{ Our Playroom Makeover-Part 3 The Decorating }

In the series of things The Decorating came next, but in actuality after The Planning was under way, but before The Building even began, I had almost all of the things for the “decorating part” at least bought and they were being hid away in the attic and various other hiding spots throughout the house until Christmas. This was one of the funnest parts for me, and with the joys of online shopping it became so much easier.

I had drawn out a floor plan of the playroom and situated things how I thought they would work best. My idea was to create two separate areas-a “big kid” area and a “little kid” area. I was going to use two couches in the shape of an “L” along with a side table and sofa table to separate the areas. That “big kid” area would be where the TV is and a place for my older children to be able to have friends over to hang out and watch movies or play Wii. The “little kid” area would be the area under the two lofts where the play kitchen would be and a new dollhouse that I was making. There would be floor space there to get out toys from the toy closet and play. The two lofts would become space for big and little kids alike, but I had a feeling that Brooke, Erika, and Abby would claim one as the “Girls Loft”, and give Scott and Ryan the other loft for a “Boy’s Loft”. The built in desk area would serve for both coloring as well as working on the laptop doing homework.

This is the plan that I had originally came up with and served for a good starting point for me as I shopped for items. I wanted a nice neutral base with fun pops of color throughout it. I wanted it to look nice, but definitely kid friendly. I needed finishes that would take some abuse, items that would be functionally for storage, and be a place where my kids would feel at home. Here are some of my thoughts as I went through that process-hopefully I can come back and read this next time I do a room so I can see where I made some good purchases and where I should look for items.


I painted the walls a light gray color-and this part alone became a huge thorn in my side. All grays are not equal, and I knew that full well going into it. I had gotten a dozen different samples and painted them on large pieces of poster board and on the wall, and still didn’t get it right the first time. Light is a crazy thing, and I found out that in a room with such high ceilings  that the color looked different at the bottom than it did on the top part of the wall. Not to mention different on all four walls, and at different times of the day. The color that I finally went with (after I had already painted the entire room another color) was Benjamin Moore Wickham Gray color matched in Sherwin Williams paint. In one of the pictures from The Building post you can see where it meets the ceiling where we hadn’t cut in yet and see how yellow the previous color looked.

In my first plan I had thought that we would do a couch and a loveseat in there, but when I measured it out we had room for two couches and it gave us more seating. I looked at a few couches that I liked, but in the end decided on the Ektorp sofa from IKEA. I have struggled getting this couch for a LONG time, even before this playroom makeover ever was. I would try to find reviews online of what people thought, and it was a mixed pot for sure. Some loved it, some hated it. I had sat on it before and thought it was comfortable enough, and for us the price was right. Those Pottery Barn ones sure looked tempting, but at a third of the cost, the Ektorp was just too good to pass up. The other plus was that a new slip cover only runs me $50, so if the kids ruin it, it’s very affordable to replace. The Pottery Barn slipcovers cost almost as much as the IKEA couch. I needed to have a couch that would get a lot of abuse since it was mostly a kids area, and I wanted to not have to worry that they would be ruining a super expensive couch or slipcover. Many people that have come over have commented on why in the world I would get a white couch with so many kids. My answer-bleach and Oxiclean. These slipcovers are easy to throw in the wash and bleach and back to knew again. We have had them on since Christmas and they are just now starting to show some dirt so I think we are due for a wash. Every 4 months is not bad in my book. Also, we have a no food upstairs rule, which I know the kids break often since I am finding wrappers and crumbs up there, but overall there isn’t all the sticky fingers that we have down in the kitchen. With our front room couch I have to stay leather, but I felt like I could get away with at least washable slipcovers up there where I can somewhat stop the messy hands from getting up there. So far it has worked out pretty good.


Comfort wise I have been super happy with them. They aren’t the sink in type you would get with the Pottery Barn ones, but they are cozy. The seats are just firm enough that you feel like you don’t sink in so far you can’t get out, and the back cushions are really soft but don’t seem to lose their shape. I wondered why I had waited so long to make this purchase because they really are great. My only complaint would be that the white fabric seems to gather lint like crazy. I feel like I am always wanting to run a lint roller over it to get all the dust off. It was something I hadn’t anticipated, but definitely not a deal breaker for me. In October IKEA was running a sale for their IKEA Family members (a free program) so we ended up getting them for even cheaper. I drove the 2 hours up to Atlanta one Saturday and brought them both back in the van. We unloaded the huge boxes into our bedroom where they stayed under blankets until Mitch came at Thanksgiving to help us carry them upstairs.

