A Room to Play – Kids Basement Playroom Nook
Here’s some parenting AND home planning advice: if you can find a space in your house for a kids’ playroom that has a door you can shut – I highly recommend that! In the old house, we finished the basement and added a bedroom, which we used as the kids’ playroom and toy storage. It was glorious – no matter what mess was in there, it practically didn’t exist as soon as I shut the door. Plus, the closet was the perfect place to tuck away the hodgepodge of kids crap. I mean toys.
TV Room to Playroom
We thought we’d use the random basement office space to do the same in this house, but I got worried thinking about them playing in the same room as our sump pump and electrical panel. I mean ... what could go wrong!? I was really glad we pivoted on that idea since that room was the one we got the water damage in shortly after moving in. Instead, we decided to use the finished nook right off of the main “man cave” living room.
The old owners used this space for their TV but it’s a really long and narrow shape, and feels very closed off from the rest of the open room. We wanted to be able to enjoy the TV, our company AND our fireplace (I mean, bask in the glow of all of Zach’s work when he updated the fireplace with peel and stick brick tiles.)
Playroom Book Storage
The only problem with this kids playroom space was that there is no door. Or storage. Luckily I had some cube shelves from the old playroom to move in to get us started. The TV wall worked well to build around using shelves we had. Zach hung his original basement TV up there where the wall mount from the previous owners was, so the kids got a major playroom technology upgrade. They also got a major style upgrade thanks to a tip I learned from the ladies at The Home Edit – storing kids books by color. It’s actually quite brilliant and honestly is so fun to look at! It was quite the processes sorting out all our books by color, but the outcome is really satisfying and brings me a lot of joy! Plus, it’s easy for them to put books away this way!
We had a futon in the kids playroom for a short time at the old house and learned quickly that “real furniture” for seating is really not that conducive to play. I much prefer having flexible seating so that the room can be flexible itself. The kids have outgrown the little plastic IKEA table and chairs we used to have, so I bought these little chairs that each fold out into a little bed-like mat. We had a version of these when we were kids and I loved them. Not only are they great for sitting, reading or gaming, but hopefully will serve us well for sleepovers someday. Jake likes them too! I think he also feels like royalty sitting in his shrine of paintings my sister made us while she was teaching others to paint their own dogs! Ha!
Playing House - or Hiding
The kids were gone when we set this room up, so one of the other fun surprises we added as this little play tent I found on Amazon. So stinking cute with the little cut-out windows and zip up sides that have little ties. For extra fun, I grabbed a set of battery operated lights and made a little "chandelier" in there. Ok, so I really just wadded up the string lights, but it looks cool! I added a little fuzzy rug and think this is the perfect hideaway. When they can't find me... I'm probably in here. JK! But it is larger than many of the others I found while searching, so parents can comfortably fit in here too which is a bonus.
Kids Storage Solutions
One of my favorite stuffed animal storage solutions is the little grey and white "bean bag" you can see above on the left - just unzip, stuff with animals and you've got extra seating! Speaking of storage, since they're cheap and available practically everywhere, we grabbed two more cube storage shelves to create little dividers for this room off the main room. While we may someday actually shut this room off into it's own thing with drywall and a door, this works for now giving a little definition to the space, and gives us more much needed storage. Abbey gets one for her toys and Hank gets the other. There's a lot of "cube" going on down here now, but these work well for us in this season of life... and stuff. They're cheap, they're convenient, and assembly doesn't take too long.
Plus, adding these shelves gives a nice little corner play space in the playroom for Abbey's kitchen and our growth chart. So glad we opted to get a moveable one of those so we can keep on tracking now in a new house! My new friends at the Home Edit suggest clear storage so that you can see what you're storing, but since we wanted more of a visual block with these cubes, we went with a coupe different types of baskets and got these cute little label clips to help find what they're looking for.
Gender - and Age - Neutral Decor
And finally, a little flair. I rounded up these wall decorations at the At Home store. That place is LOADED with so much cute random wall art. Like with the decor in Hank and Abbey's jack-and-jill bathroom, I opted to keep things pretty age and gender neutral. If this eventually turns back into just a TV hangout nook, I think these can grow with them a while. They haven't figured out the little square is actually a letter board that we can customize, so for now, we'll keep that between us so I don't have little white letters all over. ;)
Eventually I will probably add some new paint in this little nook, but we haven't quite figured out what we want to do in the rest of the basement for paint and if/how this might bleed over there. So, for now, we've got a place to play that has room and flexibility to grow.
Shop-able Furniture and Decor:
Large Kids Teepee Tent (affiliate)
Folding Foam Chair/ Bed (affiliate)
Stuffed Animal Storage Bean Bag Chair (affiliate)
Better Homes and Gardens 4 Cube Storage Shelf (affiliate)
Better Homes and Gardens 8 Cube Storage Shelf (affiliate)
Fabric Cube Storage Bins from Target
Coiled Rope Warm Gray Charcoal Basket from Target
Decorative Basket Black Steel Rectangular from Target
Write-on, Clip-on Basket Labels (affiliate)
White Wood Growth Chart (affiliate) - similar to mine
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