Friday 16 August 2013

Project playroom - part 1

Hubs and I call our spare bedroom the 'room of requirement' because just like in Harry Potter, it's a room that becomes what we need it to be as we need it. From a guest bedroom to a study for hubs when he works from home to a makeshift gym, laundry room, second lounge and DVD library, our room of requirement is used for so many different purposes. It's not a big room but it is multifunctional and as we have filled the rest of our home with furniture, each room with it's own purpose, we've decided to finally do something with this space.

As little man is accumulating a lot of toys, books and other bits and bobs, we've decided to create a playroom in addition to his nursery as the nursery is the smallest room in the house - it's well planned but floor space for playing is limited. You may remember the fun we had organising and decorating Ethan's nursery before he was born and we're just as excited to have a new project underway. Hubs still has his wardrobe in this room and we'll be keeping our grey sofa bed so that guests will still have a place to rest their heads, but at least the room will have a very practical purpose the rest of the time, rather than being saved for best like a lot of guest rooms are.

It didn't take us long to think of a theme either. Both Ste and I loved dinosaurs when we were growing up and hubs has very fond memories of first watching Jurassic Park with his mum; something he hopes to share with Ethan in the future. So, our playroom planning began with the hunt for some fun dinosaur wallpaper to create one feature wall - and this is what we chose:

Next, storage. We have loved our Ikea Expedit TV unit since we bought it a couple of years ago - it literally transformed our lives. As you may have gathered, we are obsessed with films and TV shows and our house was once filled with bookcases full of DVD's. We ended up editing these down, getting rid of the ones we never watched via Music Magpie and then storing those we did want to keep in big CD holders, save for a few special editions / box sets. We then bought the Expedit system from Ikea and quickly doubled our storage space in our lounge whilst taking up less floor space and providing somewhere to display our nic naks. I do love nic naks.

Because of this, we knew the Expedit system would be ideal for the playroom to give us ample storage for Ethan now and as he grows and we get buried in building blocks, books, balls and battery operated toys. We also need somewhere to keep Ste's Mac safe but unfortunately the TV system as we know it has been changed and Ikea offer a different design, which is nice but not nearly as practical in terms of maximising space. After two hours exploring Ikea yesterday, tape measure in hand, we decided to opt for the Expedit five cube by five cube boookcase in white, which provides 25 shelves in total. We liked the broader range of finishes available in the four by four version but decided that Ethan will only get more things as time goes on and we might as well make the most of the space we have now. 

Because this bookcase will take up the wall behind the door, and opposite the wallpaper feature wall the sofa sits against, we thought we'd go bold and have a big flash of colour. We chose this colour from Wilkinsons, aptly named Zesty, which will be bright and engaging for Ethan but will only be visible above the bookcase and through the shelves, making sure it's not too in-your-face. The other two walls (one of which has a big window) will be a soft cream colour to balance all the bright colours.

We then chose to add four doors in the gorgeous turquoise gloss finish and a set of two drawers in the same colour. At the moment, we're thinking of putting these in a line in the middle of the bookcase, to create a colour band that's just tall enough to be out of Ethan's reach for a couple of years. We then chose some pull out boxes in a yellow/lime shade and in bright blue to put along the bottom row which will be handy to keep bulky toys stored away out of sight when they're not being played with. That's another thing I love about this range - you can customise it so many ways to suit your needs and tastes, and adapt it over time too.

The rest of the shelves will be used to display favourite toys, pictures and so on. Can't wait to put this together although hubs isn't looking forward to putting this unit up - it took rather a long time last time around!
We also found a little desk that will fit in perfectly as a new home for the Mac. It's also from Ikea, white to match the bookcase and has a bright green drawer. It'll fit nicely where we currently have a bookcase and we just need to get a chair as they were sold out yesterday of the one we wanted.
We've picked out some curtains in the same tones as the wallpaper and have a few other accessories to add colour and texture. I want the room to be fun with lots for Ethan to see and do and would like to add other features as he grows, like a blackboard and wall stickers we can take off and move around, such as big numbers and shapes to help aid his learning. 
If anyone has seen any brilliant dinosaur related cushions, pictures, toys or anything, let me know - I do love a theme! - or if you have any ideas I'd love to hear them.

We're hoping to get cracking on the decorating this weekend and should be able to get it all done but, then again, we've never decorated when we've had a baby so we'll see how we get on...

Can't wait to share the finished room with you all. Watch this space!

If you'd like to see my moodboard for the playroom, take a look at my Pinterest board.

(Images sourced from Ikea, Dunelm Mill and Wilkinsons websites).


  1. Sounds absolutely gorgeous. We have Expedit for toy storage and it's really practical, especially as we can put some stuff out of reach! We also have white and it's allowed it to blend in nicely with wood furniture in the room as I hate clashing woods! Colours look great too. Love the green!

    1. Clashing woods aren't good! Glad that the Expedit system has worked for you too. Really can't wait to get it all together - everything has arrived now :)


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