Monday, May 21, 2012

26 You Asked: IHeart Answering - Playroom Must Haves

Playrooms are my most favorite space to design and organize.  Most days, I wish that was my full time gig, designing and organizing playrooms.  Love.  Knowing that it will be a space for kids to enjoy and spend their time and let their imaginations go wild, something about it all just makes me giddy inside.  Since I have a sweet obsession with playrooms, it is no surprise that I chat about them frequently here on the blog, and that I couldn't wait to answer today's reader question.


Rachel asked:

"Hi Jen!  IHeart your playroom!  I am desperate for ideas and inspiration for ours right now, it is so blah.  What are your must have items for a playroom?"

So, I thought back to all of the playrooms I have drooled over, pinned, designed and created and came up with a simple list of items that seem to be consistent throughout each dreamy space.


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Since playroom's typically come with all sorts of kid gear, from toys to learning objects to crafting supplies, storage is a must.  My favorite piece of storage for any playroom is the Expedit, since it holds boatloads of toys and can be mixed and matched with either concealed or open storage.  Armoires and deep cabinets are really great for those larger toys that create crazy eye clutter and need to be tucked behind doors. 



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I am a huge believer that the youngsters using the play space should be helpful in maintaining it.  To make this possible and easy for them, labels are all toy bins and shelves ensure that each item makes its way back home.  If the space is being used by older kiddos that can read, then standard labels are fabulous.  If the space is also being used by littles that are too young to read, picture labels typically do the trick!


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I love putting an activity table in each and every play space, since it can serve endless purposes.  Crafting, building, playing or even for a quick snack, tables always come in handy.  And since many crafts are created in the playroom, why not find a fun way to display them in the room to create additional inspiration for little imaginations?



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A playroom is the one room in the house where a kid can be a kid.  They can whip up a colorful masterpiece or pretend a slew of dragons just invaded the race track to kidnap the town princess.  To get imaginations brewing, I love bringing in all sorts of graphic elements, including a large fun focal wall.  Whether through posters, artwork, over sized maps or a fun paint treatment, something that is an attention grabber is always a win with the kids.


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Kids typically go from sitting to standing and back to sitting again while they play.  So, whether they are taking a break, working on a craft, reading a book or just plain playing, some cush under their tush is a plus.  Mini chairs, floor cushions or built in benches are all great playroom options since they are kid sized and versatile.


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I personally incorporate books into any space that my kids use, and a playroom is no exception.  It's the perfect place to give them a little quiet nook to curl up and enjoy a good read.  Since reading is such a great way to encourage imagination and role play, I always suggest some sort of book storage at kid level.


How about you?  Any playroom "must haves" on your list?  What's your little one's favorite moment in their play area?  If you could make a living designing any one room type, what would it be?







26 comments:

  1. wow... i wish i could have all of these in our playroom... our baby is only 14 months old... am i thinking too ahead? i'm anxious to change up our playroom, but he can barely walk now and i can't even think about putting him in a chair by himself... i love the maps on the wall idea... did i tell you i loveeee your blog? haha thank you for your great ideas!!

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  2. i have a 15-month old and a 2-month old. all boys too! so ours basically just includes a playpen, a HUGE mat, a bed (for the infant), and two huge baskets-full of toys :)) i hope one day to be able to redesign their playroom into something as awesome as what you have for your boys!

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  3. Love all these ideas! I'm working on my sons room and toy room at the moment and I can't wait to utilize some of these!

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  4. If you need any ideas for future posts-what about someone who has no designated playroom? How would you design their spaces to fit that function into either bedrooms, family room, etc. What would be your advice? :)

    Bobi
    http://westernwarmth.blogspot.com

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  5. I have a feeling my loft will end up as our playroom -- bookmarked these for later! <3 and IHeart Answering? ummm love it! Keep this segment up girly its fan-flipping-tastic! <3

    Happy Monday!

    xoXOxo
    Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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  6. I agree with western warmth. We don't have the space for a dedicated playroom, but don't want the living room to be overrun with toys. Help!!

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  7. I think the final "MUST" have for any playroom....A door for when company suddenly comes over and you haven't cleaned up yet!!!!

