Where All the Play Happens

We have lived in our home for nearly four and a half years and in that time our bonus room has been re-done to fit our needs about as many times. It has been yellow, it has been turquoise, and back in March of 2009 y’all helped me land on painting it “happy camper” green for a while and we loved it!

After green we went to the “salt glaze” that it is now, and in January 2011 Ryan got a hair to build a wall across the middle of the awkwardly-giant room to create a fourth bedroom (currently occupied by our college boarder/nanny, Audrey) and to make transfer our bonus room from a family room into a proper play space.

We knew we wanted lots of floor space. I wanted all of our beautiful, fun toys to be on display and within reach so that our kids and their friends wouldn’t have to climb or dig for what they wanted. I needed order – I wanted everything to have a place and to make sense spatially. Ohhh, I have fun with this kind of thing!

Well, Ryan finally gave me the go-ahead back in February to get it just how I wanted it. And it took me weeks and weeks to research and pick the storage that would suit the room best. And the ironic thing about it all? Everything arrived and was overflowing our entryway the night we flew home from Boston with a job offer and a move date.

I seriously considered sending everything back without opening it up, but I couldn’t stand the thought of not seeing it all finished after all my hard work. And, we all know that in the end, we didn’t move to Boston and instead decided to stay put where we are. So it worked out!

Anyway… here we are! All finished (minus a bit of wall art that is yet to arrive) and LOVING this happy play space for the kids. I am including a resource list at the bottom for anything you might ask about.

And without further ado,

a tour of the play room:


the view from Audrey’s room. the “o” and “h” are craft letters from Jo-Ann’s, wrapped in grey yarn and dressed up for a boy and a girl. I have a post ready to roll with the tutorial for these – stay tuned! also, see that tiny door on the far left of the photo? that’s “the clubhouse” – a kitchen/play house that we finished a few years ago for the kids for Christmas.


door (and wall) on the left compliments of yours truly! door on the right leads to the upstairs hall. notice the pretty wall cards we have hanging now where we sometimes hang photos or artwork – they were a birthday gift from Claire to Hazel. oh, and the flea market ball bin serves well to contain all of Oliver’s light sabers and sports equipment.


this is a good view of the built-ins, which are newly covered. They used to be open and house a television and I hated not being able to close away the mess. We had an amazing craftsman install custom window shutters for the space and now they neatly house all our stuff AND we don’t have to look at it!


just a touch of chevron, of course. and some happy toys and books – each of which tells a story for me.



the wide blue tub in the bottom right photo is where all of the magic happens for Oliver. It’s super wide and shallow and it houses all of his Legos. Super easy to swish things around in there to find the piece he needs, and I made the shelf height just right so it doesn’t waste space. Also, we have four of these rugby striped baskets (2 on each of the outside sections of the built-ins). They hold babies and dolls on one side for Hazel, dress up clothes and weapons on the other side for Oliver.


this is a good view of the built-ins from “the clubhouse”. also, of Oliver jumping for joy! the bottom left photo is the left section of the built-ins and it houses all of our games, Hazel’s babies and stuffed animals, and the middle section is carefully organized with colored storage boxes – all the toys that needed to be stored separately go here, like Oliver’s army men, Hazels magnetic doll set, her duplo blocks, etc. All the puzzles are in big Ziploc bags in big bins in the back, too.


a birdseye view of the lego bin. and a happy view of a cute kid drawing a picture of a flamingo to send to his Granddad.


one thing we knew we definitely wanted was a giant laminated map of the world in the playroom. we love to talk about who we love and where they live – we can point to ‘Mama M’ in China, Uncle Chris in Australia, where Mosey and Gusty were born in Ethiopia, etc. It’s already been such a fun addition to the room!

We hope you enjoyed our tour! Below is a list of where you can find many of the things you see above. If you don’t see something listed let me know and I’ll see if I have an answer.

The Land of Nod:

cute locker baskets (in the squares on the shelves)

shallow blue tub (for legos)

Top Box Storage Collection

Khaki Dot Curtain Panels

Merrily we stroll along (wooden stroller with red/white gingham)

doll in the stroller with the red clothes (discontinued)

Container Store:

Rugby stripe storage bins - the ones on the bottom shelves


Rand McNally World Map


grey/white chevron


Dotty Monkey


Eames rocker (knock-off) 

Valco baby pram

Jenny Lind white table & yellow chairs: yard sale, painted white and pencil

Wall grid – trellis boards painted lagoon

Wall Cards – Dwell Studio

Legos – everywhere

Hazel & Oliver: not for sale.


Post by Raechel : www.raechelmyers.com

  • http://www.igraonicaparty.rs/ igraonica

    i adore this “o” and “h” are craft letters in the play room :)) so nice..

  • Katie @ Nod

    Hi Igraonica, here’s how the letters were made.



  • Jill

    Any pictures of the finished clubhouse behind the little door? I would love to see how it turned out! We have a very similar space in our home! Thanks!