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How to create the ultimate playroom

How to create the ultimate playroom

­When we came back from China with Curly Girl in tow we turned our tiny downstairs office into a playroom. But before long her toys, games, crafting materials and other bits and bobs filled up most of the space. This only got worse when Little Man arrived on the scene and some days it was all we could do to get in the door, let alone have space to actually play!

One of the reasons we moved to The Barn was the amount of extra space it gives us – both inside and out – and thankfully there is an enormous playroom with space for all their toys and I’m enjoying turning it into a fun place to play.

There’s a lot of things to consider when you’re planning a playroom, as Vicky from points out:

Playrooms, like most of our interior spaces these days, need to be flexible. This means thinking about furnishings that are fun to look at, but ultimately practical. Chalkboard wall stickers that can be written on and personalised, robust wooden toy boxes that offer generous storage, and moveable furniture mounted on wheels, all have a place in the contemporary playroom. It’s also worth giving your colour scheme some serious thought – studies have shown that warm colours like yellows and oranges are associated with activity and happiness, while cooler blues and greens are more calming.

So with these things in mind I’ve put together some ideas that might be helpful if you’re planning your own playroom makeover (don’t worry there’s an infographic at the end of this post that you can save or pin for later!).

#1 COLOUR –  Colour can have such a big impact on mood and I’ve been keen to keep the colour palette bright and cheerful with three main colours – turquoise, lime and pink. If you’re designing a room on a budget it’s a good idea to focus your colour scheme on the biggest item you have so I based my colour choice on the IKEA storage we brought with us to The Barn and tied everything else into that.

Bright colours in the playroom

#2 STORAGE – A vital part of any playroom is somewhere to tidy away the toys and we use these simple and inexpensive Trofast units from Ikea that can be mixed and matched with drawers and shelves. We also have two Ikea Billy bookcases that are quite tall and useful for popping more fragile toys or keepsakes out of harms way.

Ikea Trofast storage

Each of the drawers in the main unit is labelled with words and pictures to make tidying up easier and the pictures mean that even two-and-a-half year old Little Man knows where things go. At the moment the labels are just stuck onto each drawer but this Summer I’m going to upscale this by sticking velcro onto the drawers and making laminated labels that I can move around as our storage needs change.

#3 ZONING – I’m a big fan of zoning, with areas for active play and quiet time. I’ve started creating a reading corner with this bright yellow bucket seat and a shelf unit for books. I want to screen it off somehow and add more shelves over time as both my two are keen readers and we still have boxes full of books that need a home.

Reading corner

We also have a dedicated train table (we’re big Thomas fans), a dressing up corner, a car park for ride-on toys, a comfy DVD area and two play tables.

Two Ikea play tables

Eventually I’d love to get a play kitchen like this Little Tykes one from All Round Fun which I can see being the focus of hours of fun and role playing!

Little Tykes kitchen from

#4 COMFY SEATS – When the kids are ready for some R&R we pop a DVD on and snuggle up on these fab bean bags gifted to us by Bean Bag Bazaar.

Bean bags from Bean Bag Bazaar

Curly Girl loves the lime Kids Highback Pod which has a higher back than the aqua Classic Bean Bag and they’re both comfy enough for me to sink into too. The colours work perfectly with the playroom scheme too.

Bean bags in the playroom

Of course seating like this is very portable which has seen them move around the house everywhere from our glass gallery to the main barn and even outside in the garden.

Bean bags in the barn

Little man playing on classic childrens bean bag

Thankfully they’re waterproof and very rugged with strong canvas material that’s also easy to wipe clean.

Kids bean bag pod in the garden

Bean Bag Bazaar pods in the garden

# 5 DISPLAY – Curly Girl LOVES making things and enjoys nothing better than seeing her works of art on display. Rather than using Blu-Tack on the walls as I did at our old house (I’ve found that over time the oil in the tack leaves a stain) I’ve made her a simple hanging gallery with some coloured string and pegs attached to the beams. It’s a great way to showcase her paintings and drawings and the simple, fun mark-making that Little Man is starting to do.

Hanging gallery

#6 ACCESSORIES – It’s the little touches that can add some pizazz or fun to a playroom and I’ve had fun pulling together some pieces over time that now have a home at The Barn. This Melissa and Doug cleaning set replicates on that Little Man uses at nursery and is a great way to get kids to start mopping up their own messes!

