Sunday, August 14, 2011

When Did My House Become a Daycare???

There was a brief period of time, let's say 3 years, when Larry and I had finally settled into our first home and I had ever so thoughtfully decorated it with care. I was so proud! Little did I know at the time that in less than a year my house would quickly go from looking like a Pottery Barn hopeful to a 24 hour drop-in daycare! Who knew that one beautiful little girl could acquire so much stuff in her first year of life. With the abundance of toys and clutter that come along with children, I can see why some parents opt to use their formal dining room as a space to stash all of that stuff. Sometimes formal dining isn't high on the list of priorities for families with young children! I have to admit, as much I would love to have a perfectly decorated dining room with linen upholstered chairs, salvaged wood table, and antique buffet, right now I don't have the budget for it. And if an empty dining room means I can get the Little Tykes Cottage and bouncy horse out of my main living room, I might opt to turn my dining room into a temporary playroom. (the linen chairs will remain on my "someday" wish list for now). While using your dining room as a playroom may not be the most visually appealing use of space, it makes perfect sense for the young family. The dining room is usually connected to both the main living area and then kitchen, which means mommy can keep an eye on the kiddos while doing her thang. Often times bonus rooms are tucked away upstairs, which is great when your kids are 15 but not 3. If you need to use your dining room as a playroom, you don't have to completely sacrifice looks for function. Keep asthetics in mind and also the fact that you will need to revert the room to its original use for staging purposes in the future.
If your dining room turned playroom is very open to the rest of your living space, keep the colors and style similar to the rest of your space. Consider using baskets to house all of those toys and trinkets. A pint sized table is great for play and arts and crafts AND still doubles as seating when you have gatherings! The kids need a place to sit too, ya know! I love this design because the kids always want to sit together and it gives the parents an excuse to have adult time together while still keeping a watchful eye on the little ones. architecturaldigest
Check out some of these sites to find tiny tables and chairs that fit your decor style:

If your playroom is tucked away in an inconspicuous area and it is indeed intended to be a playroom, then you have much more creative freedom. If you have converted a dining room to a playroom, you may want to keep the colors and finishes fairly simple. It will make your living area seem more cohesive and will make your life a lot easier when it comes time to stage your home for sale.
Storage, storage, storage! I can't get enough of it! Just because your children own 5 million toys, doesn't mean you want to look at them all the time. Invest in sturdy storage units and pick baskets or storage bins that coordinate with the rest of your interiors. Storage systems are available in many price points. Check out Pottery Barn Kids and Target. Even if you invest in higher quality units, you can purchase affordable baskets/bins to finish out the design. This featured unit has chalkboard inserts, which I adore. They now have chalkboard paint that you can use to transform a wall to a chalkboard, but I would not recommend doing this in a converted dining room because you WILL have to make it disappear before selling your house.,un-interieur-pratique-et-ludique-tout-en-deco,200458,52498.asp

Consider using an area rug if you have hardwood floors in your dining room. It will protect your beautiful floors from the dings and spills that go along with children at play.

Check out these carpet tiles from They can be pieced together to cover any sized floor, and if one tile gets dirty, you can pull it out and easily replace the one tile as opposed to replacing the whole rug! So smart for children's spaces! They come in a wide variety of colors and patterns too!

Keep in mind that today's tips for creating a functional and stylish playroom are intended for those of us out there who are using a dining room as a playroom. Of course there are tons of fabulous, creative ideas out there for playroom design that I didn't touch on today. However, the rules are a little different when your playroom is open to your main living space. If you invest in good storage, a child friendly area rug, and a few scaled down furniture pieces for your busy little tots, you will have a functional space that can easliy be returned to a dining room when needed! And at least you won't be tripping over teddy bears and stepping on legos in the middle of the night as you cut through the living room. Contain the clutter and you will feel less like a daycare supervisor and more like a domestic diva!

1 comment:

Jenny Williams said...

The flor rug you featured in is Ryder's room! :)