Tuesday 12 January 2016

playroom plans

I'm not on my own in feeling like it's been January for about three months now right? Will it NEVER get to the end of the month?! So many things I want to do around here, so little money to do them with. I'm feeling all:

Thankfully there really is something in the saying "neccessity is the mother of invention" and I'm almost finished my super cheap (read:totally free cos I only used stuff I already had) downstairs loo makeover so I'll be sharing that as soon as I can get some decent photos!

In the meantime I've been planning out what I want to do in the playroom...cos planning is all I can afford right now!

playroom makeover on a tight budget

playroom makeover on a tight budget
There's Elliott in his tank, trying to be all "I'm a super scary snake" even though there's a stripy monkey sitting on his roof like he owns the place.

playroom makeover on a tight budget

So what we're working with is a fairly narrow, dark room at the front of the house. When we moved in it was used as a dumping ground for a while but we gradually cleared all the paint and bike parts out (so safe for kids!) and turned it into a playroom, which was needed! I swear small pieces of plastic breed at night, every day I go in there I see more stuff I didn't know we had. There are every kind of tiny wheeled devices a small child could want, so much art stuff they could set up their own classes, a box of peppa pig musical instruments and an endless supply of stuffed toys for tea parties prepared at the play kitchen....and yet today Em spent the whole morning playing with an apple and an empty honey container in a reusable bag, I shit you not.

Regardless, I have no desire to look at toys once the kids are in bed, so a place to shove them all at the end of the day is a real bonus!

So for about a year now it's been usable, but not very pretty or inspiring. It's basically just a dark room full of toys (and an itinerant snake).

It was on the back burner during that time as we worked on other, more important parts of the house, but now I feel the time has come. I find myself browsing amazing scandanavian blogs, drooling over the playrooms of kids who obviously never coloured on a wall or shoved a teddy down the toilet in their lives. Clean rooms! Functional rooms! Beautiful rooms! Rooms that inspire kids to stop and think before colouring their baby brother in with a sharpie. You know, miracle rooms?!!

Ahem. Anyway. It's time.

So without further ado, here's a little look at what I'm thinking:

1. Feature Wall

everything emily blog

First up is the feature wall....done with tape. Yes, I am going a bit crazy with the tape around here recently but it's so frickin' cheap and easy to work with, and it gives precise lines without actually having to put any time or attention into it, which is good, cos I can't spare either!

I love this swiss cross style pattern, it's so simple, but really effective.

2. Bright Ceiling

ABM Headquarters Tour (Part 1)
a beautiful mess

I plan on painting the room a soft white to brighten it up (it's at the front of the house, which doesn't get a lot of light), but I'd love to bring in a really vibrant colour on the ceiling. I'm thinking maybe Dulux "Hepburn Blue"? Or maybe I'll go yellow, or pink! Still undecided, all the pics of colourful ceilings on pinterest are so gorgeous, I'll get some testers soon and see what looks best in there.

3. Rope Light Sign

rope light wall art:
annaleesa's hem

Next up we have an idea for using the white rope light that we've just removed from the front of the house (from Christmas, we didn't decide to just pretty up the front of the house with running lights). I'm thinking of trying to write "play" and center it on the feature wall. You know, just in case they forget what the room is for....and spontaneously learn how to read. Thoughts? 

Lighting is something that will be tough in here. Children and lamps are not mixy things, plus I HATE overhead lights, so I think this might be a nice compromise and also add a piece of art to the room. The rope light is a lovely soft white so it should be good as a lamp substitute.

4. Library

IKEA HACKS RIBA picture ledge as bookshelf:
hus o hem

A library!! I love how these Ribba ledges allow you to display kids books front-facing. Em loves her books but unless she can see what's on the cover she pulls them all out to look at them before she chooses!

And then of course we would need some really comfy, squashy seating for maximum enjoyment of our "library". I wish I could sew, beanbags are so expensive to buy!

5. Desk

I'd love to hack a kid-sized desk that would sit under the window. The room is quite narrow, and any floor space we can save leaves more room for playing (or just dumping toys all over the floor, whatever). The Ikea Stuva set-up above would be perfect as it incorporates lots of storage as well as being a drawing surface. And if I could afford a couple of these......

Replica Charles & Ray Eames Replica Kids Eiffel DSW Circular Table | Zanui.com.au

...then I'd be totally happy to spend hours in there playing princess witches (totally a thing) I promise!

6. Somewhere to display kid-art

And finally, to display all the works of art produced in this planned child-utopia I propose the erection (snigger) of a "Duffy Gallery of Art", in the form of brightly painted frames lined with corkboard. That way current art can always be displayed where everyone can appreciate it ;)

So there you have it! What do you think? Anything I'm leaving out? Anything you found really helpful in your own playroom that you'd recommend? 

I'm planning on getting started just as soon as I can afford the paint and I'm hoping it'll be a pretty quick job, but before that I need to find a new home for poor Elliot, he's an elderly snake, I'm sure he'll be glad to get out of there!

Oh, and just before I go, I know you've all been looking, and wondering, and probably judging, and I don't blame you, so I feel like I should address the elephant in the (play)room, namely......the ugliest lampshade in the world!!!!!


So yeah, basically I saw something beautiful and ethereal on Pinterest, namely a cloud lampshade, tried to re-create it and failed epically. 

Maybe I missed something basic in the instructions. Maybe I rushed it. Maybe I should have actually gone out and bought cotton wool instead of using the insides of a burst ladybird cushion? Who knows?! But I thought I'd share this just to show that behind the scenes around here there are just as many fails as there are in any other house, probably more ;) So I'll just leave you with this.....