Saturday, January 22, 2011

Playroom {our awesome basement!}

When we moved into our house in 2008 I knew I wanted to convert the big room in the basement into a playroom in one half and a tv room in the other half. The TV room came together quite easily, but there wasn't much need for the playroom until we had little ones to play in it.

For the last three weeks or so E, James and I have been working on the basement playroom quite a bit. It is so cold and unpleasant outside, why not make our indoor space as awesome as it could be?

We had a lot of fun fixing up the space, and now that it is complete we have a good couple of hours of fun down there every day.

So, here it is, in all of its glory! If you have any questions of where I got a specific item, leave it in the comments and I'll try to help out.

Above, view of the entire playroom area.

Just a warning: IKEA owns my soul. Almost everything came from its jumbo store full of reasonably priced goodies.

Detailed views:

Left Wall, back: This piece of furniture is an armoire from IKEA that my mom bought in the as-is department. When she didn't need it anymore she gave it to me and I was thrilled because it was the perfect home form my American Girl collection. I tipped it on its side, took off the doors and painted the black backing. It has housed my American Girl dolls for about 18 months and for a long time was the only thing in this area of the room.

I cleaned out the bottom half of the "house" for James. On the left I store some of the pillows I made from IKEA pillow forms and fun IKEA fabric and on the right we store some of the bigger toys that are not always in use (his awesome IKEA rocking moose). The top half and "roof" still stores my doll collection.
Left Wall, front: James's Grandma and Grandpa (my mom and step-dad) got James this adorable IKEA kitchen for his first birthday. The little stove top turns on, all doors open and close and is made of solid wood. Then a couple of weeks ago my Mom showed up at my house after thrifting with this adorable little hutch. She paid $5.00 for it, and I couldn't have been more pleased. James's little pots and pans mostly came from my American Girl collection, and his little foods are from both IKEA and Melissa & Doug.

(You might also spot the gnome cottage on the cabinet near the microwave.)

The fun school house styled clock is from IKEA, of course.
Far Wall: This wall still has some of the decorations I hung when we were new to the home. The top floating shelf has some of my favorite photographs from our time in Africa and the bottom shelf has a beautiful Titanic model E made as a teen. Both seem to fit the room just fine, the Africa photos are colorful and simple and what boy doesn't love ships?

We also had a little space between the far wall and the IKEA armoire that I mentioned a moment ago. James loves little hiding places like this, so I came up with the simple idea to sew a little curtain (more IKEA fabric) and hang it on a little spring tension rod. It worked out so well and now it is one of his favorite spots in the entire room.

To the right of the hiding spot we have a magnetic board that holds some magnetic gears (from Lakeshore Learning). These things are the neatest and not only does James love them, but E and I are addicted to them too.

And last but not least, we have a picture ledge shelf, from IKEA of course, that holds some of James's favorite books. I like how this shelf showcases the cute covers, because everyone likes kids' book covers, right?
Right Wall: The opposite wall is the home to some of my favorite things in the room. The two framed prints are from Kate's Papery in NYC and hung in simple IKEA red frames. The other two IKEA frames hold some pieces of the awesome IKEA fabric that I made some of the pillows from.

On the left side of the photo is James's activity cube, which was his first birthday present from E and I. I love this thing, it is solid wood, made to last, and is adorable.

The shelf is (you guessed it), IKEA. I love their Expedit line because is is super affordable and comes in lots of colors. E and I had to make two trips out to IKEA (first time it was sold out) but the trouble was worth it. We love it and the coordinating bins that hold all of James's toys.

On top of the shelf is our adorable vintage airplane lamp from PB Kids, a red mailbox from Magic Cabin and a dragon stuffed animal that was E's when he was a boy. Inside the shelf are just a few of James's many wonderful toys.

The rug that you can just barley see (it is so cute, roads and cities and a beach front) is also an IKEA purchase and was James's Christmas present.
Some of my favorite details.
Mr. James revealing his hiding spot.
He really likes the activity cube. So glad we got it.
Showing off how the doll house is perfectly sized for him!

E loves these magnetic gears. I swear, every time we go downstairs he plays with them.


  1. I LOVE the play room. You did an amazing job! Thanks for all the details. I think the hidding spot is my favorite, what a fun idea. The idea of framing fabric is awesome.

  2. Oh man, I want to play with the magnetic gears board, too! E is awesome. James is awesome. You are awesome. Isn't there some sort of limit to how much is allowed in one home?


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