Before and After [The Playroom]

As I was going through my phone for my photo dump post, I realized that I was showing the playroom, which is one of my favorite rooms in the house, and just one of the many that underwent a makeover. Or make under, as the case may be for this house. And as I await the “After” of my kitchen “Before” I realized I have quite a few befores and afters already in my phone. Just never got around to sharing.

Originally, this room was a point of contention between me and Kase. I wanted a cozy den and he wanted the entire children’s section of Ikea. I am not joking. We met somewhere in the middle.

The previous owner of our home really worked hard to restore a lot of the finishes and furnishings to what might have originally been in the house. She even removed the drywall ceiling and exposed the original hand cut beams of the house- on one of the beams, there is a signature and the date 1830. Very cool, and it’s one of my favorite features of the house.  Along with this attention to historical rehabilitation, she filled her home with carefully chosen antiques and historical pieces.

To her, I send my deepest apologies. We have two young kids. Ain’t nobody got time for the Brimfield Antique show (though I won’t lie- I wish I did. Anyone care to babysit?). All I have time for these days is IKEA, and I can’t even handle that anymore with two kids in tow. The thing of it is- kids are kids. They mess stuff up. Like, they draw on your newly painted walls. What are you gonna do?  So for now, we jammed it full of IKEA shelves, a train table, and lots and lots and lots of toys and called it a day.

That being said, I do see this room as a nice den or office once the kids are older- especially because this room is off to the front of the house, so I can be watching my HGTV shows (“Dude, does your mom ever stop watching that channel?”) in the family room at the back of the house while the boys play violent video games away from any adult supervision. Oh man. I can’t wait for that day.

For now? We need a playroom. (“Does anyone really need a playroom??” said the person with (obviously) no kids. To which I answer, “Would you want to live in the middle of  a Toys R Us forever and ever? Didn’t think so.”) I, the OCD neat freak I can be, need a room where my kids can play and when they are done, I can shove all the ugly craps away and pretend they don’t exist. The toys, that is. Not my kids. I like them. And they are the most adorable and special humans on earth. Obviously.

The beauty of this room is it is off at the front of the house and has two doors that close it off- one from the front hall and one from the dining room. And just like that- voila! Crap is gone!  It also works well for when we have dinner parties- we can easily supervise (or listen for, generally, while we drink) the kids in the adjoining room. There is a door that leads to an outside patio as well, so once we get our little yard on that side of the house fenced off, we can install a playset and use that door for direct access. The ultimate plan will be to screen in and cover the patio and then, once again, we adults can drink in peace while the children tackle each other in the yard. Always thinking, I am!

So here it is, in all it’s glory- the former-finest-antiques-money-can-buy-formal sitting room- turned- the-IKEA-threw-up-and-and-had-babies- playroom:


playroom before2

playroom before

playroom before2


When we moved in, we got to work. We removed the window treatments, turned off the gas fireplace and painted.





Finally found a spot for my ruler growth chart. Only took me a year…




We’ve got a tv set up across from the couch here, for when the kids want to watch TV or movies- it works really well for us. The TV sits on top of a (shocker!) Expedit bookcase which holds, wait for it, MORE TOYS! Can you believe it!  Naturally, Colin and I spend most of our time on the tiny 3X5 Urban Outfitters rug, squeezed in between the couch and bookcase, all cramped like, building blocks in that tiny space because it’s not like he has a entire playroom in which to play. Oh wait.

So there you have it. A How To on turning your expensively and finely furnished formal sitting room into a crap hole. Feel free to pin that. Still my favorite room in the house, though.


3 thoughts on “Before and After [The Playroom]

  1. haha. I love your last comment about playing on the 3×5 rug when you have a whole playroom. It reminds me how I have a playroom full of trains and when I take my child to the childrens museum in town for a change of scenery all he wants to do is play with the train table!

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