Read on to find out how to design an adaptable playroom space so it can grow with your family. We are in our house nearly 4 years and this is the room that has changed the most in that time.
We moved into our house with a 3 year old, a 2 year old and a 9 week old baby. In the beginning play was very much on the ground; soft toys, play mats, basically stuff they couldn’t choke on or bang their heads on!
Fast forward 4 years and they’re all playing with Lego and want to paint and craft jewellery. Play has moved upwards, off the floor and onto a table and chairs.
When we started looking at houses one of our main criteria was to have a room to dedicate to the children’s toys. In our previous rented house there was no playroom so all the toys spread between the kitchen and the sitting room. When we found our current home this wood-clad room at the back of the house seemed perfect (albeit in need of some modernisation!).
Making a playroom out of a conservatory
This room was beside the kitchen but there was a dividing wall between them. I knew if we could knock an opening from it to the kitchen it would work well and allow the children to play and still stay in contact with me.
Here is the room with the archway knocked out to the kitchen and the room cleared out. It’s not a big room but had space for their toys. It also had good light coming in from the garden through the sliding door. You can have a read about how I brightened up the archway by painting on geometric shapes.
Consider the ages of the children
When we designed the first iteration of the playroom our children were all small so we needed it to work for them. Different ages are going to have different needs but you will want the playroom to be able to adapt to their needs as they grow.
Small children from babies to toddlers are going to be mostly on the ground. They need to be able to crawl, roll around safely and have access to age appropriate toys. There was plenty of room in here on the floor for them to play safely.
Storage is always going to be very important in a playroom. You can either go for built-in or free-standing. I think regardless of what you chose it should be designed in such a way that it is adaptable and can be changed in the future.
We went for free-standing shelving units from IKEA but you could also go for built-in shelving for a more customised and fitted look.
When you are looking at what furniture you are going to build in you might need both storage and display units. It depends on how many toys you want to hide or display. Maybe go for neutral colours on the built-in furniture as their toys and artwork can add colour to the room. Bear in mind that the room may be used for something else in the future.
Free standing furniture
Free standing furniture might be more adaptable in a playroom as you can move it later within the room or to another room. You may also be able to change the orientation of it as we did.
Books are a great way to add colour and interest to a playroom. If they are on display there is more of a chance children will be more inclined to pick them up and read them. We used IKEA MOSSLANDA picture ledges to display the books.
Toys at their level
Storage boxes are useful to store and hide all of the toys. There are lots to choose from. We have mostly fabric boxes from IKEA and Argos but also four rattan boxes from Homebase. You want to make sure they are easy enough for a child to pull out, strong enough to hold a lot of toys and of course that they won’t fall apart after the first week!
If you are going to display toys at child height make sure they are ones that are not going to break if pulled onto the ground and also that aren’t too heavy if a child pulls them down on themselves. Anything delicate you might want to store higher up.
There are a couple of ways you can display your children’s artwork in the playroom. I used a piece of string and mini pegs for a long time and changed their artwork as needed. Now we have three round pin boards (one each) from Sostrene Grene for them. As they’re older they are not producing as much art so it doesn’t change as regularly.
Updating the playroom
After a few years of the same set up I felt it was time to change around the playroom and make it more suitable to their ages (7, 5 and 3). I started researching on Pinterest and found some inspiration. The plan was to have somewhere they could craft and colour and do their homework. I pulled some images together to create this moodboard.
Arts and Crafts Playroom
Once I had the moodboard in place I set about picking up the bits and pieces to complete it. I bought the table and long shelf in IKEA and the round shelf and accessories in Wearebrandmax.
The makeover was a success and the children tend to do their homework here and colour and draw with friends. Because it’s a standalone table we’ve also pulled it out from the wall and used it as a second dining table when we’ve had guests over.
I’m sure this room will change again in the future but for now it works for us. Hopefully you have gotten some inspiration from this.
Wall paint: Brilliant White from Dulux
Table top: IKEA Hilver in Bamboo
Table legs: IKEA Hilver in Bamboo
Storage Unit: IKEA Kallax
Storage Boxes: IKEA and Argos
Round shelf: Wearebrandmax
Straight shelf: IKEA
Curtains: Home store and more