When you have younger children, it can be hard to feel like they – and their toys – don’t have complete run of the house.
Providing your kids with a special place to have fun, create and maybe even get a bit messy is one idea to try and control the chaos as you slowly reclaim shared use of your main living areas. And if you make it so fun to be in that your children won’t want to play anywhere is, there might even be activities like dinner parties and time spent with other adults in your future.
There are several different elements that you need to get right in order to create the perfect playroom. While every parent hopes to create that magical setting that they can proudly call the ‘world’s best playroom’, it’s not just about the ‘wow factor’ alone. Safety goes hand-in-hand with creating the right blend between activity areas, seating, creative surfaces and storage – which takes some finessing in and of itself and can vary depending on your children’s interests and which hobbies you want to encourage.
At its core, this playroom has been simply furnished – which shows that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to make an awesome space, nor do you need to fill it with lots of things. The joy and whimsy come from creative and colourful use of paint, where an all-white, ‘blank slate’ room with walls in Resene Merino and a floor in Resene Triple Merino has been transformed in a charming cityscape. It also shows how, if spare space is scarce in your home, even just a corner of another room could become a dedicated play zone.
Resene Triple Merino and a tonal green palette of Resene Deep Teal, Resene Stromboli and Resene Blue Smoke were used to paint our building shapes. For a design like this, there is no right or wrong way to do it, but it’s a good idea to plan it out on a piece of paper first. Then, it’s simply a question of using washi-style painter’s tape – available at your local Resene ColorShop – to mask off your shapes, including ‘squares’ for your windows which can be left as your base wall colour in Resene Merino. If you want your buildings to be flush up against one another like ours, work with one colour at a time; mask off those areas first, use a small smooth surface paint roller to apply two coats of Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen and allow the first coat to dry fully before applying the second. Once dry, remove your masking and apply new masking to around the areas you want your next colour to be.
We incorporated a house-shaped bookshelf painted in Resene Lustacryl tinted to Resene Jet Stream and a costume rack in Resene Lustacryl tinted to Resene Stromboli right into our wall mural design to give our design some dimension. If you’re handy with tools, you can build similar ones yourself or you may have luck finding comparable pieces at popular children’s furniture suppliers. To get the same look, be sure to figure out where you want your furniture to sit within your space first and trace it with a pencil before plotting out the rest of your mural design.
If your children enjoy drawing, painting or making crafts, having a table and chairs painted in Resene Merino and Resene Galliano that are just the right scale for your kiddos to get creative allows them the space to work on artwork without it taking over your dining table or kitchen island – and perhaps even permission to get a bit messy. But by choosing Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen or Resene FX Chalkboard Paint to colour the building shapes in your mural – especially for deeper hues like Resene Deep Teal and Resene Stromboli, those areas become spaces where chalk can be used for drawing or games. Simply wipe them clean with a damp cloth whenever your kids need a clean slate.
There is a cheeky sentiment among interior designers that, whatever a homeowner imagines their storage needs to be, you should double that. While that’s not exactly a strict rule of thumb, it’s often not that radical an idea – especially when it comes to children’s spaces. If there’s one thing that no one has ever complained about, it’s having ‘too much’ storage. But while you’re addressing where and how you’ll store bigger toys or things that are less frequently used, don’t forget about how you’ll organise smaller items, too. Open jars that can hold craft paintbrushes or markers and boxes for sheets of stickers or craft supplies can make a big difference in keeping small bits together and easy to find. Colour code these storage items by painting each with a testpot in a different Resene hue to make it easier for everyone to remember what goes where – look to the Resene KidzColour collection for a full range of vibrant colours that’s been curated with kids for kids. Because, after all, if everything has a place it belongs, it’s more likely to be returned there at clean-up time.
Styling by Annick Larkin. Photography by Bryce Carleton. 2022
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