A playroom with fun DIY touches

May 26, 2009

I know I've been talking about this space for a while, and today I realized I hadn't shown it to you yet! The playroom is our loft, and used to be just an adult space for watching TV, but we rarely used it for a number of reasons -- I'm not sure what those reasons are, but I'm sure there are a number of them. :)

We used to have our son's toys in the downstairs office, but it was starting to give me the shakes. The room was too small for all the toys, and with the addition of Thomas the Train and his one meeeellion accessories, it was just not working.

So one day, I was at my girlfriend's house, sitting in her loft while the kids played and it hit me like a ton of bricks -- why not make our loft the play room?

Ummm...I'm not sure why I didn't do this before. I absolutely, positively LUUUUURVE it!! I managed to add some kid fun while keeping it a space we love to hang out in too.

The large photo wall was already there, and it's one of two projects in this room I still want to redo. I love the wall, I'm just going to add more pics to the shelves soon:

This room has exactly one wall that is workable for any major furniture. And it's about twenty feet tall (hence the wall o' photos). 

We got the recliners for our wedding (thanks Grandma!!) and they are soooo comfortable:

The train table was an absolute STEAL at Goodwill. 
The wall color is hard to work with, and as you can see there is MUCH of it. I was trying to pull in some fun, whimsical colors without it screaming THERE IS A KID HERE. 

I found the caaa-utest scrapbook paper and used it everywhere. 

I matted a bunch of photos:
The little container I showed you here.
This photo tray was a gift, and I had the photos-of-people-I-don't-know that came with it in there for about a year. 

Instead of spending the time to find pics, I just added some of the paper in the slots and spray painted the mat. I added some whimsy to the lamp with fun trim from Hob Lob for about a dollar:
One of my favorite parts of the whole room are the letters above the window. I got this idea from Kate when she did it above her window. 

I got wooden letters, painted the sides and covered the front with the paper. It's the first thing you see when you walk up the stairs. Love it!:  
I repurposed some items in the room too -- the TV cabinet I painted black a couple weeks ago. (GRRR...that's an upcoming post.)
The art pad I took from the Bub's room (I showed it to you here first) and recovered the top:
The mirror was an extra -- I asked the builder not to install it in the powder room. 

They left it for us anyway and it was sitting in the mud room closet for five years. I hung it up just for fun:
I bought the hardware to hang the mirror, and wanted the flat brackets, but they were too expensive for what I wanted to spend. So I got the cheap ones, and manipulated the molding over them to frame out the mirror. 

So it bulges out over the brackets:

I used fabric to try to lighten up the space as well. I showed you the drapes here:

The massive Thomas pillow is a family fave:
I showed you that and the plaid pillows here.

Storage is super fun in this room -- the art caddy made from a tool box:
I looked for plain magazine holders EVERYWHERE. Finally just bought some on Ebay (they are Ikea and worked perfectly). 

I spray painted them, added the scrapbook paper to the sides and then made some more of my cute labels:

I use the space in the TV cabinet and labeled everything there:
I hear you -- "Where are the toys Sarah?"

The shelves are FULL:
Target bins hold a ton of toys under the train table:

The recliners are not only comfy, the hide an awful lot of stuff:
There you go! A playroom fun enough for the kiddo, but still sophisticated enough for us to hang as well. This is easily one of the most relaxing rooms in our house, even with the toys everywhere. We love this room.

The best part, even if every. single. toy is pulled out, it still takes less than twenty minutes to get the room looking like this again:
Ask me how I know.

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  1. Wow! that looks great! I'm a big fan of the photo wall. I am about to do one in my living room so I always love looking at others for inspiration.

    You really have some great ideas. Toys are my nemesis. I know this question will probably get lost, but what spray paint do you use? I have a lamp that needs help but I have never (gasp!) spray painted anything before!

  2. What a great room! Isn't it amazing what a little scrap book paper can do? I love how you used it in the picture tray!

  3. I love it all !!!! Our loft is our play room too!

  4. I love this room! It is perfect. I am totally jealous.

  5. Sarah...thank you, thank you, thank you...I've never been much at winning stuff...what wonderful gifts!!! You're the greatest!!!
    Hope you have a blessed week!!

  6. I love this space!! Oh what I'd give for an extra room like that. You are lucky and talented!

  7. I LOVE the room! Where did you get the "Family that plays rogether.." wall decal? I love it!

  8. I love this room! I have been following your blog for a while, but never commented. Where did you get the shelves for your wall? I have been looking for long shelves like that for a while, but just cant find any that are long enough and that I like. I love your blog, keep it up!

  9. great job! It looks kid friendly but not childish.

  10. I love your remodel here! It is fabulous!!! Thanks for sharing!!

  11. Great job!! I love it!!!!! I never thought of adding a mirror...I just might have to do that to my toyroom!

  12. Love this room! Love it!!!! I so need one of these at my house!

  13. Love love love it! :) I think my fave is the remake of the magazine files. :)

    I am so pysched about your Goodwill party! I have a project I've been working on for a couple of weeks, and I think it will coincide with the link party. :)

  14. Love the playroom -- super cute! You know, if those stuffed animals refuse to stay on the shelf, I saw a very cute idea to make a stuffed animal "jail" using strips of elastic attached to a bookshelf with screws and grommets (I think?)

  15. Not only is it organized, but it's oh. so. cute! Love the labels on the magazine holders. You didn't leave out any details!

  16. Great play/family room and I am totally stealing the magazine holders idea... will begin my everywhere search immediately. Congrats to Deb & Yanira (though I AM jealous)!

