Create Your Own Playroom

Jan 4, 2010

This past week, I spent a morning at Ikea.  I love Ikea.  LOVE it.

To begin with, they have childcare.  The bummer is, you can only leave your kids there for 1 hour and it takes at least TWO to make your way from one side of their store to the other.  In addition, only your potty-trained children are welcome.  So, that's a bummer, too.  But, beggers can't be choosers and so, I happily signed my two oldest kids when I arrived.

Secondly, Ikea was offering FREE breakfast and Kids Eat Free for other meals at that time, so my kids all got lunch for FREE (without me having to order anything) when they were done in the childcare room.

As I was walking around Ikea, though, it occurred to me that many of you out there might benefit from doing a post on my kids' "playroom."

Okay, I use that term - playroom - loosely.   Let me explain.

When my husband was deployed to Iraq a few years ago, the grandmother of one of his soldiers invited me to come stay at her house in Dallas for a weekend.  (AT&T was offering a free video conference call for the soldiers and their families - up in Dallas.)  Anyway, this nice grandma welcomed me and Jordan into her home on the weekend Rob and my conference was held.

I was a little nervous about staying there.  Afterall, Jordan was only 2 at the time and there is often a whole lot of breakable stuff in the homes of people who don't have kids.  This woman, though, was a preschool Sunday school teacher and had a lot of kids and their families visit her home.  Thus, she had come up with a "playroom" for them.

The neat thing?  It was under the stairs.

She had turned her storage closet (the one that went under her stairs) into a tiny playhouse of sorts.

My daughter LOVED it.  It was full of fun toys and the room was "just her size."

And, that got me thinking.  I had a closet under our stairs.  (Granted, it was full of junk at the time, but still . . . I realized I could make this work.)

In addition, the one thing I disliked most (then and still) about our house is that there is no playroom area - not even a basement - where I can throw the toys (and sometimes, the kids) to keep them out of sight.

So, I came home, evaluated our closet and on my next trip to Ikea, stocked up on items that I thought might work.  Ikea is the best store for this because they are a European company (where homes are often smaller), so they specialize in making the most of tiny spaces.  I got some storage compartments, a bright rug and two throw pillows, some shelves, some mirrors that stuck to the wall, a big clock and a magnetic board.  In addition, I bought a gallon of paint (at Home Depot) and brightened up the inside of the new "room."

The photos you see are of my completed project.  That was about 5 years ago.  The room is still a "hit" with all my kids - and their friends.  And, I love that, when need be, I can kick the toys in there in a hurry and my family room suddenly looks (relatively) picked up.

I know many of you have closets that you could covert.  Hope this gives you a good idea!


mudmama said...

This is so fabulous! We are moving to a new house that doesn't really have a playspace so I am trying to figure out how to make something like this work, but you have got the wheels truning, thanks! :)

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