When we were building our home I had in mind one of those playrooms that you find on Pinterest or on the glossy pages of a Great Little Trading catalogue – all strip wood floors, wooden toys and panelling painted in subtle shades of grey. The reality with three children though, is that there’s a lot more plastic than panelling, and my kids favour the gaudiest shades over the calming neutrals that I do. (Plus a calm playroom is the greatest oxymoron of all!)
At first we opted for pastels and I loved it for the longest time, but with the kids getting a bit older, and my love of simple lines and soft colours going nowhere, we decided to give the room a mini makeover earlier in the Summer. We were also really kindly supplied our beautiful window blinds by the guys at Blenheim Fabrics and Voyage. We’ve worked with the team at Blenheim before (back last Autumn on our bedroom renovation) and, as ever, we can’t fault their service or the amazing workmanship they produce. I’m excited to show you everything in situ!
I should note, as a disclaimer of sorts, that I’ve tidied the room before taking these photos. As I’m typing this I can hear Annie and Noah at work destroying it all again! With that in mind I’ll chat a bit about storage first and foremost. It’s a true sign of reaching middle age when you get excited about storage boxes, isn’t it? Even moreso when your dream afternoon is a trip to the Swedish Mecca. (#IKEA baby!)
What have I become? 😉
We’ve had this IKEA Liatorp shelving unit since moving in. Actually, we had the exact same one in our last house too, and loved it so much that we repurchased it when planning this room. Andrew designed the back wall of the playroom to be the exact size to accommodate it. One of the many advantages of having an architect on the team! 🙂
A friend was asking me recently about having furniture hand made, and I’d always advise choosing something durable and cost effective for playrooms. This has surprisingly few bumps and nicks, given that our kids are quite heavy handed and also that we have lots of littler nieces, nephews and friends visit us too. You never want to be too precious about playroom furniture, do you? I mutter that to myself on the regular when mysterious paint / kinetic sand / felt tip marks appear and no one will admit to them. Perhaps better to save the pennies, and the beautifully made furniture, for other rooms in your home!
We stripped this unit back a lot (you might remember we had fairy lights and floral storage on it previously. Lots going on!) I chose some white wicker boxes to replace the floral ones, mostly because of how simple and sturdy they are, but also as a method for storing 6789 cuddly toys and random plastic tat (Annie has a penchant for Kinder egg toys and anything that comes in a bag at Toys R Us checkout!) I also picked up some thinner grey storage baskets from Next, and these have been perfect for hair bobbles, clips, and any random little bits of stationery too.
Annie’s little shop is from Great Little Trading Company (via Santa!) and it’s still one of the most played with toys in our house. We change up the décor on it seasonally, and she loves dressing it up with Christmas decorations in the Winter.
One of my greatest ever purchases was my Dymo machine (don’t ever tell me I’m not cutting edge guys) and I labelled these cheap, IKEA glass jars to try and keep our stationery supplies a bit tidier. Any excuse for a Dymo spree!
Our sofas in this room are pretty old, and we are planning on replacing them at some stage in the future, but they’re not looking too bad with a couple of new velvet cushions from Urban Outfitters and a rejig of some older ones that we had in storage. I’ve also a quick tutorial on how we painted these wicker baskets here.
I always get asked about these alphabet letters and I just bought them in MDF form from ebay, and covered them with scraps of wallpaper, paint and some of the kids old clothes. We are planning on repainting this room in a more neutral shade later this Autumn, and I’m hoping to recover these to suit it. I’d toyed with the idea of taking them down but I’m still far too attached to let them go just yet.
And the beautiful blinds! I had asked on Instastories back in July for opinions on a number of fabric choices, but we opted for this gorgeous lineny pom-pom one in the end (Albie in Sand). I love that it’s neutral, but still has a little texture and interest to it too. The guys at Blenheim Fabrics whipped them up for us in a number of days, and I’m so delighted with them. We chose to go for a fixed pelmet style (meaning they are just for dressing and don’t actually drop down) as we have roller blinds behind, but there are so many options available.
And that is our little playroom makeover! I’m hoping that this sees us through another few years and that, bar changing the colour of the walls, we don’t have too much more to do to it. Full steam ahead on the office next. I’ll update you on that soon!