From a design standpoint, playrooms are incredibly fun projects. Your children will spend hours in there—playing, learning and everything in between—so you have the freedom to cater to their tastes more than you would in other parts of your home. All of you can let your imaginations run wild when it comes to creating a look your kids will love.
But, that’s only half the battle. Underneath the aesthetics, this room also needs to be functional. A well-done playroom should be able to hold their attention and all their toys, while still seeming put together. Achieving all of these things in one space is not easy.
Create distinct activity centers
Kids are notorious for jumping from one activity to the next with lightning speed and every parent knows how tough it can be to hear the words, “I’m bored” floating down the hall. Fortunately, a playroom that’s set up correctly can help cut down on these occurrences by subtly suggesting ways for your youngsters to spend their time.
To do this, you’ll need to create a few different activity areas within the room. Simply put, that means putting together spaces that are each geared toward a specific purpose, like the reading nook shown in the picture above. You could also consider adding a table for arts and crafts or a media center with a TV that’s perfect for watching videos.
When creating these areas, be sure to keep all the items they’ll need for the activity within arm’s reach. Not only will doing so help you keep things more organized, but it will also encourage the little ones to stay focused on the task at hand.
Add plenty of storage
If there’s one universal truth, it’s that kids come with lots of stuff. The best playrooms are those with plenty of storage available to keep all of it out of the way while making it seem part of the design.
Your first step is to consider what kind of storage will work best for your family. Do you need lots of bookshelves for an avid reader, a tricked-out entertainment center for a video game aficionado, or cubbies to hold a menagerie of stuffed animals? You’ll likely need to use a combination of pieces to accommodate all of your child’s interests.
When you’re ready to buy the storage elements, focus on pieces that have potential to serve multiple functions and try to keep their colors as neutral as possible. Storage will probably be one of the priciest parts of your design, so try to select items that have the ability to grow with your children.
Bring in color with accessories
No playroom should ever be bland, but there’s nothing worse than the idea of redesigning one from top to bottom only to have your child tell you that their tastes have completely changed. Save yourself the headache—and the cash—by bringing lots of color into the room through the accessories you choose. That way, you can swap them out fairly easily as your child matures.
In this case, the definition of “accessories” is pretty broad. Consider mixing and matching different colors and patterns through textiles. Throw rugs, pillow covers and blankets are great places to start. However, larger items like wall art and lamps could also play a role.
Try out creative playroom ideas on the walls
The walls are really what can set the playroom apart from other areas in the house. Since kids’ spaces are expected to be a bit more fun and carefree than ones adults would use, you can really get creative with their design. If you have a specific theme in mind for the room, consider the walls your focal point.
Start with a base layer of neutral paint and using wall decals to add visual interest. Since the decals are held to the wall without an adhesive, they’ll be simple to swap out or take off entirely once your child’s tastes change. However, if decals aren’t for you, consider using a wallpaper or even painting a mural to liven up the space.
Finally, focus on floors
Although your instinct may be to carpet your play area to take advantage of the soft cushion carpet provides any knees, elbows, rumps or heads that might come crashing down on it, a word of caution: carpets are seething germ spongesthat absorb and spread bacteria and viruses from every drippy nose or lip, uncovered cough and unbridled sneeze a child has in the room.
There are many solid flooring options that are soft enough to protect the little ones in the event of a fall, but sanitary enough to allow quick and easy cleanup when the play day is done. For example, luxury vinyl plank flooring provides a hardwood-like appearance but with a slightly spongy composition, which can be amplified by reinforced padding beneath.
In addition, playrooms can be outfitted with interlocking padded squares, much like what you’ll find in many daycares. Although this can get expensive in larger rooms, if you’re designing for especially young children it may be worth the expense.
Creating the perfect playroom is harder than it looks. On the one hand, your design needs to capture kids’ attentions and inspire their imaginations. On the other, these rooms serve a particular purpose. They need to keep kids occupied and help keep their clutter at bay. Bringing both these things into one space is not easy, but if you use the tips in this guide, we know you’ll be able to create a playroom that works well for your family.