This is it. The playroom. I love it. As I was uploading these pictures, I was reminded of all the time I spent this year pouring myself into designing it. This playroom is one of my favorite projects that I have ever created. I can still remember when Josh and I walked through this house for the very first time in March of 2005. I was about 8 weeks pregnant with Hunts and when I poked my head up through the door to the attic, I told Josh that the space would someday be a great playroom. Here we are, 4 years later, and that dream has become a reality. A most practical and exciting reality, I must say. It is such a stress reliever that the toys are no longer all.over.the.house. They have a home. And it is on the third floor.
Here's the overall view of the room, from south to north. The room gets a ton of natural light, which is, I think, one of the best features about the playroom.
Remember my chairs from Ikea? Well, this is what they became. I have the most amazing upholsterer, Harold, who comes directly to my door, picks up my furniture, and returns it to my door in one week or less. These are beauties. I love how Harold can take any fabric you give him and stretch it over any shape of canvas and produce an amazing product like this. Thank you, Ikea, for making this project incredibly affordable.
I bought a few of these frames from Ikea, spray-painted the mattes, took a couple of my favorites of Huntleigh's drawings that I've been saving and one of Lucy Walker's and made some fun art out of them. I love how the assortment looks, which includes a painting that Josh's sister did for Huntleigh's first birthday.
We wanted to utilize the west side of the room as efficiently as possible, so we created some built-in shelves to accommodate all these bins I got from Ikea. My brother-in-law, Bill, built these to fit 32 buckets to hide all the toys. I loved this part of the project. I'm all about hiding stuff in an organized way. We added the dentil trim to give the shelves a bit of fun texture. That little support in front of the shelves had to stay there, so we thought it would be fun to create a little "window" in between the supports with a ledge for imaginative play. Huntleigh loves making use of the little window. I totally owe that idea to my friend Mary Ellen.
I spent hours on the labels for these buckets. And I mean, hours. I loved every minute of it, but I used a lot of quiet time to think through all the toys we have and to come up with custom labels for all of them. And then when the labels arrived, I spent a ton of nap times sticking the labels to the bins so that the kids wouldn't know they are actually just stickers. This was one of the most time-consuming projects of the whole room, but the result was completely worth it.
The project corner. Their little table fits just perfectly into this space. The paper roll was another thing I spent a bunch of time on, thinking how to best incorporate it.
The alphabet, up close. These make the best border for any child's room, whether a playroom or a bedroom. I had to bring these back up into the new playroom. They were the border in our old playroom, as well.
This bookshelf is another one of those well-utilized spaces in the playroom. It was good empty space put to use and it gives me a place to put all of the board books that I used to have on Huntleigh's windowsill.
Another treasure from Ikea. Huntleigh used to call this "the shower," but lately she's been calling it a tent. If you look behind the tent, you can see the window seat. We use the window seat all the time. It's become a favorite napping spot in the house.
This is just the view heading down the stairs to the 2nd floor. The original color I chose for the room was a light gray, but upon seeing the whole room painted in that color, I had was sorely disappointed and so I opted for a more friendly and uplifting blue. It has proved to be such a better choice than the gray. I was afraid to pick a color that could be a bridge between children and adults, but this blue has done that trick. It's a superb blue.
Overall, I had a great team of people who helped me pull off the vision of this room. My husband was awesome throughout the whole project, and has taught me a great deal about patience. My brother-in-law was an excellent listener as he heard my thoughts and applied them as he built this room for his nieces. Mary Ellen, who gave me her time and expertise when it came to giving me insight with all of my design questions. Audrey, who made a special trip to Ikea on her vacation in Phoenix because she knew I needed more red bins! My painter, Aaron, was also patient as he spent hours painting layer after layer of that bright white for all the trim. And he graciously accepted the fact that I hated the gray after he painted every single wall in the room with it. Excellent work, Aaron. I hope everyone who enjoys this room is blessed by it. I am so thankful for it.