Decorating Ideas for a Playroom

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    Playroom Ideas: Decorating Your Child's Playroom

    Children's toy room
    AE Pictures Inc./Stockbyte/Getty Images

    If you have the square footage, giving a child their own space is a great way to keep toys contained and provides a safe place to play. Most children cherish a space of their own besides their bedrooms.

    There are many ways to furnish and decorate a kid’s playroom, and decorating a playroom doesn’t have to bust your budget. Children need nothing fancy to have fun.

    We’ve got great playroom style ideas. Take a tour through our photo gallery of playroom ideas to inspire you on how to create a perfect space for kicking back and having fun!

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  • 02 of 11

    Safety Comes First

    Photo © Steven Puetzer/Getty

    When decorating a playroom, always consider safety. No matter the age of your child, safety comes first. Even teens need adults to take precautions when considering a playroom for fun and play.

    Here are some safety tips:

    • For toddlers and young children, research safety issues --such as corded blinds, outlets, cabinet doors, lead paint -- and and plan for these safety issues in your initial design.
    • For younger children, consider using soft storage boxes or bins. Heavy buckets or bins are easily pulled off of the shelf and can cause serious head or bodily injuries.
    • Furniture over knee height, such as cabinets, dressers and shelving, should be secured to the walls. This is important even in teen rooms. Bookcases have been known to tip and injure all ages.
    • If you are creating a teen room with computer and television access, Internet and television safety is mandatory. Install or activate parental controls. A playroom is a great way to provide your tween or teen a safe environment where they can feel they have some space and control, yet you are still protecting them, as well.
    • Install a carbon monoxide detector. Small children are especially susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning.
    • Stay on top of toy and furnishing recalls. This can be important for all ages, including adults.
    • If you'll be doing some remodeling, consider using low VOC paints and other healthy building materials. Organic fabrics aren't necessary, but may be something you desire to incorporate.
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  • 03 of 11

    Colorful Playroom Ideas

    Photo © Comstock Images

    Picking out a color palette or theme for your playroom can be a lot of fun. This is a great time to go bold! Children respond to bright colors and large patterns, but don’t be afraid to break away from the preschool primary tones. There are many contemporary color palettes that would work well in a playroom, yet still, make it feel grown-up enough that the adults don’t feel like they are hanging out in a kid-only space.

    The decorators of the playroom photographed chose primary colors, but they incorporated a schoolhouse theme. Themes can add interest to your space and can encourage your child to explore ideas and learn.

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  • 04 of 11

    Playroom Furniture Basics

    Photo © Shanty 2 Chic

    Start with the basics. Every playroom needs ample storage alongside a table and chairs. Even if your child rarely sits still, a table can provide an elevated surface for every activity from tea time to Play-Doh to train-track building.

    Playroom furniture needs to be extra sturdy and durable but doesn't need to be expensive. Shanty 2 Chic put together this fabulous playroom ensemble, and she built the table and chairs for less than $30. Ana White's website has plans for this table, along with other plans for storage centers that you can build yourself with minimal skills.

    If you would rather purchase than produce, I've always been impressed with IKEA's prices and selection of children's furnishings. IKEA also has furniture tailored for teens, as well as adults. (For more children's furnishings, see our shopping guide.)

    Even if your playroom is designated for a teen, providing a table for study, board games or reading encourages a love for something other than electronics. It can also provide your preteen or teen a quiet place to spread out and be his or herself -- especially if your child is artistic or introverted -- without separating him or her from the family.

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  • 05 of 11

    Playful Playroom Storage

    Photo © this vintage chica/flickr

    Consider all of your child's storage needs when planning your playroom. I love the area in the photograph that one mom created for her child. There is room for artwork to be displayed -- and created! The shelves are kept low so little arms can reach. The soft basket beside the shelf adds extra storage for books or other small items. And the classic, traditional look of this playroom should meet this family's needs for years to come.

    Along with storage needs, it's important to evaluate lighting. Lighting should be safe but adequate. Natural light is the best if it is available in your space, but other lighting sources such as sconces or recessed lighting also work well.

    Table lamps aren’t always a good idea since cords are easily pulled, or worse. If you use lamps, make sure cords and sockets are secure. The lamp on the bookshelf in the photograph adds additional lighting, but the cord is tucked safely away behind the shelving.

    For more ideas on kid-friendly yet frugal storage ideas, see this article.

