Our Playroom Reveal!

We have been spending a lot of time in our playroom since finishing it up.  A lot.  It is where we play, build, read, watch movies, play games, have a Wii Just Dance competition and even do a little coloring.

And yes, I am going to say, although there will always be minor tweaks and updates, that we are pretty much finished with one of our favorite rooms in the house.  I also figured it was about time I got my rear in gear and shared the after pics and update the home tour with some of the recent updates... And also share some more of the reasons why we designed the playroom the way we did and why we are so happy with it!

I actually dug deep in my archives to find this really old photo of how the room once was when the lower level was first finished.

The changes to the room did not happen over night.  It has been a bit of a journey, but I think that is why we love it so much.

As you can see, the original purpose of this nook in our home was an office/game room.  But after the lower level flood, we pulled all the carpet and re-evaluated how we wanted to use the space going forward.  The playroom was moved to this space due to it's size and to allow the kids to make large cities and train track builds.

Since we lost some furniture in the flood, the room started out as a mixture of random extra furniture pieces and thrift store/Craigslist finds.

The playroom was one of the first rooms I wanted to focus on in the lower level.  So, we began to think of what we would need to store, asked the kids to come up with some suggestions, and brainstormed ways to make the room functional, not just for the kids, but for the whole family.  It was also important to me to come up with a design that works and blends with our home.

So, we started out by painting what we already had; the walls and the entertainment center.

We also added a fun stencil to the focal wall, to give the room a little whimsy. 

When it came time to add in seating, the two chairs weren't cutting it, so they now live in other living areas and we brought in something that would not only fit our three kid's, but the bottoms of all of their play date friends!  Sure, we could have gone with a couch or love seat, but the amount of floor space that would have taken away was just too much.  Plus, we don't mind them using the space for a little movie time or Wii playing, but we don't want to over encourage lounging, the room is meant for play after all!  Going with two Expedit bookcases turned on their sides, we were not only able to add a bunch of storage, we also added oodles of slim seating {and yes, it is sturdy enough for the hubs and I as well}.  You can read more about how we assembled the bookcases, cushions and corner support here and here.

So yes, the benches work great for a little lounging and a lot of storage, but the kids really seem to be gravitated to the floor.  So, a couple of floor cushions tossed in, has been a huge hit with the boys.  They rock on them, pull them up to their play table, and use them in their reading nook.  {and between the benches and floor poofs, I still came in far less than the cost of a new sofa, so I was as happy as they are!}

As I mentioned, the room has all sorts of purposes, and since we encourage reading in every room in our home, a craft crate cut in half was a great way to add some book storage in the playroom.

But back to that play table.  It is one of my favorite pieces in the space.  It started out as an old coffee table rescued from a thrift store, given second life with spray paint on the legs and chalk paint on the top.  I love that the kids can use it to play games, whip up a quick colorful masterpiece, build Lego houses and tracks and combine those creations with some chalk drawings!

And call me crazy, but I do let the kids do a little crafting in the playroom.  Their craft caddy sits on a shelf and is filled with color pencils, markers and crayons.  It lives next to a bin of color books and drawing pads to encourage creative time {all their super messy crafts are concealed upstairs}.

But lets get to the main function of the playroom shall we?  The toys! 

After the flood, we really evaluated our toy inventory and had a garage sale and then donated another chunk.  The kids took part in this, and we talked about why too many toys is not necessarily a good thing.  We thought about what toys they played with most, and decided it would be a good idea to focus on expanding the sets they love most {Lincoln Logs, Lego, and wooden train tracks}, and limit the number of random toys taking over their play spaces.  The kids have a large and generous extended family, and had acquired more toys than they knew what to do with.  We have since let family know that the kids either would like to expand on their few favorites, or to gift to their savings account.  This has been extremely helpful in keeping toy clutter limited.

When it came to the Lego situation, between my husband and I {yes, I grew up loving Legos too}, the kids already had a large collection.  A few more gifts later and we had a situation on our hands.  I decided on the Trofast system to organize them, and the kids thought that organizing by color would be simplest for them to maintain, and also be easier for them to find specific pieces.  So that is what we did {and it is still working great for us}.

Once the Lego situation was under control, we found the perfect durable playroom baskets {a part of me still wishes they were a woven material, but they have been extra "loved" by the boys and still look great so I stand by the initial choice}, added some easy to understand picture labels and gained great divided storage for the remainder of their toy sets.

While designing the playroom, I wanted to keep majority of the toys concealed, since the space is open to our family room and master bedroom.  So, when it came to their larger items, the lower half of the entertainment center worked perfectly for keeping things tucked away!

The cabinets hold larger toys that didn't fit in baskets, and the DIY canvas bins hold our puzzle collections.

When we last left ya, the playroom was looking a little off to me.  I could quite place it, so I gazed at pictures and sat in the room itself, and realized it just needed another color.  So many blues and greens, I needed to bring in a little contrast.  Red it was.  A little red chair, some red accessories, a red pillow, and some colorful art, made the room feel a little more complete.

{Art Sources: You Make Me Happy, Birds of a Feather, 3D tree - made my Peyton}

I call this space, a nice and happy ending!

 And yes, it gets messy.  It gets used.  It gets played in and loved....

And that is why it is our favorite place in the house!

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