When we first built our home, we knew one day the open area on the second floor would be an excellent place for a playroom. However, our first son was about three weeks old when we moved in, so we didn’t see any reason to rush it. We knew it would be a long time before he would be “playing” in there, so instead, we used the room as sort of a second living room.
We took all of the furniture from my bachelorette days and placed it in the loft, it was comfy and cozy, and when we had guests over, they loved it. It provided both family and friends – especially those who were staying for an extended time to help with our newborn – their own space. It made it convenient for them to relax and decompress at the end of the day.
Two years later, when our second son was born, we knew it was time to repurpose the space into a playroom. It seemed like we always had toys everywhere. Toys were not only in Deuce’s room, but they were also in the living room: a substantial Hot wheels race track, and a kid workbench, a playmat, and the baby rocker. I felt like I was always tripping over toddler and baby toys. It was time the boys had a space they could call their own!
One of the most significant considerations, and what took the most extended amount of time in planning this space was, how do I create a room that will grow with the boys? I didn’t want to have to update this room every two to three years because it was too childish, or they had outgrown the usage of it. I found tons of ideas online on very specific playrooms and themes, they were all fantastic, but I was concerned many wouldn’t have much longevity or functionality.
Ultimately, we decided on a room that I think can last them from now until they are off to college (with a few updates, of course!).
Here is what I did to put together a playroom that will last and grow with my boys:
Consider toys from this stage to the next
I tried to determine what toys they would be playing within their current phase and what toys they would be playing with as they got older, the sizes, and how they needed to be stored.
As the boys get older, I know the toys will get smaller, and fewer, and perhaps the focus will be video games. I wanted a space that could accommodate both.
While there are lots of laughs and giggles right now, I envision my boys playing games, having friends over to hang out, and even study groups. While the colors in the room may change as well as the furniture as they grow, I wanted something that would still accommodate those needs several years from now. I made room for reading, coloring, imaginary play, and movie night.
Create flexibility in the space
Kids need a lot of room to run around and play, so consider using lightweight furniture that can quickly move around to accommodate their imagination.
For furniture, I selected lightweight pieces that were easy to move:
- A simple white table from Ikea
- Four blue and green galvanized steel chairs from Wayfair
- Two green lounge chairs from Ikea
- A blue foam-filled convertible sofa that I’m able to quickly move by myself from Wayfair.
I tried to stay away from more significant, bulkier toy pieces. Although the boys love playing with some of the bigger toys like slides and kitchens at school, I try to reserve home for lots of smaller things that we can pull out and play with and then put away. This allows us to change things up and do something completely different if they get bored or tired of the same thing. Having the space to do that means we don’t necessarily have a large playhouse in our playroom, but we do have a tent that I purchased from Deuce’s “Wild One” first birthday party. I added a couple of pillows to the tent, and it made the perfect reading space. The other great thing about it is that it is easily collapsible when we need more space.
Storage, Storage, and More Storage
After considering the stages of toys and how flexible I wanted the room to be, I knew I wanted to do a lot of shelving. Shelving storage would allow us to be able to store lots of toys and activities on the walls, while still having a lot of free space to play in the room. Initially, I wanted to do all built-ins, then, with concerns about the cost, I considered doing all pre-fabricated pieces, but I was concerned about how it would look since the walls, and ceiling heights in the loft are all so different. Ultimately, we came up with a great compromise. We decided to do a built-in bench with shelving on our wall with windows, and prefab modular cubes on the adjacent wall.
We worked with Perez Home Concepts to come up with a window bench and book built-in shelving unit. They did a fantastic job, and I was so happy with how it came together.
We use the bookshelves for both books as well as toys and baskets of educational activities.
For added storage, we included cubby’s underneath the bench that I put green baskets in for toys.
I had these mounted to the wall for safety, and I alternated between some of their larger toys in open spaces, and smaller toys like hot wheels in the blue bins.
Envision yourself in the room. Make it comfortable for you too!
This is key if you have younger children. You’re going to spend a lot of time in that playroom right along with them, so be sure you have a place to sit, a safe place to put your coffee and to be able to stretch your legs. My boys wake up really early in the morning, and I mean REALLY early. RG gets up around 5 am and Deuce around 6:30 am – sometimes I’m so tired I need a few minutes to wake myself up. We selected the foam-filled convertible sofa because we can sit on it, or recline it into a bed. It has a removable cover for washing, and it’s easy to move, and the boys also have fun making a fort out of it. When we are all in the playroom as a family, this is where my husband and I sit, and we prop our feet up on the foot rests, and watch our boys play.
It has been such a joy to play with my kids in this playroom. To watch them play with each other is truly a blessing. I’m so thankful for the memories that we’ve already made and looking forward to the ones we will continue to make in the future, as the boys grow.