If there’s one thing parents can all agree on, it is that storage is invaluable in your home. Even from birth, kids have SO MUCH STUFF. EVERYWHERE. And if you’re like me and get stressed out by the sight of clutter, having a place for everything to be put away is key. Enter the kid’s playroom. I feel like it can so quickly become a black hole of chaos trying to consolidate the majority of their stuff in one room if you don’t have the right storage & organization. And if you search around online, some of the solutions are insanely expensive. As beautiful and cutesy as they are, I have plenty other areas I’d rather spend a thousand dollars in besides a cubby unit that will probably get scratched up or colored on.
Back in the fall last year, we officially converted our front “receiving” room to a playroom. Knowing that our second child was just around the corner, we needed a dedicated space for them downstairs where we spend the majority of our time. We have a landing area right off the top of the stairs, which is still a great open space in the middle of the second floor with all our bedrooms right off of it, but it’s not a space we want to spend all day in. I also didn’t want to spend a ton on furniture in here, but wanted something that would last and would stand up to how rough kids inevitably are. I searched Pinterest for what felt like a month before I finally found a layout I liked and was feasible for us to make happen.
These are simple cubby shelves from Target, with just one on its side in the middle. The three of them together like this was the perfect size against this wall, and the cubbies were nice and large where they fit 13″ square baskets which hold a ton (also from Tarjay but discontinued. Even though these are sold out, the IKEA BRANAS baskets are perfect fits in here too). I kept every other row open without baskets so that I had storage for the bigger/bulkier items that didn’t exactly fit in a basket. I love this system because everything is put away but also visible for the kids to see and grab when they want.
These little planes above the shelves from Pottery Barn Kids (discontinued) were way too cute to pass up when they went on sale last fall and I’m so glad I grabbed them. They’re substantial, which allows me to put larger items up there rather than just knick-knacks (like my older one’s tennis trophy!). I originally wanted to put books up there but every time I did, my son complained he wanted to read them, so it was more of a hassle than it was cute lol.
Like I said at the beginning, kids have so much stuff. So these cubby shelves alone weren’t enough to hold everything, in particular the bulk of the little items like Legos and Hotwheels cars. I wanted something easier to access; close to the ground and shallow to store these items so that they weren’t dumping out an entire bucket of them looking for one thing. So when I stumbled upon this play table & storage cart system also from Pottery Barn Kids, I couldn’t check out fast enough. I love that you can purchase the longer legs and matching chairs down the road for when they get bigger, and the little chalkboard labels on the carts are adorable. The carts are huge too, so you can fit a ton in them, and they still roll very easily, even when full and on carpet.
I must say however, the pièce de résistance was definitely the Nugget Comfort couch. To be honest, when I first heard of these, I thought they were such a gimmick. Like, whoopy, it’s a flat couch. Why is that exciting? Y’ALL – my kids are freaking obsessed with this thing. The fact that it’s firm, comes apart into multiple pieces, and is machine washable, makes it ideal for kids. My older one loves to make forts with it, and the little one loves to crawl under said forts. It’s also surprisingly supportive when we sit on it watching a Disney show for more than 10 mins. I cannot recommend one of these enough if you have kids or are even planning to have kids. Only downside is that they’re always backordered by months, so you have to plan ahead.
Outside of those big items, I didn’t want to put much more in here and clutter it, given that the goal is to be an open play space. Once Christmas time comes around though, I will be putting our tree in front of the window and moving the table to the opposite wall (which I am seriously ITCHING to do right now). So that pretty much rounds out this room.
Ultimately I like that this can evolve (it’s “flexible and scalable” as we like to constantly preach in the big data world lol). Plus, nothing in here is painfully expensive where I would have a stroke if they colored on it or scratched it with a toy, so I can relax watching them enjoy the space and not freak out every time they whip out the playdough. It’s so functional and comfortable, and it’s definitely been the smartest update to date.
If you have small kids, do you have a dedicated playroom? What does it look like? What are some of your favorite things about that room? What are things you wish you had? Comment below, I’m always excited to hear clever tricks and ideas!
Shelving Unit: Threshold Cubby Shelves || Storage Baskets (discontinued)
TV: Sharp 55″ Smart TV (this size fits perfectly within this layout of cubby shelves)
Couch: Nugget Comfort Couch – Koala
Round Play Table: Humble Crew Play Table