P L A Y R O O M
This room is an important area of our house. We are lucky to have this space, where we can create something just for the kids. Even more so with Albert and his sensory needs which comes alongside his Autism.
When I built the soft play last year, we always knew it wouldn’t be a long term fixture. At the time I wanted to create an area which made being at home easier for us. Albert really struggled with boredom and needed the stimulation I felt I couldn’t give him. Little did we know that a pandemic was coming shortly after and we’d be home a lot.
During the time at home, I spend a lot of time playing with the kids and it soon become clear to me that Albert needed more than what I had built. He had a lot of fun going down the slide and into the ball pit but it didn’t cater to his sensory needs in the way I’d hoped it would. It also took up so much space that I struggled to add any extra elements, such as a sensory swing, which I knew would help him. Every day is a learning curve, being an Autism parent and we will never stop learning about Albert’s needs. They also change regularly and the old pLayroom didn’t give me any flexibility to make changes.
Towards the end of last year I started planning how I could change the room and we had no choice but to get rid of the soft play area I had built. I wanted to focus more on making it a sensory room but at the same time a fun place for both Albert and Percy to play in.
Once I removed the soft play there was so much making good and prep to do to make the room looking good again. It needed a complete redecoration. I had already purchased some Ferm Living wallpaper a while ago which was a lovely off white with brown polka dots. I used Valspar paint colour matched to the base colour of the wallpaper and the colour was called Brushed Linen. This was for the top half of the walls and then painted the bottom half in Valspar Cocoa Dust which is a really lovely warm latte colour. I decided to go for a scallop design as I really lovely the effect it gives and is so fun for children’s spaces. I also painted the skirtings, architrave and back of the door in Cocoa Dust. I used Valspar furniture paint for this as I wanted a Matt finish and there was also no priming required which saved some time.
Once it was all painted (which took a while) it was time for the fun part!
The function of the front part of the room stayed the same. It was for storage and playing and I also added a reading area and moved the TV to a different wall.
For the reading area, I stumbled across an amazing basket storage unit from Homesense. As soon as I saw it I knew it would be perfect for books as it meant they were low enough for the boys to reach. As we have lots of books I also needed some shelves on the wall. I found some rattan caddies in Dunelm for a really good price of £10 each. I decided to add some brackets to the back and use them as wall shelves. They were the perfect size and looked really cute filled with books.
I already had two Ikea ivar units which had previously been painted. I decided to put one on top of each other and paint them in to match the walls. They fit perfectly behind the door of the playroom and made good use of a tricky space. I added some legs from Pretty Pegs to the bottom units and attached the units to the wall. I wanted to make sure they were nice and sturdy and completely child proof.
We already had some Ikea trofast units which stayed in the same place. These are ideal for playrooms as they hold lots of toys and are low enough to have toys on top to play with. We always keep our marble run, car track and play cars on top.
On the left side of the room, I wanted to create an area for some sensory swings. I’d done a lot of research on how these can help children with autism. The swinging sensation can be very calming and can also stimulate speech. Having something like this is ideal for Albert with him being non verbal. Percy also loves a swing and so I knew if I only had one swing they would definitely argue over it. I found some swings I really liked the look of on Etsy but they were quite pricey. Knowing that my mum is a dab hand at sewing, I asked if she could make some and she did a fantastic job. We bought a cheap second hand swing from Facebook Marketplace and used this as a template. I purchased the linen fabric from eBay and some pom pom trim from Amazon. I think you’ll agree that she did an amazing job in making them! I got the brackets to attach them to the ceiling from Amazon. I had to find the joist in the ceiling to ensure they were safe and secure to take the weight of some little humans. I did this by lifting the carpet in the room above and measuring the distance of the joists from the side of the room.
I decided the TV was best positioned in front of the swings. This could then be a nice chillout area where they can sit in their swings and watch TV. Albert finds certain episodes of Peppa Pig calming if he is having a difficult time. So having a TV in the room has always been essential for us.
I used some Ikea trofast wall units above and below the TV to really utilise the space and have as much storage as possible. It’s always handy to have high up storage to keep items you don’t want little hands having regular access to!
Behind the swings, I created a cosy nook area using the Kids Concept pavilion tent which I purchased from All Mamas Children. I put lots of cushions inside and also their bean bag.
On the opposite wall I wanted to create a climbing wall. I already had a KAOS climbing ladder which I was going to use in the old playroom but never got round to putting it up. I ordered a large piece of foam from Anyfoam which I had cut to size for the area for the perfect crash mat. I opted for a thickness of 20cm so it was really safe for them to jump onto. I made a cover using the same linen fabric as the sensory swings. I used a rainbow wall sticker which was sent to me from Nutmeg Wallart and I wanted it to feel like they were climbing up to a rainbow.
In their old playroom, I created a starry ceiling underneath the treehouse which they both loved and I wanted something similar in this room. I decided to get 100m of LED fairy lights from Amazon and filled the whole ceiling with them. I used command hooks to attach them and even managed to have enough spare to come down the wall and put inside their pavilion tent ceiling.
For the chimney breast area I wanted to create a play kitchen/imaginary play area. We had a Ferm Living play kitchen in Percy’s bedroom and he didn’t play with it much in there so I decided to bring it down to use in the playroom. I bought an rattan shelving unit from Zara Home and a small rattan chest of drawers from Dunelm and it all fit perfectly on this wall. We used some This Modern Life storage crates for their play food. I added a Kids Concept wall shelf and some lovely prints and decor from small businesses which I’ll list below along with lots of lovely decor items which finished the room off.
It‘s safe to say that both boys love the new playroom already. They are no longer distracted by the huge ball pit and utilising their toys a lot more plus the new features I have created.
I hope you’ve found this useful and any questions let me know. Jayne x
Prints - Wonder & Rah, Ella & The Roo, Molly Meg & Burnt Peach Designs
Wire words and flower - Curly Cubs
Large rainbow hanging, rattan bench & Lion rug - OYOY design
Mini rainbow hanging - Rose & Hope
Woven animal head wall hangings - Never Perfect Studio
Wooden Payphone - Cissy Wears
Basket storage trunk & book baskets - Homesense
A & P mustard cushions - Buttons & Cushions
Slide - Scandiborn
Sensory Swings - hand made by my Mum
A & P large chalkboard letters - Velvet Chalk
Alphabet hanger - Betty Dream gift
‘Where The Wild Ones Play’ & Long Live Boyhood - Flynn Dot
Pom poms - Hearts and Delights nursery decor
Bean bag - Little Jaeger
Cushions - H&M and Ferm Living
Bamboo blind - Argos
Play banner - Hello Material
Rattan bear mirror - Sass & Belle
Tassel Garland - Knotting Dreams
Lion Head - Florrie & Ollie
Peace hanger - Little Penny Luck
Wooden shelf decor - Happy Little Folks
Personalised wooden shop sign - Roscoe Rules
Wall hooks - Rosie Meringue
White boucle chair - Homebase