Melissa and Doug cleaning set

I’ve also added some sparkle with these inexpensive stars from Sainsburys Home and the fun letters that I painted for Curly Girl’s nursery in Shanghai.

Sparking stars

Letter T

Letter M

It’s been lots of fun planning and creating the playroom but I’ve kept myself to a budget as I know that it’s going to be a room that has to flex and adapt over time as Curly Girl and Little Man grow and their needs change. I’d also like to do more recycling and upcycling over time too after being inspired by the fabulous pictures of the work by  on Facebook.

But for now it’s time to enjoy the space we have… let’s play!

What would be in your ultimate playroom? Have you done a play space makeover? I’d love to hear about it in the comments. 

How to create the ultimate playroom (

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Linking up with Brilliant Blog Posts at Honest Mum, Home Etc at The Twinkle Diaries, Post Comment Love at Verily Victoria Vocalises, The List at You Baby Me Mummy, The Big Fat Linky at The Dad Network


    • Thank you Ashley! I planned it out before we moved but it’s still very much a work in progress – particular when the toys are covering the floor! :)

  1. Wow!! This looks amazing. I’m in the middle of moving and this looks like something I’d love to do. It’s definitely got my mind racing on what I could do with the new space. Thanks for linking up with us on the #bigfatlinky hope to see you there this week
    martyn recently posted…

    • Ooo exciting hope the move goes well and glad this has inspired you!

  2. I love your infographic! I’d have found this really useful when my two were younger. They have their own rooms now and even with labelled boxes they still find it hard to pack things away! 😉
    Morgan Prince recently posted…Home Exchange Membership Giveaway

    • Thanks Morgan! It was fun to make :) I know what you mean, you take lead a horse to water eh? 😉

  3. This is so interesting – I wish we could have a space for Boo to have a playroom, but I will have to make some changes to her bedroom and my living room – thanks for sharing =)
    Jenni – Odd Socks and Lollipops recently posted…The Battle of the Nap

  4. This looks so gorgeous! I wish I had the space to create something like this! I loooove the exposed beams in the ceiling!
    Ami (mymummyspam) recently posted…

  5. Ohh love seeing the glimpses of your new house, ti looks stunning. Well done with the playroom, my kids have similar beanbags and love them. Mich x
    Michelle Twin Mum recently posted…

    • Oh thanks Mich, it’s a work in progress but it’s coming together nicely! Bit of a building site right now but I’ll be posting more about that soon… although not here *looks mysterious* x

  6. Great post and some lovely ideas here! Aren’t the Ikea storage bits great? so handy! I love the labelling of the drawers with words and pictures, I may have to copy that so it makes it easier for Monkey to help tidy things up! xx
    Caroline (Becoming a SAHM) recently posted…Time to get back on track..

    • Copy away! Anything that helps them to start tidying up right?! 😉

  7. Great tips! We’re in the process of planning the kids playroom (at the moment it’s just filled with piles of stuff!) and we will be relying on IKEA heavily :)
    Sara | mumturnedmom recently posted…Childhood: the Dead Zoo Dublin

    • I’m a huge fan of IKEA Sara – after all when the kids are little they tend to bash everything about anyway so hardy, bright and afforable furniture is the way forward! Can’t wait to see what your playroom looks like… :)

  8. Fab post…I’m in the process of trying to think of ideas to re-invent my son’s room so it’s a bedroom/playroom and this has given me some inspiration. I love how all the boxes are labelled and the little fairy lights are a nice touch x #sharethejoy
    Natasha recently posted…Loving this age

    • Thanks Natasha, glad it’s given you some ideas. I think bedrooms and playrooms are really a work in progress a lot of the time as our kids grow and their needs change – I’m sure I’ll be posting about a new look at some point too!

  9. Love these ideas. Particularly zoning. So wish we had room for a playroom!
    Silly Mummy recently posted…The Toddler Alphabet

    • Thank you! I know we’re very, very lucky to have such a large area for the kids. The zoning works very well, I think particularly because the Little Man is used to it from his Montessori nursery x

  10. Lovely post and so helpful. I’m in the process of turning our downstairs living area into Little Lady’s play space and these tips are just what I need! Thank you so much for sharing!
    Maria recently posted…

  11. Looks fab hon and you’ve shared some great tips! I’m a tad envious of all the people with houses big enough for play rooms, and gardens bigger than postage stamps. Sighs. And dreams wistfully of a different life xxxx
    Mummy Tries recently posted…When Life Throws Up A Sh*t Storm, How ACE Are You?


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