play room plans

so as i mentioned yesterday, i (we) have big plans for the play room. having an elementary ed background and deciding to home-school ava for this first year of ‘pre-school’ have really been the driving forces behind planning this space for the children. ever since deciding that this was the house we were going to buy (back in april), i have been planning the space out and hunting for items that will compliment our style and serve the room’s many purposes – all without spending a lot of money.

i knew from the start that we would get a ton of use out of a chalkboard wall, so we will be converting a wall into a magnetic chalkboard wall from about mid-way down. giving the girls ample amount of chalkboard space will allow for each child to utilize the wall without bickering (we hope), so i can be working with ava on her schoolwork, while isla doodles to her heart’s content in a separate area.

it’s amazing what you can do these days with a little paint. i’m sticking with black, b/c it will coordinate with the bookshelves we already own (ikea’s expedit line) and will go well with the pale wall color we have chosen (serena and lily’s ‘rain’). you can see from this photo i found on apartment therapy that the magnetic paint does actually work, and will end up costing us around $40 or so, depending on how far just one can will go.

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as i mentioned, we already own three of the black/brown expedit bookshelves from ikea. we had them in our living room and dining room of the townhouse. i love this line, b/c they are both versatile and inexpensive. you can use them vertically or horizontally. and the little cube inserts are so cheap! we own a ton of the black ones, but they recently came out with new colors too. i’m loving the teal and yellow… anyway, i plan to sit the shelves side-by-side horizontally. doing that against this longest wall, i’ll still have about three to four feet to spare. i plan to place the girls’ fisher price toys on top of the cases when they’re not being played with, along with the tv. (the tv only plays vhs tapes, btw. we did not run cable into this room, b/c i wanted to be able to control what they will be watching and for how long easily. i scored a ton of safe, appropriate vhs tapes at a secondhand book store in the area. they were selling for $1 a piece! i picked up prince of egypt, mary poppins, and aristocats, just to name a few.)

we have a little laptop desk that we had been using as a tv stand in our old master bedroom. our future plan is to mount a small tv above our dresser, so for now, our old tv is sitting on our dresser, which freed up this little desk (also ikea). i wanted a desk in here that was small enough to blend in. i wanted the other features of the room to stand out more than my little workspace. i like that i have a place to sit and read, write, or catch up on emails while still being able to interact with my girls only a few feet away. we have a little desk/counter in the kitchen, but i like being able to see what they are doing and be consistently engaged in their play activities.

aside from using things we already owned (like the furniture, lamps, curtains, and toy bins), we have also been able to control cost by buying little things here and there over the past few months. once i had the wall color picked out, i was able to find additional items at random times. i came across some adorable prints on etsy. i had my hubby pick out one for each daughter (based upon the girls’ individual personalities). they were all created by the same artist, so they go together, but each is entirely its own subject. you’ll love them! they cost about $14 each, which is a splurge for me, but i planned ahead and purchased them at an opportune time. the same goes for the canvas art i came across at tj maxx about two months ago. it went with our color scheme, and the saying on it is perfect for our family, so i bought it. it too was $14. the last accessory i have on my immediate list is an adorable ‘button’ rug that i found at ikea for just $39.99. if you know rug prices, then you know that this is a steal for a large rug. plus, it’s soft, which is key when designing a kids’ play space. i wanted something fun, colorful (but not in-your-face), and SOFT. it’s perfect, b/c it’s all three.

as far as a cute chair to go with my desk…i’m going to be patient and picky. i hate spending money on anything just to get it. i want it to be the right chair, at the right price, so i’ll just keep my eyes open while i’m out, and if i find that perfect, little seat at a price i can swing…i’ll grab it up! until then, my tush will be fine on a folding chair…

so…that’s where we’re headed in this room! i can’t wait to share our progress with you! the flooring should be completed by mid-september, so once that’s finished, i’ll be able to tackle some of the rest. here are those ‘before’ images again with my chicken-scratch all over them! ๐Ÿ˜‰ let me know what you think! let those creative juices flow and play design with me!

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    • says

      Thank you, Gabby! We've been waiting for a looong time for this little, but extremely useful space! My husband is willing to set up an 'office' in an unfinished basement just to have this room for the kids! We were THAT desperate for it! ๐Ÿ™‚

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