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Best of 2010: Decorating A Child’s Playroom

My friend Dani did a Facebook status update on Sunday asking for help.  You see, her and her husband are currently converting their garage into a playroom for her children and they need ideas.  Immediately I thought, “Hello, blog content!”  So I left her a comment saying I would pull together some ideas.  Fun, fun, fun!  Here are my thoughts:

A child’s playroom should be a place that encourages and accommodates a child’s imagination.  It should be bright (this doesn’t mean it needs to incorporate all of the colors in the rainbow, it should have good lighting) and there should be spaces for the child to: read, draw, create, and develop imaginative play.

There are three other things I think people should keep in mind.

  1. Unless you have all girls or all boys (with no plans to add any more little ones), do not make the playroom gender specific.  Why?  Here’s an example.  You don’t want to dissuade a boy from reading or developing imaginative play because all of the decor and toys in the playroom are about princesses or pink kittens.  Vice versa. (I’m not saying all boys wouldn’t like girly books/toys).  Queue my educational publishing background (something I did in a past life).   “Research shows that boys are having trouble reading, and that boys are getting worse at reading.  No one is quite sure why.  Some of the reasons are biological.  Some of the reasons are sociological.  But the good news is that research also shows that boys will read – if they are given reading that interests them.” (Learn more, here)
  2. Try to incorporate decor/toys that will grow with your children.  For example, today’s playroom table may be tomorrow’s playroom bench.
  3. Utilize vertical shelves/bookcases as storage to create more room for play.

READING SPACES = good lighting + comfy seating + bookshelves. Here are a few fun inspirations.


Love how they’ve converted captain beds in to seating (plus it gives them more storage)


Bookshelf for children

I love how this DIY bookshelf has an extra bar in front of the books (this helps to hold the books in place)



Don’t have a lot of room for seating?  Use soft rugs and cushions as an alternative.


DRAW & CREATE = blank canvas + craft supplies + artwork

Art station in children

Another genius idea by Marth Stewart and her minions.  If I had a need for a playroom (i.e. if I had offspring), I would definitely try to incorporate enough space for a long art table.  I also love the magnetic walls above the table (great place to display child’s artwork). 

Modern children

I love how clean this playroom looks.  There is a place for everthing! (i.e. storage).  I also love the chalkboard wall.  However, if you use a chalkboard remember chalkboard = chalk.  So make sure you can easily sweep up the chalk residue or wash your rug.

Small Children

Don’t have enough room for a large art table?  Try making a small table instead.  Click here to learn how.


I know, I know… another Marth example (eeeeekkkkk!)  I’ve seen this idea used on several different blogs.  It is an inexpensive way to bring artwork into a room; plus, display your child’s masterpiece.  You may use a chair rail and nail the artwork directly in to it, or use strips of cork board.


IMAGINATIVE PLAY = kitchenettes + playhouses + dress-ups. OH MY!



Proof that kitchenettes don’t need to big big, plastic and bulky.  This is one toy that can grow with the child.


Cardboard playhouse for playroom

 Do mine eyes betray me? Is that a cardboard playhouse I see?  It is!  The nice thing about this playhouse?  You can easily break it down and store it if you need extra play space.  (The above playhouse is from Kidsonroof. The slide is from Ikea.)


Martha Stewart playhouse for playroom

I love how the above tent is made by creating anchors on the wall and draping fabric.  This tent cleans up easily and has the potential to look different every time the kids play. (Note the mirror behind the child.  This is made using unbreakable plexiglass. Genius!)


Did any of you do something unique in your playroom?  We would love to hear about it! Or post your pictures!


Remodelista | Martha Stewart | iVillage | Houzz | Oh Dee Doh

  • July 1, 2012 - 11:36 am

    Caroline - Can you please post the source for that first image? Those drawers look like the Stuva from Ikea and I’d like to see how they built that so I can make a similar
    bench. Thanks!

  • July 3, 2012 - 4:57 pm

    camberley - Hi Caroline,

    Thanks for your comment!

    I found this image on Remodelista (, and it looks like they got it from Emmas DesignBlogg ( It doesn’t look like there is a tutorial on how they created the bed on either of these sites. Maybe Emmas DesignBlogg will be able to point you in the right direction?

    Hopefully this helps!

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