Like so many of the other projects that have happened in our home, the playroom was born out of necessity, and completed on a fairly fast time table. In three weeks it went from being the catchall space that my husband half used as an office, and where overflow guests slept, to a room fully inhabited by every doll, puzzle, block, and market kitchen accessory perfectly fit for a three-year-old.
The inspiration was bright, colorful and engaging; and the budget was set at “as little as possible”. So I started with my favorite budget deals, the Target dollar bins. On that particular day, I took the client and let her help me choose objects that brought her joy. Toy dinosaur planters, colorful wood bins, and some natural colored baskets to balance the look out. We also picked up some new shopping bags for the market since “going to the beach” via leaving the toy zone with paper shopping bags and putting them down in random rooms is something that happens all too frequently. I wasn’t sure what the design was going to be, but starting off with objects that she liked was as good of a jumping off point as any.
The functionality came next. I discovered that I could fit the existing kitchen set and bakery market into the space easily. Both pieces were custom designed from the last two Christmases, and the bakery had recently had some renovations to make it sturdier and to add the flower market, which also made it larger. But we also had to fit two IKEA tables , an art space, and ideally a reading nook.
Truth: I never measured everything beforehand. Things went so quickly and a few days before the reveal, we just moved everything in to make sure it fit and told her that her toys were all “in the shop”.
Over the course of three weeks I spent more time driving between stores due to what was in stock at different locations, and exchanging things than I had in a very long time. Not having a real plan and creating a room on a ridiculously low budget takes a lot of patience and a good amount of gas, but in the end it was totally worth it.
Overall the space came together in an awesome way, and right under the buzzer. It was also the most fun project I’ve ever worked on, probably because it was the most colorful. It screams kid space but remains modern, and thankfully not full of primary colors. I’d definitely like to create another play room because kids are super fun clients!
If you’re interested to know how I created the kitchen and bakery market or what they’re stocked with let me know. Those are a full post worth each. I’ve been toying with the idea of creating them for others, so if you know a little someone who would love to make believe shoot me a message!
So, where did I source everything from? Here’s the breakdown by play zone:
Vintage Toys - these belonged to me as a child and have shockingly stayed in good shape.
Dinosaur Planters, Colorful Carriers, Bath Paint, Grocery Bags - Target Dollar Bins
CHALKBOARD/PUZZLES (Note: Puzzles have since moved to a different area due to excessive amounts of chalk dust)
Chalkboard - This is an IKEA worktop for a desk which we got in the as-is section.
Chalkboard Paint - Valspar’s Tintable Chalkboard Paint from Lowes in Enchanted Navy. It took about 8 coats to make it durable enough for child play. This is also because we didn’t sand the melamine top first. Tight timelines will always make you want to cut corners in your own home. Cutting corners rarely cuts time.
Chalk Ledge - IKEA MOSSLANDA, we had this one lying around and this seemed like the perfect solution.
Crayola 16 Count Sidewalk Chalk - Amazon
Eraser - Lakeshore Learning Store
Puzzle Boxes - Target Dollar Bins
I refinished this table and upholstered the chairs for Christmas of 2017 when I redesigned the kitchen set. We added the Duplo plates using instructions from Creative QT. We didn’t buy their plates since they didn’t have the colors I wanted, so instead we ordered some from Amazon and used my favorite Scotch Extreme Mounting Tape tape to apply them.
READING NOOK/DOLL PLAY
Cabbage Patch Playpen - Another of my vintage pieces from childhood.
Reading Nook Pillows - Completely embarrassing, but I spent two weeks buying and returning pillows between several Homegoods/Marshalls and Burlington to get the right look with the rug (which didn’t arrive until the day before the reveal), so I was guessing the whole time. The large pillow on the bottom is actually a dog bed turned inside out that I found at Marshalls. It’s washable and durable enough for a furry clawed friend, so I think my three-year-old won’t be able to do too much damage to it. It’s also super soft, and fit perfectly in the corner.
Book Ledges - IKEA MOSSLANDA
Picture Frames - IKEA FISKBO mounted with 3M removable strips. The other frame is from the Target clearance section ($8!!) which was the perfect shape for the artwork. Note: This piece of art completely inspired me once I started gathering items. It was the perfect work for the space that was coincidentally created at daycare only weeks before.
This section was completely inspired by my friend Alyssa who is a total flower guru and amazing designer. While shopping for Bakery Market color accents in JoAnns they were as usual having an awesome sale on seasonal goods. Everything from the flower market came from there aside from the “fresh flower” bags which came from the Target Dollar Bins.
Triangle Rug - This was a last minute find on Overstock. I had been in love with a Novogratz rug for two weeks but the cost just wasn’t going to work for us. I snagged this one after countless nights of internet searching and it was delivered in three days!
Planters - Target Dollar Bins
White and Natural Basket - Homegoods
Curtains - Burlington (They had the perfect color, in the right length, at the right price to go with our final paint selection)