This month I had the opportunity to work with the lovely Helen, from @twinstantrumsandcoldcoffee, to show you how to create a playroom space within your home. As well as to provide you with my interior design tips for colour & storage in a room that can often be a bit overwhelming to get right.
Take a look below at my top tips, as well as the 3D renders I created using the fabulous Foyr Neo interior design software.
Colour is key.
Colour is one of the most important aspects to consider when creating a playroom in your house. Children love colour & play spaces should be a fun & colourful environments for them to enjoy & explore.
'Colour psychology’ is the study of how colours affect behaviours, perceptions & emotions. Using certain colours within a children's playroom can evoke different responses to how they play & interact.
When thinking about your play space you can choose to go with one colour all over or use specific colours to zone areas within the room, this is particularly helpful if you have larger playrooms.
Interior designers will stick to one top tip when using different colours in a children's playroom & this is ensuring colours are all within the same colour category, these include:
What colours are good for a playroom & why?
Orange is a brilliant colour for playfulness & it promotes social interaction. It is great for more energetic areas of a playroom - think role play areas, climbing walls, gymnastics hoops or rings.
Yellow is associated with happiness, kindness & joy, so is a perfect choice for childrens spaces. Children who spend time in spaces with yellow colours tend to be more cheerful & optimistic, however, intense yellows can lead to anger so it can be best to avoid colours such as neon yellow in your children's playroom spaces.
Blue is a super choice for encouraging concentration, thinking & imagination. Light blues, think pastel blue, powder blue & sky blue, are very good for creating calming spaces. With this in mind, blue colours are ideally suited for areas such as reading nooks, colouring stations & problem solving/puzzle areas within a playroom.
Green is known to be a very calming colour for children. Children tend to associate green with nature & its calming properties but they also associate it with safety & positivity, due to its use in things like traffic signals & traditional positive marking in tests. Similarly to blue, green is great for areas that encourage children to relax, concentrate or problem solve.
A soft pink colour is a very soothing, calming colour. It has been found to lower children’s heart rates when they spend time in rooms containing pink. However, brighter, hot pinks can act in the opposite way, encouraging children to be more active & energetic. Choosing the type of pink you use may be dictated by the area in which you are looking to use it, e.g. a calming reading space or a more energetic performing stage.
So now you've picked your colours, how do you keep the playroom organised?
Creating a space that is visually pleasing but also practical can be a challenge. I've listed my top tips below, to help you create a space that ticks all the boxes.
Tips for playroom storage.
Try to categorise your toys & store them in one box per category e.g. separate boxes for cars, people, animals, space, dinosaurs, dressing up etc. This helps children find the toys they need quickly. It also means they will be able to help tidy up easier as they just need to find the corresponding box.
Try using fun labels on storage to help children identify the correct storage for each toy (it also helps them develop their reading skills!)
Don’t be afraid to use a selection of small storage options. Some things are harder to access if they are in big boxes or drawers, things like dolls house accessories, magnetic numbers/letters. For these things try using a range of different options such as:
Rotate your playroom toys regularly.
There is lots of evidence to recommend rotating the toys in your playroom at regular intervals, think weekly or fortnightly. Utilise the areas you have for display & playing e.g. low shelves, storage units, tables & keep certain toys in these areas, then swap them for different toys or activities the following week or so. This process encourages children to play with different toys/items & supports new imaginative play. You’ll be amazed how much they love to play with the toy they haven’t seen for a few months & it saves you buying lots of new ones.
Use a mix of storage- both open & closed.
Open, visible storage is the perfect place for more decorative toys & activities. For example, you might have family toys that have been passed down that you want to keep on view but up high out of the reach of little hands.
Additionally, open storage is a great way to implement the toy rotation strategy above. If children can see, & easily access toys, they are more likely to play with them. Try to find storage that is easy for children to open & manage, things like low level shelves, wall mounted storage racks & baskets without lids.
Closed storage, things like closed boxes, drawers & up high units, are then great for toys or objects you might want to supervise, think crafts & Playdoh, as well as toys with little pieces if you have smaller children.
This mixture of storage options helps keep the playroom look aesthetically pleasing & tidy, as well as being practical for your children. If everything is packed away in closed storage your space can look a little empty & unloved. However, if every toy is on display it can look cluttered & messy, & can also be quite overwhelming for children. A mixture, with regular rotation, is a great way to keep the space looking fun & inviting yet organised.
Create different zones in your children's playroom to help guide their playing.
Clearly defined zones within a playroom can help children understand how to use the space & encourages them to partake in a range of activities & games throughout the day. It is also a great way to introduce some of the colour psychology I mentioned above.
Playrooms are a place to let your imagine run wild so see if you can incorporate things like:
An active zone with climbing walls, gymnastics rings, padded mat & hula hoops. For these spaces you might want to use yellow to encourage fun & joy.
A craft zone with blackboard walls, large rolls of paper on wall mounted frames, Playdoh stations & peg boards with a range of pens, crayons, stickers & chalk.
Imaginary play zones with sections for role play baskets, shops & cafe stations. You might think about using orange colours into this space to encourage social interaction with friends or siblings.
Reading areas are wonderful for playrooms. It can be something simple like a corner with lots of pillows, or a larger reading 'den'. Blues & greens work nicely in these spaces as they encourage concentration & relaxation.
A STEM zone – this doesn’t need to be elaborate, it can be an area with puzzles, Lego, Duplo, building blocks & junk modelling. This is more than enough to get your children thinking outside the box.
A music zone is a great fun space to incorporate in your playroom. It can be an area with a variety of musical instruments for your child to explore or a simply a space they can play some music or poems & just relax. This area will benefit from lots of soft, tactile surfaces to help diffuse the noise.
We should use versatile furniture in our playroom settings. Here are just a few examples of how something simple can be transformed into a multi-use item:
A low level bench can be used for sitting on, used as a table, used for a play table station or used to play dens underneath.
A climbing wall can be used for climbing, hanging role play costumes on or imagining dolls or figures scaling a mountain.
Padded floor mats & cushions can be used for gymnastics, reading, yoga or building dens.
A plain shop station can be transformed into a cafe, ticket office, shop, library or train station all by swapping a few accessories & signs.
Using a variety of lighting options in your playroom can create many different moods. Children will want to use the playroom at different times & for different purposes or moods. Having a range of lighting can help facilitate this. Some options include dimmable main lights, lamps, fairy lights, light signs, lava lamps, & spotlights.
If you have an early riser you may want to introduce softer lighting to start the day & encourage calmer activities. If you have a born performer who loves to put on a show lighting options such as fairy lights, spotlights & disco balls can help give that star studded stage feel.
Fairy lights & lamps can also be great for reading & music nooks. Remember to keep dangling lights out of reach of children & if you are using low level lamps ensure they are child friendly.
Make the most of your playroom walls.
Don't underestimate the endless ways you can use your walls for extra storage or play. Try some of these fun & practical options:
Use wall pockets or globes (see links above) for extra storage options that look great & free up floor space.
Use blackboard paint to create a creative art zone for your children to draw, write or learn their spellings on.
Create a Lego wall. You can do this by attaching Lego board bases either directly onto the wall or onto a large piece of wood, which then attaches to the wall (this is great for renters). These boards can then be used to store Lego figures or for children to get creative & make vertical worlds.
Take a look through our full designs & concept board for more ideas.
I can help you with the interior design of your children's playroom.
If you would like help with your children's playroom or bedroom space I would love to work with you to create something fun, practical & uniquely suited to your family needs. I offer a range of packages from consultancy to concept boards to full project management so we can find the perfect fit for your requirements.
Get in touch by sending me a message here!