  17. Great job on the play room! I love the wall with the shelves. It looks very nice!


  18. You have given me some fab ideas to convert our playroom into a family/media room! I love the color scheme... Mature with a touch of whimsy! I am so happy I discovered your blog.

  19. Cute stuff!! Very nice ideas too.

    Robyn :)
    Robyn's Chic Scraps

  20. I love the room! It looks fabulous! Thank you for commenting on my blog by the way! And yes, you can totally link to my Yahtzee post. I'm thrilled you even asked!!

  21. You did a great job on that room!

    Love the "play" letters!

  22. Where are the ledge shelves from? Are they Pottery Barn?

  23. You did a great job of making a comfy and open feeling room!

  24. I don't really have anything to say, except- LOVE. THIS. ROOM! :)

  25. Where did you get the wall shelves? They look so great! We tried some from home depot and they were wobbly :( so I'm looking for better options. Thanks!

  26. Sarah, have I ever told you...You are my HERO!! You ROCK girlfriend!! This is awesome!! I LOVE your picture wall - I want to do something similar in our family room.

    I LOVE the play letters over the window - almost makes me wish my kids were still little enough for a playroom - we are actually trying to transform the old playroom into a TV room.


  27. What a cute room, I love the photo wall. All the little things you decorated with the scrapbook paper are awesome too. Looks like a fun family place to hang out.

  28. that is a great room! I LOVE the storage ideas. You really pulled off adult meets kid space well!

  29. Ladies, many of you have asked about the shelves, and I wanted to let you know in case I don't get in touch personally, they were from Ballard Designs, on clearance. (Years ago.) They were a STEAL. Here's a link to them -- http://www.ballarddesigns.com/jump.jsp?itemType=PRODUCT&itemID=2152&fromNewSearch=true&mercadoResultId=20

    I think I got them all for $150, but that was on sale. They are GREAT shelves, highly recommend them.

  30. This room is a feast for the eyes!! LOVE how you've delicately balanced the multi functions of the space and it looks chic to boot.

    (I'm totally inspired by your use of moulding on your walls. Am going to add some to one of my walls. Stay tuned! =])

  31. Oh My! I love it!!!!!! Want me to bring my lids over to help you break it in? Loks like a cozy inviting space for mom and kids. Another job superbly done! I was actually going to tell you about Uppercase living when I saw the stencil to see if you've considered it, but looks like you scout everything decor out so you can share with us! I am having a party in July, love all their stuff!

  32. Such a great playroom!! Love the colors and your photo wall! So creative and "Thrifty" I think we would have a great time creating and shopping together! lol. I know how you love a great deal! I am having my first giveaway on my blog and I think you will love what it is! Stop by and see my new look and come enter!


  33. Ah, the satisfaction of an orderly playroom ! Doncha love it? We use our transformed room every day and it brings the family together. I absolutely love your magazine racks and letters - brilliant ! You will enjoy that space for years to come.

    Also, your moulding is TDF. Love it. I am about to begin my adventures with a miter box, thanks to your inspiration !

  34. i just discovered your blog a love it!

  35. I have looked everywhere for Magazine holders like those - never thought of ebay! what I did find to work really well though (in case you ever want more) is to take old cereal boxes and trim them to shape, then cover in some fun paper and they fit a years worth of magazines perfectly!

  36. Hi! I am just curious since you seem to be a paint pro :) if you have ever used poly shades(minwax?)? I want to redo my childhood desk for my son. I really just want it a little darker color to match his existing furniture. It's a solid wood desk. Do you have nay advice on this product & best way to apply it? I have never done anything like this before & do not want to ruin it!!

  37. The room looks great! My favorite part has to be the wall of pictures. Can't wait to see what you add next. What a fun place to hang out as family.

  38. Did you take those "PLAY" letters from your bedroom? That's where mine are.... heehee

    FYI, I finally painted the back of my cabinets...what d'ya think?

  39. OK, I am LURVing your use of scrapbook paper everywhere!! I'm taking notes ;-)

  40. Sarah this is cooool!

    It is so great when we
    repurpose a room to suit our needs better.

    It looks fabulous!
    Kudos to you. :)

  41. Oh and I love that your son has a stroller...:)

    All my nephews do too.

  42. OH wow! Our house is QUITE small, so I am STILL trying to figure out all the kids stuff here in the FAM room. It's a wreck. I think I just need to invest in cute storage for the bedroom...SIGH.

  43. Whenever I do magazine holders I just make them out of cereal boxes.
    Then I just mod podge.

    Just a cheapo suggestion.

  44. I am wanting to create the same "photo wall" in my den. Could you please tell me the length of each one of the five shelves that you have above your tv cabinet. thanks so much, brenda

  45. LOVE this room .. and it totally looks like our loft area. :-) We even have a picture wall right where you have your .. but we swapped and have our tv where you have your chairs. Are you never at all with having your chairs backing up to that ledge (that overlooks downstairs .. at least it looks that way in the photo) .. even though my 3 are ages 4, 7 and 9 and know better .. still don't even want to *tempt* them to try and look over the wall.

    Anyway ... LOVE it .. great job! :-)

  46. Ok, I know I am a little late on this post but I am new to your blog. Love love love you btw! You are really creative! I also love the paint color in the play room. Could you pretty please tell me what it is? Thanks!

  47. I know this is a really old post, but I was looking and saw that Mickey Mouse toybox and HAD to comment! I had that exact same toybox when I was a little girl and I hadn't thought about it in years!

  48. This was just what I needed to see. My husband complained that he doesn't have a room in our house to himself, so I decided we would make the loft our playroom and he can have one of the spares! Great ideas, can't wait to get started!


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THANKS so much for reading!