Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pimp My Play Room

As the boys are getting older we are very quickly starting to run out of space in their play area / rumpus room. It is a space off to one side of the living area, not huge but it should be plenty big enough for two little guys. So it was time to organise and, better still, decorate! And to do so with a budget in mind.

It was important for it to be bright, fun, colourful and functional so that the kids could identify it as their own space. But with such close proximity to shared living areas it also had to be organised, neat, tidy and easy to keep that way.

The only major purchase was the shelving:

We purchased the shelves at Officeworks although they didn't sell this particular set online and we had to go instore. If there is not an Officeworks near you, they sell very similar shelves at Ikea reasonably priced. I loved the colourful baskets. They are ideal for storage, with things that the boys can access down low and those they can't, or shouldn't, up higher. They are easy for them to use too and Harvey, who is only 2 can get them out, play with their contents, pack up and put them away (although he never does). He much prefers to empty one and carry it around pretending it is a washing basket when he is helping me with the washing.

Although we have discovered there are other uses:

On one side is an old sofa bed that we have had for ages, so we don't need to worry about messes. It is also great to have for that unexpected extra guest to stay over. I have decorated it with some toys, cushions and a beautiful quilt using Michael Miller fabrics that my Mother made for Harvey when he was born:

On the other side, for extra storage, we put drawers that were previously bought from Ikea which I have covered with colourful fabrics. I plan to post a tutorial on how to cover drawers like this in fabric in the near future, so stay tuned:

Above the drawers I have hung a set of the Dog Series paintings from my nursery art store WallFry. I did originally paint them for the store, but fell in love with them so have left them hanging on the playroom wall:

I am going to make some of the papier mache letters that I also have in my store to coordinate with the colours in the baskets and will post pictures of the finished results soon.

So far the playroom is living up to its expectations. It is bright, fun, colourful and functional and I am finding that even with a 2 year old and an 11 month old, it is a lot easier to keep tidy and organised. The kids seem to love it too:


  1. We have an Ikea version of this in our living room. It is much less colorful though, and less awesome because of that.

  2. Hi - Just ran across your playroom pictures when surfing for playroom ideas. We have the same bookcase from Ikea but would LOVE the colorful baskets like yours. Did you also purchase those from Officeworks? We're not near an Officeworks store any didn't see them on their site either. Thanks in advance and cute room you've created for your boys!

    Megan, Iowa

  3. Hey there Megan

    I did purchase the baskets at Officeworks (in Australia) in-store, I am not sure if they still stock them or if they are available internationally. If I find out I will be sure to let you know.
    Also check the sizes of the shelves before you purchase, I think the Officeworks shelves (which are the ones I have) are a different size to the Ikea ones and if you do get the baskets they may not fit (although I haven't tested this).
    Good luck finding the baskets - I highly recommed them as they have taken some punishment from my sons and are holding up nicely (as well as looking pretty good).

  4. Great room! What fabric is on the bottom drawer? I have been looking everywhere for one like it. Natasha

  5. Sorry for the super late reply Natasha, but I am going to be no help anyway. I got that fabric at Spotlight in Australia 4 years ago, it was not a specific designer. Sorry I can't be any more help!

  6. The shelves and baskets with those colours are brilliant for the purpose. Use of bright colours is obviously a must to make the area shine for those busy little minds. Bunnings also now carry a range of cube storage and also have a selection of baskets as well. They make a simple effective storage system like the one shown, though may be in white only.

  7. Great tip Rob, I didn't know Bunnings had this type of shelving now.


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