Putting together a playroom for your kids can be a lot of fun. There are a ton of creative ideas that you can do, and it’s important to get your kids’ input, but there are three main aspects that you will need to consider, and that’s practicality, performance, and safety.
Every kid is different, so when it comes to designing a proper playroom base it on what your kids will typically be doing. Will they be reading? Building? Doing arts and crafts, playing hockey, or playing instruments? This will tell you the design elements that you should include.
For example, you can build secret cubbies below stairs or within walls where your kids can store their books, crayons, and toys in, saving you important space. Having storage options to avoid clutter can also help prevent your kids (and you) from tripping over things.
You can also maybe add a craft table or a chalkboard where they can draw. Chalkboard paint is a good option; in fact, you can paint an entire wall area using chalkboard paint, so your kids can literally write on the walls in their playroom and no harm is done. Make sure it’s low enough for your kids to reach. Or you can paint a table surface with it, so they can draw on the table too. Think beyond your walls.
Then there are bigger, more ambitious projects. For example, on one job we built an artificial hockey rink in the basement. On the floor we installed hard, durable, white plastic tiles, which looked like ice. We also added protection boards up on the wall—before installing the floor—so the kids can slap their hockey sticks and use a real puck, without mom and dad worrying about the walls getting damaged. We even added a penalty box!
There are designers that specialize in creating kids playrooms, so if you have the budget, call a professional who can create a special space for your kids.
Scratch-resistant flooring is always a smart idea when dealing with kids. I would stay away from hardwood or engineered hardwood—it can scratch and it’s expensive, which means more expensive to replace too.
Laminate flooring is a durable and inexpensive option, and once the kids grow up it can be easily replaced. (You want to keep the space flexible for when the kids grow up.) Hypoallergenic carpeting is another option. Depending on the quality of the underpad, carpeting can provide a softer surface for kids to play on. Although carpeting isn’t typically spill-friendly, we now have carpet tiles that come in all sorts of designs and colours, so if a spill does happen the carpet tile can be removed and replaced.
For cost and performance, you can also go with rubber mats or tiles that can interlock together. They provide a soft surface kids can play on but that can also take a beating.
Putting together a reading corner with some bookshelves is smart, but make sure to secure large furniture that can topple over, such as bookshelves, in case the kids decide to climb them. Bookshelves should be tied into (or secured) to the wall, as well as heavy pieces of furniture, such as desks or TV/computer screens.
Air quality is very important when it comes to your kids’ health. Better furnace filters help stop your kids from breathing in allergens, dust and mould spores, and in some cases even viruses. You can also get a portable air filtration system or air purifier that can boost the air quality in a specific area, such as your kids’ room or playroom.
Green Friendly Paint has low VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and no toxic biocides. VOCs are known to cause headaches, dizziness, and in some cases can be toxic. Younger kids and babies can be especially sensitive to VOCs, so try to keep them down to a minimum in your home, especially in areas where the kids will be spending most of their time, like their rooms, basement or playroom.
Whether you go big or small, building a proper playroom for your kids starts with making sure their health and safety are top priority. Once that’s covered the design of the area itself should work with their interests because providing them a proper space to play gives them room to grow.