Whether you have a whole room or just a corner in your kitchen, putting together a play space for your child should be as easy as ABC. Here are a few tips that’ll help you put a room together quickly, so you can concentrate on more important things like who can build the highest block tower.
Step 1: Start with the table. Since most playrooms are in shared areas of the home, we tend to create our tables in wood stains and painted neutrals, so that they can play nicely with the other furniture in your space. Choose a small square option, like our Anywhere Table, if you have just a corner to dedicate to the space. But, if you have room, I’d suggest an adjustable height table. I have our Mojo Table, which goes from toddler height to chair height in just a couple easy steps. It looks great in my mixed-use family room and has tons of functional storage. My son uses the large drawer as his “parking garage” for the many vehicles a 5 year old boy collects.
Step 2: Speaking of parking, the kids will need a place to park themselves. Since I’m recommending a more traditional color for the table, I’d say the chairs are the place to have a little fun. You can create a bold look by choosing them all in the same color. Or opt for a combination of colors, so each of your kiddos gets their own. The Mojo Stool is great for the younger kids that are still into climbing, as it’s nearly impossible to tip due to its splayed-leg design. And all of our seats are sturdy enough to hold mom and dad, since you’ll likely be spending many hours at the table, too.
Step 3: A rug will help define the space, no matter how big or small. You can go one of two ways with this. There are rugs that in and of themselves are interactive, like our Over the River and Through the Rug. Or, you can choose one that adds a burst of color. While you may opt for serene hues in a bedroom to encourage calm and sleep, I’d suggest more vibrant and saturated hues in a playroom. The space is all about imagination and play. So, have a little fun with the rug and try a brighter hue or bolder pattern than you might normally use.
Step 4: If your kids are anything like mine, they’ll have lots and lots and LOTS of books. So, you can never have enough book storage. When looking for the right piece, be sure to pick something that keeps the books within arms reach. If you have a lot of space, you might opt for a book-only piece like our Floor Book Bin. But, if space is at a premium, choose a bookcase that can also hold bins and baskets for toys. If it’s a shared space, you can even use the higher shelves for mom and dad’s stuff. We have a 5-cube bookcase in our dining room. The two lower cubes are book storage for the kids, while the higher shelves hold mail, art supplies and other miscellany that needs to stay out of the kids’ reach.
(A quick aside regarding bookcases, if you want to add a little personality, but don’t want to commit to wild paint colors. Cut decorative paper to the size of the back panels on the bookcase and adhere it with double-stick tape. Just this weekend I backed our 5-cube with polka dot paper from www.paper-source.com. For about $5 and 20 minutes of my time, I gave my bookcase a whole new look. And when I decide I want a plaid or striped one instead, I can just peel the paper off and replace it. Low commitment, huge impact!)
Step 5: Next you’ll need a place to put all those toys kids seem to accumulate. If you have more than one child sharing the space, I’d suggest color-coding the storage to avoid any disputes on what belongs to whom. Bins and baskets are a great way to keep small items sorted, and allow for easy access for the kids to make a mess, and, more importantly, easy access for them to clean it back up.
Step 6: Next, add a little personality. Wall art’s a great way to express your kid’s taste du jour. A gallery wall is a great option for a playroom space. By using frames in all one hue, all sorts of aesthetics and media will look right at home together on one wall. I’d opt for plain white frames, and mix a combination of kid art, family snap shots, typography and illustration. Think of it as an ever-changing, ever-improving work of art, just like your kids themselves.
The idea is to create a space that draws your little one in, and invites them to stay and play a while. But, also think of what you’re attracted to, as you’ll likely be spending just as much time in the room as they will. So, is it time to play yet?
By Danielle Kurtz
Danielle is the Creative Director at Nod and an over-protective mother of two. She’s also completely obsessed with Pinterest, Twitter and her Kindle, but not necessarily in that order. Danielle loves to craft, sew and crochet, but all her supplies have a layer of dust on them about 5-years-thick, wonder if it's just a coincidence that her oldest kiddo is 5 years old?