{ Our Playroom Makeover-Part 4 The Finished Room }

This room has been such a labor of love-but I’m not sure if it’s because of all the old fashioned hard work that went into it or just the fact that we now LOVE this room so much! We labored a whole lot back when we were PLANNING IT. We labored even more when we were BUILDING IT. The fun labor part (it must have been that false labor when you’re still all happy and giddy for your baby to come, but have not yet realized how painful it can be yet) was in THE DECORATING. And now the best part of all when we can stop all that pesky laboring and just enjoy the loving part.

The truth is that we have been enjoying and loving this room for quite some time, but just as with any new baby-once they are here, everything else just kind of stops so you can enjoy just looking at them and cuddling them tight. Our sweet little Playroom baby has sure enjoyed all of our cuddling and loving on it for sure. So much in fact that it’s taken me forever to finally buckle down and take some pictures of it. Most days it is covered in toys. Pillows are thrown in piles for jumping. There are play restaurants daily serving their customers. American Girl dolls are living their little American dream in one of the lofts. And even though my rules dictate otherwise, there are a lot of days that I still manage to find some food snuck up here too.

I love to hear the kids make comments about how they can barely remember what it used to look like. So just to jog our memory a little, lets see how this big, but super under utilized room started out.

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And now…Welcome to one of the most loved places in our home…

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Inside the door to the right under the “Girl’s loft” became our play kitchen area.

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We’ve had that little kitchen for about 5 years and the kids still love playing with it. I debated painting it white to be more “neutral” for our little boys too, but I’m over it. For now, we’re just embracing the pink. I’m pretty sure that those two little chairs and the big watercolor canvas are right up near the top of my list of favorite things in this room. After receiving the canvas in the mail, I happily convinced myself that every picture I own needs to be on a canvas. It is beautiful! We had originally planned on putting those two chairs in one of the lofts and having the kids play table down here, but when everything got into place it just seemed a little crowded. The kids usually just use the chairs as serving places, but more often the floor becomes the new table.

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Those aprons were a little project that didn’t quite make it in time for Christmas, but were super fun to sew with my girls all crowding around. I scoured Pinterest for some cute ruffle apron patterns, and then in the end kind of just made up my own using part of the bottom from another apron I had as a pattern. The little hooks are drawer pulls from Pier 1 Imports that I just screwed right into the wall.

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Across the way to the left as you walk in the door, under the “Boy’s loft” is where our new dollhouse area is. We had a great wooden dollhouse that the kids had gotten many Christmas’ ago, but the actual house part had become broken from lots of little feet constantly stepping on it. I still loved all the wooden furniture, and the kids begged me not to throw away the rest because they loved playing with it so much-so instead we made our own little make shift one. I used a 9 cubby shelf from Target, added scrapbook paper to the back, and set up the doll’s little rooms in each compartment.

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The toy closet hasn’t changed too much. I searched everywhere for baskets that I thought would work, but wasn’t having much luck. Anything else that I found didn’t look much sturdier than what I had before, and they were all a whole lot more expensive. I have a hard time paying $10+ per basket that my kids may just crack, and since I needed 12-15 baskets that seemed like an awful lot to spend just for baskets. I wanted the kids to be able to see what was in each basket, and I wanted to be able to reuse my chalkboard labels that I had made. I love the look of old metal locker baskets, but I couldn’t round any up that were reasonably priced.

The old baskets I had used were from the dollar store and were nice and cheap, but almost all of them ended up cracking at one time or another from the little boys standing on them while trying to reach things. After I had lost over half of them due to breaking, I went back checking for more, but in the two years since I haven’t been able to find them again. A few weeks ago I happened to pop in at the Dollar Tree and low and behold they had some, and they were white this time. I quickly snatched up all 18 of them. For $18 for all of them, I am a okay with some of them breaking. It’s nice to have a few spare in case that happens. I tried partially spray painting one of them a pretty turquoise color for a “paint dipped” look, but haven’t decided if I love it enough to do all of them. For now, they are white and everything is organized. I like that I can just shut the door and not worry about it until I think of something more creative.

The space in front of the closet doors is where most of the toy playing happens. Scott and Ryan love playing with the big Legos and the Little People and both fit perfectly in this spot. I love that it is close to the closet and within reach, but kind of tucked aside out of the main walkway. It’s nice to be able to walk into the playroom and over to the TV area without having to step over too many toys along the way. In theory at least-there are many days that we do still have to tip toe over toys.

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In my original plan I had wanted a table to set behind the sofa area to help separate the two spaces as well as have some extra table space. With no coffee table between the couches, it’s nice to have the small end table and this sofa table to put things on. I love how the added height of the globe and gumball machine help to separate the area a bit too.

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Our beloved gumball machine, which had been out of commission for some time, was one of the first things that the kids saw when they came in on Christmas morning. I realized from their excitement that I probably could have just filled that baby up and giving that to them for Christmas and they would have been happy. Ha! It’s amazing what they will do now for a quarter so they can get a gumball. The little jobs I need done around the house are getting done a lot quicker now that there is gum around.