Finding a sofa table to go behind one of the couches was next on my list. I was going to use a side table that we already had from downstairs that was a similar color to the media cabinet. I thought it would help carry the dark color to the other side of the room, and I already had it so for now it will work fine. For the other furniture in the room though I wanted to mix in some other wood tones. There was already a lot of white in there so even though I love white I stayed away from placing a white table backed right up to the white couch. Too much white. I finally had narrowed it down to these five:

I loved the color and texture of this one, but it felt a bit too adult for the space. I think something a bit more casual would fit our style and the room.


Benjamin Distressed Wood Console

I liked the more rustic/industrial feel of this one. It was simple and the wood was a lighter tone than the cabinet so that was good, but in the end I wasn’t that impressed with the reviews and pictures of it online.


Safavieh Dennis Console Table

This one was my favorite for awhile, but unfortunately was only sold in the UK, so getting it here was a major cost. I loved the lighter wood and the criss cross wood on the sides of it.


Occa Oak Savoy Console table

I decided that since the walls were a really light gray maybe I should be looking for something along those lines instead. I found this one that looked okay, but still just not exactly what I had in my head. I wanted something that had a bit more texture/wood feel to it, not just a painted piece.


Threshold Windham Console Table

I ended up finding this one and fell in love with it. Then I tried to find where to get it since it was sold out on the site that I had originally found it. After searching for several days I finally found it on wayfair.com and with free shipping. I loved the middle legs that separated the space a bit since I was planning on putting some baskets down there, and I loved the gray tones to it, but with still some wood texture. When it arrived it looked a bit different from the picture, but has ended up working great. It looks a little more brown toned instead of gray which I was initially disappointed about, but I loved the shape of it so well that I decided to keep it. When we got the whole room put together it looked great. The slight brown tone with the color of the TV cabinet and other furniture ended up being a perfect blend. The quality of the table itself it great, but the color is more of a painted surface glaze than a gray stain so it seems to show marks kind of easy on the top. Overall I am happy with it.


Bridgeport Console Table

My plan was to put a rug in front of the couches over in the TV area, just to unify the area more and bring in a little bit of pattern. I was really set on this chevron striped rug from Pottery Barn Kids, but when I went to see it in person the stripes were very cream colored instead of white. It was really just not what I had thought it would be. Note to self for the future-it’s worth it to go see something in person if at all possible before purchasing.


Chevron Wool Rug

I found this one at Rugsusa.com that was similar, and even though the gray color was a lot darker than I had planned I thought it would still look great, and actually might be nice to equal out all of the white in the room. It turned out matching the other hopscotch rug almost perfectly. The white chevron stripes in this one were still a bit cream colored, but not nearly as cream as the PBKids one. They had a killer Veterans day sale so I scored if for super cheap, with free shipping!


Rugs USA Quinta Indoor Outdoor Chevron Charcoal Rug

I found this rug from CB2 and just fell in love with it. It made the space seem so playful and definitely added the touch of fun that I wanted . I used a coupon, but in the end it was a splurge for the room. I figured I had saved a bunch in the couches with them being on sale that it was still in my budget.


Hopscotch Rug

I wanted a vintage type stool for the built in desk area, but was having a hard time finding one that wasn’t crazy expensive and was the right height. I ended up buying a chair that was totally different, hoping it would give a little modern edge to the room, but when we got it, I hated it. It wasn’t comfortable at all, and the metal bottom just looked kind of cheap-so back it went. It was missing the hardware to put it together, so since it was their fault, they shipped it back for 1/2 price. Yeah! I was glad that I had started shopping really early for things so that I had time to return things if I needed to and also avoided the holidays shipping rush.image

