Our “New” Indoor Play Space!

posted by Andrea | 12/15/2016
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indoor play space

One of the least favorite spaces in our home has always been the “blue bedroom” upstairs.

When we first moved in, this room had blue carpeting, blue curtains, a blue desk, blue sponge paint on all the walls, AND blue sponge paint on the ceiling!

It was such an ugly room with a small window, low ceilings, awkward sloping walls that limited furniture arrangement, a tiny and useless desk, AND stained carpeting. Plus, it was freezing in the winter and sweltering in the summer!

We used this room for a variety of storage needs during other house projects, and as a guest room for a while; but we essentially avoided this room and kept the door shut most of the time.

NOTE: Our plan has always been to renovate the “blue bedroom”, but it will be a very large (very messy) project since we’ll most likely need to remove all the drywall and plaster, insulate, and put up more drywall again. It’s one of 2 more house projects we need to do to “complete” our 125-year old farmhouse renovations… we’ll get to it eventually! 

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Fast-forward 5 years…

We were ready to bring our 3rd baby into our home, which meant Simon needed to move out of the nursery. We briefly thought about “quickly” renovating the blue room before James was born, but I wanted to be able to take our time, and I certainly didn’t want to be half-way through a messy house project when we brought a new baby home. Plus, we still had a few other projects (like putting in a bathtub) that were a higher priority for us.

At 16 months and 3 years old respectively, Simon and Nora would not have been able to share a bedroom, so we decided to make this bright-blue room as nice as we could for Simon — with as little time, effort, and expense as possible.

We painted, had the carpet cleaned, got a cute rug, purchased a portable heater and portable AC unit, and moved Simon into this space just a few days before James was born!

For the most part, I could look past the blue carpet (after all, Simon loves blue), the low ceilings, the tiny window, the cracked plaster, and the outdated moulding that doesn’t match anything else in the rest of our house… but I never liked this room and I didn’t like having my little 16 month old sleep in there either (aw, look how little Simon was!)

Then, this past summer, Nora and Simon both decided they wanted to share a bedroom — and to our surprise, they have been happily sharing a bedroom for the past 5 months with absolutely no issues!

This meant the infamous “blue bedroom” was completely unused as of Labor Day weekend!

We definitely weren’t going to start a huge house project right as Dave was gearing up for another school year; so instead, we took down the crib, sold the extra furniture, purged a few toys, and transformed my least favorite room into a fabulous kiddie wonderland in about 2 days!

The room is complete with a masking tape road system for all our Little People houses, farms, and cars, a “secret” cubby for all our baby dolls and baby gear, a fabulous walk-in closet with a full-length mirror devoted to our growing collection of dress-up clothes, and 2 comfy chairs when the adults need a break from playing! 

Yes, this room still has a small window with very little natural light, it still has awkwardly sloping cracked walls, it still has super low ceilings, and it’s still BLUE… but boy do our kids love this space!

Toys and games and make-believe play spills over from their bedroom and the playroom into this “empty” bedroom with no function except kiddie fun.

The best part is that since we haven’t renovated this room yet, I don’t care if they spill on the carpet, I don’t care if the masking tape ruins the carpet, I don’t care if they ding the walls or scratch the paint, I don’t care if they put a million fingerprints all over the mirror, and I don’t even care if it’s a total disaster for most of the day.

Our tentative plan is to renovate the blue bedroom this coming summer… but who knows, we might just push it off another year or so if the kids keep enjoying it this much 🙂

This room will hopefully be the perfect place to spend many LOOOOONG winter days when it’s too cold to go outside!

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14 comments

  1. Trisha G

    12/18/2016

    I’m curious what your process was for setting up the roadways. Did you sketch it out first or just wing it? It looks really cool!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    No process — I just grabbed a roll of tape and started taping. I had no plan (believe it or not!)

    [Reply]

  2. Rhonda M

    12/17/2016

    What a nice space! I love seeing how you change your house to adapt to your growing family needs over the years. You have such great ideas. We have an open floor plan house, with no separate playroom, which is one of just a few complaints I have about my house.

    Also, I recently searched your site for “winter mittens” because the winter gear from my 3 and 6 year old girls was getting strewn everywhere in our small entry and driving me crazy! I made a few minor changes after reading some of your ideas, and what a world of difference! Our adult mittens and hats were difficult to find, as we had them in plastic crates sitting on the floor of the coat closet. A $5 shoe organizer saved my sanity. Freeing up the floor space in that closet also meant we could store the wet winter boots there, instead of out on the rug in the entry. I went crazy with the rest of the house, and clicked on your link for The Container Store last week – can’t wait for my items to arrive 🙂

    [Reply]

  3. Rhonda M

    12/17/2016

    What a nice space! I love seeing how you change your house to adapt to your growing family needs over the years. You have such great ideas. We have an open floor plan house, with no separate playroom, which is one of just a few complaints I have about my hourse.

    Also, I recently searched your site for “winter mittens” because the winter gear from my 3 and 6 year old girls was getting strewn everywhere in our small entry and driving me crazy! I made a few minor changes after reading some of your ideas, and what a world of difference! Our adult mittens and hats were difficult to find, as we had them in plastic crates sitting on the floor of the coat closet. A $5 shoe organizer saved my sanity. Freeing up the floor space in that closet also meant we could store the wet winter boots there, instead of out on the rug in the entry. I went crazy with the rest of the house, and clicked on your link for The Container Store last week – can’t wait for my items to arrive 🙂

    [Reply]

  4. Gabriela

    12/15/2016

    Waw!!! it looks great! Good idea and great job!!! I can see the kids really enjoying the room!!! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Gabriela! They DO love playing in there 🙂

    [Reply]

  5. Carrie

    12/15/2016

    I think you should rename the room “The Memory Room” because many special moments will always be remembered from the multiple adventures in this special space.

    [Reply]

  6. Marlene

    12/15/2016

    Looks great! I am puzzled as to why you are so opposed to the color blue though

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    my whole house is white! old blue carpeting and blue sponge paint have no place — plus, it’s a very ugly blue 🙂

    [Reply]

  7. Shelly Cluff

    12/15/2016

    I have total play room envy!

    [Reply]

  8. Michelle

    12/15/2016

    What a perfect place to play! When my kids were little we did something similar in our basement for them. The kids look very happy in there…it’s obvious they love it!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, we would LOVE to be able to do this in our basement – but it’s pretty gross down there. No space for kiddos, that’s for sure. That’s what you get with a 125 year old house I guess 🙂

    [Reply]

  9. Lorrie

    12/15/2016

    I love it!

    [Reply]

  10. Ann

    12/15/2016

    That’s a great room with 3 *littles*!!
    Win-Win-Win!

    [Reply]