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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


  1. Oh your playroom looks fab and thank you for sharing some great tips. I wish we had enough room to create one but will be taking some of the tips on board for our ‘play corner’ #sharethejoy
    Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) recently posted…From the mouths of babes #22

  2. Oooh I loved having a nosy at your house, just gorgeous and some really fabulous tips on creating the perfect playroom – I need to use your idea for Zoning a bit better in Reuben’s room! Thanks for linking up to #TheList xx
    hannah Mums’ Days recently posted…Introducing Mums’ Days Fit Club and Protest!

    • Thanks Hannah! I’ve found zoning works really well for us – particularly as it’s something that the Little Man is used to at nursery x

  3. Looks amazing – what lovely room! We don’t have a play room though we do have a play corner of the dining room. There is definitely room for improvement there!

  4. Loved this post. Some great tips to decorate a play room. I especially love those bean bags.
    gemma the family girl recently posted…

  5. If you could just pop round and sort my playroom out, I would be very grateful! Absolutely gorgeous! :) x
    Clare recently posted…

  6. Love, love LOVE all this!! I’m SO with you about storage. Now that we have the twins, it’s become even more important!! It’s lovely that you’ve got a dedicated room for your kiddo’s clobber — our snug has been taken over by toys, so it’s now become a playroom (of sorts)!

    Thankfully we have a smart. grow up sitting room in the conservatory so I can get away from the sea of bright plastic if needs be 😉

    Thanks so much for linking up with #HomeEtc x

    Caro |
    Caro | The Twinkles Mama recently posted…114 weeks and 2 days | Getting to know me | A vlog

  7. What great tips for a playfull space! and practical as wel.. I am feeling pretty envious of your little ones, I want a dedicated space to play too :)x
    Ann B. Winters recently posted…

  8. Oh I’m so jealous, your playroom is gorgeous! We don’t have one, so the toys are scattered all round the house! x #TheList

  9. Wonderful ideas here darling! Love the colour and I’m with you on the zoning thing. Funnily enough I do something very similar to you when it comes to Elsie’s artwork. I love pinning it up with some pegs, I’ve also framed some of my favourite ‘pieces’ of hers and displayed them as I would normal ‘art’ and I can’t tell you how many compliments they have had!

    Lovely inspiring post xxx
    Katie /Pouting In Heels recently posted…How to know when you should ‘publish’ a post

    • I LOVE what you’ve done with Elsie’s artword – the framed pictures look amazing! Zoning is brilliant and I’ve followed basically what they do at most nurseries – it works for them so why not us right? 😉

  10. Love the bright vibrant colours x
    susankmann recently posted…

    • Thanks Susan they really do make it a fun place to be :)

  11. Gorgeous – we have all the same storage lol! Our playroom is painted bright red :) #brilliantblogposts
    Mummy Fever recently posted…Dealing with scars

    • Two great minds eh? It’s fab isn’t it, so easy to move around and adapt. Love the idea of a bright red playroom! x

  12. I love your playroom so much! The bean bags are amazing and I love that they can be taken outside. I might have to buy some of these now that the weather has warmed up as we spend so much of our time outdoors!
    Thank you for linking up to #PRIDElinky !
    Tinuke recently posted…PRIDE – Week 1

    • Hehe thanks Tin, we love the bean bags too – they’re really well made, can definitely recommend them and thanks for hosting! x

  13. Great idea! Love the kids bag pod for outdoors.

    • Thank you! Yes the bean bags are awesome and I can see us using them SO much this Summer in the garden x

  14. Wow this is lovely! I wishI had a spare room to use for a play room. Still waiting on the lottery win to give me some space but these are awesome tips.
    Leslie Rickerby recently posted…Friday Phone Dump #6

    • Awww thank you Leslie! We’re very lucky to have such a large room. Glad you liked the tips too :)

  15. Beautiful room! The infographic is marvellous, really good idea to get the message across.
    Home recently posted…

    • Thank you! And glad you liked the infographic :)

  16. Great tips and love the infographic. Saving this for maybe a year or so down the line when the baby is ready for a playroom.
    Julie recently posted…Spring 15 Moodboard

    • Oh thank you so much Julie! Glad it was useful x

    • Thanks so much Vicki – I love the colours we have in the playroom, they really set the tone for some fun play sessions! x


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