeless decorating ideas. I’ve been in its famed octagon room many times and gazed through the window out to Gloucester Harbor. I love the contrast of the sparkling blue harbor against the room’s dark cool textures. It’s a special space, steeped in history. For my version of it, I selected Nanjing in the black-and-white colorway for the walls, and then the fabric of Nanjing in a coral hue for the curtains, with Chang Mai Dragon fabric for pillows, all against a backdrop of coral and black high-gloss paint.
“During these crazy times, I’ve found my design sensibilities gravitating toward more traditional elements, including chinoiserie and 18th-century European furniture and decorative arts. I suppose it’s the familiarity and comfort that the past can offer.”


Will Meyer of Meyer Davis Studio

Will Meyer and his two children mid-drawing project.
“The best part of being a dad is seeing our kids become interesting, curious people with their own thoughts and opinions.
“I travel a lot for Meyer Davis, but I really love travelling with my family the most. We’ve been to some incredible places together, but obviously this summer will be different. We recently drove from our family base in Nashville up to our summer home in East Hampton, so I thought I’d design a fun reading corner for this beach house. We often gather around our dining table to spend time together, but I like the idea of having an additional space where we gather with the kids.
“I love yellow, and sisal wallcovering is a great basic texture, so I chose this Haruki Sisal for the reading nook’s walls. Most of my home is painted white, but I use natural wallcoverings in smaller areas to make them feel warm and inviting. The Stevie floral print reminds me of Warhol—it’s a nice pop of blue, and would look great on some summer pillows. Another print that would live well in our home is Joshua Tree—I love that it’s block-printed and therefore a bit imperfect.”