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SHOW US WHERE YOU LIVE: PLAYROOM

Woo hoo. This is my favorite room in the house, probably because I used to hate it and spent so much time decorating it to make it bearable. It’s the very first room that you see when you come in my house, which I really really hate. But I have 4 kids. Five if you count Matt. And let’s face it, most days he counts as a kid. About a year ago, I decided to convert the formal living room into a playroom. I was tired of tripping over toys that covered the floors in the family room. I was tired of trying to keep kids out of an area that we never used.  The space had to be organized, fun and good for all the kids to enjoy but I didn’t want to paint the enormously tall cathedral ceilings. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. Enjoy.

This is the view from our second floor. Please excuse the little monkey in the middle of the picture. He refused to move even after my repeated attempts to bribe him with cookies
I asked him nicely:

This is the view if you’re coming from our family room. I know what you’re thinking. Those windows are wide open to anyone walking past our house. I had formal curtains in there but they just didn’t jive with the whole playroom vibe so I took them out. I’m going to replace them with bamboo blinds but I haven’t had the chance yet. Luckily our house in on a fairly private street. Plus we get so much natural light from those windows that I almost hate to cover them up.

This is the view from the front door. Sigh. Yes, I know. This is the first thing that visitors to our home see when they walk in the front door. My Southern ancestors are rolling over in the grave as I type. At least it’s clean for now.

This is the view from near the bar area where I get my drink on and hide from my kids we have posh wine tasting parties and good conversation with friends.

So now you’ve seen the room as a whole. Now let me show you some of the ways I tried to make it fun, playful and organized. I spent hours working on this wall. I bought the wood letters, painted the sides of them orange and covered them with scrapbook paper. I hung twine underneath and used painted clothespins to hang up some pictures of the kids. The bottom of the wall took me forever to do. It started out as a way to help our special needs 6 year old, Cam, with transitions during the day. He has a terrible time transitioning from one thing to another. I pained the big blue square on the wall, painted the streets, added the house at the top and the other painted decor. I even painted a blue lake around and through the wall outlet. I found some little wooden houses, a school and the cars at a local craft store. I glued some magnets to the back of them and painted the street with magnetic paint. Anytime we had to transition Cam to leave the house, we’d use the magnets. For example, if the school bus was coming soon, we would have him drive the bus to the house so he knew what was going to happen. It actually worked! Now Mase loves to play with it.

This wall is my attempt at some sort of organization in the playroom. Two basic bookcases and the cubes contain most of the toys in this room. The bins hold all the toy sets: Little People, Mega Bloks, Little Pet Shop, Snap n Style girls, Imaginext Batcave toys, Disney Cars…..you know, the stuff. I keep a small assortment of un-destroyable books for Mase as well. The bookcases are great to hold the bigger toys that don’t fit inside the one toy bin. The black wire basket on top holds the Nintendo DS stuff and the remotes. I keep all the art supplies on the top of the other bookcase. I found 2 magazine holders on clearance at Target and made some little tags for them. One is for coloring books and one for construction paper. I found a cute little box that matched the magazine holders and I use it to hold the markers, the colored pencils and the paintbrushes. I found the Wall Words at Hobby Lobby when they were 50% off and I found the 3 Little League baseball prints on clearance at the same time. I didn’t want to frame them and hang them up because I just know my kids would hit them with a ball and break the glass. Instead, I painted the black rectangle on the wall and stuck the prints inside the box. It looks crooked in the pictures but in real life, it’s perfectly straight. I found the little animal frames on clearance too. I want to spell something out with them but I’m not sure what. I was debating between FAMILY or JOYFUL.

This is by far Maia’s favorite part of the room. I got the inspiration from Pottery Barn but didn’t want to pay the price. I had an unused curtain rod in the garage so I had Matt hang it up for me and I used the roll of brown paper for craft paper. The kids can unroll the paper onto the table and draw. This way I don’t have tons of pieces of paper all over the floor. It’s all contained. As a side bonus, at Christmas time I can replace the brown paper with wrapping paper and viola, instant present wrapping station! I looked for Wall Words that would work for this area and finally gave up and made my own stencil on the computer.

There’s our playroom. I hope you enjoyed the peek inside. Oh, and for all of you who think to yourselves ‘How in the world does she keep it so clean?’ here is what it normally looks like.

Yeah. Sigh. I know. Ancestors are spinning in their graves and my mother is hanging her head in shame and mortification. What can I say? I’m a rebel.

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