One Cincinnati Mom Created an Energetic Playroom with Minimalist Designs

This playroom provides a space where a child’s imagination can flourish, and with a touch of whimsy, too.

Photograph courtesy Devyn Glista

You don’t have to be a kid to be immediately drawn to the giant dry-erase wall in Bethany Mullen’s children’s playroom. Printed with a hand-drawn sketch of the Cincinnati riverfront and Great American Ball Park—courtesy of “You Are Here” illustrator Phil Rowland—the whiteboard encapsulates the room’s theme perfectly: uniquely whimsical and appealingly simple.

“I wanted the playroom to be fun, but not like, ‘Oh, this is so overwhelming,’” says Mullen, who does interior design through her business Bessaroo Designs. “Kids don’t need a lot of stuff. I wanted it to be a place where they can use their imaginations, but also give them the tools to run with it.”

The bright, Scandinavian-inspired playroom, which also includes a mini chalkboard wall, ball pit, wooden tool bench and kitchenette, and “lots of books,” is beloved by Mullen’s daughter Ruby, 2, and son Ace, 1. “They want to play in there all the time and that makes me so happy,” Mullen says. “And my husband is a big Reds fan, so it makes him happy, too.”

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