    I'm currently planning out our playroom in the house we are building, which will also serve eventually as our classroom and occasional guest room. I've designed it into general zones that will grow and flex as our needs change. The only constants are lots of color, storage, and space. In fact...It's the biggest room in the house!

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  8. My must haves are basically the same as yours. My daughter's playroom (was a formal dining room) has: storage, comfortable seating, a reading zone with tons of books, craft materials & a crafting table,and puzzles. Puzzles are a must. The older she gets, the less she plays in the playroom so I'm actually thinking of reverting it to a formal dining room while finding a way to combine both without it being a big mess. If I could make a living designing rooms, I would choose bedrooms. Nothing better than choosing headboards and bedding....ahhhhh :)

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  9. Love the ideas for playrooms, but I agree that not everyone has the luxury of having a separate room just for the toys. My husband and I just bought our first home back in August and we have 4 children (ages 13,11,6,5). We have all of the standard rooms, ie. living room, dining room, and 3 bedrooms but we also have this "extra" room that we have no idea what to do with. It is open to the living room and it's the room you walk into when you enter the back door. Right now we have our desk in there but the layout is so darn odd that I'm at a loss where to put anything. Any chance you're taking on clients for the "style tiles"? I need help!!!! :)

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  10. We don't have a playroom, we have a play area in our large living room. It's where we keep the toys (on two short bookshelves in bins) and we have the added benefit of not having to look at it when it is less-than-organized due to the strategic placement of a loveseat. :) This post caused me to have a lightbulb moment... I should be using the entire wall where the bookshelves are for storage! A little area rug and some crafting supplies would add some pop to the space too. Thanks for sharing your list.

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  11. I love the picture of the readig zone... well, I love EVERYTHING!! =)

    *Ma vie en rose*

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  12. EEEEEEEK!! I LOVE IT! I CAN ONLY DREAM OF A ROOM LIKE THAT!

    ♥♥♥
    Sue

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  13. Im working on my boys' playroom since we just recently moved into our new home. My favorite thing Ive done so far is turn the closet into a reading nook. I added a day bed I found that fit in just perfectly. The day bed is covered in pillows and we added book storage to the back of the closet. The boys LOVE doing their bed time reading in the nook!

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  14. My son has a large rectangular room (which used to be 2 tiny bedrooms), so we divided it by building our ouwn "build in", dividing the room into 1/3 and 2/3. The 1/3 part is his sleeping area, the larger part is the boys' playroom. Love love love the organizing ideas. I have yet to reach his room for the summer cleaning, but I am sooo going to incorporate some of your ideas. Thank you for explaining and for the great ideas!

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  15. Oh and I forgot: if I could design any area, it would be my kitchen. I have a food blog and LOVE LOVE LOVE to cook, so the kitchen is my haven. My current kitchen is the only space in the house that has not received a makeover yet, so it is a little stuck in the 50's. Hopefully soon, I will be able to update it. If you have tips on how to update kitchens without breaking the bank, I would love to hear.

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  16. Great tips! I wonder where we will end up incorporating a playroom once that time rolls around.

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  17. Love this! I was tickled to see our nook! Thanks for the link Jen. :)

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  18. Does anyone know the dimensions of the house chalkboard, corkboard and paint board?

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  19. I would LOVE a play room! It would make my life so less stressful! I could shut the door and not see it until I want too lol.

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  20. I posted about my formula for the perfect playroom last summer and I think we're totally on the same page! http://honeyandfitz.blogspot.com/2011/08/my-formula-for-perfect-playroom.html#axzz1vWJoVF00

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  21. very good, just add 2 more
    1. good light
    2. comfortable place/seat for me:)
    Katerina

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  22. Hi Jenn,

    is it ok to ask for the name of the font you used for the titles of each area? it's such a pretty font that I can use for my class.

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  23. I love everything about the playroom must-haves. We are about to start a huge playroom re-org and I cannot wait to use these ideas!

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  24. love love love your blog!!! Can u tell me what the name of the bookcase or bench you used in the seating picture with the window seat on top of it. is it from Ikea? We are giving away our 2 couches so they dont take up space in our playroom so im thinking since its is surrounded by big windows that itd be perfect.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kristin!

      That is correct, we used two white Expedit bookcases from IKEA to create out playroom bench.

      xo!
      Jen

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