If you have young children, do they have a designated play area or playroom?
Do you struggle to keep the primary-colored plastic toys from overtaking the room (or even the rest of your house)?
Today I wanted to share a few things I learned over the past couple years as we furnished and decorated our girls’ playroom. This space is completely open to the rest of our house, and the before and after photos got me to thinking about how many changes we made to get the playroom to where it is today. We learned a lot and gave our new solution lots of thought, so here are my top five tips for furnishing and decorating a playroom that flows with the rest of your house.
1. Choose closed storage for small toys
I don’t know how we end up with so many small toys, but they seem to multiply at our house. The playroom really came together when we added two bookshelves with doors to the middle of the long wall in this room. The small toys that used to be visible on our previous shelves are now hidden in this storage unit, and the large toys can stay out without looking too busy. There are various bins and baskets behind these doors to corral the small toys, but since they’re concealed they don’t have to match or be perfectly neat all the time.
The play kitchen is another form of closed storage in our space. It easily holds all our play food, dishes, and kitchen accessories and can hide other toys in a pinch.
2. Use baskets to group like items
Another excellent way to keep toys looking neat is by storing them in baskets. We like to use baskets for everything from blocks to trains to stuffed animals. The white and natural basket on top of our toy cabinets holds our wooden train set from Ikea and adds nice texture to this surface.
Beside the toy cabinet is a huge basket for our stuffed animals. I actually found this one at Goodwill, and it’s super versatile and makes cleaning up so easy. Find a stuffed animal? Toss it in the basket!
In the little nook beside the play kitchen, I like to keep a basket for the girls’ mega blocks. These blocks originally came in a pink plastic wagon, which was fun for a little while but took up a lot of room and was pretty gaudy. The basket tucks nicely into this little corner and is unoffensive as far as mega block storage goes.
3. Divide the room into designated play stations
Once the toys are concealed or easily stored, divide those storage pieces into designated play stations. This helps kids know where to find different types of toys, and it gives your eye a place to rest as you look around the room (so you don’t just see one big mass/mess of toys!).
In our playroom, we have a kitchen area, a craft/snack table, a storage unit for smaller toys, dress up hooks to each side of the storage unit, and an open area in the middle. While some might feel the urge to fill up the floor space with an ottoman or other large toys, we use the empty area for bringing out toys to play, doing large projects, and impromptu dance parties. 🙂
4. Choose furniture that will grow with your child or your room
Think outside the box and consider non-kid-specific furniture for your playroom. You should choose furniture you would buy for your home whether or not it would be in a kid space. This tip applies to children’s bedrooms and nurseries as well. I can see our white cabinets easily becoming a dining room buffet or craft supply storage as our kids get older.
When in doubt, don’t buy the primary-colored furniture! While the girls will eventually grow out of this craft table, I made sure to choose a finish that was neutral (natural wood) and wouldn’t distract from the rest of the room. I could see myself buying an adult-sized version of this set for elsewhere in our home in a heartbeat!
So what do you do if you’re trying to follow this advice but you already have primary-colored furniture? The same thing we did with our thrifted play kitchen – paint it!
Would you believe the girls’ play kitchen started out looking almost just like this?! Complete with pink, blue, and yellow doors.
I found this piece at a consignment sale, so I didn’t have much say in the color palette. Instead of turning our playroom into a pastel wonderland, Stephen and I built new doors (a couple were damaged or missing), painted them white and added a sweet little curtain below the sink. Now the kitchen is still colorful without overwhelming the room.
5. Style and decorate the room as you would any other adult space
As I was putting the finishing touches on the room, I pulled out the girls’ favorite (and best-looking) toys to style the various surfaces. I like to decorate the play kitchen as I would my own kitchen – with cute textiles (the oven mitt and curtain) and fresh fruits and veggies.
On the wall above the kitchen, I hung two paintings by Libby in simple white frames. I love that these look professional enough that they could hang anywhere in our home, not just in the playroom.
The girls play with this globe and peg block often, and they’re pretty enough to leave out all the time.
I even borrowed bookends from our own bookshelf for the top of the toy cabinet. You know playroom decor will flow with the rest of your house when you decorate with items you love from other rooms.
So those are my tips for creating a playroom that flows with the rest of your house: choose closed storage, use baskets, create play stations, select neutral furniture, and decorate it like the rest of your house!
What do you think? Will you implement any of these tips to improve your space?
I’m adding our source list for this room below. Thanks for reading!
Wall color – Silver Drop by Behr
Roller shades – Home Depot
Cabinets and doors – Ikea/ Ikea
Cabinet top – Lowes
Pig bookends – CB2 (similar, similar)
Natural and white basket – Hobby Lobby (similar, similar)
Wall hanging – DIY here
Frames for DIY art – Ikea Ribba
Play kitchen – consignment (similar, similar, similar)
Play table – consignment (similar)
Dress up hooks – Ikea
Cloud pillow – Ikea
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