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  • 06 of 11

    Something for the Grown-Ups

    Photo © Show & Tell

    I love everything about this playroom by Show & Tell. A storage area and art area provide a fun, organized place for a child to play, while a calm but hip color palette makes adults feel at home also.

    The patterns are perfect for kids, but the large neutral sofa provides a comfortable spot for adults and children. Throw pillows are inexpensive to make or purchase and can be exchanged as your child's (and your) tastes grow.

    Built-in storage doesn't have to be custom or expensive. A shelf and chalkboard painted wall can easily be surrounded with molding to create a custom look, like in the photo.

    See more photos and details on how she pulled this look together at Show & Tell.

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  • 07 of 11

    A Wall for Kid's Art

    Photo © Clean & Scentsible

    This budget-friendly and easy DIY playroom idea by Clean & Scentsible makes the perfect playroom (or any room!) display for kid's art.

    The clipboards create an easy way for older children to hang their own art, and it also makes for an easy swap when your child brings home their latest masterpiece.

    This Abode came up with a great idea and attached cookie sheets and pizza pans to her wall, which she used for organizing her child's magnetic toys. This would also make a fun backdrop for hanging artwork, and the geometric shapes of most pans would fit right in with the kid-friendly decor.

    If you would like something to adorn your walls in addition to your child's artwork, see our article on creating fun and fabulous art from everyday items.

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  • 08 of 11

    Space to Be Alone

    Photo © Perfectly Imperfect

    Many playrooms become rooms for the entire family, and this is perfectly okay. But don't forget to provide space for your little (or big!) one to have some private time or downtime.

    Kid-only reading nooks, alcoves, tents, and recesses can provide the perfect spot for your child or teen to unwind. I absolutely love this space that Perfectly Imperfect created in their playroom. The wall decor is at kid height (which is exactly where it should be, by the way) and comfortable, kid-only seating is thoughtfully planned around a stocked bookshelf.

    The color palette is soft and calming, but feel free to be a bit more aggressive, especially with an older child. Just remember that red walls aren't calming for anyone and should be reserved for the most playful sections of your playroom.

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  • 09 of 11

    Incorporate a Unique Style

    Photo © Ryan McVay/Getty

    Using vintage furniture and decor to decorate and furnish a playroom is a great way to create a comfortable play space on a budget. It also adds a unique look to the style of your home.

    When shopping for vintage or used items for a playroom, use caution and consider safety. Lead paint, unsafe toys, and recalled items are certainly not child-friendly and have no place in a playroom.

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  • 10 of 11

    Create a Playroom Anywhere

    Photo © Brand X Pictures

    You don't need a special room to create a comfortable play space for your child. Adding a kid-sized table and inexpensive yet comfortable rug to a family room can give your child a place to create, play or simply be himself. And it also shows your child that you consider him an important member of his family.

    Here are a few other playroom ideas:

    • Add pops of fun color through throw pillows, place mats or other small decor items that are easily changeable as your child grows.
    • A coffee table can do double-duty as a play table. If you don't have a table and can't afford a new one, search for an inexpensive wooden table and shorten the legs with a handsaw.
    • Create child-accessible seating with a small bean bag or large throw pillow sewn in the same or matching fabric as your sofa or chair.
    • Pretty storage baskets with lids can keep toys hidden and can match even the fanciest of living rooms.
    • Adding a bit of temporary artwork at kid eye-level is a great way to entertain your child. Decals, laminated family photos or even small paintings can easily be created to fit into existing decor.
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  • 11 of 11

    More Awesome Ideas

    Photo © Jeffrey's Murals/flickr

    These fabulous bloggers came up with some other fantastic and fun playroom ideas. Enjoy!

    • If you have a Harry Potter fan in the family, check out this creation for a kid-friendly hideaway.
    • Fun, funky and modern is the theme of this small playroom by All Things Kelly. 
    • Create a puppet theater (or drive-thru window!) for your child with this easy and frugal idea from The Bosleys.
    • I love this idea by Pink Picket Fence for creating a kid-friendly space in a dark basement corner.
    • Sixty-Fifth Avenue created a Pottery Barn look for much, much less in their classically beautiful playroom.
    • Nine & Sixteen's upscale color palette makes for a gorgeous playroom for adults and children alike.
    • I adore this playroom by Southern Exposure, right down to that nifty closet.