Playroom inspiration

19 09 2008

When we began building our house last summer, we decided to leave the upstairs bonus room open as a loft. We love the natural light and wanted to make the most of the 20 foot ceilings above the dining room. We’ve spent the last year trying to decide what to do with the room.

As the room is open to the rest of the house, our first task has been to come up with colors that are fun for the kids and nice to look at from the dining room below and reading loft across. Our plan is to use atmospheric blue and chocolate brown along with a few pops of orange.


In the corner of the loft there is a nook that could have been a walk-in closet. We decided to leave this space open and have dreamed of building the boys a place for quiet or imaginary play. At first, I wanted to do something like this, but we realized that if the loft was that high, the boys could probably jump right out of the loft and down the whole flight of stairs. As Asher’s recently been talking about going paragliding off his bunk beds, we decided this was a bad idea.

When I found this photo of a low loft bed with storage on Apartment Therapy, I figured out what we needed to do with the nook.

The alcove is just the right size for a full mattress with about 20 inches on one end. We will build a platform large enough for the bed and a small area to climb up and down. On the wall, we will install a small LCD television and connect this to a DVD player or gaming system that is stored under the bed. This way, the kids can watch movies or play games here and we don’t have to have a large television taking up space in the playroom. We will hang curtains outside the nook and make enough pillows for the space to be a cozy spot for reading or quiet time.

Underneath the platform, which will look a little like the photo below except it will be about 20″ off the ground, we will have space for storing toys in plastic containers. As in the example from Apartment Therapy, we will use an Ikea Lack shelf on wheels as a bench with storage that can roll in and out from under the platform.


I’m planning to cover the mattress or futon in a plain brown fabric. I like the dots on this so much I may add some dots to the cover too, or maybe I’ll stick to pillows with dots. We hope this will be a great spot for the kids to relax. We also think they will use it for dramatic play. To make this easier, we will add a mirror and hooks nearby for their dress up clothes. And even better, it will make a sweet little guest bed!

This will leave the main area in the playroom wide open. We will put the play table in the center of the room. This is where the boys build trains, blocks, and legos. Along one wall, I would like to have open shelves for books and toys. Above this, I want to display the kids art projects somehow.  While most messy art projects happen downstairs, I would like to have a corner for drawing on the easel, which I’d like to paint orange. I’d also like to have music area with a cd player and a basket of the boys’ instruments. For additional seating, we’ll use floor pillows or ottomans with storage inside.

To finish off the room, we’re looking for some whimsical kid’s art.


Update: I wrote this blog last year while I was on bed rest pregnant with our son Zeph who is now 13 months old. Over the last year, we’ve made a few changes in the playroom, including adding curtains and a modern sofa we found on Craigslist for $25. But with three little boys, we’ve spent most of our time cleaning up the playroom, not decorating. But the time has come!  For more playroom inspiration as well as photos of the playroom as we finally get it set up, click here.




5 responses

21 09 2008

Sara, I love your fun ideas! And…I think you should do a weekly fashion blog. And I am not kidding!

Also, you said you were looking for cute whimsical art- I love painting and would really enjoy doing a piece or two for you guys! This is a style I could handle, and it would be so fun! Don’t feel obligated by any means, but know that I am available and willing! I want to start selling my paintings on etsy…maybe next month?! Hope you feel well…


21 09 2008

I might talk to you about the art thing. We’re trying to get some more basics done, i.e. color on the walls and curtains on the windows before the leaves fall of the trees and our neighbors can see right into our bedroom. But then art…

21 09 2008

And I’ll think about the fashion blog. While I’m sitting on bed rest, I certainly have the time!

4 01 2010

Hi. I really, really love your play room and had a question for you. Where did you find your whimsical art of the animal prints? I would love to get my hands on these for my boys play room. Thanks!

5 01 2010

The animal prints are from This store has lots of affordable, fun art. For something more unique, I’ve also had great luck with

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