Not so long ago, I stumbled upon a photo of a great kids' space on Pinterest. My husband and I ooh-ed and ahh-ed over it, and then I swear one of us pinned it, and now it is lost forever. I swear I spent an hour looking for it only to turn up with nothing. Nothing even remotely close to how great that space worked. And it was a great lead-up as the inspiration for this post.
So you'll just have to take my word for it.
Anyway, in my last post, I talked about how we were slowly transforming our would-be dining room into a kid space. It's very important that this is not misunderstood to be a catch-all space for toys. The baby/toddler stage is short-lived compared to the lifespan of a home, or however long your family lives in it. It's important to us that any space belonging to our kids is constructive towards learning and creating. (Or on the other hand, sleeping. As many sleeping spaces as they want!! So long as, you know, they actually sleep.)
So I put together one example of what that might look like for us:
I like a clean, minimalist approach to a kids' space. Because this may look simple, but anyone with kid experience knows that in real life there would be crayons and paper all over the table, books and knick-knacks on the shelf, doodles and scribbles and backwards lowercase "a's" on the chalkboard wall, and most likely other odd things scattered on the floor. Best to keep the design scheme on the opposite end of busy ;)
Also, as much as I love adding a few vintage, restored and repurposed pieces in just about every room, kids just don't appreciate that. They like new, bright, shiny. Once your kid is running and talking, they can think on their own. They have opinions. They like the pink sparkle keds, no matter how much you want them to like the red chucks. They'd much rather wear the dinosaur shirt than the monogrammed one. They're kids. What can ya do?
Here's the Sourcing:
Pom-Pom Garland - No particular source for this. First because it's easy to make yourself, and secondly because every crafty person on Etsy makes them.
Corkboard - Again, no source because you can get it almost anywhere and cut it down to whatever size you need
Round Table Lamp - I thought this was a great inexpensive (but still modern-looking) option because I can see a book go flying and not hear the sounds of lamp crashes quickly following. And it gives a soft glow--probably enough to read a book nearby without overhead lights
Bean Bag Chairs - Not the most inexpensive option, but functional, stylish, and they have a removable cover! Winner!
Wood Table and Chairs - I'm not even sourcing these because it would depress all of us. This is the Eames plywood table and chairs, or as they're more popularly called--the "potato chip chair." I love them. They love me. And they come in kid sizes, making them even more irresistible. Should you ever find these in a thrift store or on Craig's List, it is part of your civic duty to call me immediately. Now that we've covered that, Ikea makes a perfectly good table and chair set for kids that's made of unstained, unfinished pine. We have it. It's unbeatable for the money.
Rug - Indoor/Outdoor. Essential for kids because that equals "hard to ruin."
Supply Cart - I've seen this cute cart used so many ways. It's adorable and functional. Win-win.
Chalkboard Paint - Pretty much anywhere these days. We used Valspar and so far no complaints.
Paint - A very pale turquoise to give the room a little fun. Also blue is calming. (If you want to incur temper tantrums, go ahead and paint your little girl's room that nice pepto pink. Color psychology is real, people.)
I used a lot of Ikea products in this room for several reasons. Most obviously, it's inexpensive. Ikea makes great products for grown-ups, but I think they take the gold on their children's products. If you don't have kids you'd never know because you probably whiz straight past this section and onto the swedish meatballs and $5 photo frames. But I'm telling you--it's great. We discovered it on our last trip and couldn't break away. They don't just sell "toys", you know? All of their products are well-thought out and have some learning built into them. You can also find great wood and metal play-thing options (making the environmentally conscious parent's feat of avoiding plastic more possible), and for the length of time your kid actually uses the things you purchase, they really stand the test of time. $20 for a wood table and 2 chairs?? SOLD.
There are a few more expensive items in this room, but keep in mind, this is an inspiration mood board. If you keep your eyes open, you can find some great deals on similar items that may work just as well. Or you may find the price justifiable for your wallet based on the use it will get in your home. All-in-all, it's a feasible space that will get plenty of use from ages 2 on up. The pieces are intended to stick around and change in use with your kids' needs.
Does your playroom need a functional overhaul with the help of a trained design eye? Try E-Design. We would love to help you!
Until next time!