So I have come here hoping that I can get some help on how to make our playroom functional. We have a large "front room" that is being used for a playroom. This room is the front entrance to our home, the entrance to the living room to the right and the entrance to the kitchen straight ahead, which in and of itself is a challenge, then on 2 walls we have base board heaters that cannot be covered.
As of right now there is no furniture in the room aside from a train table (and the bird cage) and everything is in sterelite bins (not overly attractive). I would like to add a desk (adult sized as I am a student) and at bare minimum an oversized chair and ottoman. Basically I need help in ways to make the space inviting and furniture placement, as well as adding in functional storage pieces that are more inviting looking that plastic bins... keep in mind this is our front room and everyone has to see this as they walk in.
PS the bird cage does not have to stay. Also I have attached a pic of the layout of the room, I believe it is approx. 10 feet by 17 feet.
Any and all help would be great!!!
I know you didn't ask this...but is there a way the living room can do duty as playroom and this room be your living room? Do you have a photo you can post? I too had those plastic bins when our family room housed all the toys. Now they are all in the basement & my son is allowed to play with one tote at a time. How many bins do you have? Are they the large storage tote size?
I understand the need for a play area for your children. However, you really don't want this to be the first thing people see when they enter your home. Depending on your budget, could you do some built ins, like floor to ceiling bookcases with enclosed cupboards on the bottom section? That would provide you with hidden storage for toys, games and all the other paraphernalia that children seem to accumulate. The upper open section can be used for their books, family photos and items you actually want to display. Another useful piece of furniture is an ottoman with a hinged lid that has storage inside for extras.
A photo of the room would be most helpful.
Besides closed storage, a built-in could also incorporate a student-sized desk/table for you.
I've always thought those storage shelves that are made up of multiple cubes with baskets or fabric drawers were a good looking storage system for children's toys. I can't remember who makes the one I like best, but here's a link to a different one.
You could put one or two of these against one of your walls and corral most of the toys in it. Since the area will also be your office, you could also use some of the baskets, perhaps the top row, as a place to store office supplies and files.
I will try and get some actual pics of the layout this afternoon. The house is very old style and is very "choppy", trying to use what is now the playroom as the living room would be darn near impossible because of all of the door way openings and furniture placement. As of now I have approx 10 or so large bins and about 20 of the shoe box sized as well as some of the 3 drawer plastic stands. In regards to built in's, I probably should have specified, we rent and therefore cannot do anything "permanent" to the home.
What if you treated this space a bit like an entry vestibule / mud room that will help make "sense" when people enter, lead them to the living room / kitchen areas / but also serve your needs for a playroom. At only 10' deep, that should work and do double duty for your office space nicely.
Pick one accent color that relates to what you are doing in the adjacent living room and paint all your furniture / shelves / craigslist finds black (easy to do with spray paint - can even rub corners back with sandpaper for a more traditional look), plus use this one bright accent color for desk accessories, art on the shelf and your rental with its white walls will have instant black and white chic.
I would place your desk under the window that has the baseboard heat - if the room is around 10' deep, then place wide open shelves all up and down the wall behind your desk at about the same width and take that area end as your "workspace". Size them for the boxes i note below.
Ikea has some great looking desk chairs in bright colors that roll. Imagine an open secretary desk with a short hutch - this can double as a laydown area for mail, your purse and keys.
Consider covering sturdy cardboard bankers file boxes (sold at office supply stores for under $20) with black pebble leather contac paper and put all your school things inside and set them on the open shelves behind your desk. Then you can store a lot of the clutter that goes with a desk out of sight / organized by class even, so you pull one box down for bills, another for statistics class, and so forth.
Katy-korner to the desk (ahead and to the right as you come in the front door), use a big element - a tall storage piece. I suggest craigslist for some of the media armoire units that everyone is selling now that they are buying flat screen tvs. Something with doors above and drawers or shelves below. Put your toy bins inside the storage armoire. Teach your kids to pull them out when it is play time, and put them away when it is dinner time or bath time. Having the bins placed / stored away also gives you another measure of control over when it is play time.
The armoire can also store the other things that are really useful to have near the front door - empty water bottles, backpacks, dog leashes/gear, mittens/hats/rain boots, etc.
Hang rows of hooks on the wall across from the armoire - tall hooks for coats, and little people hooks for their things. Hooks are very useful for a variety of things - they will fill up.
Now, if you hang some graphic black and white art, and a few bright colored elements in the same tone and your space looks darling, is functional, and gives the kids someplace to be that works great when friends come over for dinner.
Maybe add a self painted big chalkboard to the end wall above the heaters between your desk and open shelves (lots of on-line tutorials for this). During the regular course of life, you and kids can use it for coloring, making food lists, etc. When it is a special occasion, or you are expecting guests, you can quickly clean it and make a big welcome or holiday sign (Happy Valentines Day with hearts, etc.) and people will be charmed as they enter your home.
One other item that could make a big difference - work on low lighting and high lighting. A small desk lamp will keep this room inviting at night without an overhead fixture. If you have an overhead fixture in the room, consider buying or thrifting /spray painting a "new" one (you can take it with you!) and putting lots of light above on a dimmer.
Hope this gives you a vision that could work for your family.
Birdcage goes in the corner to the right as you enter living room - past the hooks on the wall area to the right as you enter the front door.
Simple roman shades in white canvas work on the windows, or if the place came with window blinds, you can always hang a cheerful print valance above that echos your accent color. All of these basic furniture items (desk, armoire) will be capable of being used in any decor / room in the future because they are neutral and classic.
Could you use a bookcase as a room divider...when you walk in the front door you would see the back of the bookcase. (could be painted the wall color). Shelf side would be (facing toward the living room) and be play area...shelves with baskets on them for toys, plus toy boxes sitting around.. Other area (to the left as you enter your house, could have your desk area, hooks for coats. Nothing would be permanent and could be taken with you went you move.
I beg of you, do not float a bookcase out in an open area. Because of their shallowness, they can become top heavy and tip over. Dangerous in any scenario but especially frightening when young children are around.
You might check out the Ikea online catalogue or visit their showroom, if you live close to one. They have multiple options for shelving units at various, affordable price points, including desks, closed storage, glass doorfronts, etc.
If you use the wall(s) for storage, you could float some comfortable chairs and possibly a round game table for your kids to setup the area as a welcoming entryway. The table could also function as add'l workspace for you, if necessary, assuming you incorporated a desk into your wall unit.
Will look forward to your photos - good luck!This message has been edited. Last edited by: AguaBella,
Calvin, you are right..do not float bookshelves in the middle of the floor. I should have mentioned that an L shaped bracket would hold the bookcase to the wall on one side with minimal holes in the wall and it would never fall over or lean. The bracket would be on top of the bookshelf and never be seen. We have done that in our house. One hole is easily patched when she moves. The bookshelf could be fastened to the floor also but I think a bracket would work best. And I was referring to a narrower bookcase....rather than a room size. Thanks for the heads up.This message has been edited. Last edited by: May,
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