If you think a playroom is just a room that children can play in, it might be time to reconsider. In our latest look at making space in your house, we thought we’d focus on playrooms and how to create them. So if you’ve got a growing brood and are contemplating turning a whole room in your home over to them – here are our handy tips on how to fashion a fantastic place for your little darlings to express themselves…
Partitioning specific space for children to play can be a helpful thing to do. On the one hand it means the rest of the house is not an assault course of lego, dolls, toy cars, dressing up clothes and a strategically placed skateboard at the top of the stairs, on the other it helps teach children boundaries, tidiness and respect for their belongings. But where do you start? How does a playroom shape up in 2014? There’s a lot more to it these days than putting a dinosaur or my little pony freeze around the wall, so here are our 5 steps to the perfect playroom.
Step 1: Designate and design your space
The only way to begin a playroom is with a clean and clear space. So first you’ll need to define the exact area that you are going to use. You may decide to undertake building work to create your playroom or partition off a larger room. Whatever the shape and size of what you have in mind, there are plenty of handy tools for planning the space. If you’re using a desktop then give homestyler a whirl, or if you’re on a tablet then Home Design 3D is pretty handy. It’s also well worth setting a budget at this point – set out a clear idea of how much you want to spend on building work and how much on furnishings and decorating.
Step 2: Have a clear out
If you are modifying your property or simply clearing out a spare room to convert it to a playspace you will need to find somewhere to keep the belongings that are making way. If you do find yourself in need of off-site storage we can help with that. You can also take the opportunity to have a good clear out of the things you no longer need or want. If it has value you can sell it online, or better still donate it to a worthy cause.
Step 3: Create and Decorate
With the space designed and cleared you can get the practical part of your project underway. If you’re getting tradesmen in to make alterations make sure you allow enough time (they have a habit of running over). If you are handy with the DIY and are undertaking the work yourself then be sure to prepare fully, there’s nothing worse than discovering you don’t quite have the tools you need at 4pm on a Bank Holiday weekend Sunday…
Choose a colour scheme that suits your children. Primary colours have a sense of fun and simplicity but might be a bit garish, so you could pick a theme of colours based on your children’s main interests. If you’ve got boys who are head-over-heels about cars then chequered flags might fit the brief. If on the other hand Barbie and her entourage are more your daughters’ cup of tea then pinks and purples with a bit of sparkly embellishment might be more appropriate. Of course, if you’ve got at least one of each then you’ll have to get creative with mixing and matching their tastes to the space.
If you are looking for some first class inspiration for playroom themes and ideas have a look at aperfectplayroom.com
Step 4: Furnish for Practicality and Fun
Once the decorating is done you can get busy furnishing. There are some bare essentials that you need to ensure you incorporate into your playroom:
Storage – storage bins are a useful and practical way of ensuring your little ones can find their toys – but also for teaching discipline in organising them and keeping them tidy when not in use. If you are looking for cost effective storage and are also feeling resourceful you might find inspiration over at our favourite Ikeahackers website where people modify the reasonably priced Swedish flatpack.
Comfy Seating – beanbags and the like are a must for chillaxing, but you’ll also need junior sized tables and chairs for working at – they’re the perfect workstation for building lego, drawing and making things.
‘Exhibition’ shelving – models your children have made will undoubtedly need showing off and celebrating, ensure you have factored in some shelves to accommodate their 3 dimensional masterpieces.
Pinboard/Magnetic Board – just like the models, there are bound to be paintings, drawings and pictures that need displaying. A large pinboard or magnetic board will provide the perfect gallery backdrop.
Step 5: The Big Reveal
Once the playroom is complete, there’s one step that most people forget. If you’ve been canny, you’ll have kept the home improvements off limits to the children – that way you’ll be able to do a home-makeover style big reveal. There’s very little for a parent that’s more rewarding than seeing your offspring properly delighted by something you’ve done for them.