Creating the perfect playroom

Creating the perfect playroom

Submitted by Paola McDonald, Creative Elegance Interiors, LLC

These days it seems like kids are requiring a lot more room for toys. The toys seem to get larger and require even more space with each birthday, holiday and visit from grandma and grandpa. It can be overwhelming for parents who attempt to contain the mess and make it look presentable. These tips should help you create a kid- and parent-friendly space that is both functional and attractive.

Try to stay ahead of the mess. As a soon-to-be or new parent, think early about the fact that your child will inevitably collect a lot of toys. Try to determine from the start what space you want to devote to their belongings and how you want to organize that space. It doesn’t hurt to have the early conversations with family members about limiting the amount and size of toys given to your children, particularly if your space is already limited.

Whether you are starting early or already knee-deep in toys, think about breaking your child’s play area into stations. All children are different and will enjoy different activities. Think about the activities your child enjoys (or you think might enjoy in the future) and tailor your space to those. For example, create an art station with a table they can draw or paint on and storage for their art supplies. Be sure to put some of the storage out of reach for paints and other supplies you don’t want them to be able to reach on their own. You can also create a dress up station with cubbies and wall hangers for dresses, hats and scarves as well as a vanity area for hairdressing and makeup. Get creative with your stations and try to tailor them to your child’s interests.

Think about the sizes and shapes of the toys your child already owns and tailor your storage accordingly. If you are starting early, think about storage that will accommodate various sizes of toys. Bookcases with movable shelves are great for tailoring to your storage needs. Purchase fun cubbies and baskets to contain the small stuff. Cubbies that allow you write on them with chalk, white board makers or other materials, are best to help you organize toys by type. You can also color code your cubbies by child and can use it as a learning exercise in both colors and picking up after themselves.

Use toys as accessories. Organize your children’s play area so that when it is picked up, it looks organized and put together. By grouping certain types of toys together you can create great structural groupings. For example, group board games together and stack them nicely on shelf by size. Colorful cubbies and baskets can make a bookcase or storage unit look color coordinated and purposeful. Don’t forget to add artwork to the space. Use your own child’s artwork to create a rotating art gallery. Get some nice frames and display your little Picasso’s art in their space.

Make a learning experience out of clearing out unused toys at least once a year. Inevitably you will have toys that children either aren’t interested in or outgrow. Spend time with your child(ren) deciding what toys to remove and donate to children who are in need. You can teach your child a lesson in giving and make room in your toy area for the next birthday or holiday.

McDonald is a certified interior decorator and owner of Creative Elegance Interiors, LLC. She has been decorating homes for more than seven years. In 2006, she decided to turn her passion into a business and to share her talents professionally with others. Since then, she has helped many clients achieve the home of their dreams. She has worked with varying design styles, designing home spaces that reflect her client’s own personal styles and tastes.

As of July 8, 2011, this service provider was highly rated on Angie’s List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie’s List.

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