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Behind the table is the main seating area along with the TV cabinet, and lots of soft pillows for lounging around. With two white slipcovered Ektorp couches from IKEA, there is room for at least 6-7 people comfortably. The big floor pillows can add 3 more, and sometimes the kids will bring over the two little chairs for even more seats.

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I love these floor pillows. I bought two of them (Sshh-don’t tell, they are really dog beds) at TJ Maxx, and then I sewed the bright pink one. It is much bigger and a lot more substantial then the other two ( I think I may need to just add some more stuffing to the other ones in the future) so it’s great for all the abuse that it takes. I love that they all have removable covers that I can just throw in the wash, and so far they have washed up really well. The kids like to stack them up “Princess and the Pea style” and then belly flop onto them from the couch. Fun times!

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Those FUN letters were another splurge from an Etsy shop. They add just the right amount of wood texture against all the white in the room. The large chalkboard word find I made from an online tutorial. I just painted some MDF board with chalkboard paint, made a quick frame out of 1x4’s I had left over from the loft, painted it, and then added white scrapbook stickers. I used a word find generator online to make the actual word search using fun playroom words like LAUGH, and RELAX, and MOVIE NIGHT. I even snuck in a MERRY CHRISTMAS phrase just for good memories sake.

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I have been surprised how well the stickers have stayed on so far with all the random chalk drawings it always gets from Ryan and Scott. I like that if we ever get bored of it, we can just take off the stickers and have a plain chalkboard to use.

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Directly behind this area is our little desk nook. My obsession with everything chalkboard continues in here too. I wanted some way to have this area stand out a little more, so I painted the back wall with some chalkboard paint. I don’t know how much drawing can actually be done on it since it’s kind of awkward to reach and write there, but I do love how all the kids great art work seems to pop against the dark background. The light hanging above also has a black cord that needed to be strung down to be plugged in, so it helped to disguise that somewhat.

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Up the ladder to the “Boy’s loft” gives a fun view of the whole TV area. I mentioned before how the kids decided that one of the lofts should be the “Boy’s loft” and one should be the “Girl’s loft”. It was mostly the girls idea to keep the boys away from their stuff, but the little boys bought it, and were happy to have a little space of their own too.

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For now their isn’t really anything specific in either loft. At Christmas time the kids would drag all of their blankets up there and have family sleepovers during the break. We have also gone through cycles of having American Girl dolls up there, but then the boys mess with them too much and the girls high tail it back to their room with all their stuff. The boys manly just bring toys up when they want to play with them.

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I am thinking of bringing up a low shelf I have for the boy’s side to keep some toys up there permanently just so they don’t have to try to maneuver the ladder with toys. It could go against the wall and away from the railing so they won’t be tempted to try and stand on it. Even though they play pretty safe up there and follow the rules we have set up, I am really worried about putting anything up there that could be stood on and get them hurt.

I never finished writing in detail how I built the railings-but you can see here how they are angled. The angles were a bit of trial and error, but I was super happy when it all came together as good as it did. The only tricky part was having to slide it into place-it was a really tight fit. Great for the safety issue, that thing is screwed in good to the wall, but even if it wasn’t it wouldn’t be going anywhere. Tight fit! But bad for having to try and get it pushed into place..while 8 feet in the air. I was so relieved when that part was done.

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The carpet in the lofts is actually remnants that were left over from when they built our house. We had exactly enough to fit up in the lofts-it kind of made me happy and feel like they were always meant to be there. The color of the carpet looks all wonky in every picture, but the one below is the closest picture to the real color of it.

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Once all of the furniture was in place, we made sure that there was enough room behind the couches to walk comfortably through to get to the “Girl’s loft”.

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The view from this loft is probably my favorite. The desk area, seating area, and the TV can all be seen from here. I think the view of the TV  is one of the reasons the girls were quick to pounce on this loft and call it for their own.

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I made the felt ball mobile from this tutorial, but on a much bigger scale. It measures about two feet wide by four feet long. I wanted it to be big enough to fill up some of the space from the tall ceilings, and big enough to make an impact. I just love how it turned out! I ordered the felt balls from a vendor on Etsy, and bought a large birch stick from Michael’s that I cut into four pieces. I attached the branches with some twine and then strung the balls on with embroidery floss and tied them to the sticks and made sure they hung balanced. This was another project that didn’t make it in time for Christmas, but it worked out okay because Austin helped me hang it. Aaron was on call when I finished it, and by the time I got on the top of that ladder, I was seriously looking for alternative places to hang it. Austin assured me that 14 year olds have no fear, so he climbed the ladder to drill the hole and hang the hook in the ceiling for the mobile.

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I am in love with how the mobile (and the whole room) turned out. It was the final colorful touch that made the whole room feel dream-like and whimsical. I am in LOVE with this room. It seems to be the perfect mix or neutrals with playful pops of color in it. I love that we were able to incorporate the kids art work into the room, and that we finally have a place to relax and play as a whole family. When I look at these before and after's…

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..I can barely believe it’s the same space. I love how the room feels like ever inch is utilized, and it no longer seems like a wasted space.