How to Design your Kids Playroom on a Budget
The playroom is as great an idea for parents as it is for kids. For the kids it’s a separate room to call their own and muck about in, to make noise and mess in as they please. For parents it’s a relief to be able to leave the kids in a nearby space that’s safe and stimulates their imagination without a T.V.- and most importantly make room for a snatched moment of grown-up time!
We’d all like to give our kids the best, but when most children can have as much fun with a cardboard box as an expensive toy there really isn’t much point spending lots of money on your playroom.
So here are our top thrifty tips on transforming your playroom:
Making the room kid-proof.
Before we discuss fairy castles and suchlike, is your room ready for the wear and tear only a kid could inflict? Anything that involves kids needs to be wipe-down or machine washable.
This is the time to discover the joy of lino. Linoleum or vinyl flooring can be stuck down with masking tape over the carpets to protect them. Flooring stores often have off-cuts that they will give away for free if you ask nicely.
If you are worried about getting the walls dirty (this will happen) paint the walls with bathroom paint or exterior paint; these paints are water-resistant so they can be wiped clean without damage.
Bean bags are easy and quick to make If you know how to sew, or know someone who does. Hammocks can be picked up cheaply too- and go down well with little pirates!
A small table for drawing and craft activities is a good addition to any playroom. Keep an eye out for empty wooden cable-reels when passing building sites; these make cute round tables when painted.
Old chests and sturdy suitcases can be found at thrift stores and second-hand shops and make great dressing-up boxes or treasure chests. These double up as surface space for playing and storage too. Even a solid old wardrobe can be a magical plaything when the kids have one they are allowed to climb into!
If floor space is at a premium, hanging storage can free up lots of it. Keep an eye out for hanging baskets and hanging fabric storers that can be securely fastened to the ceiling.
Stirring the imagination
Being handy with a paintbrush or a pen can transform the playroom into something really personal for your kids. Children love to feel that something is ‘theirs,’ and you can make them feel really special by putting their name on something, or their favourite character from a movie or book.
No one’s asking you to be Da Vinci, just print out a few designs and copy them onto the walls. If you feel that the copy might not do the original justice, stick the image over a piece of thick cardboard and cut out a stencil using a craft knife. You can apply stencils using spray paint or sponges, just make sure the paint is well dried by the time the kids get home. If this still sounds a bit too arty, most D.I.Y. stores stock wall stickers for children.
Involving The New Tenants
Asking the kids to help design the playroom is a sure-fire way of making sure they will love the space, and it will feel more special because of it. There’s no need for expensive themed kids furnishings choosing colours and designs is an easy way to ‘theme’ a room to your children’s tastes.
And just think, when you’re drinking your coffee in peace while the kids are playing in the playroom, it’ll all be worth it! If the sun comes out and your little ones would rather play outside, consider outdoor fun features for your garden like a slide or outdoor climbing frames to keep them active.
Do you have any more design ideas that save the pennies?
Guest contributed by Jo Philips a proactive lifestyle blogger who is always full of great DIY and interior design tips. She often writes for Dunster House.