Wildon Home ® Hebron Adjustable Swivel Bar Stool

I thought I had looked everywhere, but while searching on worldmarket.com I came across just the stool that I had in mind. It looked sort of industrial/vintage and I thought it would work really great for a teen hangout. I caught it on a REALLY good furniture sale that they had and got free shipping again! Love free shipping! When it arrived I was shocked at how awesome this stool is. It is SO heavy, and the finish is more of a metal colored not just painted black. The top wood is also not shiny like it looks, but a great light weathered look and really heavy duty. I LOVE it! I am actually thinking of replacing our faux leather stools in the kitchen that have started to peel with these. The seat spins so it can be adjusted to the perfect height. It was funny to me that this is what I had in mind for the space, and I tried to go with other things, but in the end my gut was right and it is almost my most favorite piece in the room.


Twist Swivel Stool

I had seen these little kid wing back chairs on this blog-Natasha Smith Photography and thought that they would look so cute in the space. When I looked for them on Amazon they only had this light gray color, but I ordered them anyways hoping that they were the right ones. They were the darker gray like on the other blog, and were super cute, but I  didn’t love them. I held onto them while looking for something else, but some things that I didn’t like was that 1-they looked a little to serious for the space. Maybe for a cute reading spot in a library nook? and 2-the color looked a little too blue to me instead of dark gray.


I got a magazine one day form Home Decorations Collection and they had these cute kids chairs. They had a few colors and one was a dark gray color. I don’t know why the color online makes it look brown, but in the magazine it was definitely gray. They were having a sale (I love sales) and it ended up being not that much more than the ones that I had originally bought. Since the first ones had the color misadvertised they let me send them back for free! Yeah! When these chairs arrived, I was so impressed with the quality. I liked that the cushions could be turned over (something the first chairs couldn’t do), and the feet were real wood not plastic like the other ones. And the fabric at amazing-it is heavy duty and has an almost linen texture to it. I wished they had bigger ones for me-they are so cute! The simply shape works so much better in the space.

Kids Mirage Chair


Jody Kid's Chair

The Moroccan poufs were the one thing that I thought would bring a great deal of color to the space, and a place to prop our feet since I wasn’t going to have a coffee table up there. The problem is that they are CRAZY expensive in my book. I looked everywhere for them, but for four of them it was going to break my budget. I looked into sewing them, but in the end just couldn’t make it work. I am in love with the bright pink and blue one, but one crazy thought that I had since they are real leather and dyed was that I worried about the colors bleeding onto my rug up there. I wonder if that is a problem with them. I ended up going with some other colorful floor pillows, and maybe in the future I will splurge and get one of the poufs-they just look so pretty.


The chalkboard word find I ended up making from a tutorial here:Thistlewood Farms-Chalkboard Word Find.


A lot of the other items where pillows from various places, wall art, and some great accessories. I used the 9 cubby white bookshelf to make a new dollhouse of sorts for their old dollhouse furniture, and my plan was to paint our pink play kitchen set white. My little boys play with it a lot more now than the three girls do so I wanted it to be a bit more masculine, but I just ran out of time, so it’s still pink as of now. Hopefully as the weather warms up consistently I can get out in the garage and spray paint it one afternoon.

I mentioned before in my planning for the playroom that I had figured out the “Right Way” to decorate. The “Right Way” for me was this-to make out a very detailed plan to start from. No matter what the space is or how big or small my budget is-MAKE A PLAN. In the past I will see something that I think might look nice in a certain room or I think I like it but don’t have a specific place in mind and what I end up with is just a bunch of stuff that doesn’t really blend together very well. There has been those occasions when I find something I just love and know I will find a place for-but for me those times are much fewer. I need a plan of what colors will work and what specific furniture I might need or not need. From there it has been so much easier for me to stay focused on the whole picture. Using an idea board like I did for this space let me see all of the possible items together and how they may look. It’s easy to swap out a picture or two and switch around different colors schemes instead of having to buy and return multiple items.

On Christmas Eve as we were pulling things out of the attic and finally getting to place them in the actual playroom, it felt so good to see that my vision for the room was finally coming together. It turned out fun and playful-and I just hoped the kids would love it as much as I did and get to enjoy making many happy family memories there.

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