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Hello Sunshine Sports Playroom

A BASEMENT PLAYROOM THAT LETS THE KIDS BURN OFF THEIR ENERGY ALL YEAR ROUND!

THE LOCATION

Toronto, Canada

THE KIDDOS

6yo, 3yo and 6mo
FEATURES WE LOVE

Active play space for hockey, soccer and basketball

Climbing wall

Basketball net

Sensory swing

Non-slip ball-responsive gym flooring

Low & accessible holders for the kids’ sports gear

Quadruple (4x!!) the storage space

THE TRICKY SPACE
When this family approached me to transform their tricky basement into a fun active play space for 3 energetic kids, I was excited to put on my problem solving hat and get to work!
The space featured smooth, slippery tiles and irregular piping protruding from the back wall, making it unsuitable for kids who love to run around. Additionally, the lack of storage caused it to quickly become a catch-all zone for play and household items, large and small.
The long, narrow layout required expert reimagining to become functional. My priority was to open up the floor space so the kids could move freely and safely. This meant space planning was crucial to incorporate storage and active play elements while maximizing open space.
Lastly, I wanted to infuse the joyful, colourful aesthetic of the family’s home into their new basement playroom!
THE TRANSFORMATION
Solving for functionality and safety first, I came up with an INNOVATIVE OPEN-BACK STORAGE SOLUTION that hid all the protruding piping along the back wall, and added a storage MEDIA UNIT, effectively QUADRUPLING THE STORAGE SPACE.
Next, I personally sampled four brands of SPORTS FLOORING, before meeting with the client to test the bounce response of various balls on the tiles in person. We chose the ones with the best ball responsiveness, durability, non-slip quality, and customizable fit.
Now comes the fun part. I was inspired by the pastel colours of their home and brought that to life with ABSTRACT WATERCOLOUR WALL DECALS. I even added DRIED FLOWER ART of their dog and cat in colour-matched acrylic frames. Everything felt perfectly whimsical and authentically them! It was an immediate “YES!” for my client.
Onto the sports features! I’m proud to have created a fun space that’s packed with opportunities to play SOCCER, HOCKEY, BASKETBALL, SWINGING, CLIMBING, and more! Of course, the rock wall holds are colour-matched to the room design too!
What’s even better is the LOW AND ACCESSIBLE HOLDERS FOR THE KIDS’ BALLS AND STICKS so the kids never have to wait for the grownups to initiate play.

 
This playroom is designed by Sophie Shay of CHEZ SHAY DESIGNS.
Instagram: @chezshaydesigns

Boys Shared Bedroom

When we got pregnant with our last baby, we decided to put the boys in our large bedroom above the garage. It was not in the best shape, and we did what we could to make it nice for them. It was cute in the end, but admittedly a rush job due to the baby on the way. A few months after our last was born, we decided to give the room the attention it deserved.
We gave the room all new carpet, some gorgeous striped wallpaper and reused as much as we could for furniture/decor to keep cost down. I was inspired by themes like Peter Pan, and vintage styles mixed with modern for the room. I love adding little touches from small artists and shops to give the room character!

National Park Shared Boys’ Room

A shared bedroom fit for two adventurous little boys!
I have been working on a little room refresh for our youngest two boys, Conway (3) and Stone (2). The inspiration for their room came from some vintage postcards we bought while on vacation and it has since evolved into a National Park/adventure themed room.
Their room cannot accommodate two twin beds without sacrificing on play space, so I opted for bunk beds! We love how the bunk beds have allowed the boys to have a nice, big area to play and run around. One of the biggest things I did before starting their room refresh was minimize toys. Toys accumulate so quickly around here! The boys have one toy storage cabinet with 9 small, felt bins that holds all of their toys and isn’t an eye sore for their room. If there is one thing I have learned with my boys’ rooms, it’s that less is more!
The star of the room is definitely the Hot Air Balloon wallpaper from Livette’s. Isn’t it darling?! I love the vintage feel it brings to the room and it plays along so well with the National Park theme. I chose to go with hot air balloons to always remind my boys to seek adventure, be brave and fearless and to always “fly” wherever the Lord leads them in life.

Vibrant Jungle Gym Playroom

This basement playroom project started off with a completely blank canvas; the ask was to create a cozy, comfortable, colourful & functional space for a very busy toddler! I wanted this playroom to feel bold and adventurous yet soft enough to work with the rest of the home. So we opted for a wonderful muted jungle wallpaper and an oversized muted geometric area rug to ground the space. These elements inspired a blue, green and yellow colour palette which we layered with interesting shapes, patterns and textures for an elevated feel.
Playrooms always need a solid organizational systems, one that’s easy to stick to! So we made sure to integrate both open and closed storage for this family — the closed cabinetry is perfect for art supplies, puzzles and toy collections divided into clear bins, while the open shelf encourages autonomous play with easy-to-access toys on rotation. Creating designated purposeful areas is probably the single most important aspect of any playroom design.
My clients already had a great dining table, so we used it to create an arts & crafts zone with beautiful soft green chairs. These are my favourite ones to use in kid’s spaces because they are wipeable, have a closed back and are light enough for kids to move around themselves.
To promote imaginative play we added a fun kid’s play couch, a canvas playhouse with the sweetest little windows and a wooden climber. A low coffee table is the perfect spot to play with building blocks, puzzles and trucks! Fun decorative touches bring so much personality to the room, like knotted floor cushions, pom pom bins, a flag bunting and wool wall hangings. The end result is a colourful fun-filled playroom with endless layers of fun to explore!
Photography: Heidi Lau

Peek Inside This Bold and Feminine Shared Girls’ Bedroom

We have waited a long time for our baby girl to be here – years of infertility and failed treatments so the idea of getting to share a room with her big sister who is exactly 6 years older was very special to us and even her! I had a vision in my head for a long time of having a feature wall behind their beds that was a deep shade of green and the floral wallpaper that I fell in love with.
My biggest piece of advice for people planning a space is don’t be afraid to pivot. I had an idea in my head of matching beds for now – basically a crib that coordinates and is in the same furniture line as the big girl bed, but because of Covid delays or not wanting to spend billions on beds, I had to pivot and got matching beds for later and beds that compliment one another now, but aren’t in the same line.
The full reveal, the design plans, how I handled things being out of stock and all my sources are on my site, Livingletterhome.com!