Playroom Makeover

I’m so excited to share a little space of our home that we recently made over: the girls’ playroom! Our kids are ages two and four right now and it seems like all they are playing with is a random assortment of toys stuffed in ziplock bags … can anyone relate? #why

There is too much stuff, zero order, and it’s leading to less play and more chaos.

Time for a change. 

But first, how about some crazy, drab before photos?

Playroom before

The room felt small, dark, and wasn’t being well used. It was turning into a catch-all for storage. We were so excited to transform this space into somewhere fun for the girls. I want to provide some context about the priorities and limitations we were working with: if you’re thinking you don’t have the resources to do this type of makeover, keep reading!

Playroom Priorities:

  1. Downsize amount of toys
  2. Less clutter
  3. Create a bright, fun space

Limitations:

  • We don’t have a big budget!
  • Has to be a multi-use space
  • Our DIY skills are limited 😉

The Make Over

Toys: what stays, what goes? 

The most important thing I’ve learned when it comes to toys is less is more– a hard concept to follow when your kids are gifted a lot of things. Too much stuff just turns into “dump and leave” kind of play. We have been overwhelmed with stuff for a long time, and are slowly finding our way out of it.

We overhauled our toy box and kept toys meeting 2/3 criteria:

  • Played with often
  • Encourage imaginative play
  • Good quality

Toys we kept include: little people, Disney figurines, musical toys, blocks, puzzles/games, and dolls. So, we didn’t just get rid of everything, we removed the noise so they could enjoy the toys they love.

We love supporting small shops and one of our favourite is Smiling Tree Toys. This family-run business creates beautiful and safe keepsake toys. At Christmas I got the girls these spell well name puzzles, which are beautiful and well-loved. Smiling Tree Toys sent us these wooden alphabet blocks with lower and upper case letters; Vienna has really loved these since she has been working on writing at preschool. And, the girls are obsessed with this fun camera, especially every time I pull out my big camera! If you would love to get your hands on some of these beautiful toys, use the code MAMAWRITES for 15% off Smiling Tree Toy products May 14-May 18, 2018! 

Playroom blocksOrganization: finding a system that works

I have been dreaming of this toy storage for a long time! When we only had Vienna I started rotating bins of toys in our living room, which worked pretty well for a while. Now that we have two girls, and we often have friends over for play-dates, they needed a space to play in and keep their things that was not our living room. Once we filtered out all of the toys we don’t need, we created labeled bins: the labels help the girls put stuff away– most importantly so that they can find it when they want to play with it again.

toy storage

Decor: function & simplicity 

You can tell from the before pictures that this space was pretty dark. Our goal was to create a bright and fun space. We painted the walls white and added decals for a little bit of pop. Vienna and I did a DIY art piece for the wall, which was so fun and she is so proud of! The picture of her below is when I pointed out her art work on the wall– she was beaming with joy to see it hung! We loved doing this project together.

Playroom wall artBlackout curtains are amazing– this room gets cool in the winter and hot in the summer, so they will help keep the space comfortable for play year-round. Adding a cozy play rug (that is machine washable!) started as only for decor, but has ended up being the place where the girls want to sit and play! We also moved the tee-pee from Vienna’s room into this space for a reading nook. The girls ask for story time in the tee-pee most nights. I love seeing all these decor items become so functional!

https://smilingtreetoys.com/collections/toys/products/camera

 Playroom wall decor

 Function: creating a flexible, multi-purpose space

Given the size of our house, this room had to be multi-purpose. We don’t have a guest room, so we had to ensure that everything can be tucked away easily to transform it into a space for guests. We have a hide-a-bed on order which will take up some of the open space, but with the sleek storage system there will still be plenty of place to play. This room also has our only direct access to our back yard, so we wanted to have a place for boots, hats, etc. so the girls can go in and out during the summer.

Playroom after

And there you have it– our easy DIY playroom makeover! Do you have any tried and true tips to organizing toys and playrooms for kids? I’d love to hear what works for you, please share below!

Mama Writes

49 comments

    1. Oh that doll house is one of my favourite items! I might have to put it back in the living room it’s so pretty. lol!

  1. We need to go through all the toys and reorganize so bad. These shelves and baskets look great and so convenient!

  2. I love how beautiful you’ve made the bins. It’s hard for us to reduce – especially with kids of different ages and genders, but whenever we donate a box of toys, I can feel the difference! Kudos to you for making your space fit your needs!

    1. Thank you Catherine! I agree, reducing is hard for us too! The kids seem to remember every last toy and don’t fully understand giving them away just yet. You are right- whenever a little is cleaned out it makes a big difference!

  3. Going to have to show my daughter this. She is trying to figure out what to do with the playroom. Not a ton of money to spend to this is perfect.

    1. This can be done on a really small budget! If she has any questions feel free to message me! It’s so easy and working out great for our kids!

  4. Those bins are ridiculously cute! I need something like this in my girls’ room. Their toys are such a jumbled mess in their bins.

    1. Right? Bins without labels didn’t work for us either. The kids are finding this so easy and they actually enjoy finding the right spot to put things away! Clean up is like a new game! 😉

    1. Thank you Sandy! The fresh new look is definitely resulting in more play! Now I just need to add a coffee chair for Mama 😉

    1. Thank you! The teepee has been one of our long time favourite items. It’s such a sweet decor piece and the girls love using it for reading!

    1. Thank you so much for the great feedback! The decals were super easy and I’m so happy with the result. I might just decal all the rooms now, LOL!

  5. This is brilliant! We just bought a house and as we’re unpacking I’m realizing we have too many toys just scattered all over my sons room. I love the idea of the labeled bins.

    1. Thanks Chrissy! This has worked so well for our kids– we’ve done bins with no labels and they just didn’t get it! It’s really helping them find their toys easily and put things away!

  6. Less is more is always the struggle, right? It’s the same in my closet as the kids’ toys I guess. And love the kids’ personal touch – makes it so much more “theirs”

  7. I LOVE this playroom! We are moving soon and will finally have a playroom for our kids (which means not in the Living Room!) And I have so many ideas floating around in my mind!

  8. I love what you did with your playroom! And I can completely relate to the need to declutter and downsize the toys. It makes such a huge difference! Very cute toy storage bins as well!

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