Children's Playrooms, Design Reveal

How to Create the Perfect Playroom for Every Age

We moved into our home just two years ago, and there was a glorious sunroom. But let’s be real—when am I going to have the time to pull up a lounge chair to do the NYT crossword puzzle with a cup of tea? I now have three children and a span of eight years between my oldest and youngest. One day I am going to convert this space back into the relaxing sunroom it was meant to be, but for now, I am pleased that it’s evolved into the perfect playroom—a cheerful and creative escape for the entire family to enjoy.

Colorful Playroom with Retro-Inspired Rug - Project Nursery

On that note, it’s only natural for me to want to share my tried-and-true playroom decorating tips that allow everyone to “play” nice—three kids and three homes later!

Tip #1: Keep it light. The space was originally painted yellow, and while yellow is a fantastic neutral color, this particular shade was much too loud. Toys tend to be crazy colorful, so I recommend going with an extremely pale shade of your favorite color. Mine happens to be a Hint of Lilac.

Colorful Playroom with Retro-Inspired Rug - Project Nursery

Tip #2: Diversify your storage options. In keeping with the spirit of creativity, I carved out a small space of the playroom for myself so that I can work on my own projects alongside the kids. I love the crisp white look and vertical flexibility the elfa Shelving System affords me. Its butcher block top and upper drawers are dedicated to my small sewing projects and gift wrapping. My boys have taken over the bottom bins with their arts and crafts, but this will be changing once their little sister starts crawling—and that could be any day now!

Playroom Storage - Project Nursery

Floor bins, on the other hand, are a perfect solution for smaller children. All of our baby toys are stored in chic, colorful ombre rattan baskets for easy access.

Ombre Rattan Baskets from The Land of Nod - Project Nursery

Colorful Playroom with Retro-Inspired Rug - Project Nursery

Tip #3: Make their art the focal point. What to do with all of your kids’ preschool painted masterpieces? We gathered string, two nails and a bunch of clothespins, and suddenly we had our own little art gallery for all to admire with installations updated quarterly.

Playroom with Adult-Sized Table - Project Nursery

Colorful Playroom Decor - Project Nursery

Tip #4: Cater to the ages. Play tables are most practical when it comes to the four and younger crowd, but if you can manage to incorporate an adult-sized table in the playroom, I am all for it. From Legos and art, to homework, puzzles and snack time, this is where my eight-year-old and his friends gravitate to (and so do my fellow preschool moms at playdates).

Playroom with Kids' Art Display - Project Nursery

This metallic gold teepee is not only on trend, it’s basically where my middle child lives, all cozied up among the pillows with his incredibly active imagination.

Kids' Playroom with Teepee - Project Nursery

Tip #5: Incorporate kiddie furniture and a big dose of whimsy. Let me tell you from experience, it’s super fun to bring in pint-sized furniture for your tot to enjoy as much as you like looking at it. I’ve designed many a playroom over the years, but at the end of the day, it’s about the feeling you get when you walk into your playroom as an adult. My personal mission? Put a smile on everyone’s face.

Playroom with Kid-Sized Furniture - Project Nursery

Playroom with Kid-Sized Furniture - Project Nursery

Tip #6: Make your flooring fabulous. They are only small once, so getting down on your hands and knees is one of the best parts of being the parent of a small child. Everyone asks me about my happy retro rug, so I thought I would save the best for last—it’s from The Land of Nod. And as for floor time, its plush wool is great on the tummy and the knees, and I’m not just talking about comfort for my baby.

Melisa Fluhr's Colorful Playroom - Project Nursery

For a complete source list and a library of great playrooms, check out the Project Gallery.

photography by Charlie Juliet Photography

Some samples were received but all opinions are my own.


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    What a beautiful space. The colors are so bright and happy I could get very comfortable in that room. I love the point about having a table for adults, it makes to much sense. The table in your room is really nice, would you share who makes it? Thanks!

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